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Help with head gasket issue

3554 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BHart
hi...i am new to this forum thing...but I love my volvo v40 It is an 02 automatic turbo 1.9..well i have put so much money into this car I can't tell you. I had a salvaged engine put in it. It had 82K on it. I finally got it back and drove it tow weeks before i had to have it towed back to the shop the engine had had thick golden brownish goo in the entire cooling system. the guys working on it tried to tell me it had industrial type hand know soap put in it and that is what made it overheat and blow the gasket. I got on line and found photos of what it looks like when you blow a head gasket and it looks just like what I have here. they are trying to tell me that someone sabotaged my engine. I am trying to figure out a couple things...
1. does this engine have an aluminum (or whatever metal) head gasket?
2. is it possible that whatever gasket it had was compromised somehow and had a slow leak into the coolant system that eventually blew out? and siezed up the coolant system?

Or is it a deal that if the gasket was bad I wouldn't have been able to get off the lot with it...I feel like I am being jacked around here and I am so frustrated and sick of it. HELP thanks...
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drain the radiator and see if you have oil in it. chances are that you have a leak inside the radiator allowing the oil cooler to leak oil over into the coolant system and vise versa. if you don't have oil in the coolant but just have coolant in the oil then yes it's a head gasket.
well, I can't drain the is full of goo...there doesn't appear to be coolant in the oil just oil in the coolant..but I am not sure
Oil mixed into coolant turns into goo, kinda like a milkshake or Frappachino (age dependent reference).

No-one is going to put Hand Cleaner into an engine. More expensive per liter than coolant! But if that's the logic from your shop, don't trust too much more of anything they tell you - get a friend or second opinion from someone you trust to find a better mechanic.

The head gasket could be compromised but it's also possible that the head or block surface was not 100% flat or a head bolt was over-stretched and couldn't hold the torque. If this engine was from a wreck and ran without coolant for a while, it could have developed a pre-existing condition.

The problem with a salvage engine is you don't know its real history and you need to check things completely before you install it. Many shops selling used engines will guarantee the engine but not the labour to remove and refit.

Assess the situation carefully. You don't want to be spending huge money to correct a hopeless situation.
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well, that was what I was afraid of. the mechanic told me that there was a warranty on the labor if there was something wrong with the engine. unfortunately it took them 17 days to replace the engine after it had been delivered. I understand that you don't get cheap and fast you get one or the other...he was supposed to be doing me a favor..(some favor)...anyway, I am wondering how long, even if it wasn't a priority, how long it should have taken to get it put back in there. I am thinking no more than 5 to 7 days?

I am wondering though, if it were the gasket or the head not being flat or the bolt, wouldn't the oil just blow out the side of the block? I don't know how all of this works but if the oil is only in the coolant system and there is no coolant in the know where you pull the dipstick out...then what could it be? and am I gonna have to get a new cooling system with hoses and all to get this right? thanks so much for your help...this has been such a nightmare
If they were doing you a favour, they probably put someone on the job when they had free time. Not the kind of job you put 10 minutes into then go away. 3 weeks?, not unreasonable.

There are oil and coolant passages through the engine and from the block to the head. The head gasket keeps the oil, coolant and combustion chambers separate from each other. If the head gasket fails, for one reason or another, it can allow passage between any of these separate systems in the engine. Coolant to the oil, combustion pressure into the coolant or combustion chamber to combustion chamber. Most of these will not be visible from the exterior.

If the shop has given you warranty, you can lean on them to sort it out. Did they supply the engine? They will most likely want to share the cost but make sure you press them to sort out their error and keep it 70/30 - let them take the bulk of the responsibility.

The dipstick is used to check the oil level. No, your cooling system should be fine, probably just needs flushing out.
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