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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our GLS 4 motion needs it's valve cover gaskets doing on both sides, and cam shaft seals, which I was happy todo myself. But I've recently been told by my mechanic it may also need the head gasket doing (i'm getting a second opinion on monday).

However, down the the road a guy is selling a GLX 4motion, 2000.

The car, has 140,000m, timing belt + serpentine belt was done 20,000 miles ago. He's digging out the service records for me. Starts runs and sounds fine.

We have gone to look at 2 other cars recently, one had a dubious history and 'minor' 4 crashes, and the other had worse valve covers than what we have currently.

This has been the cleanest so far:





Although underneath:




That looks like maybe an oil pan gasket leak?

Can anybody spot anything that looks like it could potentially be a problem, or anything else I should look for when I go up next?
 

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Close the hood and walk away. That's one rough looking engine! Did someone spray the engine with saltwater or maybe it was in a flood? All looks original and doesn't look like anyone has been "customizing" any wiring. But, the PCV crossover hose is taped together, so the PCV system will need replacing. The vacuum hoses are getting ready to fall apart. The power steering high pressure hose is questionable. And I would want to see PROOF on the timing belt and serp belt replacement. The tensioner for the serp belt is original and has not been replaced. Any fasteners nuts, bolts on that engine are going to be a fight to get off IF they come off at all. AND then there is the massive oil leak on the front of the engine. Plus the coolant is low.

How's the heat working?
Do all the electrics work? Windows? Locks? On ALL the doors and trunk?
Buy a cheap scan tool and see what codes you can pull.
Check for dampness under the seats and under the carpet.
Take the cover off of the battery tray area and check for standing water and leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Glad I checked here first.

Cheers man. Salt water on the engine is northern maine for you. But it's the first I've seen without any noticeable oil sports.

I did see the tensioners and think they don't look like they were done with the belt. Windows and locks all worked.

I guess the search continues. If I come across anything else, I'll post here.
 

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Here's a second opinion: if you are looking to buy a car local (Maine) then you should probably be prepared to see all the engines looking like this. You can travel south and get a clean looking engine/no rust but that has a cost, too. The good news is that the oil leak probably prevented a lot of corrosion under the car :)
It's hard to pinpoint the leak but IMO the leak is not that bad. A bad leak usually means that you have "clean" greasy surfaces, not full of dust and mud. If I were to take a guess for the oil leak, it will be VCG and half moon for tensioners.
Anyway, I haven't seen the car (to advise you to jump on it) but you need to take into consideration the age (and price) of the vehicle you are searching for.
 

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What makes you think your current car needs a head gasket? They rarely go bad, usually only when the car is overheated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
What makes you think your current car needs a head gasket? They rarely go bad, usually only when the car is overheated.
Mystery coolant leak.

We have sat it over a large sheet of paper over night. Nothing visible.
Started the car up left it running. Again checked under Nothing visible.

The VW specialists couldn't get us in till Monday. Our local garage got us in, he couldn't source it (did it for free) then recommended we goto the VW guys. Monday is the day of reckoning.

We keep an eye out on the gauge while driving, sits at a constant 190.

Edit: I should add we not sure on the history of our GLS, was inherited from relative who wasn't the best record keeper. It does look like it's had some radiator work done...
 

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Over the last 12 years I've had to add coolant every now and then, have no idea where it goes. I don't sweat it, just be sure it's not getting into your oil form the oil cooler.
 

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Mystery coolant leak.

We have sat it over a large sheet of paper over night. Nothing visible.
Started the car up left it running. Again checked under Nothing visible.

The VW specialists couldn't get us in till Monday. Our local garage got us in, he couldn't source it (did it for free) then recommended we goto the VW guys. Monday is the day of reckoning.
Probably just leaking a miniscule amount from the heater hoses. I'm losing about a litre a week now, so I'll be replacing these soon, but it's not obvious. It doesn't "leak", it's almost like it's vaporizing on the exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Over the last 12 years I've had to add coolant every now and then, have no idea where it goes. I don't sweat it, just be sure it's not getting into your oil form the oil cooler.
This was excactly the case until a couple of weeks ago. We usually check levels a bi-weekly just to see if anything is amiss, and top up till max when we do the oil. No problem.

But flushed and checked engine oil, looks fine no mixing.

Probably just leaking a miniscule amount from the heater hoses. I'm losing about a litre a week now, so I'll be replacing these soon, but it's not obvious. It doesn't "leak", it's almost like it's vaporizing on the exhaust.
That seems about right, maybe a little under it that amount. Would there be any tell tale signs around the area?
 

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Damn, i have seen better non runners at my local pick & pull.
run away.
 

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The heater hose is a likely source of the coolant leak. The lower connections are almost impossible to see with the exhaust in place. The manual swap I am working on now has a leaking heater hose that was not visible (or known about) until I pulled the exhaust. I had the same issue on my car and did not locate it until I used a pressure tester and followed the drops up to the heater hose.

Here is a pic of the lower heater hose connections. They leak just past the banded section:
[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Excellent thanks PZ.

Got it back from the shop today the guy who was meant to be looking at it dropped out due to a family emergency. So the other person in the shop did a look over and popped it on the lift and pressure tested for only $20 not complaining.


  1. Pressure test on the coolant, came back fine.
  2. Up on the lift, couldn't spot anything.
  3. Also around the hood nothing.

The mechanic did say *might* have been the heater hose, but doesn't think it is that as we have not lost coolant in the last two days whole running.

Looked around, first did 3 checks then did the pressure test and on the lift saw nothing.

Thought it could be the first garage didn't allow time for the coolant to settle, air bubbles to release, or didn't tighten something the first time.

But as of now, not currently leaking - going to keep an eye out as we usually do. And look forward to lifting it.
 

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You may want to lift the coil and have a look under the intake manifold. If it leaks there, it takes a large amount of coolant before it spills over the back onto the trans.
 
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