Using water / coolant idiot question

Discussion in 'Fiat' started by Campinggaz, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Campinggaz

    Campinggaz Read Only Funster

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    Hi All,
    Excuse me for sounding a bit thick, we have an 08 ducato based motorhome done 6000 miles but have noticed it is using water and we keep having to top it up with anti freeze and water.
    I will be perfectly honest, I haven't noticed it as its my good lady who takes care of maintenance and bonnet things however she says its something we need to be concerned about. She topped up the other day to full as it was on a min, and then we (well she) had to put some more in just 3 days later as it was under half again, Its still on half so has used a bit since but she says something is a miss,
    Now I don't want to look like a right pillock taking it to the garage for them to tell me its fine,
    Just wondered if anyone elses Ducato likes to drink antifreeze.
    yes I am a bit stupid when it comes to car things, but as she is at work full time its gonna be more who takes it to the garage to look stupid.
    Fortunately the van still has a warranty as we only had it in November.
    Thanks in advance.:Blush:
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    it certainly needs looking at professionally as soon as possible.

    an engine should use no water if there are no leaks or underlying problems...its a sealed system.

    could be nothing more than a water hose clip needs tightening but could lead to major repairs if left unattended.
     
  3. Campinggaz

    Campinggaz Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Pappajohn.
    Garage have been rang (they we're just going home so wasn't too impressed) Booked it in for friday,
    Hope its just a hose clip :Sad:
    sorry to sound so thick
    Thanks again.
     
  4. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    When you say she topped it up, exactly how high did she top it up to? It should only ever be filled to the "MAX" line on the expansion tank, if any higher then the surplus will be blown out when it heats up. If she only topped up to the Max position and after just three days its down to half way between Max and Min then it would suggest there is something amiss. Does it have a rear engine driven heater by any chance? I ask because I have on more than one occasion found these to leak.

    D.
     
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  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    at 6000mls i reckon, at worst, it could be the radiator itself has a pinhole leak.

    half a bottle of water in 3 days doesn't sound enough for a major problem....cylinder head etc.

    as its under warranty its up to the dealer to sort it out.




    hang on a minute :Eeek:

    you say she filled it up...do you mean to the full level mark or full to the top ?

    if filled to the top it will lose water...the bottle is an expansion vessel, as the engine heats up the water expands to almost fill the bottle, then it cools and contracts back into the engine leaving half the bottle empty.




    :Doh: Dave got there before me :Laughing:
     
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  6. Campinggaz

    Campinggaz Read Only Funster

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    Hi Dave,
    She says she topped it up to max line on the tank, she is very savvy when it comes to maintenance as she is a bus and coach driver It does have a automotive heater in the back which runs off the engine fan thing, Which was on all the way up to Peterborough now you mention it as the kids we're cold.
    We didn't have it on on the way back though and it seems to have used much less coming home.
    Thanks for that I never thought of checking that.
     
  7. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    I know little about Fiat systems but,the system could have air in it like home radiators. To purge air from the system you could have a vent and the heater needs to be open etc.. Topping up the expansion tank will not do this.
     
  8. andyman

    andyman Read Only Funster

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    I found a leak on the habitation heater on my Burstner. It was on during an over zellous clean that I noticed a blueish stain on the floor next to the heater. Removed a few bits of wood and found a small leak on the inlet pipe. I had'nt lost any water as such but I did top it up once and thoght nothing of it.

    Good Luck
     
  9. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Wasn't there a documented fault with Ducatos a while back which involved a fractured steel coolant pipe on the side of the engine?:Eek!:
     
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  10. Campinggaz

    Campinggaz Read Only Funster

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    Hmmm had a scout on the internet and couldn't find it, But will keep looking
    Thanks again.
     
  11. UncleNorm

    UncleNorm Read Only Funster

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    I'm with Dave Newell on this. My garage drew my attention to the fact that my coolant was too low. :Blush: I looked under the motorhome and found the feed and return from the engine. Both pipes had coolant dripping from them. So, back to the dealer where two new jubilee clips were fitted where the pipes joined the secondary matrix under the table, next to the passenger seat. Good news... no charge. Well done Timberland. :BigGrin:
     
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  12. Campinggaz

    Campinggaz Read Only Funster

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    I will get underneath it tomorrow in the daylight and have look tomorrow. Thanks you I am so grateful for your comments.
     
  13. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Git under her, you know it makes sense:Smile:
     
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  14. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    The van or the wife?
     
  15. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Before you start panicking........On the Citroen, Peugeot & Fiat bases they do have a habit of finding 'their own' level.

    You may fill to the max line as many times as you wish.....but it will always end up mid-way between the two marks and stay there.

    This is quite normal....had it on the citroens at the main dealer I used to work at, and with the Peugeot motorhomes we hired...they all do it - so long as they do not overheat, then you do not have a problem!:thumb:
     
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  16. Campinggaz

    Campinggaz Read Only Funster

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    Hi everyone
    Thank you for all your replies, I just thought I would update.

    Well I had a look round the automotive heater and couldn't see any signs of leaks, So I took it to our local motorhome repairer who happened to be in the town where I live as recommended by a friend, they fitted me in this afternoon, They couldn't find a leak on a pressure test, So did a Block test (not sure what that was) but have found sludge round the Oil filler cap,
    This apparently is not good news, They seem to think it could be something to do with an oil Mixer part (can't remember the name) or the head Gasket :cry::cry:
    Fortunately it is still under warranty so the workshop was ringing them this afternoon,
    Either way its not exactly good news and looks as though she will be off the road for a while, Which is also not good as we use it as our second car.
    Not a happy bunny, just hope the warranty company pay up,
    I am really P#####d off to say the least,
    What I cannot understand is a 4 year old van with just 6000 miles on the clock could have something so majorly wrong! :Eeek:
    Thanks everyone again for all your help.
    Today has not been a good day, I had to get the bus back from the workshop, with a screaming, tired 18 month old and a 4 year who was upset as we had left the motorhome at the garage and then I realised I had left my house keys in the motorhome to top everything off once I had got all the way home, :Sad:
     
  17. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    if there was no leak with a pressure test than the head gasket should be OK.

    a head gasket leak should cause a major water loss as the pressure within the cylinders could be as high as 300psi cranking the engine without it starting...and considerably more when it is running...and will force air into the cooling system thus forcing water out of the radiator overflow.

    the test pressurises the water to the same, or higher, as when the engine is hot (just below 13 to 15psi generally) and any leak will show a loss of pressure on the tester gauge.

    the sludge is usually caused by condensation within the engine mixing with the oil during short trips where the engine doesn't really get up to temperature for long enough to 'burn' off any moisture...as you said, it is used as a second car presumably for running around locally.

     
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  18. Campinggaz

    Campinggaz Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Pappajohn, I have calmed a little now,
    We do use it locally on occasions although my OH drives it to work when I need the car twice a week 10 miles trip each way, although at least once a fortnight it gets a good run (30 miles) and then weekends and holidays it gets a good run.
    I still am in 2 minds whether to get another car for her to use for work so we dont run around in the motorhome daily but then again surely a modern diesel engine should be able to cope with any sort of driving?
     
  19. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    The "oil mixer" part mentioned is an oil/water heat exchanger usually mounted near the oil filter. Its job is to pre heat the oil from the cooling water during cold starts then when up to temperature it works the opposite way and passes excess heat from the oil to the water. They are usually fitted on 2.2 peugeot engines, possibly others but I'm not sure which. They are a known problem and not a hugely expensive part to replace. If it has failed there will usually be oil in the coolant rather than the other way round.

    D.
     
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  20. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    thanks Dave....another snippet of 'knowledge' to store away for future reference. :thumb:
     

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