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Losing coolant...

 
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Old 01 Aug 2010, 12:58 pm
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Location: Bristol, UK
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Default Losing coolant...

Hi all,

Anyone have any tips here... my 2000 PT (UK, Export version) is overheating. The cause appears to be it losing coolant... but it's happening very slowly and no sign of any leaks.

Scientific-ish tests today showed it takes around 90miles of motorway driving before any overheating starts. Cool down the car and check the radiator and it's almost empty.

Temperature gauge up to the 90mile mark of the journey stays right in the middle.

Fan is working (motor recently replaced), thermostat also replaced. Head gasket replaced 12 months ago - but my mechanic has checked with a some sort of scope and can see no water getting through.
Overwise drives absolutely fine - just have to top up to the coolant frequently....

Any tips appreciated. Time for a pressure test perhaps?

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 01 Aug 2010, 01:22 pm
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Default Re: Losing coolant...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stek2008 View Post
Hi all,

Anyone have any tips here... my 2000 PT (UK, Export version) is overheating. The cause appears to be it losing coolant... but it's happening very slowly and no sign of any leaks.

Scientific-ish tests today showed it takes around 90miles of motorway driving before any overheating starts. Cool down the car and check the radiator and it's almost empty.

Temperature gauge up to the 90mile mark of the journey stays right in the middle.

Fan is working (motor recently replaced), thermostat also replaced. Head gasket replaced 12 months ago - but my mechanic has checked with a some sort of scope and can see no water getting through.
Overwise drives absolutely fine - just have to top up to the coolant frequently....

Any tips appreciated. Time for a pressure test perhaps?

Thanks,
Steve
Did you bleed the radiator? Are you using HOAT antifreeze? Any antifreeze in the oil? Any white smoke coming out the tail pipe? Are you sure the fan is working? Do you hear the coolant boiling over?
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Old 01 Aug 2010, 01:31 pm
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Default Re: Losing coolant...

Yes, if your sure there's no head gasket leak, you could have a very tiny leak somewhere that doesn't show up till the system gets hot and under pressure while your driving. If it's leaking onto something hot it would burn off. A pressure check wold put the same kind of pressure as when your driving.
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Old 01 Aug 2010, 02:34 pm
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Default Re: Losing coolant...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino View Post
Did you bleed the radiator? Are you using HOAT antifreeze? Any antifreeze in the oil? Any white smoke coming out the tail pipe? Are you sure the fan is working? Do you hear the coolant boiling over?
No antifreeze in oil / white smoke.
The radiator was completely drained, flushed and refilled - although I can't 100% say it was HOAT antifreeze. Could the type be the problem?
The local garage here said that the antifreeze was suitable for all engines...

Fan definitely working - at both speeds.

As to coolant boiling over - don't hear it around the overheating, but often when first refilled there's a very small amount of it coming out of the overflow in the reservoir tank - but we're talking very very little.
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Old 01 Aug 2010, 04:13 pm
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Default Re: Losing coolant...

PT's MUST have HOAT antifreeze, coolant suitable for all engines will possibly clog your radiator and engine. Flush and refill with HOAT!!!.
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Old 01 Aug 2010, 05:59 pm
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Default Re: Losing coolant...

And than bleed out the air.
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Old 01 Aug 2010, 09:50 pm
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Default Re: Losing coolant...

Hoat is simply the recommended antifreeze type. PTs don't have some kind of magical engine material that can only come in contact with HOAT antifreeze. Prestone, for example, would work just fine, and countless customers at our shop use just that with absolutely no trouble at all.

In most cases, if you're losing coolant but don't have any visible leaks, the culprit is often the heater core.
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Old 04 Aug 2010, 10:47 am
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Default Re: Losing coolant...

Thanks for the suggestions so far guys.

Car went back into the shop yesterday - they flushed the coolant, and refilled with HOAT just in case. Test drive and it still over heated.

They've pressure tested this morning. The initial read was at 15.8psi apparently - which he tells me is about the norm, but after running for 45 mins this dropped to just over 10psi.

The coolant level is definitely dropping - but there's no obvious sign of where it's escaping. He's checked again and no sign of (another) head gasket failure.

Any thoughts on likely (typically out of site) place to check, or a good diagnostic test to find the culprit to replace?

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 04 Aug 2010, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Losing coolant...

Have you checked the water pump? Those tend to need replacing around 100,000mi in most vehicles.
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Old 04 Aug 2010, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: Losing coolant...

Radiator cap? Cheap enough to replace.
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