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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I got a low coolant level warning last Saturday am before leaving on a 260 mile trip for Norfolk with my 4 year old daughter. I popped the bonnet and there was brown red fluid over the black plastic tank cover and all over the top of the bottle. When I turned the cap there was no pressure in the system and no water in the tank except just at the bottom. I called Yeovil Peugeot and they asked if I had a narrow or wide cap on the expansion bottle. I had a narrow one and they asked if I had noticed any other leaks, wet patches moisture around the engine. I said no all dry and they said it would be the cap and that was £4. So I went down and got one after topping off with water and replaced it. Drove it about for 20 mins to get hot and checked it all and it was ok, so off on our 260 mile trip.

No warnings or issues until we got to Cambs and low coolant message. Pulled over and the brown red fluid had covered the black plastic cover again in a spray pattern and the area around the power fluid cap was full of water. I undid the cap and again no pressure, I topped it off with water I had in the car just in case. Anyway got to Norfolk and yet again it had blown out but not all of it this time.

This is very bizarre! So I spent Monday under the bonnet with my old man. We checked all the pipes and joints and no leaks. Got the car hot and checked all the pipes and joints and no leaks. Kept it revved up to 3.5k when hot and no leaks. The coolant level dropped a little in the tank and bubbles are seen coming from the top small pipe with some coolant. So we changed the thermostat and flushed the pipes, block and rad with clean water and topped off with 3 Ltrs of red coolant and 3 Ltrs of water. Checked the oil dip stick and fill pipe and all clean and no sign of emulsion and the water has no sign of oil. Took it to Swaffam about 11 miles return and got half way and a low coolant message. Stopped and looked and it had gone below min. Topped it off and carried on to Swaffam. When we got there I popped the bonnet and again it had blown water. So thinking it must be a worn clamp I changed them and no more loss of water and when we got back to Norfolk I unscrewed the cap and got a big hiss and the water level rose for the first time in 3 days.

I thought it was all good until on our way home to Somerset today we got within 10 miles of home and low coolant level! Stopped and popped the bonnet and it had just dropped below the min mark, but this time here are some pictures.

I am lost now of what the problem is. I have a new thermostat from Peugeot, a new expansion cap top, new clips and it's been flushed through about 3 times now and it is still blowing / loosing water. I've checked the engine and pipes again and RAD of course, been under the car with bright torch and behind the engine and all is dry except for where the water from the expansion bottle drains onto the power pump.

Hot under pressure


Hot under pressure


Hot under pressure low coolant warning on


Hot pressure released



Can anyone help with what the problem may be? Is there a bleeding procedure for the coolant system? Have I got trapped air? How tight should the expansion cap be? as I'm doing it up until I can't turn it any further. Should the coolant level be checked and filled to MAX only when cold?

Sorry for the stupid questions but I use this car every day and cover about 180 miles each day too so I need to get to the bottom of it.

Thank you,


PB
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is there a crack in the expansion tank? The first photo has some staining near what looks like a hairline crack? See circled area on the attached version.
Hi. No I've just checked it and it's part of the moulding. New close up below. The tank is pressurising all the time though but the levels are so erratic. Could the new cap be faulty? I've checked the o ring each time the cap has been off and it's fine.



Thanks PB

PS, it's a 2002 2.0 Hdi 100.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for that.

Well for that cost I may as well change it. My fear is head gasket maybe starting to fail but there is no over heating and it sits about 80 except stuck in traffic which goes to about 90 and the fans kick in about 95.The coolant is clean and no oil residue or scum in the tank, the oil filler and cap is clean and the oil is nice and light grey on the dip stick so no obvious signs to me :(
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Update

Todays update.

Drove 67 miles from Yeovil to Barnstaple and low coolant level warning. Had my iPhone with me and took this video.

As you will see almost all the coolant has blown out of the cap and it's still bubbling from the bottom hose which is connected to the Rad. I've purchased another thermostat in hope there is a problem with the one I bought last week. Other than this I guess the head gasket has started to fail as where the hell is the excess pressure comming from? I have no other explanation now as there are no leaks of coolant in the pipes, rad, valves, block or gasket that anyone can physicaly see. This problem must now be down to just excess pressure in the system but from where?????

Still no oil residue in the water and no emulsion in the oil, dip stick or filler cap and pipe. I had the tank tested today with a compressor and the pipes blocked and all good so no cracks. I have no idea now:mad:.

Help please!
 
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Bleeding procedure is to fill the system up and rev the engine at 1500rpm until the fans cut in. Then open the bleed nipples and dispell any air as you fill the expansion tank further.
Leave the cap off while doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
get a pressure test done on the system, see if pumps-up as soon as the engine starts.
Cheers DPMiller, will get it investigated on Tuesday when it's with my local garage.

I have now replaced the thermostat i purchased from Peugeot last weekend with one from Halfords and they look totaly different. For a start the opening is much wider and has 83 stamped onto the top and no little hole with a brass rod through it. I filled the system as you should with all the valves open by using the home made header tank extension. Let it bleed through and then closed the heater bleed valve, then the thermostat valve and once the expansion tank got down to max, the lower air filter bleed valve.

Took it for a spin and for the first time i got a warm heater in just minutes and roasting hot in 5. I never got this before and the temp got to 90! No leaks yet and looks good. So maybe a big air lock was in the heater matrix which has now been displaced with the right fill and bleed procedure?

Cheers
PB
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bleeding procedure is to fill the system up and rev the engine at 1500rpm until the fans cut in. Then open the bleed nipples and dispell any air as you fill the expansion tank further.
Leave the cap off while doing this.
Thanks for this :thumb: It would have been a much easier process if you could reach the heater bleed without having to remove the air box top!

Never mind as it's done now a quite a bit of air came out from that valve too.
 

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Im experiencing exactly the same symptoms.

I had a lower rad pip coolant leak a couple of months ago.
Took it to a local garage who pulled the hose off, drained it, chopped the hose by a couple of cm and put a new jubilee clip on.

Then to fill it, he just filled it up and ran the engine while filling it up some more, then left it idling for a while.

It was great for a short while until I started getting 'Top up coolant' again.

I pop the bonnet, look at the expansion tank, it's below the min mark.
So I slowly take the cap off...it hisses a little, I open some more, it then gets a nice big pressure release hissing, and the expansion tank fills up to the max mark.

I then get some bubbling...like big bubbles coming from the bottom hose into the expansion tank (the outer part), yet the level doesn't really drop again.

So I turn the engine on, leave it idling and I can see water filling back into the expansion tank as it should, but it's full of tiny bubbles...almost frothy.
If I rev it, and peek over, it turns into a full stream.

I really rev it and look at the tank and the level has grown to way higher than max. Let it idle and it eventually drops back down to normal. I put the cap back on and away we go.

Until next time when it does it all again. Drops to below min, then when I take the cap off, it gushes back to the right level.

I did hear a faint hissing coming from the tank/cap area, so I replaced that. It's still bubbling etc and Ive just topped it up again, but we'll see how it goes.
 

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to the above: sounds exactly like what my 206 did with a blown head gasket.

If I'm correct, when the engine has been off for a while, there should be no pressure released when opening the expansion tank. If there is, it's a sign that exhaust gasses are entering the coolant system. which means the head gasket is blown.

I'm sure somebody will correct me if I'm wrong :)
 

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Time for a simple pressure test methinks.

Loosen cap to depressurise, re-tighten. Squeeze nearest accessible rad hose, get someone to start the engine. If the hose pumps-up hard rapidly, definitely time to consider HG (or watercooled EGR where fitted) issues.
 

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Thanks chaps. Apologies for hijacking someone else's thread.
Had it in the garage yesterday, and the bit under the air filter housing....one pipe in, one pipe out...was stone cold and we couldn't figure out why (when the engine was hot).

So he took the pipes off it and joined them (thus bypassing it)...when doing so, stone cold water trickled out. He tried blowing air into it, but still nothing....seemed blocked.
So he bypassed it and refilled the system.

The result was that there was much less 'frothy' on the return pipe into the expansion tank. Still the occasional bubbling, but not as much.

I had to top it up again last night, but he had put too much in when filling, so I took some out.

Checked it before work this morning, cold...and the expansion tank level was bang in the middle. I opened the cap and there was no discernable release of pressure. (which is good, right? As it was cold).
Drove to work (8 minute local drive), and left it.
Just checked now as I came out of work and the level was just above max, fired the engine up and it dropped back to middle of the bottle again (Right between min and max).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi all,

well i've been watching my post here and what Bod has gone through. After visiting two independant garages this week I am very peed off to say the head gasket has gone. The cost is £1300 as the cam belt, water pump and solid flywheel and clutch is being done at the same time.

If I have learnt one thing here it's that if you lose water from the expansion bottle either via the cap or pipe connections and you have large pressure and any kind of bubbling in the bottle, your head gasket is gone.

I must say that as I have only owned it for just over a month, I am gutted about how much this car is costing me over all. I paid £1700 for it with FSH and have spend £200 on service, fluids etc, £150 on PP2000 and now £1300 on head gasket, clutch, flywheel, cam belt and waterpump. Oh there is also the £260 on new combined cat and dpf and connection pipes and £100 on fitted blinds.

However, I love my 307 and so does my 5 year old daughter so i'm not going to get rid of it.
 

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Signs of head gasket failure are the bubbling in the radiator expansion pipe, the oil becomes a little like emulsion, and oil in the expansion tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Signs of head gasket failure are the bubbling in the radiator expansion pipe, the oil becomes a little like emulsion, and oil in the expansion tank.
Didn't get any oil in the water or emulsion. The car was even checked at Pug Yeovil for over an hour and they and two other garages said it's not the head gasket but after continual problems I had other garages look at it and as it got worse then the tell tail signs became obvious and a sniffer test proved it once and for all.
 

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£1300???? That seems a bit steep!

I did mine myself, cost me about £150+vat in parts (Complete Gasket Kit, Water Pump, Oil and Filter, Cam Belt + Tensioner, New head bolts, Feeler gauge to do valve timings and an angle gauge + torque wrench to tighten the head bolts.)
and £40 to have the head skimmed.

took me two days to do and the car is good as new!

This was on a 1.4 petrol 206, but I'm sure if you got yourself a Haynes manual, and a free day or two you could save yourself close to £1000!.

But yeah, pressure in the expansion tank when the engine is off/cool is a pretty common symptom of head gasket on the exhaust manifold side, as it means the exhaust gasses can escape into the cooling system.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Could it be my EGR?

HI,

The car is booked in for Monday for all the work, but now I am concerned that the pressure could be caused by the EGR watercooler rather than the head gasket. I DO NOT want to have all of this work done for them to say after its been put back together that there is a still a problem.

They diagnosed head gasket by using a sniffer on the tank and watching the fluid change colour. There was a lot of bubbling in the tank but I am concerned it's the EGR.

What are the chances its the EGR cooler and not the head gasket? what is the failure rate of the EGR cooler? Anyone??

Thanks
 
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