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Old 06-11-13, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default Coolant light on, going through water like no tomorrow

Hey Guys

After a bit of advice.

Coolant light has been coming on for a while and due to work commitments I've had no time to look at the issue.

Day off today so I'm going to tackle it.

Basically I'm filling the car up with water on a daily basis. Every morning I check the water tank it's bone dry, requiring me to add more water. The car itself isn't over heating, seems to be running at normal temp but the oil temp is running a little higher than normal at just over 90 degrees.

Had a look in the oil and no white gunk in there which i'm told is a good sign as the gasket isnt on its way out.

Where do I start?

Cheers
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Old 06-11-13, 01:22 PM   #2
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Start by filling up the expansion tank, starting the engine then looking until you find the leak, checking both engine bay and inside the car just in case its a heater matrix issue.

If you can't get under the car lay down some cardboard or newspaper to catch the leak location.
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Old 06-11-13, 01:58 PM   #3
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Getting the leak sorted should be an A1 priority. Running on water is not a good thing. Corrosion can start in the system, meaning components can fail. It can sludge the rad up, plus water freezes.
Park the car on top of a large piece of cardboard or pieces of newspaper. Which will help track leaks as you can see where they drip.
Also check the carpets in the front. Best option though is get the car up on ramps (if you cannot see anything obvious from above) as the leak could be running on to other stuff and dripping down in a totally different place.
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Old 06-11-13, 02:36 PM   #4
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As mentioned, stop filling up with water right away.

Apart from corrosion issues, it is also risking major damage if it were to freeze.

Coolant also has a higher boiling point than water, so you are risking overheating too.

If there is no obvious leak, signs of head gasket failure, or overheating, change the pressure cap on the expansion tank (or radiator on older motors)

Cheap, quick, and easy, and no huge loss if that is not the issue.

If it has failed, then your coolant is evaporating.

You can have it, and your coolant system pressure tested first, but factor in the costs and it is not worth the bother until you rule out the cap.

Remember to fix the coolant ratio with the correct type.

Best of luck.
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Old 06-11-13, 05:42 PM   #5
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cheers guys - will have a look and report back
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Old 06-11-13, 06:07 PM   #6
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Petrol or diesel as the head gasket could still be the culprit if diesel as head gasket failures do different things whether petrol or diesel.

On a diesel it can use water but show no other signs diesels DO NOT MIX oil and water generally so no mayo occurs

Water pump is also a possibility as its hard to spot due to being covered
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Old 06-11-13, 06:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post

If you can't get under the car lay down some cardboard or newspaper to catch the leak location.
And remove undertray?
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