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Corsa 1.4 SRI - 61 plate. Fugged?

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  • [All Models] Corsa 1.4 SRI - 61 plate. Fugged?

    Any advice appreciated.

    Water pump replaced Sept after missus told me that EMS light and temperature warning had been flashing for two days.

    Since then, and wasn't an issue before, car has been losing coolant. Seems to be more on short journeys as opposed to longer trips. Around 4/5 of header tank gone in 10 days.

    Garage (main dealer) have had vehicle in four times and are adamant that there is no external leakage. Car does lose a little pressure and water under test but minimal.

    Could be head gasket - mayo under oil cap. But none on dipstick and carbon monoxide test (?) was negative. So maybe not that ... maybe a hairline crack in engine ... they claim to have no idea.

    Had to bring car back home and really don't know what to do with the fugger. Got two years finance still o/s.

  • #2
    These engines do not tolerate being overheated so if it's been driven with the warning light flashing my experience of them is there's almost certainly some internal damage.

    There are two main ways they lose coolant internally, the first is the timing cover gasket forms a seal behind the water pump. If that fails coolant gets into the oil which forms emulsion. However these engines frequently create emulsion around the oil filler cap anyway if used for short journeys so that of itself is not conclusive. It's a matter of how much emulsion and how much coolant you're losing / compared to oil level.

    The other main issue with overheating them is that the head is prone to warp which crushes the headgasket. A simple test is to make sure the coolant is a strong antifreeze mix so it's highly coloured - start the car from cold and put a clear container under the exhaust tailpipe. You will see clear water dripping from the exhaust which is usual, it's the water vapour created during combustion condensing in a cold exhaust. But if you get any drips that are coolant coloured then you've found your problem. A damaged HG will allow coolant into the cylinders which will then drip from the exhaust.

    I think the test you refer to as the carbon monoxide test was checking for hydrocarbons in the coolant - but that doesn't always prove conclusive.
    1972 Viva restoration thread -


    • #3
      Thanks Taurus, good of you to give such a considered reply.

      Only coolant is being lost, oil level remains the same and there is no emulsion in dipstick. Car is used exclusivley for short (<10 mile) journeys. Been on a dozen such journeys over past 48 hours - coolant not dropped a mm.

      Drip test produced only clear water.

      Car runs smooth and (almost) silently.

      Hairline crack in engine?