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tarantula_123

Coolant Issue/Air Con Issue

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My 03 CTS still has an issue with coolant disappearing somewhere, and the air con not working.

Checked the fluids this morning and discovered the radiator doesn't have any coolant visible at the top, and the spare reservoir is quite a bit below the low line. Any ideas what this could be, as I have had coolant problems before with my car.

The car has had a new radiator and thermostat (genuine Toyota/Nissens), and a quality second hand genuine Toyota heater matrix over the past 2 or 3 years whilst trying to correct issues.

My heater works fine now, with no visible leaks on the car, but it has to be burning or dumping coolant somewhere. Any suggestions?

Also, my air con stopped working a while ago, had it re-gassed, worked fine but stopped working. The technician in ATS said it still has pressure, so I got a genuine second hand Toyota compressor, replaced it, re-gassed it at ATS and it was working fine. This past week it has stopped working though, where it would cut in and out, but now completely dead. It also developed an odour from the vents before packing up. Any suggestions?

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Do you use the air con throughout the year or only during summer?

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Water pump could be on it's way out, so it's leaking some of the coolant, if this is the case, it will leave residue like white powder. Check around the water pump, also if possible get under the car and see if there's something similar on the radiator.

If your aircon runs intermittently, then i doubt it's loosing gas, so it should be compressor related, maybe the electronic clutch is on it's way out, when you turn the AC on, does the compressor kick in and start running?

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Agree it could be the water pump, so as said check around there, also get a mirror/torch and check the thermostat housing as I found mine had signs of small leaks around it,

I had a leak on my radiator, be could not see it by normal inspection, only when replacing the a/c condenser was it visible.

How much coolant are you loosing over miles / time ?

 

The A/C odour is often the result of a build up of bacteria on the matrix and there are spray bombs and foams you can use to help clear them.

Apart from Fuses for the Aircon circuit you first need to listen  / visible check that  the compressor clutch is engaging as Furula mentions.

Fitting s/h parts you just never know how good they are  .....

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3 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Do you use the air con throughout the year or only during summer?

Mainly just during the summer.

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3 hours ago, furtula said:

Water pump could be on it's way out, so it's leaking some of the coolant, if this is the case, it will leave residue like white powder. Check around the water pump, also if possible get under the car and see if there's something similar on the radiator.

If your aircon runs intermittently, then i doubt it's loosing gas, so it should be compressor related, maybe the electronic clutch is on it's way out, when you turn the AC on, does the compressor kick in and start running?

Will have a check around the water pump when I get chance to jack it up.

 

Started the car up earlier, pressed the air con button, and heard/seen the clutch engage and start spinning. However, it stops, starts spinning again, stops, starts spinning again. During this, when I turned the button off, then on again, the clutch didn't always engage immediately. 

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2 hours ago, oldcodger said:

Agree it could be the water pump, so as said check around there, also get a mirror/torch and check the thermostat housing as I found mine had signs of small leaks around it,

I had a leak on my radiator, be could not see it by normal inspection, only when replacing the a/c condenser was it visible.

How much coolant are you loosing over miles / time ?

 

The A/C odour is often the result of a build up of bacteria on the matrix and there are spray bombs and foams you can use to help clear them.

Apart from Fuses for the Aircon circuit you first need to listen  / visible check that  the compressor clutch is engaging as Furula mentions.

Fitting s/h parts you just never know how good they are  .....

I did top up earlier, but it didn't actually need a lot in the radiator directly. I probably assumed because it wasn't full to the top of the spout where the radiator cap goes it was low. The spare coolant reservoir did have a good 3/4 of a litre that went in though. Maybe its just me being paranoid? Since replacing the radiator with a new one not long ago, I haven't seen any wet patches yet which I usually got on the drip tray underneath.

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4 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Do you use the air con throughout the year or only during summer?

 

18 minutes ago, tarantula_123 said:

Mainly just during the summer.

Ideally air con should be used at least weekly throughout the year to ensure the seals stay lubricated. For example in winter when used with the heater, air con provides faster demisting

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39 minutes ago, tarantula_123 said:

I did top up earlier, but it didn't actually need a lot in the radiator directly. I probably assumed because it wasn't full to the top of the spout where the radiator cap goes it was low. The spare coolant reservoir did have a good 3/4 of a litre that went in though. Maybe its just me being paranoid? Since replacing the radiator with a new one not long ago, I haven't seen any wet patches yet which I usually got on the drip tray underneath.

My old leak caused  the reservoir to drop about 30mm from the Full mark over several months, if you are loosing its contents, plus possibly some more from the radiator then you have a big leak !

On the 1.6 you can easily see around the water pump with a torch and mirror from the top side of the engine bay

Might be worth just removing the radiators  fans and top bolts and hinging out so you can check all the front of the matrix for leaks.

I would be tempted to fill it up do for a good run then, carefully check for any sighs of leaks or hissing etc, if none, then place some newspaper under the front and keep checking it every 15 mins to see if there are signs of any wet patches.

What does your Oil and Oil filler cap look like, no signs of head gasket failure ?

Don't use the air con during the drive as its drain  normally goes out onto the floor.

 

Sounds like you need to find/look up  an auto aircon specialist in your area, lots about , not just a recharging service.

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On 5/12/2019 at 9:23 PM, oldcodger said:

My old leak caused  the reservoir to drop about 30mm from the Full mark over several months, if you are loosing its contents, plus possibly some more from the radiator then you have a big leak !

On the 1.6 you can easily see around the water pump with a torch and mirror from the top side of the engine bay

Might be worth just removing the radiators  fans and top bolts and hinging out so you can check all the front of the matrix for leaks.

I would be tempted to fill it up do for a good run then, carefully check for any sighs of leaks or hissing etc, if none, then place some newspaper under the front and keep checking it every 15 mins to see if there are signs of any wet patches.

What does your oil and oil filler cap look like, no signs of head gasket failure ?

Don't use the air con during the drive as its drain  normally goes out onto the floor.

Sounds like you need to find/look up  an auto aircon specialist in your area, lots about , not just a recharging service.

On 5/12/2019 at 9:23 PM, oldcodger said:

My old leak caused  the reservoir to drop about 30mm from the Full mark over several months, if you are loosing its contents, plus possibly some more from the radiator then you have a big leak !

On the 1.6 you can easily see around the water pump with a torch and mirror from the top side of the engine bay

Might be worth just removing the radiators  fans and top bolts and hinging out so you can check all the front of the matrix for leaks.

I would be tempted to fill it up do for a good run then, carefully check for any sighs of leaks or hissing etc, if none, then place some newspaper under the front and keep checking it every 15 mins to see if there are signs of any wet patches.

What does your Oil and Oil filler cap look like, no signs of head gasket failure ?

Don't use the air con during the drive as its drain  normally goes out onto the floor.

Sounds like you need to find/look up  an auto aircon specialist in your area, lots about , not just a recharging service.

Will have a look at the water pump properly when I get chance to jack it up.

I haven't taken the radiator cap off since posting last time to check fluids. The spare reservoir hasn't really dropped since I topped it up. Hard to tell without marking a line, so I may do that later.

My Oil has always looked/been spot on, never burnt Oil, very rarely needed topping up. 

If it does turn out to be the water pump, any advice on which brand to get if not getting direct from Toyota?

https://www.onlinecarparts.co.uk/car-brands/spare-parts-toyota/corolla-zze12-nde12-zde12/16375/10191/water-pump.html#10116

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Hi,

What I meant about the Oil and Oil filler cap, is was there any  sign of a creamy sludge , indicating a head gasket leak.

Check very carefully which water pump you go for is the correct one for your exact model / year, seems they change things quiet a lot.

That said, why worry about that, until you look and search to find the actual leak, could just be a loose hose clip  somewhere  ... or that it to a garage for a coolant pressure test.

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Just a quick update on my CTS.

Had my car pressure tested for both Oil and coolant recently at a garage I use. No leaks were found on the coolant and the head gasket came out fine. They suggested the coolant loss could have been due to an air lock, probably from when I replaced the radiator not long ago. Had my expansion tank topped up and it hasn't gone down since. Either way, I am having them do my water pump and fit a Samco silicone hose kit I managed to pick up, and will use the standard Toyota anti - freeze this time.

Before I took it in the garage I did notice an Oil leak around the sump which looked like a damp wet patch. I have had my Oil going down between the full and empty marker lately, and the garage said it looks like it is coming from the timing chain gasket area, dripping down. They cleaned up the area last week and checked it again today, but no Oil was visible on the sump. Anyone experienced similar problems? I have organised with the garage to replace the timing chain gaskets and o ring for the timing chain tensioner. Including the coolant work I'm having done, does £200 labour for everything seem reasonable? I did ask if there was anything worth having done whilst working on these areas and they said not really, only the timing chain. Any advice for this?

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6 hours ago, tarantula_123 said:

J I have had my oil going down between the full and empty marker lately, Any advice for this?

What exactly do you mean there ?

Between Full and Low is usually around 750ml of Oil.  so how often is that happening and  how many miles are you doing in that time ?

If it was leaking from that gasket it would be a big leak and probably leave a lot of Oil stains on the road /driveway, any such signs ?

For it not to be leaking now after a clean up , is odd ?  why not  run it for a few more days to see if it returns ?

What is it like when you are setting off or starting to accelerate after a long downhill over run, do you see a cloud of smoke in the mirror ?

Having said that, would have thought the garage would have checked for smoking  ?

If they have checked and sorted out the cooling , why are you replacing the water pump ?

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I had a problem of coolant loss recently on my 2004 Corolla. In desperation I thought I'd try replacing the expansion tank cap as it hadn't been replaced in 14 years. Found a genuine one on ebay for £13.90

 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GENUINE-Radiator-Expansion-Reservoir-Tank-Cap-Fits-Toyota-Avensis-RAV4-Corolla/273719693696?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

It solved the problem.

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On 6/29/2019 at 9:15 PM, oldcodger said:

What exactly do you mean there ?

Between Full and Low is usually around 750ml of Oil.  so how often is that happening and  how many miles are you doing in that time ?

If it was leaking from that gasket it would be a big leak and probably leave a lot of oil stains on the road /driveway, any such signs ?

For it not to be leaking now after a clean up , is odd ?  why not  run it for a few more days to see if it returns ?

What is it like when you are setting off or starting to accelerate after a long downhill over run, do you see a cloud of smoke in the mirror ?

Having said that, would have thought the garage would have checked for smoking  ?

If they have checked and sorted out the cooling , why are you replacing the water pump ?

Meaning, I have topped my Oil up probably twice now and it has gone down from full to in the middle of the full and empty markers. I drive between 100 - 120 miles a week standard. I am not too sure on the intervals of it going low, but probably a month or two. It has never gone below the low marker. Just weird that it sits in the middle. I have not topped it up from the middle to full yet since the garage cleaned the Oil up. 

It still drives and accelerates perfectly fine, and I do hit lift every time I drive it. I have never seen any clouds of smoke in my mirrors.

I sort of got the water pump and hoses as it kind of eliminates the possibility of anything else being the cause of a leak, because most other cooling system parts have been replaced over the years (thermostat/matrix/radiator). My coolant in the expansion tank hasn't gone down this week since they topped it up, so possibly it was just an air lock, but, it seems an awfully long time for an airlock to stay in the cooling system since I replaced my radiator. 

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16 hours ago, Corolla2004 said:

I had a problem of coolant loss recently on my 2004 Corolla. In desperation I thought I'd try replacing the expansion tank cap as it hadn't been replaced in 14 years. Found a genuine one on ebay for £13.90

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GENUINE-Radiator-Expansion-Reservoir-Tank-Cap-Fits-Toyota-Avensis-RAV4-Corolla/273719693696?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

It solved the problem.

Yours is different to mine, which I think is below:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-Toyota-Yaris-T-Sport-Expansion-Tank-Cap-16471-23030-/362383106163

How did it stop the coolant leak when the expansion tank isn't really pressurised like the radiator cap itself?

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From what you say then ,it kind of suggests its a high up Oil leak, that when it drops to the middle mark it cannot leak any more ?

Top up to full , if it  leaks that proves the point, assuming it is the chain cover gasket ?

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In answer to tarantula_123 question; my Corolla has not got any other radiator cap. So the cap to the expansion tank allows the expansion tank & the cooling system to build up pressure. So if you look my cap's ebay' picture; it shows the cap has a pressure limit of 108 kPa (16 psi). I think the boiling point of water at this pressure is 120 C.

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2 hours ago, Corolla2004 said:

In answer to tarantula_123 question; my Corolla has not got any other radiator cap. So the cap to the expansion tank allows the expansion tank & the cooling system to build up pressure. So if you look my cap's ebay' picture; it shows the cap has a pressure limit of 108 kPa (16 psi). I think the boiling point of water at this pressure is 120 C.

Interesting, my 2006 has a radiator pressure cap 0.9bar ( 13.5psi) and the expansion vessel has  a simple low pressure push on plastic cap, no way would a pressure cap fit.

Thought from 2002 -2007 were the same apart from cosmetic differences, so wonder why yours is different ? an import /Japan made ?

Though you do not mention your exact model /cc/ fuel ?

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7 hours ago, oldcodger said:

From what you say then ,it kind of suggests its a high up oil leak, that when it drops to the middle mark it cannot leak any more ?

Top up to full , if it  leaks that proves the point, assuming it is the chain cover gasket ?

Should have added its worth topping the Oil up as if it does leak again it might show exactly where its coming from, if not the chain gasket ..

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This got me thinking.....there are some white marks on my radiator cap, expansion tank cap and pink on the grill behind fan. As well as the marks on the under tray l saw a shiny wet patch, circled, not sure if its rain water or fresh coolant. 

And I gave up on the Oil leak, after cleaning up and replacing the tensioner O ring it seems to be a little worse, as in it drips on the drive shaft below. I too thought that it stops leaking after it drops half way  min/full mark but never really got down to it. 

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1 hour ago, roks said:

This got me thinking.....there are some white marks on my radiator cap, expansion tank cap and pink on the grill behind fan. As well as the marks on the under tray l saw a shiny wet patch, circled, not sure if its rain water or fresh coolant. 

And I gave up on the oil leak, after cleaning up and replacing the tensioner O ring it seems to be a little worse, as in it drips on the drive shaft below. I too thought that it stops leaking after it drops half way  min/full mark but never really got down to it. 

Looks like you have a radiator leak there and its flooding onto the bottom cross member that the radiator locates on to, mine similarly failed down near the bottom but I could not see it until I had to replace the air con condenser, though it was only a very small leak that had been there for years, yours look a bit more advanced, new rads around £50 though worth replacing the thermostat as the same time while the system is drained and flushed/

As for the white stuff on the rad cap, as there is nothing on the plastic just below the cap , think it is just oxidation, should clean off easily.

Cannot help with the Oil leak, not a problem I have had.

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oldcodger my Corolla is a UK supplied 2l diesel model. My Haines workshop manual also shows the diesel having a pressure cap on the reservoir (expansion) tank. But it looks like it shows the petrol version as having a different arrangement.

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I believe mine is rather a reserve tank than actual expansion tank. Some of the Corolla models do come with one pressurised cap for both the rad and expansion in one. Mine is just for the rad, and a push on black cap for the reserve. 

 

 

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On 7/1/2019 at 12:11 AM, oldcodger said:

new rads around £50

I think I'll have to face it abd replacethe rad, losing quite a bit now. ECP has Nissens £50 and EIS £41 are they much different in quality?

Also, how much coolant will I need to fill the radiator if I cant re-use the old?

 

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