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Thread: Coolant loss.

  1. #1
    Regular Member BigWilko's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Signum

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    Engine : 3.0 CDTI

    Year : 2005

    Default Coolant loss.

    So i got into my car for a 50 mile drive home on the Thursday before Christmas only to see the coolant symbol in the little window. I popped to the stealers and picked some up. Popped it up & job done.... or so i thought. Got in this morning only to see the light on again This time i put about 400ml in.

    I'm concerned now as i now as i know that worst case scenario is it's the h**d g****t. What should i look out for and what course of action should i take to get it sorted. I have recently done an oil change (Tuesday) and there didn't look to be any contamination/ mayo. Someone please give me some reassurance.

    What's the possibility that the coolant has escaped somehow due to myself not putting the cap on tight enough after the first time i topped it up?

  2. #2
    Regular Member AntSSSS's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra Estate

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    Its not uncommon for the coolant expansion tank to fracture at the rear and cause loss... Worth a check. You will have to remove it from the housing and check to see if its damp along the seam.

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    have ya checked ya oil to ensure theres no water in there - if there is it will be a creamy sludge - seriously hope not though fella

    But first course of action would be to check thoroughly for leaks, split pipes etc

  4. #4
    Regular Member ph67's Avatar
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    It is possible that there is some air in the system which may have blown some of the coolant out, made worse if the lid of the expansion tank was not as tight as it should have been.

    Please note - a head gasket failure does not always leave any visible signs of water in the oil or vice versa - that was one of the things I said to my mechanic (who I trust) and he said that's a common thought but not always the case. Your problem may not be head gasket - I hope it's something else simpler, but I can give you my recent experiences which might help your diagnosis.

    I've just been through the pain of the Head Gasket on my Z30DT, my coolant level kept on dropping, I would top it up every 3 weeks or so until one day I could smell it and after a long run noticed steam coming up from under the bonnet - the coolant was being blown from the header tank onto the turbo heat shield.

    I would suggest you try the following:

    1. Run the engine warm and turn the heater on full for 10-15 minutes (open windows) this will flush the system around fully and may help remove any air in the system - my garage suggested this at the start of my problem in case it was just air in the system.

    2. When the engine is cool, top up your coolant to the correct level, use the car normally and get to full operating temperature, then next day when it's fully cool (before you go out) visibly check the cooland level (it might not have gone down) and MOST IMPORTANTLY open the coolant expansion tank - is there any pressure in there when you open it and does the coolant level change? Normally any air in the system will expand but would cool again so you shouldn;t get any excess pressure - if there is excess pressure then it could only be coming from the compression in the cylinders which points to the head gasket.

    3. If you have pressure in the cold coolant system as per item 2 above I suggest you go to your garange and ask them to do a sniffer test - as you have the V6 Diesel the garage won't be able to do a simple comopression test like they would on a petrol motor, the best thing is the sniffer test - they will screw a special filter cap into the expansion bottle (instead of the usual cap) and put a chemical in it which, when the engine is run to temperature, changes colour (usually green) if there is hydrocarbon in the air being pushed through the coolant system.

    Here's the link to my full original thread - http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showth...-Gasket-failed)

    Good luck.......let us know how you get on
    Last edited by ph67; 3rd January 2013 at 15:29.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Critch's Avatar
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    Get a pressure test carried out. It may well be leaking by egr cooler etc. few of us have experienced this.

    Sniff test isn't a bed idea but its doesn't always show gases leaking.

  6. #6
    Regular Member BigWilko's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for everyone's help. Well i ran the 50 mile journey to work this morning with the heater on and i topped up the coolant before i set off this morning. I just checked the header tank and there was no pressure to speak of. A sound like opening a very flat bottle of pop was heard and the coolant level didn't change.

    I shall repeat the test on the drive home and in the morning too.

  7. #7
    Regular Member BigWilko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critch View Post
    Get a pressure test carried out. It may well be leaking by egr cooler etc. few of us have experienced this.

    Sniff test isn't a bed idea but its doesn't always show gases leaking.

    How much do you reckon those tests might set me back and how long would i be without the car for?

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    Regular Member neil52's Avatar
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    i can only go by my mg, but it started to loose coolant on a regular occurance so i did a oil change all seemed ok no sludge/mayo under oil filler cap, so i took it to an mg specialist who did a presssure test which confirmed it was my head gasket, so i had headgasket water pump and cambelt and head skimmed it cost me £500 and they had car about 2 weeks but they were very busy at the time and 8 months later it all happened again but this time done under warranty

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    Regular Member ph67's Avatar
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    The sniffer test only took about 20 mins all told - my engine was cold so they had to run it to warm it up. I don't know how long the pressure test would take, I didn't go down that route as my garage thought it not worth it due to the sniff test being pretty conclusive in my case....maybe Critch can tell us that......

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigWilko View Post
    Thanks so much for everyone's help. Well i ran the 50 mile journey to work this morning with the heater on and i topped up the coolant before i set off this morning. I just checked the header tank and there was no pressure to speak of. A sound like opening a very flat bottle of pop was heard and the coolant level didn't change.

    I shall repeat the test on the drive home and in the morning too.
    did u check this

    Its not uncommon for the coolant expansion tank to fracture at the rear and cause loss... Worth a check. You will have to remove it from the housing and check to see if its damp along the seam

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