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Suspected head gasket blowen

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Hoping you guys and girls can help, my 2008 impreza wrx sti is causing me issues with the cooling system, if I drive the car like a Doris then I have no problems with the cooling of the engine, as soon as I give it some beans it chucks all the coolant into the overflow tank until there is nothing left in the system causing the engine to over heat.

Please can someone tell me if this is the head gasket or not, I don't have any white smoke coming out the exhaust which makes me think its not the head gasket but I could be wrong thinking this.

If it is a head gasket then would steel seal resolve the issue and has anyone on here used it in their car, I have seen mixed reviews of the stuff and I don't want to go pouring it in if it's going to cause more damage.

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Sounds like it's gone, the mechanism is when the turbo inccreased the pressure it forces gassses through the gasket, you can carry out a sniff test to see, but i suspect it will come back positive. you'll then have two options, sell it as is, which will be prob 4-5k, or have the engine rebuilt which will be anywhere from 4k upwards.

The fix is an engine rebuild, theres no shortcuts and anyone advising anything else is giving you bad advice, dont put 'head gasket sealant' or anything like that in as it will prob junk the whole engine including the block. Assuming it is headgasket theres a hgih probability the bearings will have been pinched and deformed, so its litteraly a full strip down and rebuild of the whole engine. The full extent of the damage wont be known till is stripped, again be very wary of anyone telling you any different, untill its stripped an assessed then theres no way to know the engines condition, i know of engines that have been found to have ovaled the bores so bad the blocks have had to be binned.

Assuming you do go down the rebuiild route then its a good opertunity to solve the inherant problems of the 2.5, decent pistons, decent head gasket, decent bearing etc. You'll also need to decide how far you go with the rebuild. If your planning on keeping the car and tuning it in the future then its worth looking at higher spec pistons, higher spec headstuds, maybe even closed decking the block, but that really comes down to how far you want to push it.

I went the whole hog with mine, closed deck, forged pistons, up rated rods, uprated head (valves, vale springs etc),

have a nosey to get some ideas of whats involved.


Also i would advise finding a specialist your happy with, tell them what you want, 400bhp, built for a future 500bhp etc etc and let them spec it, build it, fit it and map it. Means your not gonna get caught out if something fails and various companyes blame each other.

Personaly i use scoobyclinic up at chesterfield for all my work and cant recomend them highly enough, but there are plenty of specialists out there.

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Thanks for the response, I'll have to have a think about my options, a rebuild is probably going to hurt my back pocket a bit more than I would like it to but I really don't want to sell the car.

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Can't really help with that choice im afraid, all i can tell you is a well built, well looked after engine will last a long long time. Miles of smiles 😄

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  • 2 months later...

I did use "Steel Seal" in the engine of a Landrover Freelander. It worked, but I did it to sell the car and yes I did tell the buyer that the gasket had gone and I had used the fluid. He was going to replace the dreadful "K" series engine with the diesel version so I didn't feel too guilty.

As a (very very) temporary stopgap it works, but Tidgy is correct, a full strip down and re-build is the best (only) way to go, or even get a refurbished replacement engine.

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