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S1 spilling anti-freeze


marcbria

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Hi Guys,

 

So as you may have seen in my previous post, I've finally got my S1 on the road. Felt wonderful to finally drive it = ) Then as expected the car did something unexpected and here I am.

 

After a short drive, I noticed that the temperature indicator was exactly at the mid mark. There are no temperature markings on the dial but it was straight up and down no where near the red line, which is were it stayed once it got up to temperature and never moved from there. After pulling into the garage and shutting it down I discovered that I had left a trail of anti-freeze running up the driveway and into the garage.

 

I checked under the car and it had stopped leaking. The heater box and front radiators were both hot so I opened up the back and it was very clearly coming out of the radiator cap. I could see it slightly steaming from under the cap. Once it cooled I open the cap to see how low the level had dropped and while I can't say exactly the level was very close to where I recall it being, not more than 5cm from the top of the canister. Nothing funny floating in it either.

 

I've never noticed any clouds of white smoke when starting it so my gut is telling me I simply need a new radiator cap. I can push the old caps center in with my thumbs and the rubber washer looks a bit abused. Fingers crossed that a new cap fixes it!

 

Brian M.

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Brian your header tank was probably overfilled and the excess has bled out. A new cap is a good idea but it takes a few runs for the system to burp out all the air bubbles and the level stabilize.

 

Roo

 

www.jpsesprit.com

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Once it gets towards midway between straight up and down and the end of the scale, I would think. Let it run at idle and note where the fans come on...anything much higher than that would be questionable. Make sure the fans cycle on and off. As Roo says, it takes a while to bleed the air out. The S3 Turbo has a bleed valve tap on the radiator for this purpose, It's under a rubber cover on the LH side of the front luggage compartment. I do agree with a new radiator cap; make sure it's the right pressure setting! 

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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So I picked up a 16PSI rad cap, the other option available was 13 so I figured 16 was closer to 15 which was what was on it. Anyways it stopped peeing antifreeze on the driveway and its temperature never rose over mid point so I think the problem is solved.

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I find that my coolant level is always about half way full on the canister. Anymore than that and it will overflow. I am sure that all the engines are a bit different, so I would keep an eye on the level and a mental note of where it is consistantly when the engine is cold. Also I would note at what point the temp needle is when the fans come on, so you can monitor if the fans are pulling the temp down. If your car has not had the wiring and relay upgrade to the cooling fans, then it is advisable to do so. The factory used a very thin gauge wire to power the fans and is really substandard. Each of my fans has it's own relay and fuse, I beefed up the wiring, installed a modern fuse panel just for the fans and ran a direct power line from the starter. I also bypassed the otter switch on my car and went with a manual pull push toggle switch on the column. Pretty much if I'm below 25mph I turn the fans on.

Edited by GavinT
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Hi Gavin,

 

A previous owner modified the system so that there is an override switch on the dash as well as the otter switch. But I agree the system is not very robust and there is not indication if the fans have failed. At a minimum I'd like an indicator light showing that they are running, which shouldn't be too hard to rig up. The joys of Lucas wiring eh.

 

Brian M.

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