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My focus St I'm thinking head might have gone keeps losing water need top up every couple weeks water in bottle looks rusty n slighty creamy on oil cap is it the worst scenario or have others got suggestions please
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How long since the coolant was changed?

(It doesn't like running on Water BTW.)

Look for slow leakage before worrying too much as that is the most common issue for an 11 year old car.
 

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What engine always helps with getting answers, most of us on here are not from the UK (need to wait for what to us is the early AM hours to hear from more of our British members) so St as a model for that year doesn't correspond with a version we can guess at for sure.

Unless you're seeing water in the oil or white smoke out the pipe I wouldn't worry about the head or a head gasket.

5 yrs. is the max life for the proper coolant, so I'd guess a flush & fill plus looking for leaks is in order.

Cheers
 

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Shucks, wasn't thinking quick - should have realized ST170 for that year & I drew a blank. (model is called an SVT here, we had an ST model in '05-'07 and again now from '12 up)

Coolant was "gold" here as used in my '04, what someone added to your new one over the years could affect that color. A little crud if not excessive isn't a worry, if that bottle had a LOT of tan/brown in it it would be more of a concern. Rust can happen from the iron block when coolant gets old & looses it's anti-corrosion properties, one of the reasons for changing it out for fresh.
 

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Wouldn't worry about the rusty color, might not get it all out with one change but it's not likely to be a problem going forward as fresh should stop the corrosion & there's nothing "thin" that's iron in there.
 

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car was sat for a while n not used
Colder temps and short trips will collect the white crud on the cap. A good long run will melt it and the water vapor causing it will evaporate out of the oil and be burned through the engine via the PCV valve. Perfectly normal when cooler weather sets in and car lives a life of short trips/sitting enabling condensation to collect in the oil and not be "burned" out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok thanks car will b in daily use now drove it today no problems at all everything working fine but did notice lil bit of water on carpet under glove box thinking cud b heater matrix any ideas and how easy is s dash to take out on one of these
 

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Water can drip into the air inlet for the heater if the cowl plastic is damaged. It's SUPPOSED to be tucked under & channel any water to the side, but if it gets cracked or clogged up you can get water right down through the fan area onto the floor.
 
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