Blown Head Gasket[Re: Power loss and white smoke

Ben Swann benswann at
Tue Apr 11 15:44:18 EDT 2006

You have a head gastket leak.  I've seen this before and although the car
seems to run fine now, at some point things will blow catastrophically.  You
have been lucky so far.  The extra pressure on the system will likely blow a
few things out and everything goes down hill quickly - busted open heater
valve, blown hoses, and last but not least -  warped head!  All of this will
happen at once when engine is hot and the rapid loss of coolant will do

Don't take any more chances, tow it to someone who will do the job if you
can't and get it fixed before it goes critical!

You should probably have the head pulled and checked as there may already be
a problem.  No need to have the job done twice.

benswann at

83 urq, /[][] =oooo= [][]\ alpine and Inga

'90 Coupe Quattro (==\ oooo /==) ES2 Conversion

91 200qa20v, [ =!\=oooo=/!= ] avant and sedan

[Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 10:09:59 -0400
From: George Fairbanks <fairbanks at>
Subject: Re: Power loss and white smoke
To: Peter Schulz <pcschulz at>
Cc: 200q20V mailing list <200q20v at>
Message-ID: <443BB8B7.2020000 at>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

I've checked the coolant this morning and the level is low (it was full 
Thursday) and it looks dark.  Since I didn't check it earlier, I don't 
know if my 240 mile drive Sunday evening (where the car was driving 
fine) contributed to the decline, or if it was a one-time leak.  It's 
weird that I haven't seen any smoke since that first time Sunday at noon.

I started up the car this morning and the exhaust is clean and I'm not 
seeing any bubbles in the coolant tank.  I've made an appointment for my 
mechanic to look at it tomorrow.

Looking through the archives it seems that a couple other listers have 
replaced their head gaskets.  I'm not completely without mechanical 
skills but doing a head gasket myself is not going to happen.  The car 
has been running great otherwise and I'm hoping that even if it needs a 
head gasket I can justify the price.

Thank you all for your help,


Peter Schulz wrote:
> IMHO, I would not agree with Bernie about the longetivity of the 
> headgasket, especially the non metal ones..
> Over time and multiple previous owners, who can ensure that the head 
> has not overheated?  Are you going to trust the MFTS? LOL
> Increased boost pressure with an upgraded cheap can reduce a 
> compromised headgasket's life even further...
> Audi eventually went to a metal headgasket, but I still observed that 
> as late as 1995 they still used the paper type ones on the S6 AAN motor.
> I've observed a number of failures first and second hand...ask my 
> friend Ray Tomlinson....
> -Peter
> At 11:17 PM 4/10/2006, Bernie Benz wrote:
>> Alan,
>> My post copies are not going to the list, so if you wish to repost this
>> list FYI, OK.
>> IMO, I5 head gaskets are bullet proof and not age dependent, unless the
>> engine has been overheated enough to warp the head, which can cause
>> immediate failure unless the head has been planed.
> -Peter Schulz
> Chelmsford Ma, USA]

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