Misdiagnosis cylinder head gasket

How I saved about 1200 € with the right workshop ...

  1. Symptoms
  2. Results
  3. Conclusion

A few weeks ago I wrote a post that my car is suspected of a defective cylinder head gasket and that the repair would cost between 1200 and 1500 euros …


After that I took my car to the workshop and the mechanic asked me why I think this problem exists. I listed the symptoms for him:

  • Oxidation at the spark plug
  • misfiring
  • Steamy output while driving
  • Strong water loss
  • When standing it does not drip. Water loss while driving.
  • Mucus under the oil filler neck cover

He has confirmed that this sounds like a leak in the cylinder head gasket but then offered me to test my car first. He would set my car under pressure, leave it under pressure overnight, and do more tests the next day. After that he would be able to give me a one hundred percent statement. Cost 80 euros.


The next morning he called me and told me that my cylinder head gasket was OK … I alerted him to the slime under the oil filler neck cover. He said that this does not necessarily have to be on the cylinder head gasket, he said, that can also happen if you drive only short-haul and that in a defective cylinder head gaskets this mucus would look like coffee.

He said that my radiator loses water that needs to be repaired and that the spark plugs and the ignition coils have to be replaced. I said that I already replaced the spark plugs and promised to do the rest. The following was done:

  • Radiator hose repaired
  • Clamp changed
  • vented
  • Frost protection and water filled
  • Ignition coils changed

Costs up to now 320 Euro including material. I picked up my car and drove for an hour to see if everything was alright. Somehow I still had concerns that it might not have been so simple but at the end of the ride I was firmly convinced and am satisfied with the workshop.


I’ve learned that in more complex problems with your car, you should not rely on logical conclusions. In any case you must perform the necessary tests. I myself do not understand anything about cars but have listed the above mentioned symptoms to many hobbyists and everyone thought that this indicates a defective cylinder head gasket. However, the tests have proved that it is not.

I searched for a workshop for a long time, where I can be a regular customer and believe that I found the workshop. The mechanic has also said openly that if I had been in some other workshops that they may have said that the cylinder head gasket is defect and if I had ordered the repair, they would have eliminated the small defects and would have charge me 1500€ for it.


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