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Please help me, I'm really hoping you won't tell me it seems like a bad head gasket, please try to help me


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I feel like giving my car away and never getting another, but I don't have much in life and my car gives me freedom and makes me happy ( when it's working well )

Current car, 2 days after buying garage diagnosed and charged £950 for bad head gasket, later found out they only did water pump and I was lied to.

since then I have spent around £1000 more on other repairs on this car and only had it for 8 months.

every single one of my previous car's was the same, repair after repair and the stress of it all put me into a depression or at least feels like it.

 

MY QUESTION BIT HERE AND I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR ADVICE

 

About 3 weeks ago I notice a trail of water behind car and discover the coolant expansion bottle was the cause. I was lucky I notice before it overheated.

I put on a brand new one and notice the level of water seems to be dropping a few centimetres every 2 days or so. I have checked hoses and can see no leak, besides I replaced 2 hoses several months  ago so there so new almost.

There is no water leak visible, not under the car or anything, so again the dreaded fear of HG failure hits, so I do some basics checks.

 

NO oil IN WATER,

NO WATER IN oil

NO POWER LOSS (OTHER THAN CAUSED BY BAD MAF)

NO SMOKE EVEN IN COLD AND EVEN WHEN REVVED TO 3000 RPM, NO SMOKE AT ALL

 

I notice something else since replacing expansion bottle which is odd, when the coolant in my car is hot it doesn't look like it is expanding and looks at a higher level when the engine is cold as in left overnight. When I pop the bonnet and check coolant from hot it is lower than when cold ?

 

any ideas please ?

 

 

 

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Get a sniff test done on the coolant, that will show if there is any exhaust in the coolant (from a blown headgasket). 

I reckon you've just got an airlock somewhere though, did you run the engine with the cap off and the heaters on hot to bleed the system after changing the expansion bottle?

 

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1 hour ago, TomsFocus said:

Get a sniff test done on the coolant, that will show if there is any exhaust in the coolant (from a blown headgasket). 

I reckon you've just got an airlock somewhere though, did you run the engine with the cap off and the heaters on hot to bleed the system after changing the expansion bottle?

 

No

If I can't get this sorted a sniff test may be a good idea but hopefully it won't come to that

I did wonder if it was possible if air could be in the system after I replaced the expansion bottle.

the hose that goes onto the bottle, looks like air in in like bubbles flowing via pipe to tank or something

would an airlock cause water loss from expansion tank ? 

 

 

do I just take cap off and let engine run on idle for a while and if so how long ?

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Airlocks can cause all sorts of weird problems, from sudden disappearance of the water to blowing a load out of the cap.

Start it with the cap off and the heater on hot and run it until the fans come on ideally, or at least until the thermostat has opened (about 90c).  Make sure the level in the header tank doesn't drop below the minimum mark. 

 

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37 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Airlocks can cause all sorts of weird problems, from sudden disappearance of the water to blowing a load out of the cap.

Start it with the cap off and the heater on hot and run it until the fans come on ideally, or at least until the thermostat has opened (about 90c).  Make sure the level in the header tank doesn't drop below the minimum mark. 

 

Ok

 

I don't know much about cars ( atm) but should I just take off rad cap and let it idle for a while with heat on full , and does it need to be blowing hot air from blowers or does it not matter so long as it is turned to hot ??

 

My Fan is not working at the moment, bad wiring to it that will be fixed soon.

 

 

There appears to be what looks like air bubbles in the overflow PIPE that goes to expansion tank, could that be air ?

 

 

is it normal for air to enter the system after replacing coolant tank ?

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Yes its normal for air to enter the system like that.  The minimum mark is the lowest level the water can go before it starts sucking in air which is why it needs the level needs to be kept above that, obviously when you remove the bottle the level drops below. 

The inside fan doesn't have to be blowing much, number 1 on the speed dial should be fine, too fast and it'll take longer to heat up.

More bad wiring lol??  Oh dear!  Well make sure the temp gauge reads 90 and it should be fine then.

Those bubbles in the pipe will be air.  That might be normal though, the movement of the waterpump can cause them in some cars.

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3 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Yes its normal for air to enter the system like that.  The minimum mark is the lowest level the water can go before it starts sucking in air which is why it needs the level needs to be kept above that, obviously when you remove the bottle the level drops below. 

The inside fan doesn't have to be blowing much, number 1 on the speed dial should be fine, too fast and it'll take longer to heat up.

More bad wiring lol??  Oh dear!  Well make sure the temp gauge reads 90 and it should be fine then.

Those bubbles in the pipe will be air.  That might be normal though, the movement of the waterpump can cause them in some cars.

Thanks

 

So , when I go to my car tomorrow I just remove rad cap and keep filling it , how low should I let it drop until I refill it and how do I judge when all the air is out and to put cap back on ??

 

Maybe the air bubbles will be gone after it has been bled 

 

 

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The important thing is to keep the level above the minimum mark, ideally not above max though.

When it gets to 90 on the gauge, the thermostat will be open and everything should be flowing, so all the air should move be out by then and you can put the lid back on.

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12 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

The important thing is to keep the level above the minimum mark, ideally not above max though.

When it gets to 90 on the gauge, the thermostat will be open and everything should be flowing, so all the air should move be out by then and you can put the lid back on.

OK, I will fill it too near max line or just on .

 

So when it reaches 90 I can put the cap back on, would it be okay if I leave cap off for a few mins after it has reached 90 ?

 

Quick question, is it normal for water to flow inside overflow pipe into the expansion tank ?

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Yes it's ok if you leave the cap off longer.  But if you leave it much over 90 the coolant will expand so much it'll come out of the cap hole and make a mess of your driveway lol.

Water should flow from the radiator into the header tank if that's what you mean.

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13 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Yes it's ok if you leave the cap off longer.  But if you leave it much over 90 the coolant will expand so much it'll come out of the cap hole and make a mess of your driveway lol.

Water should flow from the radiator into the header tank if that's what you mean.

Okay, so I'll put cap back on around the time it reaches 90.

So, can you confirm that there should be water flowing through the overflow pipes, the pipes that are connected to the expansion tank ? Looks like water flows through the overflow pipe and into expansion tank

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10 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Yes, the coolant should flow into the tank from the radiator.

Somebody on a site answered a similar question, they said the water should flow from the tank through the overflow, not from the overflow pipe into the expansion tank ?

I'm confused ?

 

 

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11 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

There isn't one on our coolant tanks.  If it needs to 'overflow' it just comes out of the cap. 

Hello

 

I took rad cap off and waited about 1 hour with heat on, took aged for thermostat to reach 90, when it did it dropped to zero again, almost within seconds.  The water level did not drop, it increased.

 

Anyway, decided to go get it checked out at ER ( Engine repair) service centre. they did a chemical test which revealed bad head gasket , FFS

 

I inquired later today about car finance and asked for £3,000, they approved it.

 

But now friend says he can replace head gasket for £400 all in inc parts, timing belt e.t.c.

 

I think I will go for the repair instead of reppacement on this occasion

 

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