StephenFord

Can cooling system have an 'intermittent' leak?

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This morning, after driving about 3 miles from home, the bottom of my windscreen misted up, I could hear boiling water gurgling, the electric fans on full pelt, and the temperature gauge shot up to 'red'. Classic overheating symptoms. Stopped car, and it took a full 2 litres of water to bring it back up to level, and I drove home. I just took her out for a 'test' drive, about 6 miles in total, and water level stayed perfect. What's going on?

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might try replacing the cap of the coolant, I was losing some through mine, not that much though.

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4 minutes ago, stratoc said:

might try replacing the cap of the coolant, I was losing some through mine, not that much though.

Well, that would certainly be a cheap fix LOL Though hard to believe that 2 litres could bubble out even if the cap was loose. It certainly felt tight when I removed it to put the replacement water in. It also 'clicks' that last 1/4 turn after quite a long thread...

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that's what I thought, Mine started to find it's own level just below the minimum. I was losing it as steam I think.

The (Ford Main Dealer :)) told me is was best to renew them every couple of years as they are designed to give under certain pressure?

 

 

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Are the footwells damp at all, particularly the drivers side near clutch pedal?  And was the windscreen damp on the inside or the outside?

I reckon it will be either the cap or the reservoir tbh.  The caps have springs in them to hold a certain level pressure but release above that, they get weak over time and let out too much pressure.  The reservoirs are notoriously bad for tiny hairline cracks that expand in the heat just enough to let the pressure out but not always easy to see.  Both cheap to replace but stick to genuine parts for them imo.

 

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Thanks guys for the great analysis. Methinks that'll the direction of action I'll be taking tomorrow. Just checked too, footwells appear to be dry, and I never paid attention to whether windscreen misting was inside or out, was too panicked watching steam billow and the temp gauge shooting off scale LOL

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Went to Ford dealer 1st thing and bought a new radiator cap, now, online, you can buy a whole new reservoir bottle AND cap for £20, but it was a distress purchase so I handed over my £14 (!!) Thrashed the car on the 10 mile trip home and all seems fine. On examining the old cap, I can clearly see that the main rubber seal has been damaged and obviously effected it's performance. Hopefully, that's my 'intermittent' water leak solved...

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🤢 🤢🤢 Well, I've always had bad luck so life continues dishing it out. Turns out, it is the darn heater matrix, dash out job. Noticed liquid dripping out under car this morning and mechanic traced it back, and also pointed out that it was now dripping out down beside clutch pedal!! Ggrrr Ggrrr Ggrrr. I suppose expecting a £14 fix was just too cosy for me. I must have done something really awful in a previous life as in this one, I'm really not that bad a guy.

Now, heater matrix, dash out - how long does that take so I can kinda budget for my mechanic not to totally rip my trousers off!

 

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6 minutes ago, StephenFord said:

🤢 🤢🤢 Well, I've always had bad luck so life continues dishing it out. Turns out, it is the darn heater matrix, dash out job. Noticed liquid dripping out under car this morning and mechanic traced it back, and also pointed out that it was now dripping out down beside clutch pedal!! Ggrrr Ggrrr Ggrrr. I suppose expecting a £14 fix was just too cosy for me. I must have done something really awful in a previous life as in this one, I'm really not that bad a guy.

Now, heater matrix, dash out - how long does that take so I can kinda budget for my mechanic not to totally rip my trousers off!

 

Oh dear...  You're looking at 6 hours+ for the matrix, especially if he hasn't done one on the Focus before...  There is a common fault on these where the pipes sort of above the clutch pedal just separate though, make absolutely sure it's not just those pipes before ripping the dash out!  There is a cheap bodge if it just those pipes.

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Now, he did mention he hasn't done one on this model, but the later one (which he has) he said that the doors have to come off as the dash is held in by side bolts that are factory installed before the doors are put on! I will definitely highlight your suggestion that there are pipes just above the clutch pedal which may need attention, but as I said, me and 'luck' don't get on LOL

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Quick update. Car is now dismantled and on ramp. They have diagnosed a faulty 'O' ring that connects one of the pipes to the actual matrix. They are currently having issue getting the correct O ring, but apparently Ford are now delivering one to them before the days out. Hopefully the old girl will be back in action for the weekend... 😀

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FFS!!!!! I'm at the end of my tether now. Picked car up, leak all sorted, genuine Ford seal fitted, no more water shooting into cabin. BUT, my A/C now doesn't work??

A/C was working perfectly on leaving car in.

The compressor kicks in, the A/C pipe through the bulkhead is very chilled so I'm assuming gas is working as it should. Just no chilled air through air vents in cabin. Temp control gives hot air, and on turning down, hot air goes away but not chilled A/C air.

Suggestions?

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Ah, at least it was only the O-ring, saves the whole dash coming out!

Not sure about your new issue though.  If it's just manual AC (not electronic climate) the diverter flaps are simply cable operated.  Maybe they left a cable off or pinched it somewhere?  As it was working before an the AC definitely works (compressor runs & cold pipes) take it back and ask them to fix it...

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Thanks for the advice Tom, I did drive straight back and the guy that worked on the car took console side panel off to double checked that he didn't accidentally knock anything, or pulled any connectors out. Couldn't see anything. Unfortunately, the A/C specialist in the garage is the owner who is on holiday till next week, so I guess I now have a stuffy car once more during a heatwave. I don't think there'll be an 'argument' over it, as it was definitely working when car dropped in, just a ***** nuisance! I do hope it's something relatively simple and yes, it's manual A/C, nothing fancy as climate control. It does seem off that it appears to be generating chilled air (as can be felt on the A/C pipe), but it's not coming out in cabin.

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12 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Has the AC issue been fixed yet?

No, thanks for asking. Think I'm a bit further on though. Seems just a coincidental occurrence with the heater matrix issue. A/C guy had a look today and it's almost out of gas. He filled the system with nitrogen, and proceeded with his HiTech bottle of soapy liquid spray and squirted it everywhere to see if any bubbles appeared. There is a definite leak from the 'replacement' compressor I had fitted a few weeks back. He now has the 'original' compressor and on Monday, we'll see if with both compressors he can make one decent one with no leaks! I fear some polar bears may have been harmed with the environmental impact of me trying to get some A/C to work LOL

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