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Coolant level


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Had my 2015 Elise s serviced 2 weeks ago which included coolant change. I checked coolant yesterday and level is about 2cm off the bottom or about 10cm below the weld line. I took it back to jct600 Leeds and checked again when I dropped it off and the level was the same 2cm off the bottom. When the  non lotus technician checked it he  said its fine and didn't need any more coolant adding. I looked again and the level was now correct. I suspect he released the lid and the pressure release caused it to rise. I checked again this morning and 2cm off the bottom again. I took it back this morning and the lotus tech was there. He had a look, said he pressurised the system and added more coolant and it will be fine. Later today when it was cool again I checked  it was down again  2cm off the bottom. Now i suspect there is air trapped in the system , as did the tech, but he said he had sorted it. I realise it mustn't be the easiest system. To bleed but I dont understand how a very experienced otus technician cant carry out a simple service task. There is no sign of any coolant leak and I had no issues before the service. Any thoughts before I take it back a fourth time.

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Can you not just add some coolant and keep an eye on the level for the next few drives while it burps itself? Sounds like the easiest and most stress free solution to me, won't take a lot to sort.

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I could try this. I have  only owned a Lotus for 1 year so still learning the basics. Having said that I have other cars and do lots of spannering and servicing myself, I am just being dead careful with the Elise and having just spent 700 odd quid on service with Lotus dealer to keep warranty intact I'd rather they solved this whilst I try to understand why its proving so difficult.

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Got the same issue as you at the moment . Coolant level dropped to the same level as you stated and is never the same now; can be higher / lower by 1cm . Going back to H111 this Friday for the safety recall  plus this to be fixed.This is the first time in probably  8 coolant changes I have seen this happen so it can be sorted. It’s not just a case of topping up as soon as pressure rises in the system it is ejected out via the black pipe , indicator there is air trapped.

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Had my car for ages and no problems then noticed would loose coolant level when I had been out for a run and engine had run up to 99"C and fans cut in never saw a leek but once back in the garage and parked in exactly the same spot 

Would just drop a little each time about 5cm.

But if I went out for a run and the temp never got up to 99"C level diddent seem to drop.

So jacked up undertrays off checked everything all dry checked overflow spout always dry even got gez at back on track to look no leak found.

Even replaced the cap as heard they can let by over time.

Finally found the problem when refitting the pressure cap it screws on and hits a stop and you think that's it found that you need to turn it another 1/3 of a turn past the stop until it tightens ( remember it's all plastic so don't go mad it's on an O Ring )and have had no more level issues since can let the car run right up to temp fans cutting in at 99'C off at 94'C and when cool level spot on.

As a foot note the cooling system can be hard to bleed and the expansion bottle is only small  as air finds its way up  can make a big difference to the level 

My level runs from cold at bottom mark on tank to 3/4 full  have had the larger radiator fitted at Hanger111. when at 99'C before the fans cut in and always when cold the top left hand quarter of the tank were the two return lines come back to the tank is always full 

Hope this helps 

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39 minutes ago, Andy Turner said:

Which Elise is yours? 2011 on?  I tried the coolant cap and it didn't behave the way you describe. Comes to an abrupt stop and turns both more. I've got it booked in again so the tech can test from cold. 

Mins a 2009 Exige but same header tank I think looks exactly the same.

Could just be air finding its way out or the cap might need replacing did read somewhere they don't last that long .

Hope you get a fix soon 

 

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Actually just found that my cap does do as you described. Car was serviced by an experienced lotus technician including coolant change. I'm supposed to he taking it back for a third time today. I'd hope he would know about the coolant tank lid. I'm leaving with him overnight so he can check from cold.

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Must admit I had obviously took the cap off ages ago and put it back to the stop and thought that's it had level problems for ages finally asked gez at back on track to change the coolant and look for leaks but none found and only when I got the car home I found the cap had been fitted about 1/3 past the stop and have removed and replaced since to 1/3 past the stop and no more level issues.

Hope you get this resolved Andy as must admit it started to drive me crazy keep topping up every now and then only seemed to loose the level if the car got to 99' before the fan cut in so can only assume as the cap wasn't fully seated in the O. Ring it would slowly relieve pressure/ vapour whilst driving and thus lower the level by allowing the water content of the glycol mix to boil away very slowly would only drop 5mm at a time.

So no leaks found and since the cap fully tightens have let the car fully warm up and fans on and off on long runs level spot on when cold because I couldn't understand that I never had any issues when I first picked up the car so it was proberbly me all along.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I took the car back to the dealer for the 4th time. He ran it from cold, pressurised the system left it and all was fine. He didn't even add any coolant yet the level has now risen to where it should be and has been fine ever since. So I still dont understand why. 

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Glad to see your keeping your level now noticed on mine the little pip on the expansion cap stops at 12 o'clock but i twist it till tight and it stops at about 4 o'clock about another 1/3 of a turn is yours still at 12 o'clock 

IMG_20200422_113753035.jpg

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2 hours ago, philcool said:

Glad to see your keeping your level now noticed on mine the little pip on the expansion cap stops at 12 o'clock but i twist it till tight and it stops at about 4 o'clock about another 1/3 of a turn is yours still at 12 o'clock

Hi Phil.  Don't think I've ever seen one not at 12 when in the "clicked" closed position...

Dave

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Thanks Dave 

Mine clicks at 12 o'clock but looses coolant level only about 2-3 mm on an Hour's drive been all over the car and not even a moist connection no oil contamination,

I did replace the cap as apoarantly the relief can become weak no change have not touched a thing apart from tighten the cap past the click it's not strangled just a nip had no more issues with level since and have done guite a few trips in traffic with fans cutting in,

No temp problems and the level is bank on in the garage so always checked under the same conditions,

Unless it was air finding its way out over time but funny how it stopped dropping as soon as I just tightened the cap that bit more maybe the O Ring on the caps a bit iffy I've checked the bottle no splits or damage and the threads fine,

Might order another cap 

Thanks for replying 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Up date finally changed the tank to a Moroso unit and has  what I call a proper cap and run up to temperature with fans on and off and now all good level steady Did make a separate bracket but to be honest doesn't really need it just a bit of belt and braces.Have since noticed the original Denso cap has the sealing O Ring lower down on the cap by a few millimetres compared to the replacement caps I purchased so may explain why I had to screw the caps on past the normal stop.IMG_20200510_150958671.thumb.jpg.fc1f2dd945883a90776df0c8db437618.jpg

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