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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 26th, 2014, 05:55 PM
ConnorBarlow
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England Coolant leak...AGAIN!

hey guys im new to the fourm!

Ive had nothing but trouble with my mini that i purchased in january 2014! Ive always wanted a Mini from a young age so when the oppertunity came up to have one i jumped at the chance. Sadly it came with no service history but we do know its been out the country with its previous owner and then it came back with them.

Anyway, my problem started with the boiling water sound behind the dashboard upon switching my ignition off. Pulled up the bonnet and noticed the coolant away, but it wasnt just disappearing it was also filling back up! This baffled my dad and me. Took it to the garage and they put in a new thermostat and new housing. This seemed to sort the problem for a while...3 weeks later it returned.Turns out the radiator had now decided to go. So had a new one put in. And now the problem is back again. I left my car parked outside my house over night last night. The coolant level has dropped to the MIN mark in the past 3 days. I reversed the car back and saw a small puddle, dipped my finger in it n tasted the liquid. Sure enough it was coolant. Yet Ive no idea where it is coming from this time. It has only boiled once since i noticed the coolant level had dropped. Ive checked my oil, there is no milkyness or frothyness in it. The cars mileage has just gone over 121 thousand. The tempurature never changes, always stay in the middle.

Has anyone got any idea what the problem with it could be now? If its the head gasket on its way out im going to have to sell my little beauty and ive only just got it. My mini dream will be short lived =(

Help guys?
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Old May 26th, 2014, 06:54 PM
MINI2 Master
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Hi ya

There are a couple of things I would check.
If you look down past the thermostat housing at the gearbox housing you may see a stain. The thermostat housings crack due to old age and over tightening.
Also the expansion bottles do fail on the coopers and the cooper s. Leak on to the heat shield and leak down on to the floor.
If you look down past you engine down towards the floor can you see anything in the under tray. Also check around your water pump


Hope this helps
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Old May 26th, 2014, 07:16 PM
ConnorBarlow
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hey thanks for your reply

I've just been outside to look under the bonnet of the car. There isnt anything under the bottle its self. no residue of coolant at all. What i can see though is behind the engine low down a pipe that looks slightly melted? Think thats the best word to discribe. I cant see where this pipe leads to though. Cant see any wetness on the tray. CHecked the radiator again too. It just baffles me. Only had the car since january n already spent about 400 on it
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Old May 26th, 2014, 09:36 PM
MINI2 Master
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Hi ya

Feel you pain unfortunately if the pervious owner has not looked after it. It may take abit of sorting out till it's up to scratch, sorry just life I suppose.
Keep an eye on the bottle sometimes it's quite hard to detect as it drips on the heat shield and evaporates also the pipe that runs from the bottle to the rad cap thermostat housing it's been known for them to leak as well.

If you can get a pic of the pipe you say is melted we can see what it is

Sorry hope this helps a little
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Old May 26th, 2014, 09:43 PM
ConnorBarlow
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heya thanks for getting back to me.

sorry ive got back to you so late! Its abit dark now to get a picture but ill try upload one tomorrow. Hopefully getting it to a garage tomorrow. As im not sure if its safe to drive, i dont want to blow up or over heat anything.

Im sure they replaced the houseing etc when they did the thermostat. All rad caps have been checked aswell by my dad and theres no residue of coolant. He also checked if the coolant was getting to my radiator and it is. It just baffles me I never had any luck with any car ive had.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 12:30 AM
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Hope you get it sorted mate i would ask the garage to pressure test the system most garages have the equipment to do it and they will spot the leak ,i had a leak i couldnt trace on a v6 vauxhall omega years ago got a mobile mechanic out he pressure tested it and we found the leak pretty much straight away
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Old May 27th, 2014, 10:22 AM
ConnorBarlow
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It's been at the garage since 9am this morning and I'm still waiting to hear. So nervous that it's going to be pricey no idea where the leaks coming from. Just praying it isn't the head gasket. I do love my mini but I've had nothing but trouble with it.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 12:07 PM
MINI2 Master
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Hi ya

In one of your posted you said it was dripping on the floor from under the car, personal I would say count the head gasket out.
Hope you get it sorted hope it's a 10 pence bit
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Old May 27th, 2014, 03:56 PM
ConnorBarlow
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hey there!

update on the mini...according to the garage there is nothing wrong with it!! They pressure tested it and its all fine (they didn't charge me either which was nice) but now since they've pressure tested it the coolent is now above max?? I really do not understand. If there was nothing wrong why would it leave a puddle of coolant under my car and why the hell would the coolant boil? I really don't know what to do now.

Do you think it could be the gasket? Its not giving any signs. And when it boiled on Friday (which was when I noticed the problem had returned) the coolant had gone to MIN. Yet I couldn't check where it had gone because I was parked on grass. I really don't know much about cars, only what my dad has taught me. Hes even had another look today and cant see anything.

Any idea on what I should do next? Im so stressed out over this as I use my cat for my job. I drive to elderly peoples homes.

help =( now a sad mini owner
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Old May 27th, 2014, 06:05 PM
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MINIs are known for being difficult to bleed the cooling system of air locks. I've got an air lock at the moment. The trapped air inside expands when it heats up and forces the coolant out, which is quite easy because it's not a properly sealed system. Look at the flimsy cap on the rear coolant tank.

When it cools down it sucks the coolant back in. You notice the coolant loss and then top it up again, and when it gets hot it comes out again. That's why it's disappearing and coming back again.

Last summer after a long journey the lid on my coolant system would quite often be open with coolant over the engine. I bled the system as best I could and eventually the air lock went. It's returned now though.

You probably don't have a leak anywhere.

Another common place for a leak is the bottom corner of the radiator but it sounds as though you can rule that out if they've properly pressure tested it.

My guess is that you need to properly bleed the system.
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Old Jun 1st, 2014, 07:30 AM
ConnorBarlow
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Hi it isnt coming put of the radiator cap. Ive ordered a new one anyway as the rubber is knackered on it. And its not losing coolant when hot its when its been stood over night. I had cardboard underneath it last night n sure enough this morning there was coolant on it. Popped the bonnet to have a look and cant see ANY signs of coolant leak present. Checked everywhere so its bloody magic. I havent topped it up either and neither have the garage. Yet after the pressure test there was more coolant in it than before! It was above the max mark. Well above. And now since monday its just below the max mark. Alot of coolant to loose in a short space of time yeah? Its bloody magic i duno what else it could be n i dont want it to be pricey anyone got any other suggestions??
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 08:44 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by ConnorBarlow02 (original)
the coolent is now above max??

I feel your pain! Mine does this. The other day it was on the drive, cold, and I checked the fluid level and topped it back up to just about directly below the Max line. When I've run the car, it's about 2cm above the Max line - have Mini found a way to make water?!

Mine too was 'fixed'. Now if I hear it burbling (usually just getting stuck in traffic or a long drive-through queue at McDonald's is enough to set it off) I know to check it when I'm back at home or before a journey longer than about 5-10 miles because I can guarantee that the fluid will have dropped down again. I have to do a 60 mile round trip twice a weekend every other weekend and I always always check the fluid before I do either journey.

I'm not sure if can afford to send it to the garage again to look at the problem again as now the roof has stopped working so I'll likely need the money for that! I'm hoping that since the engine doesn't appear to be getting hot enough for the fan to come on, it must be surviving ok, but that's not the way I'd like it.

Oh and the passenger door handle has stopped working again (this would be the third time I've had that 'fixed' as well).

Honestly, I had an S reg one years ago and whilst the sills and foot wells were rotten, the head gasket needed constantly replacing and she'd turn her lights off unexpectedly without any prior notice, it still had less problems than the modern Mini's. Which isn't saying a lot for BMW really is it.

Like many others, I've spent (and based on the current value of my Mini) over 50% of the value of the car now, on repairs to keep it running. I think that's pretty poor. It seems the idea of owning a Mini should possibly just remain an idea.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:13 AM
ConnorBarlow
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Wow your having more problems than i am! I feel your pain. Mines at a friends garage now n ita already baffled him. I cant afford to be spending a fortune on it or worryi g about damage i could be doing when im driving it round all day for my job. I just dont understand the problem with mine either. If this garage cant find anything then god knows what im guna do. But i know its no longer my dream car! Which is sad because ive always wanted a mini cooper.
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Old Jun 6th, 2014, 01:34 PM
ConnorBarlow
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Update: so i went to pick up my new rad cap from mini in doncaster today and just thought id ask them.if they knew what the problem was with my car. Very nice guy came out to have a look. He knew straight away! He saod my thermostat housing is cracked. Turns out the garage i took it to didnt change the housong just the thermostat n gasket. Which apprently you should do the whole lot? And he checked my radiator n its really hot down one side so he thinks it has an air lock. Will they replace the gasket thermostat and housing all together or will they just use the new thermostat it already has n gasket with the new housing? Also anyone any idea what it costs as apprently only mini can sort this. Ive had it to 3 different garages. Its been pressure tested and up on ramps and they couldnt find anything! So how come a mini pro can just look under the bonnet and know? :s
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Old Jun 6th, 2014, 05:01 PM
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Any garage should be able to replace the thermostat housing as its a relatively easy job, I changed mine myself. I think it would also make sense to get them to flush the system through especially the radiator just to make sure you have no blockages which is also an easy job to do
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