I've had my 04 Vec (1.8 petrol) for 3 years now and am very sad to say that I've encountered my first problem (well, problem that I'm unsure about how to fix)
A couple of days ago I started my engine and got the coolant warning symbol on the dash, so I checked the expansion bottle, found the level about an inch or so below the line and topped it up. Just assumed it was because of the mentally low temperature. There is antifreeze in there (well I assume Nationwide put antifreeze in when they did my water pump... it's bright yellow) so I thought no more about it.
Today I took the car out to a mates house, about 10 miles away. When I went to leave, the coolant light came on again and I was worried to find the level had dropped an inch again. Filled up and carried on home, only for the light to come on again about a mile from my house.
Strange thing is that when I was driving the temp indicator dropped to minimum (less than 80c I think), but when I stopped, it climbed back up again to around where it would normally be when driving in winter.
Ran the engine on the driveway and took a look under the bonnet, but saw no visible leak. There was a fair bit of flakey rust around the right hand side of the exhaust manifold (the only bit I could see without removing the cover), but it looked like it had developed over a long period. I ran it for about 10 minutes while I checked for leaks, but the level didn't drop any further, again just sitting about an inch below the "cold" line.
I found that if I revved the engine, I'd get spurts of water from the tailpipe, but I'm not sure whether these were simply condensation, or the result of a leak somewhere...
The car has done 65k miles without significant problem and has been well maintained (by me anyway, that might not count as "well"!) Water pump replaced along with cambelt 11 months (12k) ago.
Anyone got any ideas for me?