Found 21st Jan 2009
Ive just checked under the oil cap and have noticed some yellow creamy stuff in the engine.

Any ideas what this is?

38 Comments

custard?

coolant & oil emulsion, most likely cylinder head gasket has gone - Get a mechanic

Check your dipstick, & coolant levels.

techical term your looking for is....******ed!!!!!!!!!!!

Original Poster

i thought it was the head gasket....it did this a while ago and then cleared

Although a classic sign of headgasket failure, it may not necessarily be the case, it can sometimes appear on a normal car if it is only used for short journeys and the engine doesn't have time to warm up fully.

Some cars are more prone to failure than others, what is it?

Original Poster

peodude;4140462

Although a classic sign of headgasket failure, it may not necessarily be … Although a classic sign of headgasket failure, it may not necessarily be the case, it can sometimes appear on a normal car if it is only used for short journeys and the engine doesn't have time to warm up fully.Some cars are more prone to failure than others, what is it?



ive noticed the engine doesnt warm up very often, the temperture needle dont move very often. is this the possible cause then?

its an astra 1.6 16v 2003

rashriaz;4140492

ive noticed the engine doesnt warm up very often, the temperture dont … ive noticed the engine doesnt warm up very often, the temperture dont move very often. is this the possible cause then?



That'll be because all of your water is in the oil, leaving none for the thermostat to read a temperature from :thumbsup:

I had a problem with this when I bought my car. The previous owner only used the car for short journeys. It was also a Vauxhall

Original Poster

if its the head gasket, will it burn oil or water?

go streight to a garage and do not pass go you might need more than £200

Could be a possible thermostat issue, maybe stuck open so cooling all the time and not letting the engine warm up. If the engine is not warmed up when it is used then condensation can occur which will form the 'mayonnaise' found on the cap.

If you only do short journeys, take it for a good long blast down the motorway and let the temperature get to a normal operating temperature, this may solve the issue, if not, then as i said, it may be thermostat.

Astra's aren't common for failures, so it may be OK. If however, it was a Fiat Punto or a Rover, then it would more than likely be, as they say, bugggered

Another check for HG failure, is, when the engine is cold, take off the expansion tank cap, and get someone to start the engine, bubbling could well suggest a HG problem

rashriaz;4140546

if its the head gasket, will it burn oil or water?



It sounds like you've got water in the oil (rather than the other way) so it'll cook the engine as there's no coolant.

i had exactly the same thing on my BMW it was pouring out all over the place a yellow foam, it turned out in the end to be the head gasket leaking mixing oil with water.
it was expensive to fix but think i was done over by dodgy garage..:x

rashriaz;4140492

ive noticed the engine doesnt warm up very often, the temperture needle … ive noticed the engine doesnt warm up very often, the temperture needle dont move very often. is this the possible cause then?its an astra 1.6 16v 2003



This is quite common in astras your age, sounds like the thermostat is stuck fully open not allowing the engine to warm up fully. This in turn causes condensation in the engine which can not burn off thus emulsifing the oil.

Head gasket or you've put water in your oil. I hope for your sake you've put water in your oil.

It is water in the oil - as advised, get it to a garage as soon as possible or you will be sorry.

Original Poster

peodude;4140562

Could be a possible thermostat issue, maybe stuck open so cooling all the … Could be a possible thermostat issue, maybe stuck open so cooling all the time and not letting the engine warm up. If the engine is not warmed up when it is used then condensation can occur which will form the 'mayonnaise' found on the cap.If you only do short journeys, take it for a good long blast down the motorway and let the temperature get to a normal operating temperature, this may solve the issue, if not, then as i said, it may be thermostat.Astra's aren't common for failures, so it may be OK. If however, it was a Fiat Punto or a Rover, then it would more than likely be, as they say, bugggered



ive used on long runs on the motorways and needle stays down most of the time, if I get stuck in stand still traffic the needle is alway at half way. when ever the car is moving the needle is down.

Jeeze some high and mighty advice!!

How much 'Creamy stuff' Is under the cap, doesn't necessarily mean head gasket, it was common as muck on the fords for many years. It may just be a matter of condensation mixing with oil etc etc.

Are you using water? loosing oil? Performance? these are things to check before screaming to a garage saying I need a new head gasket... put the idea in their mind and they will happily take your dollar.

When did you last do an oil change? what oil do you put in it? Supermarket brand or something half decent?

Broxy;4140593

This is quite common in astras your age, sounds like the thermostat is … This is quite common in astras your age, sounds like the thermostat is stuck fully open not allowing the engine to warm up fully. This in turn causes condensation in the engine which can not burn off thus emulsifing the oil.



a senseable answer :thumbsup:

rashriaz;4140615

ive used on long runs on the motorways and needle stays down most of the … ive used on long runs on the motorways and needle stays down most of the time, if I get stuck in stand still traffic the needle is alway at half way. when ever the car is moving the needle is down.



Does the engine management light come on, if so it could be something to do with the coolant temprature sensor.

Original Poster

Celticsun;4140624

Jeeze some high and mighty advice!! How much 'Creamy stuff' Is under the … Jeeze some high and mighty advice!! How much 'Creamy stuff' Is under the cap, doesn't necessarily mean head gasket, it was common as muck on the fords for many years. It may just be a matter of condensation mixing with oil etc etc. Are you using water? loosing oil? Performance? these are things to check before screaming to a garage saying I need a new head gasket... put the idea in their mind and they will happily take your dollar.When did you last do an oil change? what oil do you put in it? Supermarket brand or something half decent?



oil level and water levels are PERFECT!

performance is fine aswell. it was medium range oil which I put in about 3 months ago.

rashriaz, is your heating in the car working normally, or is only just warm after the car has been running for a while? Have you noticed the car needing the water topping up fairly often?

Original Poster

Heating does take a few mins to warm but not too long.

i havent topped up the water for 6 months and its still on the maximum line

Banned

I had mayonnaise on my oil cap as well, made two long runs of 25 miles and the mayonnaise has gone

akme;4140390

custard?



I just KNEW I had no chance of getting this one in first! lol

rashriaz;4140696

Heating does take a few mins to warm but not too long.i havent topped up … Heating does take a few mins to warm but not too long.i havent topped up the water for 6 months and its still on the maximum line



Thats a good sign, means the head gasket should be sound as no water is leaking into the main chambers.

Any smoke coming out of the back? Let me rephrase... any unusual smoke soming out of back of exhaust?

rashriaz;4140696

Heating does take a few mins to warm but not too long.i havent topped up … Heating does take a few mins to warm but not too long.i havent topped up the water for 6 months and its still on the maximum line



In that case, from what i have heard, and without seeing the car, it sounds like it is just merely condensation and nothing to worry about. However, do keep an eye on the water and oil levels for loss or gain

peodude;4140748

In that case, from what i have heard, and without seeing the car, it … In that case, from what i have heard, and without seeing the car, it sounds like it is just merely condensation and nothing to worry about. However, do keep an eye on the water and oil levels for loss or gain



Agreed, you'll find it will lessen even dissapear over the summer. Wipe what you can out and just keep an eye on it.

Any performance loss, big water or oil loss, funny smoke get it checked out.

Original Poster

thanks guys - so it sounds like an "open thermostat" then ?

what does this invlove to get fixed?

rashriaz;4140801

thanks guys - so it sounds like an "open thermostat" then ?what does this … thanks guys - so it sounds like an "open thermostat" then ?what does this invlove to get fixed?



A new thermostat and an oil change should sort things nicely, good quality oil this time, cheap oil isn't the best option.

rashriaz;4140801

thanks guys - so it sounds like an "open thermostat" then ?what does this … thanks guys - so it sounds like an "open thermostat" then ?what does this invlove to get fixed?



All depends some astras thermostats are easily placed that you could do yourself and some are a right pig to do.

Original Poster

kewl....thanks

Banned

Buy some coolant first as you might lose quite a bit when you change the thermostat, depending on where it is of course. Don't know what year or size engine this car is but it might help.. Think it's a mark 2 astra? Looks like you need to replace two, one is for the computer and one is for your dash board, it's the coolant temperature sensor by the way

http://mr2.noegruts.com/engine/engine02s.jpg

Celticsun;4140634

a senseable answer :thumbsup:



And how was custard not ?

They might have pppd off some tart or stolen some birds eye.

akme;4140390

custard?



i lol'ed
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