Blown Head Gasket? (1 Viewer)

Sandroad

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
4,161
Location
Michigan
I spoke with the warranty company adjuster today. They are sending an inspector out to confirm the dealer's diagnosis. I am attaching an image from the borescope here:
That’s a lot of liquid for what is a tiny space when the piston is at top dead center! I suppose it leaked in after shutdown.
 

Sandroad

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
4,161
Location
Michigan
A head gasket failure should be pretty easy to discern. There will be water in the oil and oil in the coolant. If you have that then I won't try to guess at why but yes it would require replacement. If they're going off codes but there's no water/oil mix then I suspect something else is wrong.
How does oil get in the coolant and vice versa other than ring blow by? It seems to me a small head gasket leak could quickly foul a plug (in this case about 100 miles) and cause a misfire code before there was noticeable oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil. When I lost the HG in my 80, I immediately had white exhaust and misfire CEL, but I only had few miles to home and so no obvious fluid mixes.
 

bloc

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Messages
10,050
Location
Central Texas
How does oil get in the coolant and vice versa other than ring blow by? It seems to me a small head gasket leak could quickly foul a plug (in this case about 100 miles) and cause a misfire code before there was noticeable oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil. When I lost the HG in my 80, I immediately had white exhaust and misfire CEL, but I only had few miles to home and so no obvious fluid mixes.
There are times the way the gasket fails it allows communication between the coolant passages and the oil drains from the valve area back to the lower crank case, or one of the high pressure oil supplies to the head, but not coolant jacket into the cylinder.. or at a much lower rate.

As mentioned HG failures can present a number of different ways. To say you’ll always have water in the oil is an absolute.. and relying on absolutes has a way of eventually proving us wrong.
 

KLF

Frame waxer
SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 5, 2003
Messages
9,543
Location
Southern NH
What you said is 100% correct.
No it's not.
If a head gasket is blown there will be coolant in the oil and oil in the coolant.
Nope. Not always.

Son bought an '89 4Runner with the good ol' 22RE engine. Ran great, but not a lot of power. No oil in the coolant, no coolant in the oil. So how did we know the HG was toast? There was coolant dribbling down the side of the block below the #2 plug, right at the bottom of the head.

Friends Subaru was using coolant very slowly, but oil and coolant was clear. No steam/smell from the exhaust that we could see. Put the leakdown tester on it, when I put 100 psi air to cylinder #4, coolant and air geysered out of the radiator. Bingo.

A blown head gasket is very obvious.
No it's not.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Atlanta, GA
Posting this from the waiting room of Mossy Toyota in San Diego. 2013 LC with 125k miles. Maintained at the dealership. I got a check engine light, 4-lo blinking, and trac off on the dash last night. Scanned with basic OBDII scanner - got P0301, misfire cyl 1. Brought it to the dealer (just a few minutes from home). 6 hours later they are saying the head gasket is blown, liquid in cyl, engine needs to be rebuilt or replaced. $8k for the "cheap" way to fix it. I have an extended warranty from ASI / Smart AutoCare - we'll see how that goes.

Additional context:
  1. This is my daily driver and I don't do anything unusual with it, I take very good care of it.
  2. I brought the LC in a week and half ago for an oil change. A couple days after that I got the same CEL & dash lights. Brought it back to the dealer got new plugs and a new ignition coil on cyl 1. It worked great - actually ran fantastic, noticeably better, for a few days until now.
I searched the forum but not seeing much of anything on 200 series head gasket problems, but maybe I am searching wrong.

This seems crazy, has anyone heard of this before? I bought this LC thinking I would drive it forever.

I will keep forum updated on outcome.

TIA,
Jim
Hi Jim, just experienced the same issue with my 2011 LC with 205,000miles on the clock. I thought the same in terms of driving it forecer. Had a misfire on 3 and had the coils and sparks swapped out for new ones. After a day it started again and randomly misfired on different cylinders. they found liquid and tried to seal it but that did not work. I ended up ordering a replacement engine with 50,000 miles. Currently waiting for it to arrive. Garage said there was really no other way. Sorry to hear and hope you resolved yours. Cheers Vincent
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2021
Messages
408
Location
The Great PNW
It depends on where exactly the gasket failed. If it fails between water and oil cavities then you get the mix. The failure is usually around one or more cylinders bores. Because they usually are surrounded by water cavities for cooling, you get water in the cylinder not oil. If the failure is more severe then the gasket may be further damaged than just next to the cylinder and you end up with the mix.
You can also get the mix if water enters the cylinder and drains around the segments below the piston. This scenario is more likely at rest, but the leak has to be significant to overcome the oil tension around the piston rings. During service the water is usually vaporized into that white "smoke" out of the tail pipe so little chances of getting past the pistons. Note that a really bad leak can take your catalytic converter out if driven on it (don't ask how I know).
Sometimes you can diagnose it with a pressure testing of the cooling system looking for abnormally high pressure as exhaust gases are entering the cooling circuit but that does not work well for small leaks. A better method is to use one of the testers that will tell you if exhaust gases are in the fluid - the tester attaches to the radiator cap (if your radiator has one).
Once you find it then you have to investigate if there is a gasket failure or a head/cylinder wall crack. With these trucks the most likely is a gasket failure.

BTW do our trucks run metallic head gaskets?
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2021
Messages
408
Location
The Great PNW
P.S. A head gasket failure should be well investigated to find the cause. Head gaskets do not just blow up on these engines.There was a cause that should be found if you are going to rebuild the same engine.
 

Sandroad

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
4,161
Location
Michigan
There are times the way the gasket fails it allows communication between the coolant passages and the oil drains from the valve area back to the lower crank case, or one of the high pressure oil supplies to the head, but not coolant jacket into the cylinder.. or at a much lower rate.

As mentioned HG failures can present a number of different ways. To say you’ll always have water in the oil is an absolute.. and relying on absolutes has a way of eventually proving us wrong.
Of course! It’s been so long since I did the HG job on my 80 I forgot about the oil supply and return channels in the head.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
705
Location
New Orleans, Louisiana
What you said is 100% correct. You do not need to pull codes. If a head gasket is blown there will be coolant in the oil and oil in the coolant. That aint rocket science. A blown head gasket is very obvious. If you don't have both mixing someone is pulling the wool over your eyes or trying to. This is basic mechanics. You don't need a specialist to tell you this. Much luck but careful with who ever your dealing with...


This isn't always the case. A compression, leak down, and hydrocarbon test would be more definitive.
 

bloc

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Messages
10,050
Location
Central Texas
This isn't always the case. A compression and leak down test would be more definitive.
Used oil analysis is very effective as well. Even if there isn't visible evidence of coolant in the oil the appropriate elemental analysis will be off the charts.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
4,325
Location
Texas
Blackstone to the rescue, but they aren't exactly quick lol.
 
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
75
Location
San Diego
The head is off, here is a picture of the gasket.
IMG_1276.jpg
 

Sandroad

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
4,161
Location
Michigan
So what's the prognosis? New gasket, change the coolant and oil and drive on?
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2003
Messages
3,284
Location
Saratoga Lake, NY
Is that from the cyl closest to the firewall?
 
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
75
Location
San Diego
So what's the prognosis? New gasket, change the coolant and oil and drive on?
The Toyota dealership is recommending both heads be sent to the machine shop, and head gaskets replaced. The shop foreman confirmed this is his recommendation. I'm still waiting to learn what the extended warranty company is going to cover, but the engine will be repaired correctly regardless of who is paying. The process has been slow, thus-far.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
4,325
Location
Texas
At least there's positive progress, hopefully the warranty company makes things right at least for the majority of the ticket.
 

bloc

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Messages
10,050
Location
Central Texas
Personally I’d want some idea of why the thing blew in the first place. Leak somewhere that let the coolant get low?
 
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
75
Location
San Diego
I hope everyone is having a nice Labor Day weekend! Just wanted to update - I got my Land Cruiser back about a week ago. Runs great. The extended warranty covered a little more than half of the expense. They would only (seemingly reluctantly) cover the minimum repair (one head gasket, no machine shop work), so I covered the balance. At least the warranty coverage softened the blow. The warranty company sent an inspector to the dealership twice to confirm the diagnosis, and to determine if there was any evidence of low coolant, leaks, overheating or misuse, etc.. The warranty company stated clearly that if any evidence was found the warranty company would not cover anything. No evidence was found, the head with the blown gasket was perfectly straight, no warping. Both head gaskets were replaced, and both heads sent to the machine shop. Repairs were done at Mossy Toyota in San Diego. Their service team was good to work with. No definitive explanation of why this happened. Possibly a manufacturing defect, or assembly error on the gasket that lead to premature failure. I'm glad to have my truck back.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2014
Messages
37
Location
TX
A head gasket failure should be pretty easy to discern. There will be water in the oil and oil in the coolant. If you have that then I won't try to guess at why but yes it would require replacement. If they're going off codes but there's no water/oil mix then I suspect something else is wrong.

Glad you are back on the road!
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom