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Gurgling water sound from engine bay

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 18 Dec 2014, 12:53 pm
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Default Gurgling water sound from engine bay

Hi all,

My UK/Export 2.4 PT (2004) has been driving remarkably well last few months but just today I got back to it and started the engine (it hadn't had chance to cool down much as I was only in a store for about 10 mins) and I heard a bubbling/gurgling sound from just in front of the drivers side.

This sound kept happening when accelerating from idle.

My initial thought was head gasket perhaps had failed (call me negative...), but (so far at least) no sign of coolant in the oil. The oil level seems normal, coolant level also seems normal.

Bit puzzled - what should I be checking?

Steve
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Old 18 Dec 2014, 02:00 pm
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Default Re: Gurgling water sound from engine bay

Gurgling water sound would most likely indicate a head gasket issue, how many miles on the car? Has it ever overheated?
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Old 18 Dec 2014, 02:23 pm
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Default Re: Gurgling water sound from engine bay

Very well could be the water in the overflow bottle of the radiator sitting next to the firewall. If your overheating at all, that's the coolant that will sound like gurgling and eventually push out through the top of the container. Although this usually happens when idling or after you stop the engine.
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Old 18 Dec 2014, 03:35 pm
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Default Re: Gurgling water sound from engine bay

Check to see that the coolant level is 'full' to where it should be. It might just be down a little.
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Old 18 Dec 2014, 05:02 pm
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Default Re: Gurgling water sound from engine bay

You left it idling whilst in store???
BAD - you get zero MPG while idling...
Where was temperature gauge?
Check to see engine fan is operating - the gurgling sound is water bubbling into overflow bottle.
When car is cold, open radiator cap and top off to the brim, then add water to overflow bottle...
Your headgasket WILL fail if you do not attend to this....but the sound is likely not due to headgasket.
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Old 18 Dec 2014, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: Gurgling water sound from engine bay

I would suggest opening the radiator cap when its cold, make sure its full of coolant, start it up and after engine gets up to normal temperature see if you are getting a lot of bubbles coming out of the radiator.
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Old 19 Dec 2014, 06:40 am
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Default Re: Gurgling water sound from engine bay

Sorry I wasn't clear - it was parked up (engine off) while I was in store, but I'd been driving for 45 mins previous to stopping so the engine wouldn't have cooled down.

When I came back out of the store and started up again (engine temp still exactly middle on the gauge as it tends to sit) I heard the bubbling/gurgling sound when I tapped the accelerator.

When I got home and waited for it to cool it had lost around a pint of coolant.

I had to drive last night (typically vet emergency in the middle of the night and had to get our dog to the clinic) so I topped up the coolant again, made the journey to the clinic and back (around 90 miles round trip as we're in the middle of nowhere). This morning the coolant had dropped again by about half a pint of coolant.

Engine oil level normal (middle of min & max on dipper). No sign of white goo, or black smoke from exhaust.

Driving home last night the temp gauge did jump up very slightly above the half way mark where it normally sits - but the car has never overheated.
Fans are working, Radiator cap seems fine.

I've just dropped it at a garage to see if they can confirm head gasket or otherwise.

78K miles on clock - suddenly getting expensive this year having had most of it's suspension system replaced (UK Roads are rubbish) so not sure if I'll get it fixed if it is the head, cost is likely to be most of what the car is worth sadly.
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Old 19 Dec 2014, 07:23 am
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Default Re: Gurgling water sound from engine bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by stek2008 View Post
I've just dropped it at a garage to see if they can confirm head gasket or otherwise.
That was a good idea, before anything gets worse.
If it is the head gasket, spend the extra $100-$150 & replace the timing belt & water pump whiles it's apart. Otherwise, you might be spending $1200 later on.
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Old 19 Dec 2014, 09:05 am
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Default Re: Gurgling water sound from engine bay

I would suggest making sure you don't have air in the coolant system. I would do a coolant leak test to see if the coolant is leaking somewhere else allowing air in the coolant system. Sometimes the hose from the radiator cap to the overflow tank goes bad and allows air to into the coolant system.
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