Traceing a coolant leek

Home  \  Repairs & Maintenance  \  Traceing a coolant leek

Aixam eco 500cc Diesel French micro car 2001.(Kubota Z series twin engine).. its loosing coolant from somewhere!..only about a mug full everyday, but its disappearing constantly. The oil level is constant and no mayo in the cap. I cant see where its coming out tho, there are no water marks on the top or bottom hoses. Its raining here so theres lots of drips about what with saturated sound proofing etc... anyway i can colour the coolant so i can find it?...or am i missing some simple test i can do to clear up this puzzle?.. (i tried a catch bottle on the cap breather to see if it was opening too soon and no it isn't that!)

posted by  sidecar_jon

Hi, you say it's loosing a mug full every day, how far do you drive on a daily basis Jon?

posted by  Cliffy

3. Do not assume we know what you know or what you mean to say. We are more than willing to help but can only use the information you provide. Because we are online in a forum, we cannot see your face, hear the inflection in your voice or see, touch or hear your car. You are our eyes and ears and solving any problem begins with you and the effort you are willing to put forth helping us to help you. This brings us to…

4. The description. Please do not interpret what is going on with your car, just give us an explicit, step by step description. We need to know anything that might be a factor such as engine hot or cold, vehicle speed, weather conditions, etc. There are too many possibilities to name them all but you get the idea. Also, if you have already had the foresight to retrieve computer codes (in instances were that is helpful) let us know what they are. If you tell us you think it needs sparkplugs then your answer will be put in sparkplugs. Keep in mind if you knew what was wrong you probably wouldn’t be here asking for advice.

posted by  vwhobo

thirty miles or so... it alwasy seems to need a top up, every morning.

posted by  sidecar_jon

Okay, atleast now we know it's not pissing out of a huge hole ie; travel 100yrds down the road and it needs topping up lol, to be honest, I'd get a garage to check for a headgasket problem, or, can you park it in a lockup or anything overnight and check the floor in the morning?

posted by  Cliffy

on investigation... just moments ago in a dark car park there is a patch of wet ground to one side where a drip is comming off the fuel filter body.. tho weather ist comming from saturated sound proofing or not is hard to say.. But thats in the deepest darkest bit of the engine bay cant see down from the top at all...up from under is going to be a question of ramps... im still wondering if say a good does of anti freeze woudl colour the coolant enough so i could at least tell it was coolant!... i seem to remeber some anti freezes change colour when in contact with blown head gasgets?... i only ever owned one water cooled bike, for a short time at that.

posted by  sidecar_jon

There are a couple of ways to tell if it's coolant or not...the first being, if the vehicle's just been running the drips on the ground will probably be warm...not much, but enough to nitice the difference from rain water, the second thing to try is, dip your finger in the substance and, if you wanna be a bit unhygenic, lick your finger, antifreeze tastes sweet. Off course, if the car didn't have antifreeze in it in the first place, it's gonna be harder to notice.

posted by  Cliffy

errr...ok sweet ah...sounds like the old Medical student test for Diabeaties..!.. i will give it a go..today i bought some new antifreeze cos ive been topping it up with plain water for a week. thanks for the tip.

posted by  sidecar_jon

No probs....if you've been using water for a week make sure you put in quite a bit of antifreeze otherwise you'll make life harder for yourself. :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

i will report back tommorow..cheers.

posted by  sidecar_jon

Okay, good luck :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Eureka!... i verified the presence of antifreeze not by taste but by its horrible smell... but the drip proved still elusive, until i started to investigate the upper reaches of the engine. The sound proofing proved to be the key. I thought it was saturated due to rain, but it was warm... warm antifreeze smelling wadding. The interior heater pipes pass through it and feeling along the pipe from the top of the thermostat housing i felt a split in it.. Hence it leeks only when the thermostat was opened at working tempertature... now gota find a way of fixing it...looks to be a half inch reinforced pipe should be fairly easy to find at an auto supply shop... changing it may be another question as it disappears into the wadding to the heater matrix... thanks for the help... smoke me a kipper i will be back for breakfast.

posted by  sidecar_jon

fixed it this morning. Five quids worth of hose and some fideling about at arms strech and its holding water/antifreeze and pressure again.. the old pipe looked to have been weekened with a cut to it... seems the soundproofing was trimmed with a sharp knife and someone went a bit far.. thank for your help.

posted by  sidecar_jon

Your Message