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Thread: Coolant Loss

  1. #1
    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    Coolant Loss

    Hi all, as some may have followed I have a coolant leak on my new Corsa C.

    I have lost a few CM over 2-3days, I know for certain when I flex the breather on the top of the coolant tank while the engine is hot that some steam comes out because I can hear the hiss.

    Is it safe to say this will be slowing leaking steam while the car is been driven?

    The breather itself has been taped at the end and has a jubilee clip on the breather rarther then the traditional breather clip and looks brand new so can assume it has been recently done.


    My questions are as followings;

    Can I cut off the end of the breather and reapply juiblee clip, or a propper breather clip to stop the leak?

    Are there any other things I can do to find out where I am losing coolant?

    - I did have the car tested for contaminants in the coolant and garage advised nothing came up and definatly nothing wrong with HG.

    I have circled where on the below image;

  2. #2
    'VXR' Member Taurus's Avatar
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    If I read that right then it seems likely that loose hose is a probable cause of coolant loss. Anything that allows steam to escape is going to result in coolant loss.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]https://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

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    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    Topped it up and did fifty mile, coolant is collecting round the rim of the tank so it's definitely losing a bit during driving now. Will try fix it tomorrow. Couldn't find a replacement easy enough as not sure what breather it is or size. Easiest way to get another new one ?

    Will chop an inch off tomorrow and refit the jubilee clip it has until I get a propper OEM clip.

    Sound decent or bodge?

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    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    There's the leak. Well as far as faults go I can live with this. Will try sort it and keep inspecting to get it like new

    Can I get away with that clip or should I get a propper breather clip?

  5. #5
    'VXR' Member Taurus's Avatar
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    Are you sure it's the clip/hose and not a crack in the connector on the tank? Can't tell off the photo, so just mentioning the possibility.

    To be honest a jubilee clip is perfectly capable of securing a hose like that.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]https://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

  6. #6
    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    It could be, only removal will tell, I hope they haven't damaged it with over tightening that clip.

    going to have a look at it now, will report back.

    If tanks damaged I replace tank, but that's why I was asking questions as want to make sure however I go about fixing it its done properly.

  7. #7
    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    OK so still getting gunk in my oil but after massaging the breathers / running on idle for 15mins it seems that my rev upon start has dropped (felt it was a little high) and its stopped doing it, could be a fluke.


    IMO jubilee clips are not the best thing to seal breathers at least here as the clip used was too big and wasn't really biting down enough and it was egg-shaped so hopefully this other clip I tried is better, you can see where some has been steaming/leaking out of the end of the pipe.

    Before;


    Not cuts in it at all I believe its sealed;



    I used a fuel line clip instead as it seems to clamp down with the full circle "shape" rather then a egg shaped adjustment like the other one


    Yanked on the cable and no hiss now, also fan was kicking in and could feel more pressure in the breather (this breather that goes from tank to rad) so think its solved.




    No HG fail, but now I want to work out why this is happening, maybe blocked breathers after the "really ****ty oil state" it was in. Not sure yet which breathers to massage/remove/clean yet or if that's even a worthy idea?

    So, for now I will keep an eye on the coolant level but if it still goes down I must assume its going into my oil

    But in meantime what else can I look at/try to stop gunk?
    Last edited by Aaron; 09-09-2013 at 10:24 AM.

  8. #8
    'VXR' Member Taurus's Avatar
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    Jubilee clips are fine - if you use the right size! So if the wrong one was on it makes sense to replace it.

    Mayo is a very common issue on these engines, especially if they're used round town/short journeys - or they've not been run for a while. It's usually just natural water vapour from combustion getting into the oil and condensing out on the coldest part of the engine. The way to avoid it is to try to get the engine good and hot regularly, ie do a long trip once a week. In cars which do a lot of short journeys the oil holds a higher content of water hence the need to change the oil more frequently.

    Check the breather pipes from the camshaft cover to the throttle body to make sure they are clear.

    A car which has been stood for a while can take quite a long time for the water content of the oil to burn off.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]https://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

  9. #9
    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    I've just had an oil change few days ago.

    And my daily runs will be 45mile runs each way.

    I'll check those pipes are clear, maybe It just needs more time running to get the crap out the engine, can see my fresh oil getting more dark already so it's working its magic cleaning it up!

    The cars 10 years old and in good nick and only done 53k miles, its spent the last few months doing barely 3 miles a day so I know I got to blast the "town car grog" from it just thought 2 trips to York would've cleaned it up by now. It has been sat half its life properly.

    Should I check breathers, if clear - just keep cleaning the mayo and hope it goes by the next 1k miles and oil change?

    I thought I would inspect the coolant tank and it does appear to show some sign of damage, it may be cracked but I've not felt any steam or loss from that side so will keep an eye on it, if I am still indeed losing coolant the tank is the next thing to go then. It could be a crack or just a messy seal from when it was made along where the parts are joined together - pic below.



    Ignore the grease, its WD40.
    Last edited by Aaron; 09-09-2013 at 12:00 PM.

  10. #10
    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    After a long drive I had a quick peek and tank looked almost empty. Should I wait until cold to check? What things can go wrong to loose coolant without seeing a leak? Hope I ain't losing it intk engine as really expensive fix I'm guessing ??

  11. #11
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    Just follow ALL coolant pipes from header bottle, along the top of the radiator to where it "T" junctions.

    From there one will go to radiator the other to water pump.

    Check every gap you can see through around the water pump.

    Check top short hose from thermostat back to radiator.

    Then very thin hose that runs from back of water pump into throttle body then the hose that exits the throttle body back to expansion bottle.

    Then roughly in line with oil cap go to the fire wall / bulk head there should be two thicker hoses coming out from there one goes to water pump one to EGR.

    Give ALL those a check and see if any white or discoloured powder type substance is present anywhere.

  12. #12
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    Coolant Loss-24ez3br.jpg

    Anything like this or a white fluffy powder. But also like taurus has said check and clean out the two rear right rocker cover breather hoses as you look at the engine as they get filled with gunk quite often, I also have had them filled with smelly orange / yellow gunk.

  13. #13
    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    BI've got no stains like that. But do get mayo. Did you see my tank image. Does the factory seal look a bit split to you?

    Will take your post outside with me and see if I can see any white stains. I have not yet but may have missed a few pipes. Don't know where water pump is yet.

    Will follow t junction line you said. Have looked there but not underneath.


    Can I loose coolant due to them two topside breathers been blocked?
    Last edited by Aaron; 12-09-2013 at 03:20 PM.

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    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    OCan't see any white stains anywhere, is some mayo in the breather but Dont see how they come off at the back so not cleaned it. Coolant is really low. Checked t shape and all around there shows no white stains down there. Could I be losing coolant into oil after all?

    The seal of the tank looks a bit **** to me, thinking of taking some tissue to it to see if steam is lost through side of it.??

    Should I run the car in a way like with cap off for a bit to see if helps?

    Took some pictures and will add, I'm not much of a mechanic like you guys but I did really try to look everywhere for white stains and see nothing. I can get leaving it standing for four days when next off but sure it only goes down during use so I assume as steam.
    Last edited by Aaron; 12-09-2013 at 04:18 PM.

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    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    No idea what this value thing is;



    Bit slimy inside, couldn't get it off at the other end, didn't want to force it. Couldn't see no clip.






    Tiny drip that you might be ale to make out;

    Did spill some coolant when topping up.
    Last edited by Aaron; 12-09-2013 at 08:18 PM. Reason: fixed double post

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    'VXR' Member Taurus's Avatar
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    I can't spot anything obvious there. You asked where the water pump is - if you look on the driver's side of the engine, the top pulley is driving the water pump. The pump itself is bolted to the timing cover, so it's behind that pulley. You'll see the thermostat housing on the front end of it and the Coolant Temp. Sensor bolted into the top of it (yours is a bit green coloured). Just behind the CTS is a pipe running from the water pump to the throttle body - check that pipe carefully. They made a batch with a plastic connection into the water pump and they fracture.

    Since you are clearly losing coolant it's important to find out where it's going, and also to keep a close eye on the temperature gauge. Do not let the engine overheat - it kills those engines as the head warps and crushes the headgasket.

    Now in terms of finding where the coolant is going:

    A) Hopefully it's nothing worse than a leak - if you can't track down a leak then it's possible it's very small and only emitting steam when hot. Ways to check - you can use a dye (Coolant Leak Detection Dye), or you can wait until it's dark then get the engine hot and search using a bright narrow beam torch. It will show steam up more easily.

    Check the cap on the header tank - if that's leaking you will lose coolant. It's worth replacing if you have any doubts about it.

    B) If there's no sign of a leak then it's possible it's going into the engine internally. It's clearly not major at the moment so you wouldn't spot the coolant pipes pressuring when cold (but worth checking just in case) - but you could try putting a clear bowl under the tailpipe and letting the engine idle for a while. You will collect some water which is normal combustion byproducts - but it ought to be clear. Any sign of coolant colour in water coming out of the tailpipe means that coolant is getting into the combustion chambers.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]https://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

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    Aaron (12-09-2013)

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    Following on from Taurus can you get a mirror down near where your alternator is and check for any leakage there as it's hard to see by tilting your own head and looking, check all the bad corners of the water pump and report back if any leakage.

    Taurus

    At this point would you think maybe a new expansion bottle to eliminate a 50 / 50 issue. Or maybe a coolant pressure test?

    Just a thought of cause??

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    Aaron (12-09-2013)

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    'VXR' Member Taurus's Avatar
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    You could try a new bottle and a pressure check - but take it one step at a time and check the cap first, then try looking in the dark with a torch. If the bottle is leaking you'll spot it that way.
    tanktop likes this.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]https://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

  21. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Taurus For This Useful Post:

    Aaron (12-09-2013),tanktop (12-09-2013)

  22. #19
    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    I just drove to york and the level has not changed there.

    I'll try and do what you guys suggested, again I cant see any leak anywhere but thats probably because its coming out as steam (it doesnt drip while parked AFAIK either).

    I cant afford it till end of month, but I'll try get another tank to rule it out . Does the seal look a bit ****ty from that photo? It almost looks kinda split and resealed, but thats on the outside and it could well be a sealed unit.

    I have tried to run engine in idle and get it hot then feel the pipes to see if I can feel any steam but I feel nothing, it never gets hot enough for fan to kick in for ages, plus doesnt happen while driving either (temp stays around 80).

    Garage said I wasnt getting anything into my coolant from the test they did, but could be possible to go one way into engine and not have any substance enter Could ask for pressure test but 50/50 they did one cant remember 100% though.

    Cap does seem sturdy, but for what its worth I should get a replacement.

    Since I didnt lose any on that drive, but I somehow lost coolant on the last 3. Seems normal then suddenly drops?

    Thanks for all the help guys, hopefully get this sorted.



    How long do I need to idle to get it hot to see steam? I could try looking in dark now in works car park thats all but again, cant see or feel any steam during day from tank.

    Did try to get the cap on really tight this time though. Could it be?
    Last edited by Aaron; 12-09-2013 at 07:29 PM.

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    'VXR' Member Aaron's Avatar
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    Scratch that, unable to find steam running the car there.

    Coolant has gone down a bit, but not much, at this rate will be back to bottom of tank in 4 days (400 miles).

    I think if the tank seal is not 100% ild know about it and the liquid would be more obvious. But is a leak somewhere....

    I touched and sniffed the water from exhaust and it didnt smell of anything and was clear.
    Last edited by Aaron; 12-09-2013 at 08:20 PM.

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