Pebbleheed

Lucky escape with engine?

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I was out today in the sun. Had the aircon on and all was well. Then I noticed while idling and sitting in traffic my aircon wasn’t working and the car was struggling to keep the revs constant, dropping to half of what it should have been. 

I continued with my journey and every time I moved the aircon worked a treat. 

A short time later I noticed the engine temperature was way over halfway where it normally sits. The turbo didn’t seem to be kicking in either so I pulled over to let the car cool. 

I was a mile away from home I so started up again after it had cooled and got so far but got stuck in traffic again. The warning sounded saying the engine was dangerously hot so I pulled over. I then saw steam come from the bonnet when the engine was off. 

I waited maybe 30 minutes and started off again the short distance. The engine worked fine, the turbo worked fine and the aircon worked fine. 

Ive got home and noticed the engine is soaking and my coolant reservoir is now empty. I suspect a pipe has burst somewhere but I can’t see where. 

Would the overheating have caused the burst or would it be the other way around?

I had issues with my fan a few months back one day but it started working again the same day and had no issues since so I left it. 

I got home ok with the temperature at the middle and no warnings but I know the ecoboost engines are prone to overheating which can write them off. I presume if that had happened my engine would have seized?

I’ll have the car recovered and taken to a garage from home but I was wondering, is it likely I’ve knackered my engine or will I have got away with it?

 

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The engine wouldn't seize up, they usually warp so the head no longer seals to the block properly.  Ford tend to fit new engines rather than repair though.

Was your car recalled for the degas hose?

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How would I tell if that’s happened?

I’m not sure if it was recalled. How can I check that? 

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Ford ETIS website. Enter your vin and there should be an option to view any outstanding recalls.

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Ah. I’ve check that before and it said no outstanding recalls. 

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You'd have either low compression, water, oil or exhaust mixing, same as when a headgasket fails.  

If you put your reg into etis it'll show any outstanding recalls.  You have to resister as an IO to do it now though.

Look at the hose coming from the left of the turbo, if it has a plastic T price then it should've been recalled by now.  They are known for breaking and dumping coolant.

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I daren’t start the car again now. Although it seemed to drive back fine after I stopped. 

Would the steam and the reservoir emptying suggest it’s warped?

I can’t get it to the garage till the middle of next week now and I’m worried my engine is written off as I can’t afford a new engine. 

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No, the steam and empty tank just suggests you have a leak in the system somewhere...that turbo pipe in your picture definitely looks like it's let water past.  It could have been pressurised due to a warp or blown HG but there's no point assuming that until it's been tested.  It could be something really simple like a cracked header tank.

Very simple 'sniffer' test can be done to rule out exhaust pressurising coolant.  Really would just wait and see what the garage diagnose.

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Is there any simple way for me to test it while it’s outside?

I can’t see any cracks in the coolant reservoir at all. And the water in the engine area appears to be all around the fans and main engine part rather than the reservoir worryingly. 

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what , if any , damage that may occur depends on how much driving was done whilst the coolant was emptying itself.

if you came to a complete stop by the time it was completely empty then you should be okay.

i wouldnt start / move the car with no fluid in.

although an inconvienience , dont drive it till a garage has had a poke around

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Yeah, I stopped within about 10 seconds of the alarm, maximum. 

Spoken to a friend - ex RAF mech who now works on sports vehicles as a pit mechanic for teams. He seems to think that my car overheated due to a fan failure, dumped the coolant out of the release valve and as long as I stopped when I did it’s ublikely there’s any further damage. He had similar on a race bike recently when they left it running and it dumped the fluid as they’d removed all fans to lighten it. 

Really hoping this is right and I’ve not got a damaged engine. 

I looked in the reservoir and there’s some coolant left. Not a lot but some remains. 

I’ll use my partners car for now and get the car recovered on Tuesday. It won’t be turned on again. 

Hipefully just a fault fan or temp sensor and I won’t be skint. 

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on a modern 5 yr old car like yours i'd expect the cooling fan & stat still to be working and the leak nothing worse than spilt hose / cracked pipe connector.

10 minutes on car ramp will find that leak no problem.

think positive :-) 

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The fact that the overheating of the engine was detected and the engine is still running suggests that there was still a significant amount of coolant inside the system. The coolant temperature sensor is located inside the thermostat housing and measures the coolant temperature. If most of the coolant leaks away the temperature sensor does no longer contact the coolant. Air inside the system does not conduct the heat as good as coolant so if most of the coolant leaks away the engine management system will not detect overheating of the engine. This is the reason why most coolant leaks result in engine damage on the 1.0 ECOboost.

The fact that both the airconditioning was not working when standing still and the engine overheating suggests that the cooling fan was not working. 

 

The 1.0 and 1.6 ECOboost engines are real hotheads. Both the coolant and engine temperature are significantly higher than the coolant and engine temperature of the older naturally aspirated engines. This means that there is little room for error. The significantly higher coolant and engine temperature in combination with the poorly designed temperature warning system often results in engine damage.

 

In this case I suspect that the engine may be still fine. Personally I would just top up the coolant to the MAX level. This way you know exactly how much coolant actually leaked away. Next run the engine until it reaches the normal operating temperature and check for leaks. If the engine still runs fine and there are no coolant leaks the engine will most likely be fine. You have nothing to lose anyway. If there is engine damage the engine needs to be replaced anyway. Ford does not supply internal engine parts for the lower part of this engine. It is not considered as a serviceable part and needs to be replaced completely.

If the engine still runs fine an there are no visible coolant leaks you should have the coolant system vacuum and pressure tested. If these are OK check the fan and its control system and replace parts if necessary. It is also a good idea to change the coolant reservoir and cap as a precaution. These are inexpensive parts anyway which can prevent a lot of problems.

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You need the pink/orange coolant that meets the Ford WSS-M97B44-D specification. 

The Ford specification is fully compatible with the well known G12+ specification. Any G12+ compatible coolant will be fine. 

 

if the engine turns out to be OK it is a good idea to change all coolant anyway. The significantly higher coolant and engine temperature causes the coolant to chrystallize. these chrystals can cause the coolant reservoir cap to become seized or cause the overpressure valve inside the cap to become seized. 

There is a drain tap below the radiator which makes it very easy to drain the cooling system.

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Wilco, you describe the 1 and 1.6 ecoboosts as hotheads.  Since you do not mention the 2 litre ecoboost, is that exempt from your description.  Apologies for straying slightly off-topic.

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so when the temp was very hot was the radiator fan running or not?  if not, then it is quite possible that that coolant lost was going past the pressure relief valve . In the old days these were built into the coolant filler cap, don't know if they still are, I am not so au fait with more modern cars, mainly because they don't  go wrong so much so I don't learn so much as rarely having to do something.  

Years ago a friend of mine had a mk6 escort. it overheated. the breakdown man told him headgasket had gone. I had a look next day to see if fan worked. found fan fuse had gone. replacing fuse it blew again and again . he got a garage to sort out the blowing fan fuse and it was fine after that, no more overheating and no headgasket problems at all. 

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7 hours ago, Freddy42 said:

Wilco, you describe the 1 and 1.6 ecoboosts as hotheads.  Since you do not mention the 2 litre ecoboost, is that exempt from your description.  Apologies for straying slightly off-topic.

The European 2.0 ECOboost (which is different from the USA 2.0 ECOboost) does not have any known temperature/cooling system problems. This type of engine has a 82 degrees Celsius thermostat. Tests showed that in stock configuration the engine runs considerably cooler than the 1.0 and 1.6 ECOboost.

The 2.0 ECOboost however has different problems. When driven like a granny these engines can suffer from excessive carbon build-up on the intake valves. This problem is often found on Mondeo's and S-max/Galaxy's. 

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2 hours ago, JW1982 said:

The European 2.0 ECOboost (which is different from the USA 2.0 ECOboost) does not have any known temperature/cooling system problems. This type of engine has a 82 degrees Celsius thermostat. Tests showed that in stock configuration the engine runs considerably cooler than the 1.0 and 1.6 ECOboost.

The 2.0 ECOboost however has different problems. When driven like a granny these engines can suffer from excessive carbon build-up on the intake valves. This problem is often found on Mondeo's and S-max/Galaxy's. 

the mazda 2.3 direct injection which the 2.0 ecoboost was basically developed from suffered the same carbon build up on intake valves. 

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Would any of the petrol additives cure that?

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Sounds similar to what my partners 1.25 fiesta did. her Rad fan stopped, then dumped its coolant in a spectacular eruption.  I filled her up with coolant, replaced the cap, then idled it up to 85C which it then passed and diverted to the radiator, not long after she started to boil again but there wasn't any leaks.  Turns out the Radiator fan had failed, she had gotten away with it for 50 odd miles due to the speed she was driving but when she hit traffic. Game over.  oil all appears fine and no further leaks, no bubbles coming up to the expansion bottle, so it looks like she dodged a bullet.

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Going slightly off on a tangent. I posted in the mondeo forum the other day about my 2.0 ecoboost. 

I had it go in to limp mode the other day. Garage thought that it was an internal valve but on striping the engine down, found that a piston had melted to the side of the engine block. 

No prior warnings, all fluid levels were fine beforehand.

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Also on a slight tangent, but my mums 63 reg C-max overheated and lost coolant because the  condenser fan broke. AC blew fine when moving because condenser had cool air flowing over it, but this stopped when in traffic and AC stopped blowing and the heat from the condenser overheated the engine. The pipe from the expansion tank burst and dumped it out but luckily some remained in the engine so serious damage was avoided. 

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Update - 

It took a week to get in to the garage sadly because they were busy. 

They’ve had the car all day and they can’t find what’s causing the problem. 

They said there’s power to the unit but the fans don’t kick in and it’s got them stumped. 

They’re trying to find an electrician now. 

Anyone come across this before? 

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