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holdenlovr

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Hi all, I have posted previously about my car issues and mechanic has now advises they suspect head gasket is on its way out

Timeline:

April - Temp gauge fluctuating - up to hot, back to normal then anywhere between normal and hot + fan on. Mechanic replaced thermostat and seemed to come right

Mid December - Gauge and fan again. Back to mechanic who found small, slow leak from one of hoses. Fixed this but went for 5hr drive and 3hrs into drive the issue was back. I also had "check engine" and "stability control and ASB fault" warning lights on and off so mechanic suggested auto electrician as in their opinion they had checked the car over mechanically (auto elec found faulty engine pressure sensor switch and this was replaced under warranty which sorted check engine light). I also notice I am losing coolant from the main tank on long trips.

This week - Check engine light come on briefly for 30 seconds and I had it booked to go back to mechanic to look at temp issue so told them of this. Car has been there two days and mechanic now suspects the head gasket may be on its way out

Seems like I have had ongoing issues with this car. I will take it to Holden to diagnose next. Very frustrating and tempted to sell. It is a 2011 V8. Also ps oil cap is fine nothing strange under there.
 

Pollushon

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Has it been pressure tested? Cooling is a domino system. You get a leak, replace and usually pass the trauma down the line til enough bits are replaced. I'm not saying it isn't the head gaskets just that it's not super common on the LS. Even if it is, it's not a huge or risky job
 

losh1971

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Give it a exhaust gas test on the coolant. That will give you a good idea if it's a head gasket. You can buy the kits and do it yourself. If the heads are coming off might as well replace the lifters with some genuine or Johnson LS7 ones. These you may know are a common problem and a good idea to replace them if you're in there anyway.
 

lmoengnr

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Pressure check the coolant system, and a compression/leak down check on each cylinder would be a good start to diagnosis.
 

Fu Manchu

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The story so far sounds like a bit of a spin and is coxing you to open the wallet a bit more.

Engine pressure sensor?

Diagnosing a head gasket is going to be a straightforward process for a workshop. Sounds like some guessing going on.

If the cooling system ran dry due to a faulty $30 cap, and resulted in complex repairs of something that didn’t need doing, I’d be getting my phone down in there to get a photo of a thermostat to confirm it was done.

If the system was not bled, airlocks can easily cause an erratic reading from the coolant sensor. Then sensor would have been doing its job. They are a $20 part and take minutes to change so no big deal.

If the system was again not bled of air, then resulting in running the reservoir dry again, then the coolant might not be going anywhere. It might be replacing the air being expelled.

Running the car with the cap off is not going to bleed the air.

Topping up the coolant (via the reservoir) would be required daily for a week at least after a repair that wasn’t thoroughly done by the workshop.

Vacuum filling or low pressure bleeds are how the air needs to be removed.

I’d be doing a bleed, making sure it’s a new 140kPa cap first and then deciding if you take the car in for further work.

At that point, a simple pressure or vacuum test will prove or disprove the theory of a leak.

There are tests that can then be done without turning a nut or bolt that diagnose the rest based on a pressure test.

Go though this link and get it bled yourself using my backyard tools or a proper bleed bucket.
https://forums.justcommodores.com.au/threads/vz-ve-vf-alloytec-cooling-system-repairs.279976/

The above posts are solid advice. Everyone here so far is suss to what has been said to you I think.
 

holdenlovr

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The story so far sounds like a bit of a spin and is coxing you to open the wallet a bit more.

Engine pressure sensor?

Diagnosing a head gasket is going to be a straightforward process for a workshop. Sounds like some guessing going on.

If the cooling system ran dry due to a faulty $30 cap, and resulted in complex repairs of something that didn’t need doing, I’d be getting my phone down in there to get a photo of a thermostat to confirm it was done.

If the system was not bled, airlocks can easily cause an erratic reading from the coolant sensor. Then sensor would have been doing its job. They are a $20 part and take minutes to change so no big deal.

If the system was again not bled of air, then resulting in running the reservoir dry again, then the coolant might not be going anywhere. It might be replacing the air being expelled.

Running the car with the cap off is not going to bleed the air.

Topping up the coolant (via the reservoir) would be required daily for a week at least after a repair that wasn’t thoroughly done by the workshop.

Vacuum filling or low pressure bleeds are how the air needs to be removed.

I’d be doing a bleed, making sure it’s a new 140kPa cap first and then deciding if you take the car in for further work.

At that point, a simple pressure or vacuum test will prove or disprove the theory of a leak.

There are tests that can then be done without turning a nut or bolt that diagnose the rest based on a pressure test.

Go though this link and get it bled yourself using my backyard tools or a proper bleed bucket.
https://forums.justcommodores.com.au/threads/vz-ve-vf-alloytec-cooling-system-repairs.279976/

The above posts are solid advice. Everyone here so far is suss to what has been said to you I think.
Thanks so much. I am a bit suss too and so are other people I’ve told but nobody is a mechanic and can fix or diagnose for me (and I’m not good with these things) so unfortunately I’m relying on a workshop right now. I have in booked into a Holden dealer to diagnose the fault…I trust Holden would not lead me astray?
 

vc commodore

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I'd suggest asking on here a recommended mechanic to take it to....We have a couple of kiwi members active on here that might be able to help out...

The dealership is only interested in how deep your pockets are
 
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