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Ford Ka Water Tank Burning Hot And Steaming And Engine!


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#1 laurhods

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:40 PM

Today after driving my car I got out and could smell something funny. Lifted the bonnet and my water coolant box was bubbling with steam coming from it. Also (im know mechanic) but the white box thing below the engine was steaming hot that with a little water spilt onto to there was sizzling and a burning smell. Im worried my car is about to blow up!


Not sure if its relevant but my car only blows cold air ( has done for past 12 months but never really botherered me to fix it).
Also my partner filled up the engine coolant and oil last week, however he used water instead of coolant as we had none, is this a problem?

Im scared to drive to the garage just in case, can anyone help??

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#2 Stoney871

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:56 PM

The engine needs a 50/50 mix of water and coolant to run properly.
If you drive your car in it's present condition you will seize it or crack the engine block and that will be very expensive to fix.
Get the coolant done ASAP and also get the thermostat checked out too.
To drain the system you need to undo the bottom pipe to the radiator and drain the fluid off to a container- it's poisonous and by law must be disposed of properly.
Reconnect the pipe and then fill with the correct mix to the minimum line.
Run the engine with the coolant tank cap off until the temperature rises to burp out air bubbles and then fill to between the minimum and maximum lines on the tank and replace the cap.
Be careful to not stand over the tank while the lid is off as it may shoot out hot liquid if air comes through.
Wear a thick jacket or long sleeves and goggles if you have to.

#3 laurhods

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:04 PM

The engine needs a 50/50 mix of water and coolant to run properly.
If you drive your car in it's present condition you will seize it or crack the engine block and that will be very expensive to fix.
Get the coolant done ASAP and also get the thermostat checked out too.


Thanks, the smell just had me rather cautious, will get the coolant fixed 1st thing. However does the thermostat need to be fixed as an urgent matter as the no hot air doesnt really bother me but if its necessary then i will look into asap but nothing was mentioned in the MOT which was only 5 weeks ago and its long since been broken.

#4 Stoney871

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:08 PM

The thermostat is for the safety of the engine. Better safe than sorry.
The heater matrix is another job altogether but is not urgent.

#5 laurhods

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:24 AM

hello, thanks for the advice much much appreciated. Just thought I would update

soo the white box thing i tried to describe was the heat shield! As I'm a girl and didn't want to attempt any of the above as it seemed dangerous for me. I called green flag.

The water had been filled above max level and needed draining...apparently there was some antifreeze in the mix so this overflowing(as the cap wasnt on tight enough) caused the burning smell, the reason its so hot is because the radiator fan is inoperative and a new fuse wont fix the problem either so off too the garage now....hopefully not too costly for me.

Might have noticed this earlier if ford ka's had a temp gage I can see but unfortunately they don't!

#6 Stoney871

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:44 PM

At least you have got a solution.
Good job you caught it before major problems surfaced.
^_^

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