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S4 leaking Coolant


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My S4 seems to be leaking coolant, but not too drastically. While having a quick look tonight, it appears that it may be coming from the bottom side of the cylinder head. I did not get to put the car up into the air, but the drip marks on the ground would indicate this. Am I in serious trouble? Could it be a bad head gasket? Does the engine need to come out to do a head gasket? Is this something I should take care of immediately? Are there any places I should look around there that might be the problem? Any answers would be appreciated. I'm dreading it already.



Just an update. About 2 weeks ago I had the coolant light come on. I topped up the tank to full. and the other day I had the coolant light come on briefly again. Tonight the tank seems lower again (3-4 inches from top) I'm going on a longer run again tomorrow and I will see if the light comes on again.

Edited by rogue_s1

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It's possible (but not likely from your description) to be a bad head gasket but there should be other symptoms as well like water in the oil, smoke and/or running like crap. Best to rule out the simple things first so you need to identify where the leak is coming from.

1995 S4s

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It is possible the head gasket is popped on the outside of the block... The head gasket does not have to blow next to an oil journal or into each cylinder. I've seen plenty of blown head gaskets that never make the oil foamy..

Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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check the water hose at the back of the engine (short large black one) i found on mine that the clip that holds the large metal water pipe on had broken (rh side at back of engine) when i applied pressure right to left (with the car running) water would leak out, also the jubilee clip was not holding the hose on correctly so i replaced it there is not that much of the metal pipe for the rubber hose to locate onto on the water pump side.

hope this helps

It's Oogies turn to boogie

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A quick pull of the spark plugs should tell you whether the head gasket is leaking into the cylinders....the bad cylinder will have a VERY clean plug (because it is constantly being "steam cleaned" from the leaking coolant into the combustion chamber.

If you are finding it real difficult to track the leak then maybe it is time to buy an ultraviolet dye kit...makes finding the source VERY easy.

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For me it was the chargecooler pump seal. Leaked under pressure. Additionally there is a core plug in the rear end of the inlet manifold that corrodes and also leaks under pressure.

You could see traces of the water seepage on the block. Try and look for this, of all else fails and trace it back to the source point.

Hope this helps if all other recommendations are exhausted.

Edited by rocket63

Caught between a rock and a hard place in a catch 22 situation, So its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Your damned if you do, but your damned if you don't so shut your cock!!!!!!!!!!!

Lotus Espirt Turbo S3    

Lotus Esprit S4 

Lotus Elise S2 Sport 130


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If it is the headgasket, usually between cylinder 2-3. Once you get it done ahve a look not only for the head to be plained but also have the mech.guy look at the liners. In my car those were set in at little off the tolerances, leaving a little too much space open for the water to squirt out ! You will find salty remainders on the block / covers......

I had a pic, but got to look for it again.....

The Hose is a good one as well !!! Mine still leaks, time on and off!

Edited by esprits4de

Olaf S400 project



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