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Thread: V6 CDTI loosing coolant through the expansion cap

  1. #1
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    Default V6 CDTI loosing coolant through the expansion cap

    The car is 150k km 2004 Vectra C GTS with 3.0 cdti Y30DT engine. I bought it from a local dealer with full service history 4 months ago and did 10k km till now.
    So, I loos the coolant from the expansion cap. In daily city driving no any problems but on long travel with higher revs I got "low coolant level" on display. When I checked the level have to top up about 100 - 200 ml of coolant. Its not all the time. I did pressure tests twice and no any leakage findings. No any oil in the coolant and vice verse. The cooling system looks operational and the heater also. Performance and fuel consumption is OK. No any suspicious smoke from out the back. The local dealer suggests head gasket replacement (and even the worst the liners) but I am not quite convinced that the problem is inside the engine. Obviously, there is a high pressure in the cooling system but may be I am missing to spot the problem.
    I did several searchers across the forum and found out that there was several same cases but unfortunately the solutions are not shared yet.
    Please for your help.

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    Full Member Big Sig's Avatar
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    If its the liners or the head gaskets then a test for exhaust gases in the coolant would confirm this.

    Have you tried a new cap?
    Now I need a turbo to keep up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Sig View Post
    If its the liners or the head gaskets then a test for exhaust gases in the coolant would confirm this.

    Have you tried a new cap?
    Its was my first gess. I will replace it tomorrow and give it a new try. Considuring Maurice's collant problem my next step will be closer coolant lines expecton.

    I am very curious how many of you guys owning V6 cdti had expirencied head gusket problem or the worst case scenariou - sunk liners?

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    Regular Member Celes's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Opel Signum

    Trim : Sport

    Engine : 3.0 CDTI

    Year : 12/03

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    I lost almost a litre of coolant in 10k km on my 200.000km 3.0CDTi. We couldn't find the leak anywhere, pressure test showed no leaks. The service manager told me it could be the cooling chamber between the heads that split a bit. I kept losing coolant, but that wasn't rev or load related.
    I added a sealant of some sort in the expansion tank, let it run through the system, then I dropped the coolant level to the middle of the expansion tank (cold engine spec) and have been monitoring the coolant since then. All fine...

    Try your luck with that

    Sunk cylinder liner(s) would cause a severe drop in compression on the cylinder(s) and the engine wouldn't run.

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    Regular Member Maurice's Avatar
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    Well , I still have the coolant problems. I'm now in a "battle" with my workshop who did the headjob on the car.I suspect them to delivered me a crapy job! For now i changed the coolant lines and cap. Also cleaned the reservoir. But all the effort didn't help me..

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    Cheers,

    I tried with a new cap and on first long distance trip it was no problem. Another two trips and there was a bit of level dropping once. No warnings. In the city the level still stays around the mark.
    Did the sniffer test twice (after nice revs) and no CO/CO2 in the coolant. The engine starts smooth like always even in the cold mornings - below -10C.
    The service manager still insists that the head gasket (liner) is gone but wouldn't go for such 1200EUR repair with just assumptions

    Meanwhile, i noticed that previously the coolant was constantly flowing into expansion tank trough the upper house. The upper house coming from the top of engine is connected to the upper tanks hole. No difference if the engine was just started or work temperature was reached. Now the coolant is coming trough lower house. When it is cold the flow is hardly noticeable. Is this a normal? And what is the normal higher level of the coolant when the engine is under extensive load? The thermostat has been tested and the dealer reported that it works fine. No visible bumps on the house lines to the tank. The water pump has been replaced by warranty before 4 years.

    Will appreciate any help and advice

  7. #7
    Regular Member Celes's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Opel Signum

    Trim : Sport

    Engine : 3.0 CDTI

    Year : 12/03

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    Quote Originally Posted by krabogi View Post
    Meanwhile, i noticed that previously the coolant was constantly flowing into expansion tank trough the upper house. The upper house coming from the top of engine is connected to the upper tanks hole. No difference if the engine was just started or work temperature was reached. Now the coolant is coming trough lower house. When it is cold the flow is hardly noticeable. Is this a normal? And what is the normal higher level of the coolant when the engine is under extensive load? The thermostat has been tested and the dealer reported that it works fine. No visible bumps on the house lines to the tank. The water pump has been replaced by warranty before 4 years.
    Warm the engine up nicely and let it run with the cap off. Sounds to me like you have an air lock somewhere? Or it could simply be that the upper hose is blocked...that's what happened to my old 3.0CDTi

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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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    Ive noticed a few people having an issue with the expansion tanks having a very small and very fine split in it causing the coolant leak. Might be worth removing it from the car and having a good look over it.

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    I've let the engine run without the cap for 30-40 min. Been on trip this weekend I lost a lots of coolant again - 300 ml for 150 km with 130km/h and almost 500-600ml backwards (average speed > 130km/h). Arraying in the evening I sow under bonnet when the engine was just stopped that steam was nosy going trough the cap. Not sure but might be in between the tanks seem too. In the morning after, coolant level was still high before I open the tank cap.
    Another think I noticed in regular morning checks that coolant level tends to vary. Some times it is dropping but in the next morning it is little bit up. May be it is because of the cold winter nights?

    A new coolant hose for the upper return line has been ordered. Will replace it before the trip next weekend. Finger crossed, but everything points to the excessive pressure in the coolant system I hope just the head gasket(s) is gone.

    Took two video clips. The first one is after 40km drive with normal speed ~80-90 km/h. You can see the bobbles in the tank. The upper hose spits out aired coolant but mostly air.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-9mL08K72g

    The second one is after the huge lost (500-600). Sorry for the quality but it is shot with cell phone cam.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCCH615lSK8

    No any white smoke from out the back, just black in fast accelerations. The fuel consumption and performance are still fine. I really enjoy the car but things goes worse I think.
    Is it possible eventually, the cracked tank can be the reason for such high pressure in the cooling system?

  10. #10
    Regular Member si_hoss's Avatar
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    Maybe obvious but in the first video the tank is grossly over filled! On my 2.2DTi the lip round the middle of the tank is the max mark when cold, surely the 3.0 V6 is the same? The second video looks more like it. Would the system if driven overfilled not drain somehow as over pressure as has been explained?

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