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MG MGF Technical - advice on K please

Hi gang i normaly post on the midget thread as i have one with a 1700 x-flow engine.
I need some advice however on the K in my wifes Freelander-34002miles 52 plate it has started to use a little water but the oil is clean the crank pressure is just about enough to move the filler cap off the spout if i just rest it ontop unscrewed with the engine on idle, no steam or water from the exhaust after i gave it a good run as it normaly only travels 5 miles a day.
I can't see a leak is it prob the dreaded head gasket and is there any other checks to make.
Many thanks for any help given.

Hi Lee,

I think the question you need to answer is whether the cooling system is being pressurised by combustion gas blowing past the fire rings of the head gasket.

Perhaps the most diagnostic test is to enlist the help of a friendly garage that has access to an exhaust gas analyser. Remove the cap from the expansion tank and look to see whether the 'air' in the tank is contaminated by hydrocarbons. If it is, then the only way those hydrocarbons could have got there is by firering failure.

The other revealing aspect of fire ring failure is that coolant is typically lost faster the harder you use the engine - if you only use idle - 3000 rpm, coolant loss is neglible. Use the loud pedal and take the engine up to the red line, and coolant quickly escapes past the valve in the expansion cap...

That expansion cap, by the way, is worth replacing in any case - as the cheapest cause of coolant loss is a failed/worn pressure valve - so perhaps is worth doing as a precaution and then observe coolant levels for a few days.

Hope this helps
Rob Bell

I had a similar problem with my MGF - loosing about a pint of water every week or so. It finally exposed itself as a leaking water pump. What confused me was that the loss increased when I used the car less! Basically the water pump only leaked when the engine was cold. My MGF has done 70k miles but your wifes car may have worn it early due to the low miles per day and the fact that the engine never really gets to operating temperature? You can check by taking off the cam belt cover and seeing if any water has made it into that area - you should see light rust or staining the same colour as your coolant.
m j kennedy

Thankyou both for your help.

This thread was discussed on 16/06/2006

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