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My Mk1 laguna has been working perfectly for the 9 months that I've had it, but this week the heater stopped working and the engine began to run a little hotter than normal. It also started going through a lot of water. The water doesn't seem to be leaking anywhere as ther are no pools of water under the car. Have checked the oil cap for any furring and there doesn't appear to be any. Is this a case of a possible cracked cylinder or a faulty head gasket. It runs ok but needs a lot of water. Should I stop driving it?
 

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Loosing water

Well the water is going somewhere - and is most likely being turned to steam and being blown out through the exhaust. This would point to a blown cylinder head gasket but it would be prudent to check the water pump first. As it is located behind the front engine cover it could be leaking and the escaping coolant could be evaporating before it runs out.:)
 

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Hi there, you might also want to lift the front carpets to check that the coolant hasn't leaked from the heater matrix (you said its stopped working). This would also help to explain why the water level's dropping, but no sign of it mixing with the oil.

I hope its a gasket - heater matrices are a pain to change.

I would avoid driving the car until you know what's happening - at best, you just need to keep topping it up - at worst, you can be stranded with a blown engine.

Paul:)
 

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if you start the car and leave it idling with the water topped up can you see any leaks? does the cooling fans cut in? do the heater hoses get warm? do both top and bottom hoses get hot? does the engine miss? is there excessive white smoke being emmitted from the exhaust? finally if the heater fan is left in off position for 5 to 10 min with engine running and temp set to max then switch the fan to full power do you get hot air initially then turning to cooler air soon after! see what answers you can come up with! good luck
 
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