Driving home today, no traffic about 20c outside I pulled up at a shop put into neutral and the temp gauge suddenly shot up to red and started flashing, I switched engine off and waited about 3 minutes while the fan was on cooling the engine down.
Started her up again with the intention of getting home which was about 4 miles away, got about a mile when the gauge starts behaving erratically, hitting the red and falling back down periodically. I put the air con on and the temp steadied for another mile until it started flashing red again and I pulled over immediately. Opened the bonnet and checked coolant and the tank was empty and looked like it had been dry for some time. Topped it up with a litre and drove home, temp gauge was erratically swinging between normal and red.
Topped up with more coolant at home, took it for a spin and temp was fine, rechecked coolant later and topped up,accordingly. Drove it again and idled for 10 mins no problems.
Any ideas what caused this? Was it really just lack of coolant, the system sucking in air?
Yes it could be air in the system if the temp gauge rises and falls erratically, once it over heated it probably blew most of the air around and out at the expansion bottle, so you might have self bled it, but keep a close eye on it as excessive overheating will probably blow the head gasket in the end.
Also keep an eye on the coolant level it shouldnt lose any, unless of course your overheating caused it to be lost out of the overflow.
Coolant leak so as the nun says keep an eye on it but I would advise bleeding it just to be shore you have the air out of it or it will blow out the coolant.
Make shore you use the correct coolant to top it up
Places to look for leaks
Coolant expansion tank bonded joint and cap have a look around the joint and on the heat shield below the tank
Thermostat housing you can see this by looking at the gear box casing just below the thermostat housing you will see a stain or coolant
All around the rad and under tray.
Also check you first stage fan resistor and fuses and relays are ok
Do not trust the gauge in the car it's for show only. my advice is by a scan gauge ,ultra gauge or a cheep code scanner that you can see data streams so you can see water temp
Im had a quick look for leaks, couldn't see anything but obviously my coolant must've gone somewhere. Took it out for half hour just to put my mind at ease for tomorrow's drive to work, ran perfect and the loud fan didn't come on.
I was testing the air con at idle, after 3'mins the loud fan starts for about 10seconds and then goes off again. Is that normal or is it a sign the first stage fan isn't working.
I drove today about 25mile to work. Checked inside after I got there and now have a question about the radiator, the bigger one was hot but the smaller one (black line in pic) was cold to the touch, is that normal or not?
Drive took about an hour thismorning and longest I was stationary was about 3mins on the motorway slip, the loud fan didnt come on at all, average speed about 30mph, the temp gauge was just normal all the way, in the middle.
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