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Newbie in need of serious help!
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Old 01 Feb 2011, 03:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Newbie in need of serious help!

Hello all! I have a 2002 bugeye impreza, recently (after having a small service) it blew its rad to smithereens! Replaced that and so it blew the seal on the neck on the expansion tank (bit of chemical metal used to get but home!)....then when I started it without the cap it just bubbled furiously. after abit of research we came to the conclusion it was prob a head gasket issue. I have now had the heads skimmed, head gaskets replaced, new waterpump for good measure!, new clutch (well, as the engine was out anyway ;0) and a few other bits done. Got it back, drove few miles up road and when idled there was steam coming out of the bonnet again! Found that the pressurising cap wasnt doing its job so replaced that also and fully flushed the cooling system as bits of scale were caught under the rubber washer on the cap hence stopping it re-pressurising again..... drove it 2 miles up road this morning and loads of smoke and steam pouring out of the bonnet again! Must mention at this point the car is not or never has overheated!! Does any one have a clue what it could be that Im missing? Ive spent a fortune and am feeling very glum with the dissapointment :0( Would love to hear from you if you have any ideas? x

Last edited by scoobycat; 01 Feb 2011 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 01 Feb 2011, 07:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

Welcome to the forum. How long does it take to overheat?? A car will generally overheat if the coolant is not circulating properly. As you have changed the waterpump, it is safe to assume that is working ok. Are both the top and bottom rad hoses getting hot? Can you see the coolant circulating in the expansion bottle? Have you tried changing the thermostat?? My guess would be the thermostat as if that is stuck in the closed position, the coolant cant cool down in the rad and cause overheating. DONT drive the car till you get it sorted as you can cause allsorts of permanent damage.
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Old 01 Feb 2011, 07:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

By the way, if steam is pouring out of the bonnet, it IS overheating, or at the very least coolant is being lost from a hose and spraying onto the engine and causing the steam!!!. Have you checked all the hoses to see where the steam is coming from??
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Old 01 Feb 2011, 07:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

thanks for replying! yes thermo has been changed, pipes not getting hot, is worse when I have the heaters on in the car too..... the gauge has never gone up over just under half way so I am baffled to say the least! its drawing water /coolant from seperate resevoir and now the cap has been sorted, it is feeding it back again ok? the problem seems to be coming from nearer the front of the engine rather than the rear of it, could it just be an airlock?
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Old 01 Feb 2011, 08:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

it could very well be an air lock or a heater matrix problem,when the fluids were topped up etc,was the engine running and the heater on full chat and deflected to the windscreen as that will aid the release of any air in the system>
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Old 01 Feb 2011, 08:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobycat View Post
thanks for replying! yes thermo has been changed, pipes not getting hot, is worse when I have the heaters on in the car too..... the gauge has never gone up over just under half way so I am baffled to say the least! its drawing water /coolant from seperate resevoir and now the cap has been sorted, it is feeding it back again ok? the problem seems to be coming from nearer the front of the engine rather than the rear of it, could it just be an airlock?
How much coolant does it hold? If it holds the full amount(not sure off the top of my head) then coolant is filling most of the available space, but is not circulating. Could be an airlock, but that should clear itself when draining and refilling the system. If one rad hose is cold and the other hot, but the steam is still pouring out, there is a bloackage somewhere. Have you tried (temporarily removing the thermostat altogether and seeing if it still pours with steam. If not, that is your problem. If it still steams, then you have a bloackage elsewhere. Where was the steam coming from??? That is likely to give you a clue as a pipe might be split and once the thermstat opens up, it allows steam/water to escape. Steam if it has already got too hot, or water if it is just split and spilling onto a hot engine.
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Old 01 Feb 2011, 09:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

is it a standard car?
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Old 02 Feb 2011, 07:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

yes the car is pretty standard, its a Uk car with a few higher spec mods but nothing drastic. I was going with the airlock idea but im not sure about the smoke thats now joined the engine malfunction party! Im having a sinking feeling this could be worse than I first thought! The only thing that hasnt been checked / changed so far is the heater matrix but looking into that over the weekend. The steam rises from all over the engine, theres not a specific place I can pinpoint! but the smoke is def coming from somewhere under where the expansion tank sits... always alot worse when car heater is on too!
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Old 02 Feb 2011, 08:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobycat View Post
yes the car is pretty standard, its a Uk car with a few higher spec mods but nothing drastic. I was going with the airlock idea but im not sure about the smoke thats now joined the engine malfunction party! Im having a sinking feeling this could be worse than I first thought! The only thing that hasnt been checked / changed so far is the heater matrix but looking into that over the weekend. The steam rises from all over the engine, theres not a specific place I can pinpoint! but the smoke is def coming from somewhere under where the expansion tank sits... always alot worse when car heater is on too!
Hi, is it running standard boost ?
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Old 02 Feb 2011, 09:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobycat View Post
yes the car is pretty standard, its a Uk car with a few higher spec mods but nothing drastic. I was going with the airlock idea but im not sure about the smoke thats now joined the engine malfunction party! Im having a sinking feeling this could be worse than I first thought! The only thing that hasnt been checked / changed so far is the heater matrix but looking into that over the weekend. The steam rises from all over the engine, theres not a specific place I can pinpoint! but the smoke is def coming from somewhere under where the expansion tank sits... always alot worse when car heater is on too!
Is it steam or smoke?? Is the coolant level falling??
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Old 03 Feb 2011, 06:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

Did you burn off the coolant spillage that would have collected around the headers ? If you have wrapped headers then the coolant can take ages to burn off.

If there is steam/smoke - then it is coming from somewhere - ie a leak. If there is no leak then it could well be just coolant spilt when the original work was done.

As far the cold bottom hose - generally that is either thermostat or air lock - once you have established that there are no leaks, start the car with the expansion tank lid off and hold revs steady at 2500rpm and keep topping up the fluid. Put the lid back on before the revs drop though once full.
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Old 11 Feb 2011, 01:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

Thanks for the advice everyone! Since my post, I did find a leak in one of the hoses where the clip wasnt sealing it properly, put a new jubilie clip onto it.... problem now being that some of the hoses have started to balloon! Not good im sure... there is also a sloshing sound of water on the passenger side of the engine when I start the car and drive it... guessing that there is a block / air in system.... temp gauge still staying stable but smoke / steam still coming from engine bay...smells of burning rubber! From spending far too long mentally analysing the system I am at this place in my head.... "block in the cooling matrix - otherside to thermostat hence not showing overheating - hoses ballooning due to massive pressure build up, need to disconnect matrix hoses and see if water runs freely between? ouch head hurts abit.....Does that sound feesible to anyone? Ive spent so much money on it now so am just gonna do the work myself.... girl armed with tools and determination (and a little bit of knowhow...wish me luck!! ;0)
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Old 12 Feb 2011, 03:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Newbie in need of serious help!

I get the sloshing sound as well, but dont have any issues with the matrix.

Does the temp selector work ok? ie can you make it hot through to cold? If it does, then I would suggest it is wont be the a blockage in the matrix, besides the coolant pipes are off shoots to the main coolant system so even if there was a blockage, the rest should still be relatively ok.

The burning rubber smell could simply be the pipes getting hot, rather than burnt. Is it smoke or steam that has a hint of rubber?? Can you post a video or pics of what it is doing? It may help with diagnosis. Personally, I dont think it is a major problem and will relatively easy to fix as long as you are not driving it still which could cause the early death of the car!!! You just need to identify the where the issue is on the coolant system or elsewhere.
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