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300tdi coolant loss


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Driving in the lakes and the heater went cold so pulled over, expansion tank empty and looks like coolant sprayed all over the engine bay. Any ideas what it could be? I've just had it down the motorway and up and down a few hills, I'm thinking I might try and get some water to refill it and try getting home. Not sure if I should just get the recovery out. It does lost coolant a little normally and it could have been a little low before I set off because I haven't checked it in a couple of weeks.

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Cheers all, just got back from Morrisons with 20ltrs of water.... longer walk than anticipated! Took just under 5ltrs to get back to the level and leaving the engine running for a bit. I've turned the webasto preheated on as well.

Hard to see for leaks because it's raining sideways but the bonnets noise matting was soaked above the expansion tank and the visible signs of water were around the tank area.

If it doesn't lose fluid while it's warming up I'm planning to try and drive back home and see how it goes.

I've heard horror stories of people being scalded taking the expansion tank cap off while it's hot but then I know topping up fluid on a long journey isn't unheard of with an old vehicle. What's the best solution to checking the level on the way up and topping up if needed? Is it better to do it with the engine running or should you just leave it for 10/20 minutes to cool slightly or does it have to be cold?

Grateful for the help thanks

Edited by Sharp
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Up to you whether you want to follow this...

I've often opened the expansion cap on my 300Tdi when it's up to temp. If you have a suitable rag / item of clothing etc to hand you can put that over the cap as a layer of protection. Just undo the cap slowly and it'll start hissing like a bottle of Coca Cola (other brands are avaliable). Once it starts hissing just leave it until it stops and then crack it off a little more. Once the pressure has been relieved then you can remove the cap.

Just be mindful that the coolant should be warm so don't go dipping your finger in it and keep your face away from it. If you've got a thick glove then that's not a stupid idea to put on the hand undoing the cap.

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Thanks Ed. Just done half an hour on the motorway taking it easy and it's been fine taking the cap off. Cycled having the fan on with the engine off for a few minutes and it only have a wee hiss on opening it up.

Think Ian might be right unfortunately, it's looking a little oily in the tank now. On the plus side the water level hasn't dropped much.



Edited by Sharp
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