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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. The coolant level drops over a week's light use and when I open the bleed screw on the rad and fill the bottle, the water escaping from the bleeder is rusty coloured and a little oily. The water in the bottle has a film of oil and smells a bit like the crankcase. I've had the car checked and the oil is not sludgy. Are there any breathers that need cleaned or could the head gasket be turning it's toes up?
Any help would be appreciated
 

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Hi. The coolant level drops over a week's light use and when I open the bleed screw on the rad and fill the bottle, the water escaping from the bleeder is rusty coloured and a little oily. The water in the bottle has a film of oil and smells a bit like the crankcase. I've had the car checked and the oil is not sludgy. Are there any breathers that need cleaned or could the head gasket be turning it's toes up?
Any help would be appreciated
hello m8 first of all check under your oil cap to see if there is any white mayonaise stuff on your filler cap.and is your exhuast giving of any smoke.had my headgasket changed a couple of month ago as oil was starting to leak into my coolant.and i also had a white substance under my filler cap
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice.
There's no white stuff under the oil filler cap and no smoke from the exhaust. The car has 64k genuine miles since 97 so I was kinda hoping the head gasket would be ok for a while longer. This is my 4th Renault and the 3rd to have problems with the cooling system. Apart from that they were all good cars.
 

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The coolant on Renaults of this age does tend to go a little 'sludgy' and rusty and this can lead to coolant problems.The heater matrix and radiator can become blocked amongst other things.

The oil in the water is not a good sign unfortunately.The myth that mayonnaise on the filler cap is a sign of head gasket problems is just that,a myth.Oil runs at a far higher pressure than coolant,so in 95% of cases,there will be oil in the water and not the other way round.

My advice is to completely drain and flush the system out and re-fill with anti-freeze and water(bleeding the system obviously).Keep an eye on the water level for a week or so,and if it continues to drop,run the car until warm and place a clean piece of cardboard under the engine.Continue to run the engine at fast idle speed (Around 3000rpm) whilst periodically checking the cardboard for signs of drips.This will make finding any external leaks easier.

If no external leaks are apparent,then have the coolant system pressure tested(most garages have the equipment to do this).If this still shows no leaks,then you have to suspect the head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No news yet. I've been flushing the coolant from the bleeder on the rad and from the bottle. The water is a tiny bit brown like iron brew with a slight oil film but soon runs clear. It's using about a pint and a half of water per week. The bleed screw on the hose has lost it's threads and is closed down with a cable tie. The MOT is due in 3 weeks so I'll get it thoroughly checked then.
Thanks
 
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