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1.8 losing collant...


Mark
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I was driving our freelander around on saturday, and it seemed to get very hot, and the fans stayed on. On investigation, the header tank was somewhat devoid of coolant, so I filled it up.

The feeling of impending doom fell over me, as I thought the headgasket might have gone, but I don't think it has - there is no sign of water in the oil, and the car didn't feel down on power at all.

Having left it to cool down a bit, I forgot about it and proceeded to play with my disco.... However Sam has phoned me and said that the header tank is empty again - It hasn't moved for a couple of days, so I can only assume it has leaked out....

So, I am hoping this is just an issue with a split hose. Are there any common places for the hoses to split or perrish?

It is an '03 plate 1.8 pre-facelift freelander with just over 25k miles on the clock if that makes any difference...

Cheers

Mark

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I would look at the water pump first, or at least directly underneath where it is - drivers side effectively inside the wheel arch. Any leak from the pump will drip water from the crank pulley onto the road close to the inside of the tyre.

There are two bleed screws as well with this engine - one is on the heater hose before it disappears into the bulkhead and the other is under the distributor cap on a short length of metal pipe. Any significant loss of coolant where there's a possibility of air getting into the system requires the system to bled - trapped air will not self-expel, and prevents coolant circulation, resulting in over heating - even though the coolant level appears fine. If the engine gets 'cooked' a few times the head gasket may blow - not straight away, but in the near future. The K-series engine is prone to a few problems - plastic locating dowels and composite head gasket means that it doesn't take much for the head gasket to fail, delicate timing belt change intervals mean that it doesn't take much for the belt to snap (this is known as an interferance engine, in that a broken timing belt bends valves when it goes). If the engine is serviced and maintained correctly, they are very good - it just doesn't take much to push them over the edge.

Les.

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Pressure test the cooling system and check for leaks. Usual spot is the water pump as Les says.

If you cant find any obvious leaks and it holds pressure ok then its probably head gasket. You usually get a bit of mayonaise on the inside of the oil filler cap when it starts to go. Still runs absolutely fine, just steadily loses coolant.

HTH

Jon

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Had a good poke around, albeit in the dark, last night.

The oil filler cap was clan as a whistle, as was the oil on the dipstick - first thing I checked! It is also losing coolant whilst stood rather than just while running...

There was no obvious leaks on the pipes, but a pressure test sounds like a good idea - any suggestions of a good way to do this?

I also had a very quick look underneath in the light this morning to see if I could see any puddles. Not much to report, but there was a very slight damp patch on the inside of the drivers side front tyre, which seems to tie up nicely with the water pump suggestion...

Cheers

Mark

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Er..........with a cooling system pressure tester!

Water pump sounds like a likely culprit.

Alternately you can try topping up the coolatn system, running engine until the cooling system pressurises and look for leaks. However its alot easier with the proper test kit as it means you can do it cold and feel for leaks without burning your fingers.

It'll be pretty obvious though if theres water running out the bottom of the timing cover with the engine running that its coming from the water pump!

Jon

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I did a thread in the tech archive for changing the timing belt on this engine. You need to follow that in order to change the water pump as it's driven by the timing belt. Not a 5-minute job I'm afraid - about 4-hours. You might as well replace the timing belt while you are at it as you have to take it off anyway.

Les.

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Well, i have taken the engine tray off, and spent about 2 hours looking for leaks or signs of water escaping the water pump, and I just can't see anything at all. Not even a hint of a leak - whilst running, or otherwise. :(

this means either I imagined the leak, and it was just low on coolant, and had an air lock or it is a head gasket...

I am going to leave it over night to see if the level drops again, and take a view in the morning... Any clues as to the head gasket state?

Cheers

Mark

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If it does turn out to be the head gasket then make sure the one you buy is not composite. It should be made from shim steel and come with 2 steel locating dowels. If your water level drops overnight, then there's the possibility that it's either leaking somewhere and you haven't spotted it yet, or it's slowly seeping into one of the cylinders. To check the cylinders remove the spark plugs and shine a torch down the hole. The plug is vertical over the piston crown, so you will be able to see if any one of the cylinders has water in it. If the cylinders are dry, then you may have a pressure leak. Do you have anti-freeze in the engine? If not, put some blue antifreeze in and drive the vehicle as normal. The antifreeze crystallises as it leaks out and makes detecting pressure leaks a lot easier. Alternatively try putting some K-Seal in the coolant - it might cure your problem, although not if it's a leak through rubber or the head gasket.

Les.

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The other place that is worth checking is the pipe at the back of the water pump. We are seeing signs of corrosion and small pinholes appearing plus the o rings are starting to soften. I've had one freelander and various Rover cars do it.

Look for signs of rust running down the back of the block. Put your hand down the back of the inlet manifold and see if it feels wet.

Chris

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  • 1 year later...

hi there

read this :

--Previous Message--

: ******IMPORTANT********

: DON'T PUT BARR'S LEAKS, STOPLEAK, RAD WELD

: OR ANY OTHER COOLANT LEAK STOPPER NER IT.

:

: Don't change the head gasket (yet)

:

: The most likely source of the leak is the

: inlet manifold gasket, If ignored it will

: destroy your cylinder head gasket. It is a

: rubber gasket and shrinks over time. Rover

: introduced a modified "green"

: gasket (which your vehicle should already

: have) modified studs and a revised

: tightening procedure . This was however

: only a partial cure and the gaskets have a

: life of about 4 years and should be changed

: as a service item. It only takes about 30

: minutes to change he gasket however it may

: take much longer than this to bleed any

: trapped air out ther cooling system. The

: inlet manifold is unbolted the contiuous air

: bleeder fitting on belt end of the manifold

: should be cleaned out and alsdo the pipe

: fitting at the rear of the thermostat should

: be examind for leaks as the the

: "O" ring which seals it is known

: to cause slight leaks after a few years

: service.

: Read the Rover K16 workshop manual before

: doing this particularly Rovers revised

: coolant bleeding instruction for the K16

: engine.

:

: USE ONLY THE CORRECT COOLANT FOR YOUR

: VEHICLE -- two typeswere used by Rover

: Glycol based (black labled on colant tank

: filler) and OAT (Yellow lablel n coolant

: tank filler) THEY MUST NOT BE MIXED, and

: coolant type can only be changed after a

: full flush with an acid based cleaner.

:

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Mark - I'm in exactly the same situation. Keep this thread updated as you go!

Mine has been losing a lot of water since I bought it. No sign of contamination yet, but its going somewhere alright! I've been waiting for my new workshop to be ready before I can look at it properly... Just pouring in more coolant and driving with my fingers / toes / testicles crossed.

I'll post up here once I've managed to have a look.

Al.

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Conversely, oursh has been losing less coolant - I am however planning to try changing the o-rings on the inlet manifold if the job is as easy as described above...

I have been avoiding working on cars in favor of getting the workshop up and running, but mainly cos thats more interesting at the moment.... ;)

Mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

My freelander had a leak inside the cars heat exchanger (car heater matrix under the dashboard). The solder of a copper pipe was broken and leaked a little bit.

Had to remove the dashboard but was able to repair it. Perhaps it's a tip to check this heater matrix it's hidden under the blower inside the center console in the car.

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