really stupid question, sorry..... (1 Viewer)

Affiliate links here may earn MHF compensation

calion

Free Member
Sep 3, 2014
406
527
Funster No
33,170
MH
C class
Exp
since 2008
The water/coolant level looks like it needs topping up a bit in my new to me van. Its a vw T4 and the plastic header tank thing is globular with a black cap or bung. I cant shift this cap either by twisting or pulling upwards. Is it supposed to be topped up from somewhere else? Is the cap meant to come off, can't see any other way to top up. Sorry, said it was a stupid question, but any tips greatly appreciated!
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
43,523
51,059
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
Dont know your van but if its like in the pic it does turn.
roughty toughty mechanic has probably overtighteed it.

upload_2015-2-20_13-17-33.jpeg
 

scotjimland

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 25, 2007
2,656
11,757
Funster No
15
MH
None
The header tank may be low when cold.. check again when the engine is at full working temperature..

if still low , when systems cold again top up with coolant, then keep an eye on it over a few days..

.. it shouldn't lose water unless there is a hose leak or head gasket gone
 
OP
OP
calion

calion

Free Member
Sep 3, 2014
406
527
Funster No
33,170
MH
C class
Exp
since 2008
Thank you both. Yes the cap does look like that one Papajohn, but won't budge grrr. The level appears to be below minimum, so I think it needs a little. Will note what you say about shouldn't lose water and will monitor after top up IF I can ever remove cap!!
 

grumps147

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 6, 2010
1,841
2,465
St.Helens
Funster No
11,938
MH
Between
Exp
MH 12 yrs -Tent/Caravan 49 years
We have a vW estate, not van, and our header tank is round with markings about half way up at its widest point, so it may not need topping up right to the top. You will find when you do remove the cap that pressure release will affect the level. Due to arthritis I now find myself using devices to help loosen things, sometimes something as simple as a cloth gives me a better grip, others it has to be a tool like those slackening off oil filters use where you tie a band on a handle around the lid and use the handle as extra leverage. It will be a twist fasten.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Cal54

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 25, 2014
3,850
63,295
Southport, UK
Funster No
31,130
MH
Leisuredrive Renoir
Exp
Since 1996
Have had problems with similar cap in the past. I used a rubber mallet to help it on its way - but do it gently!!!!
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
43,523
51,059
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
I think the problem with the cap is its plastic.
it will contract and expand with the heat and will self tighten.
my plastic oil filter housing cap was the same...i had to buy the proper removal tool or risk destroying the cap and possibly the housing.
 

wingman

Free Member
Feb 10, 2013
1,217
3,333
Romford, Essex
Funster No
24,645
MH
Coachbuilt Lo-Profile
Exp
Since 2012
How about a hair drier just on the cap itself? May expand it a 'nats'? Enough to make it budge when you give it a few extra 'Isaccs' with some tool or clothed grip.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

thehutchies

Free Member
Aug 31, 2007
1,527
1,776
The Wheelèd Shed
Funster No
200
MH
.
Exp
.
Our T4 is just the same.
I put the cap on just finger tight and the next time I need to remove it, it takes a hammer and chisel.

Don't be gentle with it!
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
43,523
51,059
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
Heating the cap will expand it even further and make it tighter.
the cap needs cooling to contract it....but it still wont contract enough, it needs brute force.
 

scotjimland

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 25, 2007
2,656
11,757
Funster No
15
MH
None
Maybe a drop of Vaseline or Silicone grease on the male thread before replacing ?

good idea - bad ?
 
Feb 26, 2012
528
368
Funster No
19,975
MH
coach
Exp
Motorhome since 2006 (caravanning 38yrs)
I agree with pappajohn regarding heating the cap. It is an internal thread and will expand.

What ever you do --- Do NOT try to remove it when hot. The pressure release may allow the coolant to boil and spray you.
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
12,479
44,491
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
Without at present
Exp
On and off for many years.
I'm trying to work out why this was a stupid question.

We've all had things that we think should come off but don't, well at least not easily, and been frightened of breaking something.

I thought it a great question:)
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
12,479
44,491
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
Without at present
Exp
On and off for many years.
Sounds daft but sometimes if you turn the wrong way just a smidge you can then turn the correct way. I've been known to use two hands on jammed caps, and also a percussion adjustment device in extreme circumstances.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
OP
calion

calion

Free Member
Sep 3, 2014
406
527
Funster No
33,170
MH
C class
Exp
since 2008
Thanks everybody, no luck with it this afternoon, will try again tomorrow. Might have to resort to brute force in the end.
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
12,479
44,491
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
Without at present
Exp
On and off for many years.
Perhaps a little heat would be worth a try - I know it is an internal thread and will expand etc etc BUT a bit of heat might just budge something that was sticking. Either heat or a bag of frozen peas over it :)
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
43,523
51,059
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
As a last resort this MAY help if you can use a saw and there is access around the cap.

Take a short (1ft) length of 2 x 2 timber.
cut a half inch slot ACROSS one face (2 cuts and chisel out between) a couple of inches from the end and deep enough to fit over the handle of the cap...maybe half an inch deep.

That should give you the extra leverage needed.
if that breaks you're going to need pipe pliers or similar.
 
OP
OP
calion

calion

Free Member
Sep 3, 2014
406
527
Funster No
33,170
MH
C class
Exp
since 2008
I see where you're coming from but don't know if I would trust myself with a saw!!!!
 

mjltigger

Free Member
Nov 12, 2014
1,619
2,672
Trowbridge
Funster No
34,213
MH
Autotrail Dakota Max
Exp
2012
I've used this method on metal caps in the past.. beware I nearly always burn myself..

If you run the engine up to temperature you can't open the cap but you can usually losen it very carefully being sure only to move it far enough to ensure it moves on the thread. When you let the engine cool it may well then just come straight off.

Repeat. I've only tried this on metal caps and I have burnt myself.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
OP
calion

calion

Free Member
Sep 3, 2014
406
527
Funster No
33,170
MH
C class
Exp
since 2008
I just cant believe its on so bloomin' tight!
 

TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
17,722
43,931
Dorset
Funster No
19,048
MH
A class
Exp
many many years! since I was a kid
simples.....get a man that can to do it for you

if youre in the AA or RAC phone them and one of their mechanics will drop by and help you. they are not just there for flat batteries and punctures etc

if not pop into an accessory shop like halfords and buy a strap wrench. or look in the kitchen drawer for a lightweight version sold for jars. be prepared to give it some force if need be

the idea of a hairdryer may help if you could only heat then cool the cap and not the bottle. however its unlikely to work
 
Apr 13, 2012
5,633
19,052
Funster No
20,541
MH
Mobilvetta Euroyacht
Exp
1996, then break 'til 2011
Go for it......if you break anything................

Broken Link Removed

(y)(y)(y)
 

MJG1959

Free Member
Feb 14, 2015
136
124
Cleveland UK
Funster No
35,094
MH
..
Exp
..
simples.....get a man that can to do it for you

if youre in the AA or RAC phone them and one of their mechanics will drop by and help you. they are not just there for flat batteries and punctures etc

if not pop into an accessory shop like halfords and buy a strap wrench. or look in the kitchen drawer for a lightweight version sold for jars. be prepared to give it some force if need be

the idea of a hairdryer may help if you could only heat then cool the cap and not the bottle. however its unlikely to work

I don't believe they will if the vehicle isn't actually broken down. My wife once rang the AA asking for help when our car number plates were stolen and they refused to help on the basis that the care was still movable and working fully, even though of course it was illegal for her to drive without any plates on the car.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Join us or log in to post a reply.

To join in you must be a member of MotorhomeFun

Join MotorhomeFun

Join us, it quick and easy!

Log in

Already a member? Log in here.

Latest journal entries

Funsters who are viewing this thread

Back
Top