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MG MGA - Head gasket oil leak

All winter I've been starting my car once a week and running for about 15 minutes or so to warm up to operation temperature, at a fast idle. When I returned to the garage yesterday, 5 days after the last visit, I noticed a weep of oil about an inch and a half long between the head gasket and block right above the ID plate. Seems like a weird way for the head gasket to go, but I've only blown a head gasket once, on another engine between cyls 2&3. Do you think this is indicative of another problem or is it more likely I just need a new head gasket?
Mark J Michalak

Is it oil or is it coolant? That is a very common place for the head to crack. There in no oil passing through the head gasket on that side of the engine. If it really is oil look up to the valve cover before condeming the head gasket.
R J Brown

Could be a drip from the dipstick, from checking the oil!
Neil McGurk

Check the colour of the oil on the underside of the oil filler cap. If it is whitish, you have a blown head gasket and water in the oil. May have to drive it a bit before checking.
P. Tilbury

I double checked and there are no valve cover leaks. It was definitely oil and I suppose it could have been a rogue drop from the dipstick, but it definitely presented itself like a leak along the gasket. It hadn't returned since yesterday. The head is coming off soon anyway when the machine shop finishes my new one, so I guess I'll find out then!

Mark J Michalak

This thread was discussed between 11/02/2009 and 12/02/2009

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