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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

First post..!

Have a Corsa 2004 1.3 CDti, about 84K on the clock.
Overheated some time ago, clip that worked loose and came off a hose.
Since then the car has lost water and I've had to keep topping up.
Had it into a garage on a number of occasions, they couldn't diagnose the cause.. ran a block test, said Head Gasket seemed ok.. replaced water pump. I also used K-Seal and Radweld (not at the same time obviously!). All to no avail.

Anyway, I took it to another garage this morning.
They did their own diagnostics and hey presto, turns out it is the Head Gasket following the block test. Apparently the crack only causes a problem when the engine temperature is high, which might explain why the first garage thought the gasket was ok.

Long story short, I've been given two quotes - £892 to replace the head gasket and £1050 to replace gasket plus the timing chain.
That's way more than I thought a head gasket repair would cost..!

I also phoned another garage and the mechanic there suggested that repairs almost always lead to trouble further down the line. He recommended replacing the engine with a good second hand one.

So, wanted some advice please - do the quoted repair costs seem about right? And is it better to repair the gasket or go for a 'new' engine?


Premium Member
8,351 Posts
on these the heads crack, meaning the motors scrap. a good garage will strip and inspect it first.

885 Posts
The problem with 'good' second hand engines is that you never know just how 'good' they really are until you have paid your money.
I would suggest that you try and find a local reputable garage (ask other people in your area)
Avoid some of the 'Engine Rebuilders' or 'Engine remanufacturers' unless you know someone who has had good results from them. - The tendency is that they quote you one price, then tell you that your old engine was in a worse condition than they thought, at which point they start charging for lots of 'extras'. 100 years ago, some of these people would have been 'hoss dealers'!!


2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks both,

Just a quick update - hopefully it might prove useful for others in a similar situation.

I was mulling over what to do last week, and ran a few more Google searches.
Now as I mentioned in my original post, I already tried adding sealants, but with no success. Google turned up a sealant called SteelSeal, which I'm sure many of you will already be familiar with.
I'd never heard of it, and with the lack of previous success, wasn't initially motivated to try it.

But decided there was no harm finding out a little more..

Unlike K-Seal and Radweld, this claimed to be targeted at the Head Gasket and not cooling system generally. Apparently the success rate is very high. So that in itself seemed interesting.
The website also mentioned how it doesn't contain any particles, but rather purely liquid form, hence less danger of clogging up the system.
I was sceptical, not least because it costs £40, far more than the others I had tried. However, they offer a money back guarantee - if it doesn't work, simply provide proof of purchase and the garage diagnosis showing Head Gasket failure.

That swung it for me - faced with forking out the best part of a grand or 40 quid..

So last Tuesday morning, I bought SteelSeal from a local stockist.
Went to the garage I'd used earlier in the year and got them to flush out the cooling system, refilled and added in StealSeal.
Then just followed the simple instructions (wait an hour with engine running, etc).

Can't say I was confident, but..

Drove locally on Tuesday afternoon, checked the coolant level and all ok.
Hmm, that was a positive sign, but I knew the real test was on longer journeys, especially those involving higher speeds.
On Thursday, I went on a longer trip, 45 mins each way, mostly A road so 50/60 mph. Now previously on this journey, the car always lost water since I'd had this problem - at least a good litre or more.
This time, when I checked the coolant on my return, it was perfect..!
Then these last couple of days, I travelled on the motorway.
An hour and 20 mins each way.

Checked the coolant last night when I got home.. absolutely fine, no loss at all :)

So, it seems to have done the trick..!
I'm hoping it is a permanent fix, as claimed, but certainly looks like it's worked.
Will report back if I find the problem returns in future.

Anyway, for anyone in a similar situation, where the head gasket has gone, based on my experience I would definitely recommend trying this product first.
Hopefully it's saved me a huge bundle of cash..!

For anyone interested, the website is:

You can read in more detail there and decide if it's appropriate for you.

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