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Can I drive to a mechanic with head gasket leak? 

 

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 Post subject: Can I drive to a mechanic with head gasket leak?
Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:40 am 
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Age: 29

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Joined: 3rd May 2011

Ride: 1994 EF Fairmont

Location: Sydney
NSW, Australia

Hey all, it would be about a 10-15min trip, would it be alright to drive?, cars been sitting for about 2 weeks now while I've been saving.
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 Post subject: Re: Can I drive to a mechanic with head gasket leak?
Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:46 am 
Getting Side Ways
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how big is the leak? if you keep an eye on the temperature and don't run out of coolant i dont see why not - i'd prob do it when theres sfa traffic and its cold.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Can I drive to a mechanic with head gasket leak?
Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 8:34 am 
Getting Side Ways
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As Mitch said it depends on how much its leaking, I drove around for months in my EL while it seeped out down the side of the block, just kept topping it up. But when the EA did a head gasket and was blowing out huge clouds of steam I drove it about 200 metres - straight back home.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Can I drive to a mechanic with head gasket leak?
Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 9:15 am 
Getting Side Ways
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Ride: EF XR6 Wagon, AU2 XR6 VCT

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+1 on keeping the coolant level up.

A lot of coolant in the oil would be a bad thing. I would drain and refill with cheap oil for the sake of the short trip.

Otherwise, the only concern would be hydraulic lock, which should only be an issue on startup. If the head is leaking coolant badly into a cylinder, and you try to start it while that cylinder is on its intake or compression stroke, the coolant will not compress and the engine will break big time. It's an uncommon set of circumstances, but has been known to happen.

If it's a slow leak, or it's leaking down the outside of the block or into the oil, hydraulic lock shouldn't be an issue. My EF was losing over 500mls a day into a cylinder, and I had no problems (Idled rough as though - water doesn't burn very well :) ).

 

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