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Old 06-23-2002, 11:33 PM
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Yet Another 104 Head Gasket ???

Hello, I know that this is a regular post about the 104 Head Gasket. Had mine replaced at 63000 and need to know whether the head gasket problem on the 104 could lead to engine failure due to the gasket or are we stuck with the ever occuring oil seap coming from the engine. I know that other car engines are experiencing failures of the engines due to COOLANT entering the engines. Thanks and hope I totally confused everyone with my post!
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Old 06-24-2002, 12:00 AM
Ashman's Avatar
Service Advisor
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
Well my opinion is this. if its not leaking badly, watch your oil usage, and keep adding as needed.

When the time does come, maybe 50k down the road that it starts leaking more than you would like, well at 100k you should do the timing chain, while in there, you could just have them renew the gasket. there is a new m104 headgasket compared to the older design, with metal inserts to stop them from going bad. I believe this is what I have read on here.

Mine is lightly damp, not even wet or losing oil, there is just a small slightly damp spot near the timing cover and head, other than that I have no problems with mine yet that warrant replacement.

Some will say some oil usage is normal, others wont, I think some oil usage is totally normal, as the engine must burn some of it somewhere slowly if there are no leaks. But in changing my oil, I always get out what I put back in, maybe minus 1/4 to 1/3 of a quart or less, per 3000 miles.

If yours is not leaking badly at all I would just keep an eye on it, I don't think you can do harm unless you leave it to the last second where its leaking horribly all over the engine. And just keep an eye on the oil to get an idea of how much you lose per 1000 miles. With that information, you will know if its more serious or just slight.


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Old 06-24-2002, 10:42 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Ashman probably said it your oil usage.

Another question is whether the leak is near the front or the rear of the engine? If it's near the front, then it's more likely the timing cover seal, not the head gasket.

Otherwise, oil leaks near the rear of the head is likely the head gasket. Yes, it will only get worse, but you can buy a little time, just by monitoring oil usage and add when necessary. At this point, there is no real engine damage, but rather an annoying oil leak.

Oil in the coolant reservoir indicates a total gasket that point, time is up. Driving any further will result in coolant overflow from the excessive cylinder head pressures manifesting themselves into the coolant path.

Continuing to drive with an overheated engine will result in a warped head...which is much more expensive than just a gasket.
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