Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

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Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby scottb721 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:27 pm

Have a super hot day today in NSW and after getting to the place we are staying had coolant boiling out of the reservoir bottle.
Is this a sign of the dreaded head gasket problem?

A couple of trips after that incident the gauge would quickly shoot up to towards the upper white mark briefly but then come back down to the middle of the white marks. Twice now having to go up a super steep hill the temp gauge climbs and upon getting out can hear the reservoir boiling.
Car has 210k on it.
Thanks
08 3.0 spec B
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby RX25SE » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:23 am

Could likely be a head gasket, but the fact that this occurred on a hot day suggests you need to diagnose the fault rather than just replacing head gaskets.

Firstly check for any external coolant leaks. Then I would be making sure the thermostat is working correctly, the radiator is not blocked internally or externally, the radiator cap can hold pressure and that the water pump is pumping.

As the cost is not too great, it might be worth just fitting a new thermostat and radiator cap to begin with. As the coolant will need to be drained to do this, I would also send out the radiator for a test (radiator shop) and flush/replace the coolant. This would all need to be done in the event of a gasket replacement anyway.

Here is a link to water pump testing http://www.autospeed.com/cms/article.html?&title=Water-Pump-Testing&A=110478 , unfortunately this is often overlooked in workshops as it's a little time consuming. Water pump replacement on the H6 requires the timing cover to be removed.


If all the above doesn't solve the issue, then it's head gasket time.
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby scottb721 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:43 am

Thanks very much.
The temp was almost hitting 50C yesterday :oops:
I didn't want to risk driving it around the Hunter Valley today and so ducked home the 90klms to swap it for the work van. It did the trip without any issues. Couldn't really fault it yesterday either except the two trips up the steep hill where we're staying.
There's a go-to Suby dude in Newcastle so I'll go pay him a visit.
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby LibertyTragic » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:48 pm

Doesn’t particularly sound like a head gasket issue. Check for other signs such as milky oil or bubbling from the top of the radiator while the engine is revving.

As the previous poster suggests, more likely related to cooling system performance issues.
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby bigBADbenny » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:42 am

Once you’re done, bleed it properly:


Bleed coolant

Check that the cooling system has been bled properly:

Raise front of car on slope or ramps.

Jam a funnel into the turbo coolant tank, (or radiator for n/a cars) support it with a wire hook hanging from bonnet, fill up funnel with coolant.

(I use 2 SCA funnels, the inexpensive two piece type, one unit complete, and the flexible section of the second jammed into the first for extra length/volume, but one will do the job)

Idle car with heater on full blast.

Get up to temperature and massage top hose, then rev engine.

Repeat till no bubbles in funnel.

Remove funnel, replace cap and wash off excess coolant.

Take your time and be patient, use a welding glove , rag or oven mitt to massage the upper hose as the coolant comes up to temperature.

Otherwise a pressure bleeder is a good tool to have for the job.
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby scottb721 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:52 am

Thanks very much guys for the input.
Before I drove it yesterday I checked the dipstick and it didn't look milky at all.
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby scottb721 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:36 pm

Well well well. I'm sure this shouldn't look like this

Image
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby RX25SE » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:13 pm

scottb721 wrote:Well well well. I'm sure this shouldn't look like this



Haha... mine did the same on a drive from Melb to Sydney.

That's most likely your issue, vacuum valve missing! Without it the system can't build any pressure so the boiling point of the coolant can't be raised, combine that with high ambient temp and you get boiling coolant.

Once you have replaced the cap, keep an eye on it as boiling coolant may lead to a blown head gasket.
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby scottb721 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:05 pm

Replaced the cap and did a couple of trips up a steep hill and gauge stayed in the usual spot.
Will have a crack next week at doing my first coolant change.

Oh, found the missing spring in the top tank too.
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby bigBADbenny » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:23 pm

Just did our 2.5i.

Bulging top hose at 250k km...
Probably due for new coolant anyway as the car is newish to us...

Looked up the part numbers and bought Gates items from the local Repco.

The stock spring clamps were very difficult to get over the hump, so I used some quality jubilee clips, from the local garage, on the lower hose. I’ll probably replace the top clamps too.

The only item that required attention was the thermostat outlet: sanding off accumulated oxidisation.

My SCA funnel was a crap fit in the radiator, so I cut end down a little, shaved off 4 ribs, inserted an inch of garden hose flush with the end, wrapped some electrical tape around the end and voila!

Unlike a turbo it seemed to bleed out almost immediately despite going through the process for 30min: I’ll call that a win :good:
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Re: Coolant in overflow bottle boiling.

Postby scottb721 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:18 pm

Man, probably why I left this to the service department for the last 20+ yrs :lol:
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