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Potential Head Gasket blown/leak


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Hello All

If this is in the wrong section or not allowed then admin please feel free to delete my post, sorry in a bit of a situation and figured this might be a good place to turn!

Ok so here is the situation. It is a 2004 impreza wrx turbo, with a factory PPP upgrade to 260hp other than a dump valve/6 month old uprated clutch the car is totally standard. It was running absolutely fine with no hint of an error. I get back to home after a <10min drive including parts @70mph and there is hissing and a small amount of smoke/vapor coming out of the front grill. I open it up to see water &#33;Removed&#33; onto the road. I give it 5mins to cool down and top the water/coolant up (i used regular water). I then went on a quick drive to see if this had solved it (<1-2miles). On the drive I noticed the heater wasn't working. Also the oil temp gauge which i have never seen vary more than 5% once up to temp was real high, but not into the red section. I pulled back over and the car proceeded to dump out a load of water again. I left it for a couple days untouched as it was the weekend, I then limped it <0.5miles to the mechanic. He proceeded to top the water/coolant directly into the radiator. After a short while it just started to leak out of its own accord (it took a ridic amount of water to refill the radiator, so must of been empty). I left him to it for the day, and he contacted me later to say the radiator was split on one side at both the top and the bottom.

So here is where I am at now. My mechanic told me I can replace the radiator but it wont necessarily fix the problem, something must have created pressure to blow it in the first place surely? Being the ever pessimist I am guessing the Head gasket might be blown/leaking too, or leaking or something, this is where i don't really know! I really don't want to replace the radiator only for it to blow again in a week. So how to go forward, I have a few options that I can see;

1. Replace the Radiator and pray

2. Replace the Radiator, Head gasket, Water reservoir and anything else that might of or could have been effected.

3. Sell the car for spares and get something else. I guess what I am looking for is advice and a rough cost of option 2.

I had a 1998 impreza and essentially the same thing happened, being naive i punted the radiator option and guess what, it blew a week later, I went on to sell the car assuming the HG had blown. I later spoke to the guy I sold it too and he told me the head didn't actually blow but was just incredibly gacky and just needed a good clean (even which i know wouldnt be cheap due to amount of labor getting engine in and out etc.).

Cliffs; I love my scooby and dont want it to die, think the HG is maybe blown and ifso what would need to be done and roughly any idea of cost/labor involved

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Has the mechanic given you an opinion and quote already?

Are there any other signs that it could be head gasket?

when was the coolant last changed? It has never been refilled with just water has it?

I know Mishimoto's radiators come with lifetime guarantees so it might be worth replacing with one of there's, then if it breaks again they should replace it.



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I would honestly have thought that it would have burst a pipe before splitting the rad like that, any chance you can post pics up of the splits in rad, may just be some sort of fatigue, or old damage to rad, hard to give a solid opinion without seeing it all in the flesh, but I would be inclined to try another rad, and make sure you bleed the system properly, as it is sure to be full of air, you may even have to burp it, I had to burp my hawk when I put the engine back in as it was pinning the temp gauge into the red almost as soon as you went up the road, burped it and all wAs well

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