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Hopefully somebody can help me with this. After much searching, I picked up a 2001 Esprit about a month ago and have been nothing but impressed with the car so far. I am having a problem that I hope you experts can help me diagnose...

Last week, while running the car on a longer run (~60 miles or so), the temp gauge pegged and the coolant light came on. I pulled over into a gas station to find that the car had blown all the coolant out from the drain in the passenger side rear wheel well as a result of overheating. I let the car cool, refilled the coolant and cautiously made my way home. I had been sitting in traffic on a warm day prior to the overheat, so I chalked it up that.

Since then, I have had the same thing happen twice more. The first time, I pulled over as soon as I saw the gauge skyrocketing and managed to prevent the coolant overflow. Just as I was pulling over, I hit a pothole and the temp came back down pretty quickly. I still shut the car off and let it cool before proceeding. This morning it happened again and I needed a complete refill of the coolant :no

On a related note, sometimes the car wont start if you shut it off hot (>95 degrees) until it has had time to cool. This problem has been with the car since I got it. Not sure if it's related or not, but thought I would throw it out there.

I am starting to wonder if I filled the coolant system correctly - the car came without manuals and I have not found a replacement set yet. I found the fill line on the cannister under the wheelwell but, while trapped on the side of the road, I have been filling it through the overflow tank in the engine compartment. Is this correct or am I introducing the possibility of air pockets that would explain the temp dropping when I ran over the bump?

Any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

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Hi Russ and sorry to hear about your problem.

This is what I would do... (although UK spec so sides may differ!!)

Remove the cap in the engine bay, and fill the system with coolant mixture.

At the front of the car where the radiator sits, is a bleed screw. Its sits on the top of the radiator on the left hand side - look inside the wheel arch. Bleed of the air through this screw.

In the engine compartment you will see a large diameter hose connected to a steel pipe. In this steel pipe is another bleed screw - bleed it.

Check the coolant level.

With cap still off start engine and keep bleeding the screws - I do the rad one first, and topping up the coolant.

Turn off and let it go completely cold.

Check and adjust cooolant level and replace cap.

In the wheel arch, fill to level line. (this seems to find its own level after running)

Dont forget the obvious and check all hose connections for security and leaks, also check the cap in the engine bay.

You could then get the system pressure tested.

Good luck

Glyn

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Hi Russ and sorry to hear about your problem.

This is what I would do... (although UK spec so sides may differ!!)

Remove the cap in the engine bay, and fill the system with coolant mixture.

At the front of the car where the radiator sits, is a bleed screw. Its sits on the top of the radiator on the left hand side - look inside the wheel arch. Bleed of the air through this screw.

In the engine compartment you will see a large diameter hose connected to a steel pipe. In this steel pipe is another bleed screw - bleed it.

Check the coolant level.

With cap still off start engine and keep bleeding the screws - I do the rad one first, and topping up the coolant.

Turn off and let it go completely cold.

Check and adjust cooolant level and replace cap.

In the wheel arch, fill to level line. (this seems to find its own level after running)

Dont forget the obvious and check all hose connections for security and leaks, also check the cap in the engine bay.

You could then get the system pressure tested.

Good luck

Glyn

Thanks! To fill at the wheel arch, I assume I need to pull the wheel off?

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Thanks! To fill at the wheel arch, I assume I need to pull the wheel off?

I can get my arm through the gap at the top of the wheel and use a bottle with a tube coming out of the top, like a gearbox oil bottle.

I shine a torch though so the level can be seen more easily

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I agree with the above process first to make sure the coolant is full and there is no air pocket in the system.

Also I would be very careful NOT to run the car when the coolant light comes on. I think the coolant light comes around 115C, which is way too hot. This could cause the cylinder liners adhesive to breakdown and then the cylinder liners to leak which will result in a engine rebuild which is expensive.

My Esprit operates from 80C-90C in traffic and 90C-110C in stopped traffic, anything over 110c and the fans come on and the temperature slowly goes down.

You might want to also check you fans to make sure they are coming on. Turn on the AC... I think if the AC is on then the fans should also be on.

If the fans work fine and the there is no air pockets then it might be time for the radiator to be replaced or re-cored. I've heard removing the radiator is the hard part because the fasteners are usually rusted. Getting it re-cored usually runs around $300US to $400US and most people get an extra row installed for even better cooling capacity. Some people buy the "high performance aluminum radiators

Edited by joeyoesprit

JoeyO

2001 V8 - Silver

2007 Ducati 1098

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Correct me if I'm mistaken, but you should never have to fill the overflow tank, no? The system is designed such that coolant over flow due to thermal expansion/contraction dictates flow to the overflow tank. Thus you need only to follow proper procedures for bleeding the system and filling the main coolant tank (in the engine bay). I've never touched the overflow tank, only the main coolant tank (which is always filled to the top), and the overflow tank seems to always self-regulate.

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Correct me if I'm mistaken, but you should never have to fill the overflow tank, no? The system is designed such that coolant over flow due to thermal expansion/contraction dictates flow to the overflow tank. Thus you need only to follow proper procedures for bleeding the system and filling the main coolant tank (in the engine bay). I've never touched the overflow tank, only the main coolant tank (which is always filled to the top), and the overflow tank seems to always self-regulate.

I drain the overflow tank is when I change the coolant (every two years). I would not want the old coolant to be "sucked" back into the new coolant. Usually I fill the overflow up about 1/4 way full and check it over the next few weeks after a coolant change.

In addition, I have noticed during the very hot summer months the overflow sometimes does go down (most likely due to the water evaporating). As long as there is some coolant in the overflow tank and the main coolant tank is full I think you will be ok.

JoeyO

2001V8

Edited by joeyoesprit

JoeyO

2001 V8 - Silver

2007 Ducati 1098

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''On a related note, sometimes the car wont start if you shut it off hot (>95 degrees) until it has had time to cool. This problem has been with the car since I got it. Not sure if it's related or not, but thought I would throw it out there.''

Sorry to hear about the overheating.

Hope you sort that one out and it's not too costly.

But with regard to the hot starting issue, mine is the same, it is difficult to start when the engine is >95 degrees. It will start, but it takes a good few cranks. I read somewhere about possible gassing up of the fuel system, and subsequent vapour locking.

Anyone have any info?

Stuart.

Edited by Stuart

Driving Automotive Aristocracy Since 2004

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Talon,

Don't waste your time. Bleeding is not the answer to your problem.

The problem is the Lotus "el chipo" radiator. They are clogged! There are two rows. If one row is clog, the pressure will rise and no place to go except to blow!!

Replace or re-core your radiator. Same problem on my Esprit.!!

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I plan on getting the radiator looked at, but will try the bleeding first - it can't hurt ;-)

Same problem in my Esprit. I bleeded 100 times & didn't do me any good. Following day, back to overheating & the hose blew. I cut the radiator, well....just like a sick heart full of plaque. For a hi-performance car Two rows is a stupid design.

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Same problem in my Esprit. I bleeded 100 times & didn't do me any good. Following day, back to overheating & the hose blew. I cut the radiator, well....just like a sick heart full of plaque. For a hi-performance car Two rows is a stupid design.

But why would the temperature suddenly reduce after hitting a pot hole in the road?

It cant be a large lump of debris in the radiator.

Also, as Talon is new to the Esprit, the PO may have had work done and the cooling system not bled properly.

You'll be amazed how much air comes out of the radiator bleed screw!!

Glyn

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That is part of my concern. The paperwork that th PO handed over included receipts for a fairly major service that was performed in January of this year at the closest Lotus dealership. During the service, they replaced the waterpump. I am wondering if they did not bleed the system correctly. I will give it a shot this weekend and let you know what difference it makes.

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Why isn't anyone telling him to check the thermostat? This happened briefly on a friends S350 and it turned out to be the thermostat sticking. When we took it out, there were score marks up the centre. If now and again your temp shoots up then couldn't it be caused by this? And when you hit the pot hole, then maybe it could have released it? I would be checking this out first then,

2. Bleeding the system

3. Checking the radiator (also when the temp shoots up, try putting your heater on hot to see if this comes down.

4. Water loss (through gasket or front cover causing hot spots).

When mine started to play up (different symptoms, temperature kept rising over time) it turned out to be the radiator. GOt it recored with a triple core. Now it sits at 85 all the time!

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Same problem in my Esprit. I bleeded 100 times & didn't do me any good. Following day, back to overheating & the hose blew. I cut the radiator, well....just like a sick heart full of plaque. For a hi-performance car Two rows is a stupid design.

Trivia question!!!

Engine temp on my car stays around 108 even on highway and cool outside temp.It never goes down,fans are working.It developped this problem suddenly.Checked everything...(almost...)

I also suspect my rad to be the problem of overheating but...When I shut the engine off and the fans keep on turning for 20 minutes ( as they are supposed to do when the coolant temp is higher than 100-105 to avoid heat soak)the coolant temp goes down to around 90 in a matter of 30 seconds!!! Is the rad working or not??? Is it possible it is partially blocked/clogged so it is sufficient for the recirculating pump cycle (engine off, less volume of coolant passing through/required) and does not have enough efficiency to cool the engine when running???

Could it be a water pump problem? What are the signs for water pump failure?

Also,since the temp gauge ( coolant)starts to climb only after 20 minutes of driving, is it possible that the oil coolers are not working properly, since I think the oil normally takes more time to climb in temperature(??).The oil temp light does not come on...

Thermostat seems OK. Coolant feed hose to rad is really hot.

The thing is I do not want to change the rad ($$) and find out it was not the problem...

Edited by Bernie
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Russ,

If you are loosing coolant from the overflow tank then it is venting through the expansion tank cap. Maybe this is faulty and releasing water at a lower pressure than it should. A common cause of overheating. This is definately worth replacing before changing your rad etc

Cheers Andy

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Russ,

If you are loosing coolant from the overflow tank then it is venting through the expansion tank cap. Maybe this is faulty and releasing water at a lower pressure than it should. A common cause of overheating. This is definately worth replacing before changing your rad etc

Cheers Andy

Actually, after bleeding the air from the rad and topping off the the tank in the wheelwell (What a pain in the arse!), the car seems to have stabilized. I plan on doing some city driving with it over the next week, so that should prove it out one way or the other. Assuming all is good, then I can moveon to addressing some other minor issues with the car, mostly cosmetic.

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Actually, after bleeding the air from the rad and topping off the the tank in the wheelwell (What a pain in the arse!), the car seems to have stabilized. I plan on doing some city driving with it over the next week, so that should prove it out one way or the other. Assuming all is good, then I can moveon to addressing some other minor issues with the car, mostly cosmetic.

Fingers crossed Russ

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What tank are you filling in the wheelwell? Is it the overflow tank?

I have only ever toped up the header tank. I thought that the expansion tank was only a place where the water went when the water heated up and expanded, and that it was sucked back into the system when the water cooled down again. I'm probably showing my ignorance here.

Regards,

Peter.

Actually, after bleeding the air from the rad and topping off the the tank in the wheelwell (What a pain in the arse!), the car seems to have stabilized. I plan on doing some city driving with it over the next week, so that should prove it out one way or the other. Assuming all is good, then I can moveon to addressing some other minor issues with the car, mostly cosmetic.
Edited by peter_england99
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What tank are you filling in the wheelwell? Is it the overflow tank?

I have only ever toped up the header tank. I thought that the expansion tank was only a place where the water went when the water heated up and expanded, and that it was sucked back into the system when the water cooled down again. I'm probably showing my ignorance here.

Regards,

Peter.

I half fill the expansion tank, and after it has gone through a col/hot/cold cycle use it check the coolant level.

Also I feel that if there was ever a small leak I would notice it before the level started to drop in the header tank.

Comments?...........

Glyn

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Also I feel that if there was ever a small leak I would notice it before the level started to drop in the header tank.

Comments?...........

Glyn

Glyn I agree with you 100%.

I think my overflow tank (passenger wheelwell) has a "fill line" which is located almost at the 1/2 mark of the tank.

JoeyO

2001V8

JoeyO

2001 V8 - Silver

2007 Ducati 1098

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Makes a lot of sense.

Regards,

Peter.

I half fill the expansion tank, and after it has gone through a col/hot/cold cycle use it check the coolant level.

Also I feel that if there was ever a small leak I would notice it before the level started to drop in the header tank.

Comments?...........

Glyn

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