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 losing coolant, head gasket?

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frenchblatter
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PostSubject: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyTue Dec 08, 2015 8:43 pm

HI, I've not gone away, been busy rebuilding a 1949 MG TC.

The Mini (2005 Cooper S) is losing coolant. No obvious leaks, no emulsion on oil filler cap or in oil, and not boiling or throwing water out.

The heater is cold (luke warm but not hot)

Any ideas?

Thanks
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Davyboy
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyTue Dec 08, 2015 9:08 pm

Thermostat housing is a common issue, they become porous. Fairly cheap fix if that is the issue..

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dvyby058
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frenchblatter
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyTue Dec 08, 2015 10:09 pm

Dave, there is no evidence of a coolant leak. I left it running in my workshop and not a drip under the car. I'll have a good look with a lead lamp as soon as I get a minute.

Thanks
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Davyboy
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyTue Dec 08, 2015 11:15 pm

I never saw a leak but had cold heaters and gurgling inside which was air locks, never notice the temp gauge rise but that was the issue, mine was out of warranty but after some research I found its a known issue to MINI and asked for goodwill. They paid for the thermostat housing, thermostat and half the labour, I had to pay for half an hour labour..

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frenchblatter
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyWed Dec 09, 2015 4:50 am

OK, that'll be it then. I'll order a housing this morning and fit it next week. I have a thermostat, which I bought last year and never fitted.

Many thanks, SNM to the resue again.
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NeilAndHisMini
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyWed Dec 09, 2015 8:00 am

I had the same symptoms as Dave describes on mine, and it turned out to be the same cause - leaky thermostat housing.
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frenchblatter
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyWed Dec 09, 2015 8:25 am

Thanks Neil, I'll update next week when I've done it
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118
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyWed Dec 09, 2015 5:21 pm

I had exactly the same issue that Neil and Dave mention too, on my old R53 Checkmate. Fortunately mine was still under warranty at the time, so they just replaced the thermostat housing Smile

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frenchblatter
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyWed Dec 09, 2015 6:54 pm

OK, I'm going to the Mini dealer in Angers on Saturday morning. Thanks
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shep61



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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyWed Dec 09, 2015 9:22 pm

+1. You don't see any fluid on the floor due to it being a slow weep and it evaporating via the engine block before it has chance to hit the deck.
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frenchblatter
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyWed Dec 09, 2015 9:38 pm

I'll keep topping up until next week when I can fit the new housing.

Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyThu Dec 10, 2015 10:26 am

Thermostats are VERY common causes of leaks/loss of coolant. Other things on the R53 could be expansion tank, radiator, normally can see rust or stains on the bottom corners (when you take the undertray off and look from the engine side) or heater matrix. When you bleed the system the bleed valve is on the top hose between the intercooler and radiator and then there is also a small 8mm headed bolt in one of the hard pipes near the thermostat. Head gaskets are very uncommon to go so unlikely to be that.

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frenchblatter
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyThu Dec 10, 2015 1:45 pm

I've ordered the housing, gasket and two hoses from the BMW dealer in Angers. They will be in on Monday or Tuesday. I'm going to Angers Saturday morning so will have to go back on Wednesday. It's a 45 minute drive from here.

I'll do it next week (laying a new floor at the moments) and look at the whole cooling system when I've got it in the air.

Thanks
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frenchblatter
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyFri Dec 18, 2015 7:32 pm

Got the parts on Wednesday and fitted a new housing and thermostat today. Difficult isn't the word. If the loom was directed away from the area it would make the job much easier.

Anyway, I've bleed it a few times but the heater is still cold. Also there were no stains on the housing that came off......

I'll have another look tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyFri Dec 18, 2015 9:26 pm

If it is still blowing cold it will be one of two things either still air in the system (Jack the back of the car up and leave front on the floor, as it will help bleed the air out) or the heater matrix. The heater matrixs do block up. There are no heater valves, the matrix is always hot. There are 3 torx 20 screws that hold the cover over the pipe work and matrix in the passenger footwell. Hope that helps, we are in Monday if you want to call and ask any questions.

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frenchblatter
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyFri Dec 18, 2015 9:47 pm

Thanks, I'll try raising the rear and give it a drive around the block, which may move the airlock. I don't think it's a blocked matrix because it was hot one day and cold the next as the water disappeared.
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frenchblatter
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptySat Jan 16, 2016 11:30 am

I took it into the BMW dealer in Angers for them to adjust the headlights. I asked them to bleed the heater. They didn't even look at it but said I needed a new thermo housing. When I said I'd just fitted a new one they shrugged.

I've been having a rest for a few weeks so I'm now bleeding the heater. I have the back jacked up very high, the front apron is almost touching the floor. I've got some air out and have now left it to cool so I can top it up before bleeding some more. The heater is still cold.

I'll just keep bleeding it. I may see if I can jack it up more.
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptySat Jan 16, 2016 12:23 pm

If you take the panel inside the passenger foot well by where your right foot would be if you were sat in the passenger seat and feel the pipes behind. If one is red hot when run then the matrix is blocked.

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frenchblatter
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptySun Jan 17, 2016 9:05 pm

I'll do that tomorrow. How difficult is it to remove the matrix?
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptySun Jan 17, 2016 11:11 pm

Matrix isn't too hard to do. The hardest bit is that cover. There are 3or4 torx 20 screws holding it in. One is closets to the bulk head at the top and is very hard to get to. Once the cover is off there are two clamps on the feed pipes (these clamps are very hard to refit if fitting new seals) and then just one torx screw holding it in then it slides out.

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frenchblatter
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyMon Jan 18, 2016 9:34 am

Many thanks, when it stops snowing and gets warmer (next week) I'll remove the cover and take a look. I'm picking up the MG TC chassis on Thursday to refit the power train and handbrake and blled the brakes. So it can wait until after that.
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frenchblatter
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyThu Jan 28, 2016 1:29 pm

Finally found some time to look at the heater. The bottom pipe is scalding hot, the top is warm to hot. If the heater would get to that temperature I'd be happy. The heater is still cold.

I've jacked the back up very high, the front skirt was about 2" from the ground. Then left it ticking over whilst I laid fllor tiles in the workshop. Every 10 minutes, while the glue was drying, I bleed the rad. After 2 hours I'm pretty sure all the air is out.

I'm going to try and get the return hose off, drain the system and reverse flush the heater matrix. As soon as I get time, in the meantime I'll wear a few jumpers and a big sheepskin....
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PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyThu Jan 28, 2016 3:17 pm

Was that the two metal pipes inside the car that you tested the temperature of? If so then a new heater matrix is needed, that will be causing the issue.

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frenchblatter
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyThu Jan 28, 2016 4:44 pm

Yes, the two inside the car going in and out of the matrix.

I'll try reverse flushing first and if that doesn't unblock it I'll order a new matrix. Can you supply?

Thanks.

Whilst I've got you, can I be a nuisance and ask if you have any ide what I need to do to get the cigar lighters working. I've checked all the fuses in the fuse box under the bonnet and in the N/S footwell. I suspect there's a wire off the front unit as it's loose but it seems the whole dash has to come out to get at it. I may just run two wires from the battery leads under the bonnet, with an inline fuse and fit another unit under the dash somewhere. It's only for phone charging so will have a USB cable fitted.
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frenchblatter
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losing coolant, head gasket? Vide
PostSubject: Re: losing coolant, head gasket?   losing coolant, head gasket? EmptyWed Feb 24, 2016 4:04 pm

Sorry for delay but I've been flat out on the MG.

I bought a heater seal kit from teh BMW dealer at Angers. Last Saturday I took the heater matrix out. The Haynes manual says to remove the two hoses on the engine side of the bulkhead. So I took the air box out and got the clip off the top hose but couldn't even see the clip on the bottom. I undid the two screws holding the matrix into its housing and it came out. I didn't need to remove the airbox and hoses. I spent all Saturday afternoon and evening filling the matrix with a phosphate/water mix (4:1) and leaving it for two hours shaking it out rigorously. Lots of brown sludge came out. I left it in this solution overnight and in the morning after a good shake and more sludge expelled I filled it with vinegar for an hour. By this time there was a flow of water through the matrix, probably not as much as there should be but at least there was a flow. I put it all back on Sunday and we have some heat. not as much as it should be but at least its warm.

I'll see how much a matrix is in the UK. BMW Angers price for one would need a mortgage!

Oh, and the seal kit was the wrong one.
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