Clean the expansion tank up, then keep an eye on it for any fresh leakage over a few days, it may just be a crack in the plastic seam or a leaking cap, it is not unusual for this to happen as the plastic ages. If so replace tank asap. Also check/replace the yellow pressure filler cap on engine (near thermostat on your R50) for leaks or hissing sound when hot, if it loses too much pressure engine runs hot and coolant is forced into expansion tank under excess pressure......causing leakage from flip cap on tank. (R50 Cooper/One only - R53 Cooper S has pressure cap on ex. tank)).
Do both the high (very noisy) and low speeds of the cooling fan function......or do if you have no air con fitted as it could then be a single speed fan.
A cool heater is often due to an air lock or restricted flow due to sludge and sediment build up through the heater matrix or possibly failing water pump. Try bleeding the system of air carefully as a first step.
I am booked in at a garage tomorrow for a second opinion, the guy is going to have a look & see if he can diagnose the problem - I refuse to take it to mini because of their prices!!
As a first step I think Iím going to try flushing the cooling system & replacing the reservoir, as I say there is no 'mayonnaise, in the oil so i donít want to give in to a head-gasket failure, the goo looks to have been there for a while & it is not increasing at a fast rate.
I did take it into another garage not long since & I can recall them telling me that it was losing pressure - is this an easy fix of just replacing the cap? As for the fan, i don not have air-con, so think it is just the single speed fan - it just seems to always be on whenever I come to a standstill / after I turn my car off.
So as a starting point I need to:
- Flush the coolant reservoir & replace
- Flush the heater matrix & remove any locked air
- Replace pressure cap
Can I rule out the head gasket or do you think this is still a possibility?
I think let the garage tell you what they think.
If it is the had I'm sure they will find out. I'd wait till after the garage and then go from there. If they say it's fine(head) maybe just give it a clean I would recommend the garage does it doe if your not a handy man or lady. It's always best to change the tank as they do tend to lose a it of pressure over the years as it gets old.
I would say the white 'goo' is just old dryed coolant leakage and not head gasket related which as you say is more like an oily 'mayonaise'
Pressure leakage from the pressure cap is an easy fix just by replacing it with a new one and has solved many reported cooling faults here on Mini2 in the past, but it could also be leaking away unseen elsewhere in the system if a hose or radiator were faulty.
So, i took it in to the garage this morning & they seem to think it could be the thermostat causing the problems? Or at least they are going to change it (£10 plus labor)- if it is still the same after then it looks to be the head gasket.. (Quoting me £350 - £400 inc. labour) sound fair?
Does anyone know how the thermostat could be causing all of this trouble?
Yes......thermostat problems/ gasket/ housing leakage is a common Mini fault so definitely worth trying first as one of the cheaper options.
If thermostat is faulty engine can run cold which leads to higher fuel consumption and a heater which goes cold, also the housing/gasket can leak.
So, this morning i got up & set off to work as usual - i got about 5 minutes down the road & the temp gague was in the red & flashing - also no hot air what so ever.. So pulled up & took it back home.
I took a look under the bonnet but there was nothing out of the ordinary.. full coolant, oil looks fine etc.. so i have abandoned it on my drive until it goes in the the garage tomorrow! (in which im getting it toed there)
I will keep you updated on the outcome, just found it strange as it has never done this before. Are there any common faults for this happening?
It almost looks like a calcium billed up from possibly to much water or not a good coolant mix ratio. This could possible cause the thermostat to have a build up and if so you probably have it in the whole cooling system including the tubes in the radiator & heater core. This will all reduce the flow and build pressure.
Right, i have my car back from the garage - all fixed!
The guys said that it was nothing to do with the head gasket.. In fact it turned out to be the thermostat which had died, along with an airlock - which was causing the car the think it was overheating & which is why my fan was always on, also why the car wasnt blowing warm air inside. The guys did a Block test to make sure the gasket ws fine!
So glad it wasnt my head gasket! Although im pretty p****d off... I took it to Kwik-Fit before for a diagnostic report running on my car (before i found a mini speciallist to fix it) - they told me that it was in fact my head gasket which needed replacing & it was nothing to do with my thermostat/ coolant. How can they get it so wrong??? They charged me £35 for the privilege - What a rip off!!
Im in the process of complaining & trying to get my money back, see what happens!
So i sent the email complaining to Kwik-Fit on Saturday, and i had the area manager ring me later on this morning (monday) - he apologised to me & has agreed to send me a cheque for the full amount as well as have a word with the guys who fobbed me off... good effort - a little too late, i have learned my lesson - don't go to Kwik-Fit.
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