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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
checked the radiator coolant level this morning (after 2 weeks of occasional high-rev driving) and it seems to have dropped, similiarly to the reservoir level ie. about 1cm below the MAX line. fyi, my E4 radiator is newly replaced and no sign of leakage/coolant stain undercarriage. is this normal, i mean the coolant level goes down after some serious driving for few days?! otherwise, what could be wrong?! i've been checking the temp gauge every once and then (while driving) and looks fine tho' ie. 1 notch below mid point.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Good or possibly bad news http://www.ltregister.f9.co.uk/graphics/happy1.gif border|EQU| 0 align|EQU| absmiddle > [img]http://www.ltregister.f9.co.uk/graphics/sad1.gif border|EQU| 0 align|EQU| absmiddle >

When driven hard in high ambient temps , the cooling system will reach higher temp and pressure . Then when stopped the heat soak (all the hot things under the bonnet radiating heat without air flow 2 remove it)
pushes the already higher cooling system temp and pressure even higher , this can then vent normally as vapour from the header tank vent pipe.
The correct level in the expansion tank is about 1-2 cm above min when the engine is cold , if higher than this then the system will tend 2 vent the surplus regardless of ambient temp.
However , it can also b an indication of the head gasket giving up , and while there can b other symptoms suggesting head gasket failure , I have known slight coolant usage at high temps 2 b the only evidence.
If the coolant level becomes stable at normal ambient temps yr probably ok tho [img]http://www.ltregister.f9.co.uk/graphics/happy1.gif border|EQU| 0 align|EQU| absmiddle >
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hey, this sounds scary tho'... my head gasket could be giving up?! but only clocked 20K kms to-date!! what other sympthoms of a failing head gasket?! do ppl usually top-up the coolant every 2 weeks of hardcore driving?! what is the head gasket made of ie. metal or rubber?! is it difficult to replace 'em or DIY possible?!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When the cooling system is working properly, you should never loose coolant out of the radiator. The expansion tank will always ensure the radiator coolant level is right up to the cap.

How did you find out that the radiator needed replacing? If you drove the car with insufficient coolant this could lead to a warped cylinder head or failed head gasket.

The head gasket is a laminated composite and metal item and is replaceable by a highly competant DIY person. If you need to ask how hard the job is then you're not up to it.

From the low amount of water being lost it would be hard to see any symptons positively identifying a failed head gasket. As the gasket lets more water escape you would notice the car running on 3 cylinders when it is started after a long stand (overnight)

Just another thought, there could have been an air lock in the water system when your radiator was replaced - this could be why your water level is going down but like I said above I would expect to see the radiator full right up to the cap

Cheers,

Mark
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd have to agree with Mark, in 2 years and 26000 miles (!) I've never had to put any water in the car, and I check the level once a week.
Same with oil, since I fixed a weep on the cam-cover gasket I've never had to put any oil in it either.

Now gearboxes.....thats another story. They are a consumable item are they not ?

TonyC
(Tempter of fate. Doh !)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
after the last coolant top-up, took my E4 out for few high revving sessions and re-check the coolant level the next morning before engine start. yess, it's up to the cap and the reservoir level stays at MAX. does this means my cooling system and head gasket are still healthy ?! well, i think it's advisable to check the coolant and engine oil level every week or at least twice monthly - just to be safe!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
sk-evo4,
Sounds like yr ok.
Hard driven engines in high ambient temps (especially turbos) can cause the cooling system 2 vent , check around at a trackday when its hot , see 4 yrself.
I have had cars in complaining of slight coolant loss without any obvious cause , then when I pressure checked the cooling system , a leaking head gasket was found 2 b the culprit. Wasn't enuf of a leak 2 cause steam in the exhaust or water mixing with oil etc etc ,just enuf 2 loose coolant.
water pumps can also leak from the shaft seal but u wud probably c evidence of that.
Remember , always check the simplest and most obvious things first.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
monitored the coolant level for the past 4 days and never seems to drop again, simply becoz' i didn't drive my E4 like madness like the other time. according to my mechanic, it's normal for the coolant level to decrease on any turbocharged cars after some spirited driving ie. track day, due to excessive pressure built up thus forcing some of the coolant in the reservoir to flow out via the escape valve, is this true?! changing to a higher pressure radiator cap ie. from 0.9 to 1.1/1.3, will help but i rather not coz' the stock radiator is designed to withstand up to 0.9 |PLS|- 0.1/0.2 i believe otherwise a blown radiator!! come to think of it, slow driving is kinda fun and at the same time, i'm checking on the fuel consumption for non-spirited driving mode on E4... hope to reach 300km by end of full tank/next refill... *grin*
 
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