Jump to content
Do Not Sell My Personal Information


Mk3 ZS - My Coolant Saga


Ubetcha
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, so for the first 'help me' thread, hmm that didn't take long did it!!

After driving 450 miles to get the car from the garage in Donnington to Co. Donegal in Ireland I observed that my coolant level was very very low. I had no warning of this inside the car and it was only noticed when I was checking the engine bay that I discovered this. It could of been that the coolant was low when I collected the vehicle, it was fine initially a week before when I inspected the vehicle and I didn't double check this upon collection. So I didn't pay that much attention to this, just topped her up and I've been keeping an eye on this.

Today the coolant level was again below minimum, so I attempted to unscrew the cap to top it up (again). Here's what happened in picture form..

IMG_20170710_093938.jpg

 

IMG_20170710_093943.jpg

IMG_20170710_094015.jpg

Hence I'm now looking for a replacement radiator cap, would I be right in saying it's either Ford part numbers 1224233, 1301104 or 3M5H8100AD?

The last two match with the yellow border, does it matter which one I go for?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just been out looking for leaks, nothing found so I started looking online for possible help..

Scared myself after checking the oil dipstick which is showing lots of oil*, like four inches above max.. well at least I think I've discovered where the coolant has been going?

Not going to do anything with the vehicle now until my mechanic friend takes a proper look. I guess it's either the head gasket or the inlet manifold gasket.

Will update and advise when I know more..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if there is water in the oil the oil usually looks a bit milky on the dispstick and inside the oil filler cap.

Is the car petrol or diesel.  if diesel the oil level can get higher by being diluted by diesel fuel due to particle filter regeneration cycle problems. you can scare yourself by reading diesel particle filter problems also

coolant_mixed_with_engine_oil2.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, isetta said:

if there is water in the oil the oil usually looks a bit milky on the dispstick and inside the oil filler cap.

Is the car petrol or diesel.  if diesel the oil level can get higher by being diluted by diesel fuel due to particle filter regeneration cycle problems. you can scare yourself by reading diesel particle filter problems also

coolant_mixed_with_engine_oil2.jpg

Thanks for trying to reassure me, just back from my mechanic friend down the road. It's the 180HP SCTi Petrol engine. My friend rang an associate who only deals with Ford and the news isn't good i'm afraid. Apparently it's a know fault on Ecotech engines and the Ford mechanic is going to lend us an oil cooler to test. Something to do with insufficient pressure he said. Also if that doesn't fix it then it looks like it's time for a new engine.. I'm still trying to process all of this. Of course I've been going through the documentation which came from the garage and it looks like £500 is the maximum they'll pay out. Going to ring them tomorrow and see if that's gospel or not, however it's not looking good. Ahh what a day..

 

3 hours ago, Ryan_Tango said:

Radiator cap you'll need is 1301104 apparently which is what Microcat is showing me

Thanks Ryan, at least I'll get the right cap after all this :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


i'm confused. so is there coolant in the oil?  if so, I don't see how an oil cooler will help that.   if not, why is the oil level high? I don't see how an oil cooler can help that either.

tion"Something to do with insufficient pressure he said", is that oil pressure? won't an oil cooler at more restriction to any problem with the oil pressure?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, isetta said:

i'm confused. so is there coolant in the oil?  if so, I don't see how an oil cooler will help that.   if not, why is the oil level high? I don't see how an oil cooler can help that either.

tion"Something to do with insufficient pressure he said", is that oil pressure? won't an oil cooler at more restriction to any problem with the oil pressure?

Sorry, to be honest I do not understand how it works, maybe the cooler could be blocked? I'll know more in the coming days..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

im not 100 % convinced we have a problem here that warrants a new engine ??

your pictures show the expansion tank with fluid at the min mark but not empty or engine overheating so whats the issue ?

you need to remember that under pressure and with varying temperatures , the fluid level can fall or rise in normal use.

ok so the engine oil has been overfilled , carefully drain it to the correct level . restart car , and have a quick look if exhaust emmissions are clear.

spark plugs are a good indicator of engine condition so pop them out.

are engine warning lights coming on ? does it start ok ? drive ok ? smooth at tick-over ?

i wouldnt be hitting the panic button just yet...  :-)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


On 7/11/2017 at 8:28 AM, trailertrash said:

I'd look into the Consumer Rights Act if I were you:

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/content/news/new-laws-protecting-car-buyers-come-into-force-on-october-1st

They're trying to fob you off with the £500

Hmmm, that's certainly interesting and thankyou for the link TrailerTrash. Actually I rang the CAB and they say it has to be fit for sale and that I have 30 days for a repair or refund so that was certainly good to hear. However because im in Southern Ireland I would have to obviously return the car, again in real terms this is no biggie. Ferry £230, Fuel £60, so I could get a refund at best which is an option.

 

23 hours ago, Micro said:

When you replace the cap, apply a little silicone grease around the cap to prevent it sticking in future.

Brilliant, thank-you Micro, yes I've been reading about people giving a squirt of WD40 on the cap but I assume Silicon grease is a better job and handy as I have a tube of that as well (usually used for covering my exposed satellite f-type connectors on my LNB. I'll definately do this.

 

18 hours ago, biff55 said:

im not 100 % convinced we have a problem here that warrants a new engine ??

your pictures show the expansion tank with fluid at the min mark but not empty or engine overheating so whats the issue ?

you need to remember that under pressure and with varying temperatures , the fluid level can fall or rise in normal use.

ok so the engine oil has been overfilled , carefully drain it to the correct level . restart car , and have a quick look if exhaust emmissions are clear.

spark plugs are a good indicator of engine condition so pop them out.

are engine warning lights coming on ? does it start ok ? drive ok ? smooth at tick-over ?

i wouldnt be hitting the panic button just yet...  :-)

 

Totally agree, thank-you Biff55, firstly to answer your questions; expansion tank was almost empty when I returned home to Ireland. Topped off expansion tank back to maximum, a few days later it had dropped again, topped up again, a few days later it was at the point of my photo and I was unable to top it up again due to the cap breaking. At no stage did any warning lights come on (seemingly through my internet research there isn't a coolant low warning light on the Focus) also the temperature gauge never moved about it's half way 'normal' position and no engine management light ever came on. The issue was where the hell was the coolant going? no drips, no visible leaks, no puddles, nothing. I had put roughly 2.5 liters of coolant in over 10 days.. Upon checking the dipstick it became apparent where the coolant had been going and that was into the engine oil system. 

Hence I was in panic mode myself, however things are becoming clearer (hopefully). I'll explain.. previously I have written..

On 7/10/2017 at 8:32 PM, Ubetcha said:

Apparently it's a know fault on Ecotech engines and the Ford mechanic is going to lend us an oil cooler to test. Something to do with insufficient pressure he said.

To follow up on this (now that I know a little more) the likely candidate for the coolant entering the oil system is internal damage on the oil cooler, hence why I was going to be lent one to see. Prices of these vary between €80-€110 so this is just a drop in the ocean to what I was thinking. My mechanic and I decided to just put a straight metal pipe in and do away with the oil cooler just to see if the problem has resolved itself or not (indicating the problem lies with the oil cooler or not). We've got the coolant cap ordered and we'll order a replacement oil cooler if that's found to be the problem however I am currently test driving the car whilst regularly checking both the coolant level and the oil level.

Last night I collected the car and was driving around for half an hour or so and today I'm driving it a little for errands. So far levels are exactly the same as they were when I collected it from my mechanic friend. I need to drive it more over the next few days to be sure these levels are staying as they should. I've 150km trip on Thursday to our nearest big town in order to the the Irish equivalent of the MOT (called the NCT here). This is a necessity here when changing from a UK reg to an IE reg (even though it's only just recently had it's MOT in England) so I should know a lot more after that longer run.

Of course I'm touching as much wood as possible, and keeping my fingers crossed that we've detected the problem and that it's nothing more than just the oil cooler. I'm feeling slightly anxious but a little more optimistic. Here's a quick photo I took last night whilst I was out and about and very quickly photoshopped it trying to be arty. That's Arranmore Island in the background and was taken in a port called Burtonport which is near where I live.

 

 

test.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hope it turns out to be fine. I did not realise these had a water cooled oil cooler on them.  

My brother had a BMW automatic many years ago where the auto transmission fluid cooler ran through the bottom of the radiator through the coolant and that got a similar problem where the coolant and auto transmission fluid were mixing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, isetta said:

hope it turns out to be fine. I did not realise these had a water cooled oil cooler on them.  

My brother had a BMW automatic many years ago where the auto transmission fluid cooler ran through the bottom of the radiator through the coolant and that got a similar problem where the coolant and auto transmission fluid were mixing.

Thanks for your kind words Isetta, my fingers crossed too!

O.K. so I'm just home from my 150KM drive to town and back, pulled in to my mechanic friend on the way home, popped the bonnet and uh-oh, coolant looked down.

Dipped the oil and perfect, exactly where it was two days ago. So I assume the coolant in the head tank was down a little because of the engine being hot and in an hour or so I'll double check it again. However it does look like the oil cooler is to blame for the mix of coolant into the engine oil.

I'll edit this post shortly to confirm coolant is back up to where it should be and then I can give the go ahead to my mechanic friend to order me a new oil cooler.

Sighs in relief!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry for the while in terms of updating, been busy and been keeping an eye on my coolant/oil levels which have not moved since bypassing the oil cooler. Well today was the day when the new oil cooler went in. No noticeable difference with anything as yet, had a few places to visit today and hopefully back to normal tomorrow. Of course now I'm in the habit of regularly checking these levels so I'll keep an eye on them for a little while longer. 99.9% problem fixed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry for my inactivity recently, I had three weeks over in the UK recently (purchased ZS) then home to Ireland for a month and then another three weeks in Blighty. I'm back for a fortnight then off holidaying in Spain. Just tidying up my desktop and I wanted to rid myself of a lot of images relating to the coolant system and my research regarding my previous coolant issue (now resolved) but I figured these may help out other members so it's a good place to store these..

Fiesta Coolant System.png

Focus Bumper Assembly 1.jpg

Focus Bumper Assembly 2.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Forums


News


Membership