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Thread: Water pressurising and chucking out of expansion tank.

  1. #1
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    Default Water pressurising and chucking out of expansion tank.

    Me and my mate are both taxi drivers who drive different model 56 plate 120bhp 1.9 cdti vectras with mileage around the 150k mark. Well for the last 4 or 5 months his car has been losing water through the overflow pipe in the expansion tank and he needs to top up every day or two. His car is ok when driving urban routes but as soon as the car goes under heavy load e.g. driving uphill on the nearby dual carriageway or a 30 mile dual carriageway trip then it pressurises and chucks it out so that the water level becomes about an inch below the recommended line. He's flushed the water system just in case there's a blockage and he's changed the thermostat twice just in case it was that but as we are not really technical minded we're stumped and was wondering if any one could give us any pointers as to what else could be causing the problem.The car hasn't lost any power and there's no evidence of any oil/water contamination and a pressure test has apparently ruled out ( we hope! ) the dreaded head gasket route unless there's any other test that can be done to eliminate that avenue. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated as it's starting to get him down and he's not the happiest of ******s at the best of times. Thanks.

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    VIP-Member Das's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Lada

    Trim : Riva

    Engine : 6.0 V12

    Year : 1954

    Mileage : 567890987

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    Get a "Sniff" test done on the expansion tank. This tests for c02 in the coolant, good easy way to test if the head gasket is away.

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    Admin & Merchandise Manager bigmac's Avatar
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    Vehicle : insignia

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    Irmscher Insignia CDTI 130

    MOD'S...Irmscher front spoiler, Irmscher mats, Irmscher door pins, Irmscher rear spoiler, Irmscher grille, Irmscher skirt & exhausts,Irmscher Roof spoiler MOD'S TO COME..Side skirts,Wheels

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    As above, could still be the head gasket, needs the sniff test to properly rule it out.

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    Regular Member LADmachining's Avatar
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    What reading does he get on the temperature gauge when the engine is under load (i.e the conditions where it loses water)?

    Can water be seen to be circulating around the system, by viewing the water flow through the small bypass hose going into the coolant reservoir? Maybe the water pump has shed the impeller blades giving reduced or no water flow through the system. At low speed/load, the system can cope, but as load increases the temperature rises and the system boils over.

    Does the heater put out plenty of hot air?

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    Thanks for the replies so far. Another "sniff" test looks the next step but he says that the AA guy has already performed this once and it was ok. The temp gauge goes one or two degrees higher under load but nothing significant, heaters are fine and the water can be seen circulating in the coolant reservoir. I was also thinking maybe the water pump but he had a new one fitted about 7 months ago.
    Last edited by bigade1; 25th July 2010 at 13:23.

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    Maybe the radiator or fan has had it. Does it heat quickly when the idling at standstill? If so possibly the fan has had it.

    Gazza4

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    Full Member Robsey's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C

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    Have you tried the header tank cap and / or seal

    If the cap or it's seal is tatered, then obviously the water will surge past the cap when under pressure.

    Not very common, but it is also not unheard of.

    Also the cheapest thing to replace, before you start going through the expense of a head gasket change.

  9. #9
    Regular Member luke.oldham's Avatar
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    I had this problem on my escort .there was air in the systerm so i left the cap off overnight. Was told it would bleed itself if i did this. And it was fine ever since. Cheers luke
    Last edited by luke.oldham; 25th July 2010 at 14:59.

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. It was DasArab, bigmac and Grumpy1954 who came up trumps with the " sniff " test that solved the issue so an extra big thanks to you three. My mate's now counting his hard earned pennies and has booked it in a local garage to have the head gasket done. I think they've quoted him about £500 compared to £860 at a Vauxhall dealer.

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