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Is the Rover 414 prone to head gasket failure?

My girlfriend is currently between cars and her grandparents have offered her their 1994 Rover 414, with 60,000 miles. They have owned the car from new, recently it has had a full service including; radiator, thermostat, timing belt, water pump etc, all the common leaking points. The car has never overheated, which I believe. It has a full service history, however it's never had the head gasket done. The car drives lovely and will be used for local use mainly, with the odd blast on the dual carriageway. Is she asking for trouble?

Asked on 19 January 2018 by Kyle Sharpe

Answered by Keith Moody
You can check for signs of a failing cylinder head gasket by looking for a mayonnaise-like substance on the dipstick (a sign that water is leaking from the cooling system and mixing with the oil). There is also likely to be white smoke coming from the exhaust plus a requirement to constantly top up the coolant - these two go hand in hand. The K-series engine isn't a bad engine - but the design of the cylinder head bolts is a weak spot which causes gaskets to fail.
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