The curious case of the vanishing coolant (Pics & Video) - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 19-04-2017, 18:56 Thread Starter
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The curious case of the vanishing coolant (Pics & Video)

Evening Lads & Ladies,

I'll try and keep this post short, as Ive rattled on in my last post (which is becoming a bit of a "progress blog")

Ive been noticing minor coolant loss since getting the car back on the road a few weeks back. Yesterday morning I topped the coolant tank up to half way, went for a 80 mile journey, with a mix of driving (town/country/motorway). When I checked the coolant this morning I was down to around a 1/4 of a tank.

I had noticed this kind of drop in the past.

I today took a look around the engine bay and around as much as the car as I could and I can't see any obvious coolant leak. I followed the steps in this great post: How To.... Diagnose a K Series Head Gasket Failure and nothing seems to point to HGF in my eyes (Im in no way a mechanic but i know my way around a car)

Whilst looking under the car I noticed there was an oily patch. With a tiny (TINY) bit of pink fluid (my OAT Coolant) Although only tiny, and I mean tiny, it still something...and goes a little way to explaining where the coolant could be going.

I just wondered if you guys had any advice/ suggestions/ ideas as to what could be happening here..and all the while I'll cross my fingers and hope that not every reply just shouts HGF at me.

Thank you (As always)


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 19-04-2017, 19:29
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Waterpump???

Some catch the leak, and allow it to evaporate so you dont see the leak!

Other place for a leak that you cant see is inlet manifold gasket. Water ends up in combustion chambers.

Peter
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 19-04-2017, 19:56
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if its evaporating as fast as it leaks g0rsq your looking for something that is no longer there... and if it only does it when the engine is hot... you have a double whammy to contend with.
since it might only happen under particular circumstances, and you dont know what they are... it happens.. but you dont know when or how...

asking someone if they know what lottery numbers will win today.. is close to any answer... pointers are all you will get..

if you dont know where its leaking from... then how can anyone be certain whats causing it?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 19-04-2017, 20:07 Thread Starter
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I understand what your saying - and as with most questions that get asked on these types of forums its just a case of "any ideas?". I wouldn't expect anyone to have the 6th sense of being able to pin point a leak via the internet (I wish I could haha)

I think I was hoping that there may be someone out there who has had a similar occurrence (From the pictures, it seems there is some kind of leak in a particular area within the engine) - so pointers would be all I would and could ever hope for
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 19-04-2017, 21:00
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if its evaporating as fast as it leaks g0rsq your looking for something that is no longer there... and if it only does it when the engine is hot... you have a double whammy to contend with.
since it might only happen under particular circumstances, and you dont know what they are... it happens.. but you dont know when or how...

asking someone if they know what lottery numbers will win today.. is close to any answer... pointers are all you will get..

if you dont know where its leaking from... then how can anyone be certain whats causing it?
OMG - doom and gloom - how negative can we be..............

Tom was asking for help, g0rsq, gave Tom a pointer, strangely enough as I read the symptoms, I too, was thinking water pump, but maybe Tom should just scrap the car.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 19-04-2017, 21:26
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I was thinking water pump too.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 20-04-2017, 06:37
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The first thing you need to do is to get the engine inspection cover off and start looking for any potential leaks from above.

In your case, pink crystallised OAT coolant will be a big indicator.

Start checking all hose. Lips are tight and check all hoses are not showing any signs of perishing or splitting.

Furthermore, some leaks are more evident when the engine is cold rather than hot.

Be methodical and assume nothing.

Good luck.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 20-04-2017, 08:11
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My XPG TF 115 is of similar vintage. HG's been done in the past, along with lashings of cooling system sealant (gggrr!!!) that took ages to flush out.
I suspected IMG gasket failure when I had a recent slight water loss. To it's credit the sealant made it run 'smelly' when hot.
I found that my original IMG wasn't replaced (or replaced with an old part) when it had it's 'HG works' and it had broken in 3 places!. The later gaskets are more substantial and a very different colour. I've got pics of both.
I've become very suspicious that the simple little IMG nestling obscurely in a plastic part has become a bit of a cash cow...pessimistic, I know...
Sorry but I reckon yours might have given up the ghost like mine...
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 20-04-2017, 12:19
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Thanks for the thread Tom, the brain picking of the more experienced forum members can only be of use to us mere newbie F and TF masochists!

Hope you find the source of the loss.

Mine (135) had an inlet manifold that was not tightened correctly, couldn't see a leak but the level was going down very slowly.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 20-04-2017, 13:46
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I'd be getting one of these or actually making one out of a schrader valve & a pressure gauge, with the engine cold put in some pressure & go looking.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 20-04-2017, 20:13
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the pressure in the system is one bar.. 16 psi.. max and you can use an old bicycle tyre inner tube section complete with its tyre valve to pump up the system to 1 bar... after that pressure the vent cap will vent..

thats an expensive old tyre valve you show...

one can just unhook the jiggle pipe return pipe and add the tyre piece complete with valve... for pennies... some bits of hose to adapt the different diameters and jubilee clips.

it really doesnt take much to contain 16 psi... and you can pump it up with a tyre pump.. if you pump too much... the vent cap vents... so you get to check two things at once... that the vent cap works and the system holds pressure. it will take a long time for it loose pressure if you have no leaks.... up to two hours to go from 15 psi to 3 psi... if it happens in five minutes.. you have a leak.

pop down to your local bicycle repair shop and ask them if they have an old inner tube

Last edited by Incony; 20-04-2017 at 20:34.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 20-04-2017, 20:17
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 22-04-2017, 07:22
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with a leak like this you need to be looking for a loss of steam rather than a loss of coolant.

you need to look at the waterpump and hoses etc when the engine is hot, but as is often the case when the leak is new/slow it is still very difficult to spot and sometimes you are lucky just to be able to see the heat loss in the air around the area rather than even steam as the little amount coming out is evaporating. The waterpump are designed to do this so that will always be the first place to check, but depending on location in your car waterpump can be difficult to detect. If you still can't find it there are always leak detection dyes you can try.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 22-04-2017, 09:57
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That oil leak looks bad. Unless you can easily see the cause after looking from the top and behind the engine, I would clean off the oil and see if and where it reappears- It looks very black to me so it may be the remnants of an old oil leak.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 22-04-2017, 16:03
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That oil leak looks bad. Unless you can easily see the cause after looking from the top and behind the engine, I would clean off the oil and see if and where it reappears- It looks very black to me so it may be the remnants of an old oil leak.

Oil leak?! - I'm confused...

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 14:03 Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the replies guys, the amount of knowledge in this thread is fantastic. Ive just got home and after a few days of driving (total of 90 miles over the past 3 days) it has again gone down to around quarter of a tank. Following the general inspection guides mentioned above, Ive looked at all the areas I can fit myself into to see if there are any "obvious" signs. Frustratingly there aren't any, other than the patch in the original photos. However, it is long over due a full service (as it was sat for so long, it could definitely do with one). I've been in touch with Mg Rover Solutions as I have heard a lot of good things about Russell, and maybe when he comes to do that he could have a little look around (with more experienced eyes)

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Oil leak?! - I'm confused...
The Oil Leak (or at least, Oil Stain) would be the dark area near the centre bottom:


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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 18:14 Thread Starter
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I've just had a brainwave...I wonder if this issue with the slow loss of coolant/ slightly damp area under the engine could also be linked to the fact that my heaters only ever blow either hot, hot or hot. Ive checked the cable and its connected and moving behind the knobs in the centre console. Hmmm....
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 21:54
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If the heater is either hot, hot or hot no matter where the knob is turned it suggests the water valve behind the centre console is permanently open no matter what position the knob is in. Which also suggests the cable has become detached from the valve and is not moving it, or the valve itself has gone "open circuit" internally.

I don't think it could affect your leak, as such, unless the valve is really faulty and is leaking as well as not working as a valve. If it is leaking that much your carpets would be very wet, I would think?
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old Today, 12:37
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To find these pesky coolant leaks I have used coolant dye and a UV flaskhlight with great success.
Cliplight - Radiator Coolant Dye
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