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Mechanics opinion please


hobson
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I need a mechanics opinion on something as it's winding me up now;

I've been doing a bit of gardening today for an old lady, she drives a W reg VW golf 16v, it quite suddenly started making a horrendous noise and lost the brakes (flat to the floor)

I had a listen and said it sounded like something was seriousley wrong, so i checked the oil cap and sure enough it was full of mayonnaise and a lot of water, suggesting to me that the head gasket has gone.

The thing thats bothering me is that she had a mechanic out to have a look and i told him of the water and mayonnaise, but he dismissed that and said quite casually "it's nothing, just a spark plug blown out!"

now i'm not a great mechanic but i know spark plugs don't just 'blow out' on a regular basis, and i'm sure i read in these very pages that having a knackered head gasket firstly allows water into the engine and that if that water gets onto the pistons they can't compress the water fully and blow out the plugs.

Am i going mad / wrong or is there another reason spark plugs just 'blow out'?

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firstly what sort of mileage is she doing as if she is not doing a great deal of mileage,(aka going to do her shopping or hair done three miles down the road) she is not getting the engine hot enough to burn off the condensation in the engine hense it congregates around the oil filler cap and in the cam cover, there is a tool you can use called a block tester you pour the blue soloution in it and and put the rubber bung end in the header tank and if the head gasget is gone it will turn the fluid either green or yellow depending on the severity of the leak, as for the spark plug blowing out was it put in properly and what sort of quality were they as i have had some (maily fords)blow the centre out of them, hope this helps Rod

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yes more than likley condensation in the cap and the spark plug was it put in tight enough in the first place ?

how long has she had the car if she's not had it that long she wants to be taking it back,the plug thing might have happend before and thats why they got rid ?

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Pull out the dipstick, wipe it, put it back in, then pull it out again. If it's covered in a milky substance, then water and oil have mixed and that's the head gasket or perhaps cracked head or cracked liner. Plugs will only pop out in two situations - not tightened correctly when they were fitted, or thread stripped when they were fitted (helicoil insert will cure the problem if the thread is damaged). Brakes are only connected to the engine via the servo vaccuum pipe, and will work to some degree with the engine off or the servo pipe disconnected (brakes will be hard to press).

Les.

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