Head Gasket Failure

Whilst on the plans motorsport day on Saturday during the last session I had white smoke/vapour (no noticeable smell) come out of the drivers side interior air vent.

The instructor stated that this is a sign of oil issues. On opening the cover there was coolent on the air intake which seemed to come for the expansion tank and oil on the rear windscreen, engine cover and a resonable amount on the manifold heat sheild cover. However, the car was still running fine.

So the questions is this likely to be head gasket failure and if so what are the estimated costs (assuming that it is relatively straight forawrd) and does the fact that the car has air-con mean that the cost is going to be more???

Many thanks


Could just be the coolant bottle overflowing, mine does it regularly and fills the cabin with smoke.

Oil find is worrying, but check the oil level and water if alls ok then perhaps do it the way i do and run it just below empty line, which buys me a few more laps before i get the smoke.

Hope its not HGF Mark it was a great day, i hope its not spoilt that way

Plans definately think that it is HGF so how much is the going rate to repair ??

Have you asked Plans for a quote?

Less if you’ve caught it before it’s effected anything else!


I have got a quote from plans it is just over �1000 inc vat for removing the head and replacing the gasket it allows for the replacement of the cam belt and alternator belt.

I think the going rate will be approx �500 if it’s just the Head Gasket, more if it’s worse.

I paid approx �700+VAT for the following

Tappet reshim and set
8 exhaust valves including lapping in
New head gasket
Oil change
Cambelt change
ITG airfilter kit
The tarty red motorsport 190 insert.

The labour to do the above was �385.

This was because the tappets were a mile out not HGF.
I did get a deal on some items which helped.

This was at PTP BTW.

The tarty red motorsport 190 insert.



Sorry to hear this
Bad end to a good day…

Ask Graham for a Training day incl in the cost!


You could try going for a AA warranty… Then leave it a month or so then claim for the HG


Unfortunately you have to be a memeber of those usless w*nkers the AA…

That’s terrible news, perhaps think of fitting competition HG as precaution for future. Not sure how much more than standard it is, but it’s a bit of piece of mind at least,a bit.

Mine had HGF three weeks ago.
Gasket failed next to the exhaust manifold - but blew outwards rather than inwards (so no engine damage) - plus I stopped before the temperature gauge got to silly temperatures
I got loads of steam in the engine bay which got to outside via the wheel arches.
Temperature increase was the first sign - no warnings it just went!
Bottom line on costs. I had the head gasket and studs replaced. four exhaust valves shimmed and a ‘B’ service at the same time - including VAT bill was �950. Which I thought was pretty good.
First bit of real cost in 48,000 miles.