free hit
counters
Too much Pressure - Engine & Ancillaries/Gearbox - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Hi Guys,

I had a new head gasket fitted on my lotus elise S2 about a year ago. The last couple of weeks I've noticed I have had to keep filling up the water tank. The the other day while stopped at traffic lights I could hear the water bubbling and my reading went up past 100. This soon came down once I started moving again.

By the time I had got home the tank was empty again. It seemed to be the same symptoms of head gasket but there was no mixture of oil to water etc.

As the Lotus dealer had done the work for me, I took it back there and on quick inspection they said it was not the head gasket but there was too much pressure causing the water to spill out of the tank or elsewhere.

They want me to book it in to have a look but as they charge £150 an hour labour, I was hoping someone might have an idea of what it could be and if it was something if it was simple, I could get it done myself, rather than pay through the nose to the garage.

I don't use the car that much only really for pleasure on the weekend so it hasn't had high mileage since the new gasket.

Look forward to your replies

Vanessa x

Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.
  • Replies 15
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Hi Vanessa,

When you say the water tank, do you mean the overflow bottle from the radiator? The only way the overflow tank can become empty is the cooling system drawing the water back on cool down. The only reason for this is that water has come out of the system while it is hot and the car is being run.

An expanding system should not empty the overflow bottle, it should fill it, then it in turn will overflow.

The only thing that will cause a major expansion in the cooling system in over pressuring. Either by a major blockage somewhere or head gasket.

Depending on how a head gasket fails determines whether you will see oil in your water or simply over pressuring as you are.

I would suggest a cylinder leak down test on each cylinder, before just taking it in to the shop again. If it is the head gasket again, this should show it up in two ways. The leak down test will fail and you should see the overflow bottle level increasing.

Why was the head gasket replaced the first time?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Michael,

Yes the overflow coolant bottle I meant. The garage who initially fitted the new head gasket had a look at it briefly because I thought if it was a head gasket problem then surely this would still be down to them as it should not have gone so soon after having it done. They said it was unlikely it was the head gasket but there was a lot of pressure causing the symptoms. They need to have it in and investigate further.

Another thing I noticed when I stopped the car I could hear as if the water was running through to the front somehow. If that is any help? :)

Shortly after buying the car the head gasket went on it. The car overheated and I presume blew the gasket and on this occasion I did have the oil mix in with the water which gave the creamy substance. That is when I booked it in for repair with Stratstone who is one of the main lotus dealers in Cardiff as nobody really wants to work on them.

So that is why I took it back to them yesterday and I was told once they had it in and performed more tests, if it is the head gasket I wouldn't be covered as the warranty had just run out. So I would have to fit the bill again but yet I was told previously that the new head gaskets are modified and are unlikely to fail again.

I love this car and wanted one as long as I can remember but haven't had much luck with it since I have had it.

As I said if I had some idea of what it could be before I am told otherwise by the garage, that would be a great help. As I don't really trust garages . especially with a lotus pound signs in their eyes.

x

If I do the leak down test and If by some miracle it is not the head gasket (fingers crossed) and turns out to be a major blockage somewhere, how would find out where and be able to solve the problem?

I had a similar problem with my MGF head gasket replaced and then same symptoms as if it had failed again and was told "Oh no head gasket gone" but it turned out to be something simple like a worn pipe.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be that the coolant pressure cap is not holding the ~20-25 psi, and the water is therefore boiling at a lower temperature and pushing the coolant out of the overflow.

You should do a test for exhaust gasses in the coolant anyways... I had a head gasket blow recently, and while there is no coolant in my oil, all of my coolant escaped out of the coolant overflow bottle, with some making it into the exhaust. The coolant in the reservoir bubbles, with the engine running, furiously with combustion gasses!

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Travis,

Hmmm, now that could be a simple option to look at also. I don't really think it is the head gasket which has failed again. I do feel it is something easy and cheap to sort out but the first thing everyone says to you is "HEAD GASKET"

So any ideas from you guys is greatly appreciated. x

Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right Travis. I didn't think about the radiator cap. Bit dumb really. You could simply try buying a new one Vanessa and see what that does. Cheap test that may well prove to be it. Have you checked it to make sure the seal is not split? (or missing!?)

Vanessa, wait for more people to read and see if anyone pops up that lives near you and is able to maybe come and have a look for you.

As for your other query, if it is a major sort of blockage, flushing may clear it. Also disconnect hoses in an order and you may be able to isolate if a blockage is the case. Being able to hear water running through to the front is interesting. Is the heater core on the elise lower than the engine? Airlock? Not bled properly after the repairs?

I get seriously annoyed when I constantly read the comment of most garages don't want to look at it as it's a Lotus. It's just an engine that more than likely they may well work on in another car that was the donor to Lotus. Ridiculous.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a simple test kit to detect combustion gasses in the coolant system. You fill this tube with the blue fluid and then hold it in the opening for the coolant system. The rubber cork seals the hole during the test, and the fluid turns yellow if there are any exhaust gasses in the coolant. The test isn't cheap ~$45, but it is fast and simple. http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/CatalogItemDetail.aspx?R=BK_7001006_0282386404

Try smelling and looking at the tail pipe for sweet smelling white steam. And you can look for bubbles in the coolant reservoir if you start the car from cold with the coolant cap off. Just run the engine long enough to see if there are bubbles... may need to wait until the thermostat opens, but then make sure to shut the car off before it gets too hot (since the system won't be pressurized with the cap off).

The other possibility is that a hose is loose or has a hole, and is letting the coolant out with the pressure. Occasionally that happens and you won't see any puddle on the ground because the coolant escapes as steam.

The bubbling you hear is air in the system, and those air pockets can allow the engine to overheat, so make sure you keep filling the system back up to get the air out. Use distilled water until you find the leak.

Don't drive the car too much, if it gets too hot, it'll cost a lot more to fix. Also running all the coolant out and only having water is not a good idea for corrosion and lubrication purposes, but it is ok for short term diagnostics, some coolant will still be in the system.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys,

Yes i have ordered a new cap as I've read these are recommended to be replaced at every service anyway and they are only a couple of quid.

Michael, you asked about the heater core? I don't know whether this could be anything but ! the heaters do not work properly I did post a thread on this problem previously. The garage did a quick fix not sure what they did but the control dial on dashboard is fixed to (floor) and not screen and I was told do not touch it or I won't get any heat at all. I have heard the trickling of water running to the front before aswel.

Travis I was wondering whether it could be a split or the hose has withered and slowly releasing the coolant and pressure. I will get these checked before I take it to the shop and get a "Ooooooh now it is going to cost you this much " response.

As for Lotus owners in my area, I think there are a few I need to make friends :)

Thanks guys I will keep you informed x

You're right Travis. I didn't think about the radiator cap. Bit dumb really. You could simply try buying a new one Vanessa and see what that does. Cheap test that may well prove to be it. Have you checked it to make sure the seal is not split? (or missing!?)

Vanessa, wait for more people to read and see if anyone pops up that lives near you and is able to maybe come and have a look for you.

As for your other query, if it is a major sort of blockage, flushing may clear it. Also disconnect hoses in an order and you may be able to isolate if a blockage is the case. Being able to hear water running through to the front is interesting. Is the heater core on the elise lower than the engine? Airlock? Not bled properly after the repairs?

I get seriously annoyed when I constantly read the comment of most garages don't want to look at it as it's a Lotus. It's just an engine that more than likely they may well work on in another car that was the donor to Lotus. Ridiculous.

You would be suprised a few garages turned me down for tyres because they didn't know where to put the Jack Lol x

Link to post
Share on other sites

Vanessa.

If the garage are worth their salt they will perform a simple test which is to "sniff" the air in the coolant system and do so using a chemical that reacts with carbon monoxide, if that test is positive then it would indicate Head gasket failure again, if it proves negative then (allowing for the fact you've said there's no water in the oil/ oil in the water) you'd be safe to assume there is no HGF. That sniff test is only a few mins of work and most customer service orientated places would probably do it for free simply so they can give you an accurate estimate of cost by determining if they were going to have to pull the head off again.

For the other simple cause of loss of coolant (split hose, split in core of rad etc) there is another simple test where they pressurise the cooling system and then look for a leak, that way they can do it with the engine cold. That can take a bit longer as they'd have to look just about everywhere coolant could escape to see if it is.

If it's the worst case and it's HGF again, there are two things that I believe are standard upgrades to resolve it. Having both done could be a near-permanent solution to HGF.

The first is the simple, there's a cooling system modification used on other K-series engined cars such and Freelanders.

the second is a bit more extreme and is only applicable is when everything is measure there are found to be issues. The engine block can be flattened (similar to the way a cylinder head is skimmed, but the other surface that clamps the other side of the head gasket). many K-series were found to have slightly non-flat blocks or liners with insufficient nip, and so the head gasket isn't held evenly.

Hopefully neither of the above are needed as hopefully it's not HGF again.

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Andy,

I will take it on Monday for that test and flutter the ole eyelashes and hopefully get that done free and at least then I will know what I am dealing with.

The Freelander cooling system is Landrover yeah? Somebody did mention to me about landrover parts being used on the

k- series rover engine.

If all else fails I will look at that. I just hope it is not HGF again :(

x

Link to post
Share on other sites

A fairly accurate sniff test can be done using MoT emissions equipment too - just wave the probe over the open expansion tank with the engine warm, and check for high hydrocarbons.

The other thing I'd be looking at is coolant flow. Is it actually moving through the system? Maybe the coolant pump impeller is separated/corroded...

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Guys !

Just to let you know had the test done on my car. Good news it was just a split in the hose the one with the bleeding nipple.

So Woo Hoo ! no expensive bill for me and my baby is back on the road.

Thanks for all the advise, the garage looks at me in dismay when I start spouting out all this knowledge :) x

Link to post
Share on other sites
:thumbsup: for the cheap fix :)

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn, this is a great place! :animier:

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I should remember to read the last post first - I really didn't need to try to figure it out!! lol

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...