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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there, my girlfriend has a 2005 mini one diesel with an overheating problem. At first I noticed going up hill the temp monitor would go max and then go straight back down. A few weeks after owning it we opened the bonnet to check water levels and found the cap was off, so it had run a few weeks with cap off. We filled it up, put the cap on and saw no issues (this was in july). Last week we drove a 40 min motorway run and the temp maxed out again. Water coming out the top of the cap etc (cap fully tight). The next morning the coolant bottle was completely empty (it had been topped up a few days previous). Since this overheat the car now struggles to start but when running the engine sounds fine, no loss of power at all (not that it has much anyway). However at the end of every journey, water is bubbling through the cap but temperature gauge stays correct (short journeys only). We have also noticed the fan is almost permanently on, very soon after starting the car.

We took it to a garage who diagnosed that the head gasket had probably gone, but they are not capable of repairing it as they don't have the tools. Now I'm wondering if it could be something else, as the engine sounds fine, the oil (which we haven't stopped up this year) is at the correct level and pure black, and it overhears up hill but coasting downhill it goes back to normal (but even at normal it bubbles out the cap). I checked the water this morning after driving it back from the garage yesterday and it is still at the correct level, doesn't seem to have lost much, but again even after that journey (around 6 miles), it was bubbling through the cap.

My girlfriend really can't afford to replace the car so we are hoping someone could give advice on other things to check, or if in your opinion it really could be the head gasket.

Thanks for your time.
 

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would check if car has ever been hit in the front if it has check the rad at the top corner passenger side and that the aircon has not been pushed in to the corner, just had a car like this and buy it caused a lot of issues and many people people looked at before never found until a major engine failure ie crashed the rad and had little flow and caused heat spikes under load only, really did cause a bad chain of events for the owner and so hidden form view,
as for head gasket the best bodge around at mo is the link below, you must clean the system and then refill 1 litre water 1 litre glycol anti freeze ie blue or green stuff and one bottle of sealer below mix it outside of car then fill the rad for best results,, you must run car for a good hour after filling it then let it go cold repeat this untill it sorts it self it might sort it,, works better on petrols lower pressure,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, I will have a look out for those things. I've put a bottle of steel seal in it, the car is starting better but the coolant is still bubbling out of the lid when hot. I've ordered a new lid incase that is adding to the issue. Car is taking about half an hour to overheat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Still facing issues with this, and car is in necessary daily use. Have to refill water every morning. Still no water in oil. 1 bottle of steel seal and small bottle of k seal put in it.

Does anyone know any mini specialists, other than main dealer, in Leicester area that may be able to diagnose at a reasonable cost? Been quoted £100 just to diagnose so far. Cheers.
 

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that real steal stuff must be added to blue glycol antifreeze and 1 litre of water otherwise wont work, also cant use any other sealant at same time or before it, but some they just dont seal diesels more so. i'm down southwest so far away, problem you have is that early diesel is known for head cracks and gasket toyota diesel, to repair it would prob just stick a known good head on it anyway fro piece of mind, you know its got bubbles so know head needs pulling, it costs around £100 to have head pressure tested bud thats not 100% sure it will find it as its a cold test, so might as well find a good head for £100 from somewhere on ebay ie a known good runner that had a bottom end issue,, i've done this approach a number of times and worked well,, saves all that time to see bubbles ie what you know in first place,, pull the head change it thats what i would do
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks again people. Got it diagnosed now, head gasket is gone. I'd estimate it's been that way for a couple months now. It still drives fine and no loss of power etc, only overheats on longer journeys.

Was quoted by the specialist £2100 for repair. Bought the car for £1200 so obviously wont be doing that. Is that the sort of price I can expect or could it be cheaper? I'm by no means good with cars and I understand it is a long hard job but that seems excessive. If anyone knows anywhere or anyone in leicester who could do it for less I'd appreciate it! Failing that, just gonna run it into the ground as its not worth anything to sell. Any estimations how long it could last? As I said it's already been a while but it performs as normal etc

Cheers.
 
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