Loosing Coolant Pug 309D
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Loosing Coolant Pug 309D

    I'm losing coolant slowly. I had it pressure tested in a garage and a small leak from the bottom hose was detected, the clip was a bit loose. This was tightened up, but I'm still losing coolant. Where could the coolant be going? I'm I right in saying that if the test was done properly the mechanic should have seen a drop in the pressure gauge even after tightening the hose?

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  2. #2
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I guess this car has a sealed cooling system and an overflow reservoir?

    First, let's establish a few things...

    1. What gives you the idea that you are losing coolant... by that I mean what check (exactly what check, please) are you carrying out and when are you checking it?

    2. Is there any other problem at all... any misfiring, hard starting or other misbehaviour?

    3. How much coolant is being lost and over what period?

  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    I guess this car has a sealed cooling system and an overflow reservoir?

    First, let's establish a few things...

    1. What gives you the idea that you are losing coolant... by that I mean what check (exactly what check, please) are you carrying out and when are you checking it?

    2. Is there any other problem at all... any misfiring, hard starting or other misbehaviour?

    3. How much coolant is being lost and over what period?
    1. I've done 50000 miles in this car and the water level seldom dropped in the expansion tank. Now the warning light comes on roughly every 400 miles whereupon I top it up to the centre seam in the tank. I dont always wait for the light to come on but check it at odd intevals when the engine is hot or cold.

    2. The engine starts up immediately and runs fine.

    3. Not sure how much exactly, but could be as much from the point where the warning light triggers to the centre seam.
    Last edited by pullgees; 16th January 2004 at 08:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Sorry, I have no answer other than to suggest you make a really serious attempt to check for weeping at joints, hoses, the heater and around the radiator tanks.

    It could also be getting out the hose from the radiator to the reservoir. Maybe another pressure test would be wise... but if you have it more or less under control with the 400 mile top-ups, just make notes and see if it gets worse over a few months.

    If it does, then you might be better able to detect a leak.

    That said, have you checked for bubbles with the engine running, any frothing etc?

    And is there any sign of a milky film developing in your oil filler cap which might suggest that there's a leak into the sump?

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! sfrawley's Avatar
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    The water could be leaking into the combustion chamber via a crack or corrosion track in the head. A similar thing happened to my 504D. There appeared to be a bit of steam from the exhaust and it started to smell different. One day it expelled a litre or so of coolant from the exhaust! The problem turned out to be a bit of corrosion near an exhaust valve.
    Stephen
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  6. #6
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    Sorry, I have no answer other than to suggest you make a really serious attempt to check for weeping at joints, hoses, the heater and around the radiator tanks.

    It could also be getting out the hose from the radiator to the reservoir. Maybe another pressure test would be wise... but if you have it more or less under control with the 400 mile top-ups, just make notes and see if it gets worse over a few months.

    If it does, then you might be better able to detect a leak.

    That said, have you checked for bubbles with the engine running, any frothing etc?

    And is there any sign of a milky film developing in your oil filler cap which might suggest that there's a leak into the sump?
    Okay I think I'll have to wait and see if it gets worse. I have reved it up with the pressure cap off and there are no bubbles except a whitish fizz or thin foam appears in the reservoir. I was hoping that was simply the effects of turbulance caused by the rapid circulation. At the moment there is no excessive release of pressure when removing the cap. The oil filler cap on these cars is on a seperate unit which includes the dipstick but there is no milky film as yet, hopefully never.

  7. #7
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfrawley
    The water could be leaking into the combustion chamber via a crack or corrosion track in the head. A similar thing happened to my 504D. There appeared to be a bit of steam from the exhaust and it started to smell different. One day it expelled a litre or so of coolant from the exhaust! The problem turned out to be a bit of corrosion near an exhaust valve.
    Thanks, I'll keep an eye on the exhaust.

  8. #8
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    have you got the TU alloy block or cast iron block engine ?
    the reason i ask is one has liners and the other doesn't
    this is pretty important in trying to work out where coolant is or could be going
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  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo
    have you got the TU alloy block or cast iron block engine ?
    the reason i ask is one has liners and the other doesn't
    this is pretty important in trying to work out where coolant is or could be going

    I don't know. How do I find out and what are liners?

  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    Well I took the car in for another pressure test of the cooling system as I'm still loosing coolant. On the test, again no leak was detected. It wasn't until the garge started the engine and looked underneath the vicinity of the water pump did a small leak become evident. Yet there are never any drips on the road. Anyway, the next question is, will a stop leak additive be any use?
    Thanks

  11. #11
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Probably not... if it's the gasket (extremely unlikely...) then it will, but it might do some clogging up you don't want done.

    More likely it's coming from the water pump seal, out through the nose of the water pump inside the pulley... or maybe through a hole in the bottom of the bearing housing for the shaft... they sometimes have these.

    New pump is probably the answer... but it won't get worse in a hurry if you want to look after your budget and be careful about water levels in your daily driving.

  12. #12
    Tadpole
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    New pump is probably the answer... but it won't get worse in a hurry if you want to look after your budget and be careful about water levels in your daily driving.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for that reassuring reply, it is an expensive job and I'm in two minds about keeping the car as it has done 142000 miles; what else will need replacing soon?

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger! tasgill's Avatar
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    I replaced my pump ( 405 dt, same pump I'm told ) at the second cam belt change after nursing the car for about 30000 ks. The leak got quite bad towards the end, strangely only on short trips, drive to Sydney and there would be little water loss. I think it would be a smart move to replace the pump at belt change intervals, it does appear that they have a limited life. Makes a very expensive job of it though.

    Terry

  14. #14
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    At 142,000 miles you should have a lot of life left in the car...

    I'd do as suggested, nurse it along till the cam belt is scheduled for replacement and do them together.

    In the interim, check around for the best price you can get on a waterpump... there is probably an aftermarket supplier who can undercut the genuine price by a substantial margin.

    It always costs less to hang onto a car than to change over to a new set of problems.

  15. #15
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    At 142,000 miles you should have a lot of life left in the car...

    I'd do as suggested, nurse it along till the cam belt is scheduled for replacement and do them together.

    In the interim, check around for the best price you can get on a waterpump... there is probably an aftermarket supplier who can undercut the genuine price by a substantial margin.

    It always costs less to hang onto a car than to change over to a new set of problems.
    I might eventually do it myself, I can change a timing belt. How getatable is it, looks pretty close to the wheel arch?

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