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Engine coolant leak help

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 22 Jul 2012, 01:40 pm
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Default Engine coolant leak help

Hi all

Me and my husband just brought a 2001 PT Cruiser which had no records of service history. So we decided to get it looked over at a garage just to see where we at, of course being a second hand car there are problems. Cutting the story short we decided to fix the important things first because we have 2 kids (safety first) and money is tight. At this point the car did not overheat... Wierd thing happened, we got someone to flush out the system and add new coolant. Barely a week after the car overheated, at first we thought maby he didn't put enough coolant in so we added more to the coolant reservoir which was empty. After waiting for car to cool we drove it home and it happend again, then i popped the hood and the coolant reservoir was BOILING! Next morning we found a leak on the left side of car (facing front) and the fresh new coolant was leaking very slowly.

I have checked for leaks around the reservoir, thermostat any anything above but after looking the leak is coming somewhere underneath from where the timing belt is.

Please note its a uk reg car so driving position is on the right side.

Thoughts anyone??

Thanks Tori
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Old 22 Jul 2012, 03:49 pm
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Default Re: Engine coolant leak help

Well the water pump is down there and possibly the source of your leak. This is bad news as the water pump is driven by the timing belt so is a labour intensive job = expensive. Depending on the mileage you would need pump, belt and tensioner replaced. BUT, it might just be a split hose, so worth having a closer look.

Some things to note, coolant should be the red stuff not the blue stuff and these should never be mixed. The plastic thermostat housing can microcrack and leak slowly. Radiator caps go bad also and can vent coolant at too low a pressure.

As a stop gap measure it's worth adding a bottle of Bars stop leak as this will plug any small leaks in the system, but if your pump has gone then replacement is the only option.
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Old 23 Jul 2012, 01:44 am
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Default Re: Engine coolant leak help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stempy View Post
Well the water pump is down there and possibly the source of your leak. This is bad news as the water pump is driven by the timing belt so is a labour intensive job = expensive. Depending on the mileage you would need pump, belt and tensioner replaced. BUT, it might just be a split hose, so worth having a closer look.

Some things to note, coolant should be the red stuff not the blue stuff and these should never be mixed. The plastic thermostat housing can microcrack and leak slowly. Radiator caps go bad also and can vent coolant at too low a pressure.

As a stop gap measure it's worth adding a bottle of Bars stop leak as this will plug any small leaks in the system, but if your pump has gone then replacement is the only option.
Our car has done just over 51 k and I think it's due very soon maby sooner. Not really what I wanted to hear but we're waiting for some some to have a closer look as I can see my self.

What I don't understand is, the car was fine before. Didnt overheat... Now it does. I'm just hoping its a quick fix
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Old 23 Jul 2012, 02:42 am
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Default Re: Engine coolant leak help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stempy View Post
As a stop gap measure it's worth adding a bottle of Bars stop leak as this will plug any small leaks in the system, but if your pump has gone then replacement is the only option.
Bars leak can be a short term fix, but in these cars it tends to aggravate and/or cause long term problems. I would get a proper diagnosis and repair the problem. Stop leak products rarely stop a water pump seal from leaking for any length of time, if at all.

Good luck! Keep us posted.
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Old 23 Jul 2012, 03:00 am
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Default Re: Engine coolant leak help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicky View Post
Our car has done just over 51 k and I think it's due very soon maby sooner. Not really what I wanted to hear but we're waiting for some some to have a closer look as I can see my self.

What I don't understand is, the car was fine before. Didnt overheat... Now it does. I'm just hoping its a quick fix
Well it will quickly overheat if the coolant has leaked to a level where the header tank is empty. If it seems to be full and still overheats you may just have an air lock, or the flushing of the system has plugged it up somewhere.

Does the heater work?
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Old 23 Jul 2012, 10:23 am
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Default Re: Engine coolant leak help

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Originally Posted by Stempy View Post
Well it will quickly overheat if the coolant has leaked to a level where the header tank is empty. If it seems to be full and still overheats you may just have an air lock, or the flushing of the system has plugged it up somewhere.

Does the heater work?
Yes the heater works which confuses me. The fan kicks in too so I'm guessing the thermostat works?? There is no coolant in the header tank as most or all has leaked. I'm getting someone to have a look for us to see.

I'll let you guys know thanks for reply's and help

VIcky
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Old 23 Jul 2012, 11:27 am
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Default Re: Engine coolant leak help

IIRC, you can see weep hole for water pump if you crawl under
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 02:31 pm
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Default Re: Engine coolant leak help

Weird thing, had someone come to check the leak and it had stopped! There is now no sign of any leak and after we refilled the tank and drove it up the road and back, the tank is still full and no leaks. What's happened?
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 02:44 pm
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Default Re: Engine coolant leak help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicky View Post
What's happened?
Stranger things have happened.
You go to the doctor with a back ache and it's gone when you get to see him. The tooth ache goes away while waiting for the dentist.

Maybe it only leaks when everything is hot and when you had someone come to look at it, it hadn't heated up yet.
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 04:22 pm
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Default Re: Engine coolant leak help

Yeh maybe. all hoses and water pump checked and no sign of any leaks from there ... The a/c line had been cut though?? Would that have any bearing on leaking from the system?
It was a really hot day when I drove it last and the coolant seemed to go right through the system within a matter of minutes yet today it's stayed put. I'm so confused??
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