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My Rover 400 1.6 K series (V reg) - losing coolant but no signs..leak

Customer Question

My Rover 400 1.6 K series (V reg) - losing coolant but no signs of a leak. Oil filler shows signs of heavy condensation and dip stick shows lots of light brown fluid (oil and water wel and truly mixed). Is this a head gasket problem?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Carhelp4u replied 8 years ago.
Do you note any white smoke being emitted from the tail pipe? Does this engine over heat? Do you have access to a cooling system pressure tester? How much coolant are you adding and over what type of mileage?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have not seen any white smoke from the tail pipe. I first noticed the problem yesterday when the temperature guage went up pretty high . As soon as the engine had cooled enough I checked the coolant level and filled up with about 1.5 litres water. No further overheating but have added another litre of water today. Have only done about 30 miles since the first indication of the problem and have kept revs low and monitored the temperature closely. I don't have a preeusre tester or any remotely specialist tools.
Expert:  Carhelp4u replied 8 years ago.
Ok, normally the moisture in the oiling system is a telltale sign of a faulty head gasket. The moisture in the cap and the honey colored oil are serious indicators that there is for sure an issue with coolant getting into the oiling system. This is a serious problem and i would refrain from driving this vehicle at all costs at this point to deter further damage to the engine internals. See when the coolant gets into the oil, its causes for the oil to lose quite a bit of its lubrication value. This causes for bearing damage all throughout the engine. Sometimes a pressure test of the cooling system can allow for you to put pressure into the cooling system while listening and watching for anything out of the ordinary in the radiator or engine assembly. From what you are stating, i would figure this to be a head gasket issue, cracked cylinder head, or in a worse case scenario a damaged engine block. Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you would prefer a second opinion! Good luck to you!
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the opinion - it reinforces my concern that there is a significant problem. My next task is to consider what to do - to repair or to scrap. Thanks anyway.
Expert:  Carhelp4u replied 8 years ago.

I understand your feeling. Depending on the exact failure, a head gasket is not to awful bad. If you start getting into a issue with a cylinder head, or possibly a engine block failure it can get real expensive quickly. This really would depend on what is found upon disassembly. Thanks for using just!