Lack of use or Head Gasket?

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Lack of use or Head Gasket?

Post by si19 » 21/01/20 9:50

Hi guys,

New to the forum and first time owner of an MR2.

I've just picked up a 2006 MR2. It only had 46000 on the clock, which seemed to be accurate looking at MOT history and DVLA etc. It's in generally very good nick but it's downside was it didn't have any service history, hence I got it for a good price.

Anyway, it drives fine, sounds fine, seems to hold it's temperature fine in the short drives I've taken it on over the past 2 days.

But being the paranoid overthinker I am, I was a little worried with the white smoke that was coming out on start-up (very cold day yesterday though!). I did leave it ticking over for about 2-3 minutes and it did continue to smoke for this amount of time. I can't say I noticed it once I was driving. I obviously thought to check the oil filler cap and it did have some white gunk in the deep crevises of the cap. The dipstick was clear. So I wiped out the white gunk and have driven it again a couple of times for about 15 minutes to get some temperature in it. After each drive I've re-checked the filler cap and no white gunk has been present.

When I first saw the white oil I immediately thought head gasket is gone but I am also aware that during its 14 year life it hasn't done much work. In nearly two years since march 2018 it's done 3000 miles. It went through it's MOT and passed fine and the various emissions tests were all good but don't don't whether HG problems would alter that result?

Anyway, I am planning to have it fully serviced but wondered if I should be thinking the worst?

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Re: Lack of use or Head Gasket?

Post by nick » 21/01/20 11:03

If not done recently, do an oil and filter change. If you are still worried a compression test would confirm if there is a problem.

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Re: Lack of use or Head Gasket?

Post by carolineasb » 21/01/20 17:18

It is very very rare to have HG failure in a 2, unless it has been driven and cooked like when the radiator has been leaking and temp gone up and still driven :( (do have a check at the radiator as it is common for these to go but relatively cheap to replace!)

The main problem with the 1zz engine is the oil burning issue stemming from gummed up oil control rings. If your car is definitely an 06 with an 06 engine then this is unlikely to happen as the car is more likely to have the last upgraded pistons. Unfortunately, can't say this for definite as registration and engine numbers do not correlate and are not necessarily chronological :(

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Re: Lack of use or Head Gasket?

Post by si19 » 21/01/20 19:05

Thanks both for the replies. I took the car out for a decent spin today to get some heat in it. Took it out for about 45 mins or so, getting it through the revs etc. ran great. temp gauge sat bang in the middle throughout. I checked the dipstick and oil filler cap as soon as I stopped and they were all clear.

When I first started it up before my drive i did notice a little bit of water sitting in the bottom of the exhaust end. I did try and get a smell of the smoke to see if I could detect a 'sweet' smell but hard to tell really. Once I'd given it a run the exhaust was dry and all seemed fine.

Other than the white smoke on start up and the initial white gunk on the inside of the filler cap when I took delivery of the car I haven't noticed much else. So I'm hoping it's just lack of use, sitting in cold weather and rain. There is plenty of evidence of the fact it's spent too much of it's life sat outside in all weather - very tired soft-top and terrible corrosion on the alloys for a 46000 mile car.

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Re: Lack of use or Head Gasket?

Post by andyroo » 31/01/20 0:26

Almost definitely lack of use, my old car was exactly the same due to short runs.
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