really stupid question, sorry.....

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by calion, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. calion

    calion

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    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!
     
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  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    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
     
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  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    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
     
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  4. calion

    calion

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    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!!
     
  5. grumps147

    grumps147 Funster

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    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.
     
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  6. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    ...stupid answer....you are trying to turn it the right way....aren't you

    lefty loosey, righty tighty........looking from the top
    :whistle:
     
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  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    When you get the cap off only fill to the COLD mark(with a cold engine)....filling higher will only expel the excess water when it gets up to running temp.
     
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  8. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

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    Have had problems with similar cap in the past. I used a rubber mallet to help it on its way - but do it gently!!!!
     
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  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    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.
     
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  10. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    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.
     
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  11. thehutchies

    thehutchies Funster

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    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!
     
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  12. cruiser

    cruiser Funster Life Member

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    some one beat me to it a hairdryer.
     
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  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    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.
     
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  14. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Maybe a drop of Vaseline or Silicone grease on the male thread before replacing ?

    good idea - bad ?
     
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  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    No harm in trying Jim.
     
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  16. Eddystone

    Eddystone Funster

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    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.
     
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  17. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster Life Member

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    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:)
     
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  18. MJG1959

    MJG1959 Read Only Funster

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    It's a question of leverage I would of thought.

    Can you get some mole grips on it? To exert some?
     
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  19. calion

    calion

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    Yes, I was turning the right way, or trying to anyway(y)
     
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  20. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster Life Member

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    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.
     
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