205 losing coolant.
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Thread: 205 losing coolant.

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default 205 losing coolant.

    I pulled into the servo the other day and noticed coolant dripping onto the driveway. I drove straight home and the car did not reach a high temperature but i thought it was running a bit higher than normal. It is a couple of days later and I have not driven the car since but had the time to investigate. So the radiator was empty - the expansion tank still had coolant in it and it was normal colour (though the level was low - below the minimum mark). So I filled the radiator and went for a quick drive + idle in the driveway. The fan kicks in when it should on reaching middle temp on the guage (idle), the car did not overheat on the drive today - temp seemed normal. However when I stopped the car there is coolant coming from the bottom left of the radiator. All above it seems dry. Would this be simply a hole / leak in the bottom of the radiator? Can the thermostat or housing cause a leak? trying to pin it down. It is hard to see.

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Get a flashlight and investigate closer. It does seem like you have a leak at the bottom of the rad but we can't find it for you.
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    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    Bottom left? As viewed from drivers seat of front of the car looking into the engine bay. Mine had a long 2 piece hose routed around the drivers side of the engine to the rear. It had a metal section joining the two rubber sections located below the water pump. The metal section corroded resulting in a leak. Cant recall if it made its way all the way to the radiator on that side.
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  4. #4
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    Don’t forget if the ‘tanks’ are hot the moisture will rapidly evaporate. Insitu is a real pita for radiator leaks.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greggo View Post
    I pulled into the servo the other day and noticed coolant dripping onto the driveway. I drove straight home and the car did not reach a high temperature but i thought it was running a bit higher than normal. It is a couple of days later and I have not driven the car since but had the time to investigate. So the radiator was empty - the expansion tank still had coolant in it and it was normal colour (though the level was low - below the minimum mark). So I filled the radiator and went for a quick drive + idle in the driveway. The fan kicks in when it should on reaching middle temp on the guage (idle), the car did not overheat on the drive today - temp seemed normal. However when I stopped the car there is coolant coming from the bottom left of the radiator. All above it seems dry. Would this be simply a hole / leak in the bottom of the radiator? Can the thermostat or housing cause a leak? trying to pin it down. It is hard to see.
    Lucky you checked the radiator and not just the bottle! A luxury we don't have with later cars (406 etc.).

    Sounds like the radiator may have emptied itself after you got home, but don't forget that a coolant temperature sensor does not give an accurate reading unless bathed in coolant - once the coolant level drops below the level of the temp sensor, then you've got no way of knowing how hot the engine is, so be very wary of driving it until yo get this sorted.

    Cheers

    Alec

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Roland's Avatar
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    Your mechanic should be able to do a pressure test. This will show where the leak is and appropriate action taken to fix same!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armidillo View Post
    Lucky you checked the radiator and not just the bottle! A luxury we don't have with later cars (406 etc.).



    Cheers

    Alec
    Wouldn’t there be a header tank level warning light?.



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  8. #8
    Tadpole
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    Thank you for all of the advice. I think I will have to take it for a pressure test. I got underneath with a torch but cannot find the leak. I will not drive it until I have it tested. The last thing I want to do is cook the engine - it was running as strong as ever on the short test drive this morning so I don't think it has overheated at all. Is it better to replace or repair the 205 radiators, if the cost is almost same I would go for a new one?

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    oh and definitely only on the bottom left (passenger side)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagaman View Post
    Wouldn’t there be a header tank level warning light?.

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    Good question - the short answer seems to be "No". I have just checked 3 PSA cars, all made between 1994 - 2000, and all having pressurised overflow bottles and no radiator cap.

    Xantia Series II - has a small red warning light at the top of the coolant temp gauge. This is described as illuminating when either temp is high or level is low. Goes out when engine starts. There is an unused electrical plug beside the coolant bottle, so they may be lying about the level warning.

    Pug 605 - handbook illustrates a warning light that resembles a saucepan lid floating on water. This does not illuminate when ignition is turned on (but it is possible that the 24 yr old globe has blown). Disconnecting electrical plug from coolant bottle (with engine running) has no effect. There is a red light at the top of the coolant temperature gauge, but this is described as a temperature warning only.

    Pug 406 - this is where the confusion starts! The handbook labels for the warning lights (like the fuse diagrams) are wrong. It seems that the list of labels contains all possible warning lamps, while the diagram only shows ones you are likely to have. Label numbers go from 1 - 32, while lamp numbers go from 1 - 29 - the higher the number the more inaccurate!

    Anyway, the 406 is like the 605 - provision is made for a low coolant warning, but it does not appear to be operational. The 406 doesn't even get the red warning light in the temp gauge.

    Fortunately I've never had the opportunity to test the warning system (in a French car). I will continue to visually inspect coolant levels at regular intervals and drive in hope.

    Cheers

    Alec

    Newsflash! Just checked the XM - saucepan lid icon illuminates when ignition is turned on! So it might be time to do some instrument panel removal and bulb checking on the Pugs...

  11. #11
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    Yep.
    The header tank is situated above the radiator side mounted tanks AFAIK.
    The header would simply drain, pressurised or not, into the side tank nearest and thus when the level in it dropped, the low header tank warning light would, in theory, come on.
    This system solves the problem of an ‘uncovered’ temperature sensor in the thermostat housing (of my old 604, at least).
    Warn globes don’t last for ever, and there are now so many of them, one NOT lighting as a check first thing is so easy to miss.


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  12. #12
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    A leak at the thermostat level would only partially empty the radiator (assuming it's a GTI).

    Dash warning light (low coolant) doesn't work, I take it?

    On the passenger side there isn't any source of leaks other than the radiator itself that would be low enough to empty the radiator. With a running engine however, you could assume the thermostat could be open and coolant leaking at the oil cooler hoses until the rad is empty. There wouldn't be much coolant left in the system by then but I would imagine the expansion bottle would be empty as well. Did you vent the system properly at the bulkhead and thermostat when refiling? How much coolant did it take?
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  13. #13
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    The water level sensor in the 'degassing' tank tends to gum up over time and so the float jams in the normal height position rendering it useless. Easily checked for correct operation.

    The metal connection pipe that runs inside the driver side wheel well rusts out eventually. There are S/S replacement ones available if this is found to be the problem as are rads and hoses from a number of sources.

  14. #14
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    Is there one of those plastic drain plugs on the passenger side at the back of the rad tank on the bottom? The ones that turn and pull out? These can leak and may be simply a matter of cleaning up and greasing the o-ring with rubber grease or silicone grease.


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