FOrd Fiesta, head gasket gone?

Hi all, I'm not much of a mechanic so I need someones expert advice..


My little 1996, 1.3 ford fiesta is burning oil, also when I went to refill the oil, there was some creamy crud around the cap and the seal. As I said I'm no expert, but I guess its not a good thing!


Can anyone tell me whats wrong with my little nail?


Thanks!

18:56 Wed 30th Nov 2005
 
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I also am no expert, but once had a AX GT with the same problem, which when i opened the radiator cap, or expansion tank (water) there was water there also, which meant the head gasket had gone, is it overheating?


I quickly part ex'd it for a newer model, i suggest you do the same if that is the case, not cheap!

A very small creamy crud around the filler cap does not always mean headgasket, if the seal is not 100 on that cap moisture can still do that.

Burning oil is also not definately head gasket either, could be valve stem oil seals.

To rule out the headgasket you can buy a tester kit in car shops.
Hate to be the bearer of sad news but click here for some info.
Good luck.
The creamy gunge found around the oil filler car is often just moisture from an engine that doesn't do long trips the engine isn't up to operating temperature.
Commonly called 'mayonnaise' for obvious reasons.

A completely blown head gasket would result in a huge drop of the coolant level requiring daily topping up or even every trip. The water is blown out of the exhaust as steam.

Sounds like you could be panicking needlessly at this stage, as mentioned the sludge could be as a result of short journeys or non air tight cap. I'd monitor the coolant level, if it does begin to drop then there is some consumption somewhere, not an immediate indicator of iminent headgasket failure though. Also burning oil could be down to the age of the engine and extent of wear. Condensation coming from the exhaust is normal at this time of year especially while the engine is still working up to operating temperature.


Chelsea: What did you expect to find removing the rad cap or expansion tank cap ? Lemonade ?

Question Author

Thanks for the advice guys!


It's not overheating - and I just did a long trip up the motorway so thats sort of promising :D


I'll check my coolant level, I probably need to stick some more antifreeze in anyway as I haven't checked it since this time last year ... oops!


mdoo98, i meant to put oil, sorry for making a little mistake
The crankcase breather valve in fiesta can get gunged up, causing oil to blow up and over into the air filter, burning oil. Clean and check three parts, depending on year and model. 1) the oil filler cap, if it has a pipe attached, the whole cap and pipe should be flushed through with parafin or petrol and degunged. The pipe that goes to the orange flap valve on the underside of the air filter and the flap valve itslf ( can be removed from the assembly, again should be cleaned and washed. Lastly and most important, there is a pipe off the inlet manifold that connects to the breather valve. This has a very small orofice in the body. Clean this up and ensure that the hole is clean with a piece of thin wire. Oh, and subject to model, check oil recommended - for a lot of these cars Ford recommends 5W/30. Use it. 10/40 and 20/50 don't get round the engine quick enough and clog everything up...

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