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steve3194

1999 E11 4Efe Corolla Coolant Level Dropping

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Hi all, my car seems to be losing coolant gradually over the past few months. Ive had to top up the radiator today the last time I did was just over a month ago. I haven't had any problems with the car overheating. I changed the radiator cap to see if that fixed the problem but the coolant still seems to drop. Before I filled it today I couldn't see any coolant when I opened the cap however the cap was still wet.

I can see no visable leaks under the car. I also checked around the water pump and see no leaks there either. Engine Oil doesn't appear cloudy.

One more thing I've noticed is that when I start the car in the mornings when it's cold, I can heat water moving around the dash I presume this is the coolant. Is it normal that I should be able to hear it?

Also one final question. Should the radiator be full to the top when cold or or should it be low and then expand.

Really hoping you guys can shed some light on this for me

Thanks in advance

PS. I have been using prestone 50/50 coolant

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Is the coolant suitable for alloy blocks?

When you run the car to warm, is there excessive pressure in the system?

This could cause it to push the coolant out the overflow?

The sound you hear is the coolant floating around in the heater matrix.

Try to bleed the system of any excessive air.

Might be worth getting a garage to do a sniffer test on the coolant bottle to check for exhaust gases, if you have no leaks.

HG issues don't always show them selves up as mayo in the Oil cap.

Also, when you start the car in the morning check for white smoke (steam) out the exhaust pipe.

Hope this helps

Mike

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Thanks for the reply. I'll have a look in the morning at the exhaust fumes. I just had car in for its yearly inspection. The exhaust was damaged and car had a high lambda reading which I'm told was prolly due to exhaust all other exhaust emission levels were down from last year. I assume if it was burning coolant that would not be the case?

Thanks again for your help.

Just to clarify would it be considered normal to hear the coolant moving in the heater?

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Steve

When you say you had a high lambda reading and your exhaust was damaged was this at the NCT centre?

If you have your test results, what was you CO and HC readings?

Also i would advise getting a sniffer test done though just to rule out HG.

If you have a HG failure, especially along the lines of using coolant, this would wipe out you CAT.

To confirm, the noise you hear within the car, would more than likely be air in the system, from when you coolant went low.

When you top up again, it would be worth running the car with the radiator cap off to help bleed any air out.

Don't race the engine though or you'll end up with coolant everywhere :-D

What colour is the coolant?

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Ya it was at the nct centre. Lambda was 1.18

CO low idle 0.16%

HC low idle 67ppm

CO high idle 0.05%

HC high idle 16ppm

Im due for retest in two weeks I got the exhaust welded. I have been using dipetane in the car and the co and HC are lower than last year. I actually tried running the car without the cap A few months ago but the coolant was dripping out down the rad so I stopped. Should that have been happening?

Do the reading from the nct give you any indication about the possibility of burning coolant?

Thanks again for your help.

Coolant is greenish

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just two things :)

if you can hear coolant it means you have air.

you need to buy some luminos liquid to throw into the radiator.

drive it around for afew days and then use a UV torch to see if you have a leak.

If you cant spot anything i suspect HG.

if not sniff test on HG. you can buy a DIY block tester kit. Its a tube which you fill up with liquid, open your rad cap and place it over it

if the coolant is bubbling it has air in it o2 or carbon dioxide

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Sounds like your engine is not taking coolant, but you really would want a sniffer test to confirm.

To be honest i will have to look at my corolla results when i get home from work to confirm.

You could try resetting the engine light by disconnecting the Battery and see does it come back on.

If it does, you could get a scan tool to read the engine codes, or go to a garage.

Out of interest, are your carpets wet within the car?

Is the coolant suitable for the car, i recollect using red myself. Either way it's not important for now,

Have you any coolant on the ground where you park the car?

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Sounds like your engine is not taking coolant, but you really would want a sniffer test to confirm.

To be honest i will have to look at my corolla results when i get home from work to confirm.

You could try resetting the engine light by disconnecting the battery and see does it come back on.

If it does, you could get a scan tool to read the engine codes, or go to a garage.

Out of interest, are your carpets wet within the car?

Is the coolant suitable for the car, i recollect using red myself. Either way it's not important for now,

Have you any coolant on the ground where you park the car?

No wet carpets or engine light. No wet spots on the ground either. I'll get onto my mechanic tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes any idea how it goes

Thanks let me know your corollas results if you get a chance. Cheers

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just two things :)

if you can hear coolant it means you have air.

you need to buy some luminos liquid to throw into the radiator.

drive it around for afew days and then use a UV torch to see if you have a leak.

If you cant spot anything i suspect HG.

if not sniff test on HG. you can buy a DIY block tester kit. Its a tube which you fill up with liquid, open your rad cap and place it over it

if the coolant is bubbling it has air in it o2 or carbon dioxide

cheers any idea if it was a hg problem how much you'd suspect it would cost to replace?

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I recently got one done on an audi a4 diesel for €300. No need for a head skim though. Mind you that was a mate, but got him to charge as normal though.

Is you car vvti, just i see 1.3 in you title. Most vvtis are 1.4, mine is.

Is it the bug eye version car?

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I recently got one done on an audi a4 diesel for 300. No need for a head skim though. Mind you that was a mate, but got him to charge as normal though.

Is you car vvti, just i see 1.3 in you title. Most vvtis are 1.4, mine is.

Is it the bug eye version car?

ya its the 4efe bug eye model. Hopefully won't be too expensive if it comes to that

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Less ripping to get into the head gasket, and less likey to burn Oil. Not a vvti i assume

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Less ripping to get into the head gasket, and less likey to burn oil. Not a vvti i assume

No its a not a vvti thank god. I've heard they're prone to burning Oil alright. Thats one good thing about my car everything is relatively easy to get at. Hopefully its something small anyway. If that's even possible with this kind of a problem.

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I had to put an engine into herselfs car, only last year, 00 vvti, got a later engine so no more burning.

Let us know how ya get on with the snifffer test

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just two things :)

if you can hear coolant it means you have air.

you need to buy some luminos liquid to throw into the radiator.

drive it around for afew days and then use a UV torch to see if you have a leak.

If you cant spot anything i suspect HG.

if not sniff test on HG. you can buy a DIY block tester kit. Its a tube which you fill up with liquid, open your rad cap and place it over it

if the coolant is bubbling it has air in it o2 or carbon dioxide

cheers any idea if it was a hg problem how much you'd suspect it would cost to replace?

The problem is not just replacing the HG its if the block or the head is warped it could add to the cost.

Generally a petrol headgasket chnage will be around 200>400.

In the trade for the top notch car it could only be worth about 300£ and a private sale maybe fectch 450>600. You need to weigh up the cost of repair v reliability v how long i am going to keep it.

At this point if the only issue is your loosing a little water / coolant and the car is NOT overheating or showing symptoms eg starting problems i would be tempted to keep it running and keep a very close eye on it.

Further to that i would also like to say, it could be an issue with your heater matrix where you are only loosing a small ammount of water / coolant.

The UV tester is is around 10£ the block tester kit is around 30to40£, you can buy these bits from ebay/amazon / local motorfactors and dont really need any tools to test / try only alittle bit of common sense

Please try these and report back.

Step 1

Gurgling noise / watery noise from coolant.

Jack the front end up higher that the heater matrix level. Its easier to do if you have a high kerb and a strong jack.

Park the front end of the car on the kerb, find the jacking place at the front of the car (normally the cross member) and jack it up. Place some bricks under the tyres and keep doing it untill the radiator top is higher than the matrix. I would estimate a standard kerb is around 4" tall, placing 2 bricks under the tyres would raise the car 8" that is normally more than enough, you can get away with 1 brick sometimes. If the car is not supported please do not climb underneath.

Start the car turn the heaters on to max and temprature to hot. Undo the radiator cap and let the car run and get upto temprature, please ensure you have some water or coolant top up with.

Two things will happen, the air thats trapped will slowly find its way to the front of the system and you will need to topup the coolant /

or nothing and you will have got dirty for no reason :p

Step 2

Buy yourself a UV radiator tester kit, open the satchet in and pour the content into the radiator, leave the car to run for afew days and then during the night with the UV light look for any "leaks". Some of the connectors and pipes are plastic / rubber the problems with the leak may only show up if the car is up to temprature and the plastics/rubbers expand.

As a tip try and put the UV tester in when it requires the coolant so it has a chance to mix.

Step 3

Heater Matrix leaks.

This is a pretty difficult one as most heater matrixs are sitting at the dashboard, but if you have done step 2 and see no leaks in the engine bay its time to get dirty in the car! :D

Remove the lower panels of the dashboard, When I mean the lower panels I am talking about the glove box and the kick panels on the drivers and the passanger side, take your time dont pull them off incorrectly and snap them

Look for marks with the UV light tester. Look for dribbles, smell for a musky smell, try and pull some of the carpet back and touch and try and feel the rear of the carpet for wetness.

Step 4

Head gasket leak tester / block tester kit.

This is a cheaper but not 100% reliable way of testing for a HG leak. Pretty simple open the radiator cap, put the liquid in the tube start the car and leave it to warm up. if co2 is in the coolant the colour will change and point to the HG faliure.

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Hi lads. Just thought I'd give you an update. Just had car with the mechanic he's keepng it for a while to check the exhaust is OK. He found a leak on the water pump its like a little hole and the coolant is trickling out especially at high RPMs. At least it's not the head gasket which I assume would be more expensive. Do you guys know whether or not timing belt has to be changed with the pump. My dad's Peugeot had to be

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The timing changes generally are made for the life of the car.

Please check in your service book to confirm.

three things he needs to be sure of.

1 The camshaft sproket is ok

2 tensioner has maxed its reach.

3 strech marks / signs of excessive wear on links

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Timing belt isn't due for change for another 20000+miles. My dad had said his Peugeot 307 diesel had to have the belt done alongside the pump. I was just curious if the same applied here.probably not.

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Timing belt isn't due for change for another 20000+miles. My dad had said his Peugeot 307 diesel had to have the belt done alongside the pump. I was just curious if the same applied here.probably not.

sorry,

if you car has a timing belt I would stick a new one if you plan to keep the car.

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I'd be for putting in a belt also, labour wise it won't be much more, and belt kit is relatively cheap.

Good news on the pump, less sweating on the gasket :-)

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Ya I'm waiting to get a price from the mechanic on the water pump. He said its not bad yet but it will get worse during the summer. I could get the belt done if it didn't cost a whole lot more. Trying not to spend too much money on it at the moment. besides belt isn't due a change for more than 20000 miles and I haven't even done 10 since I got it which will be 3 years ago in July. Next step is to hopefully get it through the NCT I have a retest next Friday it failed the first time on broken exhaust and high lambda 1.18 must be at or below 1.03. I'm hoping getting the exhaust fixed will solve the lambda.

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gates kit is around 70£ water pump is about 50£

gates kit includes the tensior pullies and main belt.

i

would suspect no more that 70>100£ worth of labour.

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