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Author Got a very bad coolant leak from back of engine Ė any ideas??
Billy Dean
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Registered: 5th Jan 10
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   21st Nov 11 at 17:34   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Car: Corsa B 1.4 16v (X14XE)
I drained, flushed, and refilled my cooling system on the weekend. I didnít remove the cooling fan switch or thermostat, so it was an 80% flush out, so to speak.
I then took the car for a good 20 minute run and parked her up.
I could see when kneeling down looking under the car the coolant was leaking quite rapidly from somewhere at the back of the engine! Somewhere near the alternator it seemed. It has never leaked from this place before as far as I know. The coolant is now practically empty!

My colleague seems to think that as I had refilled and pressurised the system (his words) one of the pipes/hoses may have popped off.

Any ideas what may have happended at the back of the engine? (My internal floor is dry btw).

p.s. My heaters were blowing cold for about 5 minutes before I parked up to check the coolant, even though I had the temp on max.


[Edited on 21-11-2011 by Billy Dean]

[Edited on 21-11-2011 by Billy Dean]
corsadonk
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Registered: 4th Jul 09
Location: Marlborough, Wiltshire
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21st Nov 11 at 18:09   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

The only way to find the leak, is to get underneath and have a look. Make sure it's on axel stands with the handbrake on. Fill it up with water, and let it get up to temp you should see it leaking. That pink anti-freeze is good for finding leaks because it stains.
Billy Dean
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22nd Nov 11 at 00:33   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Thanks for the reply.
I am reluctant to get under the car with the leak in progress as it is quite a BIG leak if you know what I mean.
I would get showered I think! With hot water

My colleague says it can't be the heater matrix that's leaking as my internal floor is fine and dry.
But he says it may be one of the pipes leading to the matrix.

I'm just posting this up on here to see what you guys think and if you have experienced similar situations. Then I know what to look for (literally) when I get it up on the axle stands on Weds (probably).
I'm HOPING to get under the car when it's turned off and see a pipe or hose with a simple hole in it. Oh, if only life would be so simple, eh?
Ian
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Registered: 28th Aug 99
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22nd Nov 11 at 00:34   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Heater pipes to the bulkhead.

Here's a pic of me doing the very same job

<--


Corsa B lap belts required
Billy Dean
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22nd Nov 11 at 01:48   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

That photo brought a smile to my face - looks like you're having fun avoiding that coloured mess to the right of you, which I can only imagine is leaked coolant?

Is it an easy and cheap job?
The bulkhead is defined as the metal between the engine and the cabin, right?
Ian
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22nd Nov 11 at 01:52   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Yeah and there are two hoses which connect the engine to it, supply and return to the heater matrix which is inside the car.

I went underneath as it's slightly easier to get to.

That job was very cheap because the pipe just wasn't clipped on. If you have split a pipe that'll need replacing but they're not difficult to source, few quid from a dealer or I've probably got something suitable here.

What engine is it?


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Billy Dean
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22nd Nov 11 at 02:27   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Car is in 1st post.
If I get under the car tmrw will the hoses u mentioned be easy to see?
Ian
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22nd Nov 11 at 03:29   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Yeah you'll see them, or wherever else it's leaking from.


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Jed D
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22nd Nov 11 at 09:29   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

if your blowers are blowing cold then you may have a air lock...

when putting new coolant in are you running it up to a reasonable temp before putting the header tank cap back on?

get one of those gadgets that you pump a high psi into the coolant system and see if the leak is more noticeable then i did it on the astra and went higher than i should of and still couldent see it but thats because the hg was gone inwards i think

dont use radwelds or the likes of as its all shite and makes your header tank look like someone's had a running shit in it

also good luck as the - temps are only round the corner
Billy Dean
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22nd Nov 11 at 12:53   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Thanks guys for the replies and advice.

Jed D - When I put the coolant back in the other day I ran the engine up to operating temp with the header cap off.
I then noticed a big drop in water and the big leaking started, so I switched her off.

Ian, Jed D, and everyone else - got under the car this lunchbreak with it up on axle stands.
From my novice eyes I could see no loose pipes, hoses or other components. I only looked and did not shake anything. One of the hoses looked a bit stretched (off-colour), but that was all. maybe a rip could be on the other side which is out of view. Maybe.
Needless to say, it looked like the proverbial snake's wedding night down there so I'm gonna call out the Breakdown guy and get it towed to my local, trusty garage for him to check & advise.
Got it booked in for Thurs now.
I'm hoping and praying that it'll just be a simple, cheapish fix
Gary
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22nd Nov 11 at 15:17   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Fill eith coolant, start car then go under, your sure to find the leak then
corsadonk
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22nd Nov 11 at 19:25   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Stop being a wimp, and get under the car.
Billy Dean
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23rd Nov 11 at 12:33   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by corsadonk
Stop being a wimp, and get under the car.

I did. Check out the post above

I couldn't make out what was up so called the Breakdown guy out. The water he put in the header tank dropped straight out of the back of the engine with the engine switched off and cold
He thinks it may be a busted water pump.
Ian
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23rd Nov 11 at 12:37   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

That's on the side not the back, but yeah that would do it.


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Gary
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23rd Nov 11 at 17:21   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

How can he only 'think'?

Just look from where the water is coming from. not rocket science!
Piťr
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23rd Nov 11 at 20:37   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

could well be the pipe that goes into the back of the head just in front of the alternator.
Common pipe to get a leak from, leaks quite badly from it too.

Happened to two corsa's i know.
dobbynufc
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23rd Nov 11 at 20:52   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Coolant temp sensor ? Not sure where it is situated but just a thought. Water pump would also loose spot of water whilst the engine is running if the prepellor has play in the bearing, this will allow coolant out.
Generation
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23rd Nov 11 at 20:55   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

CTS is on the front
dobbynufc
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23rd Nov 11 at 21:02   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

:-)
Billy Dean
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24th Nov 11 at 12:30   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

UPDATE!

My mechanic just rang to tell me that the leak is coming from the water pump area.
He advises that he take all the covers etc. off to confirm this.
He also advised that if it's not the water pump it may just be a seal/ring type thing (sorry! I forgot exactly what he said!) which is about the size of a £2 coin. So it's either gonna be water pump, or this £2 sized thing.

If he changes the water pump he advises changing the cambelt kit at the same time to save on future labour costs. The cambelt was done about 20k miles ago by someone else, but he says that when he takes the current belt off and then puts it back on it will be tensioned for a 2nd time and could weaken it. So he said it may be wise to stick a new one on. Hmmm.

I just rang Autovaux and they quoted me £91 all in for the cambelt kit and water pump. Water pump on its own is £38.44 delivered.
Mechanic is saying about £120 labour.

So, worst-case-scenario, water pump is mashed and will have to change that (I'll change the cambelt etc. as well for peace of mind?) = £211 all in.
Or, it's just a leaking thingymajig, so about £90 all in.

I gotta let him know by 2pm.
What do you guys think? Just asking!

[Edited on 24-11-2011 by Billy Dean]
johnhara1
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24th Nov 11 at 13:46   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

£120 for an hours labour!

Billy Dean
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24th Nov 11 at 14:02   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

I know his rate is £45 per hour + VAT.
So it looks like 2 and a bit hours to change the cambelt and rollers and the waterpump. And then to put it all back together again and refill with coolant.
That's how he gets to the £120 figure I guess.

I'm ordering the kit after lunch...

Generation
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24th Nov 11 at 14:46   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Fair price IMO

I got quoted on mates rates for £60 and that was decent IMO
johnhara1
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24th Nov 11 at 15:38   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

I did the same job for a mate a month ago, charged him £50.

Took about 40mins to do the belt kit from start to finish.

IMO it's expensive but hey, if you cant do it yourself, get it done. It's affordable.
Billy Dean
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24th Nov 11 at 16:24   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Yeah. My thinking is that I havenít got the time, knowledge, or the tools.
And as the timing belt etc. is critical to get right Iím not going to risk doing it wrong.

The fact that the Haynes manual gives the water pump and cambelt jobs 4 spanner ratings scares me off lol
Iím ok with anything up to 3 spanners though!



Iíll give you guys an update as things progressÖ

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