Where's my water going??!!

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simonineaston
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Where's my water going??!!

Post by simonineaston » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:31 pm

Hi Folks,
I'm new-ish to BX ownership, and enjoying it so far... I note comments elsewhere that it pays to keep an eye on the cooling system, so I was a bit worried to see that the header tank needs topping up about once a week. I followed advice and bought a new pressure cap and stuck that on last week. I thought it was asking a bit much for that to cure the leak, and that has proved to be the case - header tank needs topping up as usual :-(
I'm a bit puzzled as to where the water's going! I keep checking the oil - no sign of it in there... I keep checking under the car - no drips except a tiny bit of oil, and I can't find any sign of leaks in the engine bay... any advice from you seasoned BX owners out there?
Simon, Bristol UK
('91 TZD 1.7)

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Oscar
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Post by Oscar » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:58 pm

Get your engine up to operatimg temp and look for escaping steam. When this happened to me, I had a small hole at the top of the rad. It only leaked when running, and was otherwise unnoticeable.
(Red BX 1.7TZD ("Well, it is a style icon" - Tom Sheppard)) "Was", Tom, "was"

tom
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Post by tom » Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:15 pm

Depends on what you mean by topping up the header tank. If you are filling it to the brim every time, you probably don't have a problem. If you are filling it up to the max mark and losing water then you probably do.
One check known to most BXers is to fill the cooling system to the mark, and with the engine cold, run the engine for 1 minute and stop it. If water gushes out when you remove the cap, you have a serious problem but if not, it should be relatively cheap and simple to diagnose and fix.

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Post by kiwi » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:34 pm

Being one of those BX owners who also suffers this issue, probably was my post about the cap that helped?

Toms advice is another that I will be trying :) One question how do you know what the Max mark is if you dont have that black tude thingy in your header tank on a BX?

Simon, One shocking revelation I do know about the BX from experiance with a few is that if the head goes you wont necessarily find oil in the water or vica versa. I not sure how much truth there is in that concept that head gasket/head blowing cause Oil and water to mix? From the Van I blew up last year my head is shot on it but there is no mixing of oil and water. The exhaust is a good give away in some cases although my van which can not hold pressure after blowing a lower hose and roasting the engine fits neither of those scenarios.

One observation is that on damp cool days there is a large amount of exhaust emmisions! That could indicate head failure.

How much water and how often (in miles) are you topping up? Have you checked the carpets around the footwells for Heater matrix leak? Does the Orange water level light come on?

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Post by jeremy » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:54 pm

If you don't know where the level should be - then does it continue to drop?

The level is shown in the drivers handbook -

http://www.rwbsmith.plus.com/citroen2/D ... rsbook.pdf

(This seems to be an amalgamated book which contains both petrol and diesel information.)

If you can't find marks on the outside of a transparent tank try shining a torch down the neck in the dark.

A diesel can blow a head gasket between cylinders and not pressurise etc the cooling system (it happened to me!). A petrol one cannot as its a wet liner engine without a block top face.

Loads of other useful info on Bob Smiths site including excerpts from the workshop manual. Delete tail of link after citroen2 for index.

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Post by kiwi » Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:28 am

In all the BXs I have ever owned (8 in total I think) I have never yet seen a transparent tank.

Until recently I always thought that they did not have a expansion tank with just that black tube at the side of the radiator.

A couple of the BXs have had a Black ribbed tube in the radiator filler to check the coolant level.

I have the drivers handbook and the Haynes manual but none show where the actual marks are inside that filler point?

From memory due to heat expansion a level 2 inches below the neck is acceptable roughly 1/4 litre from the neck of the coolant filler.

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Post by jeremy » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:59 am

The ZX 1.9D has a tube type expansion tank alongside the cold end of the radiator and the minimum level is about 6 inches down (Yes that's 6 inches!)

The BX TD has the additional header tank which it shares with the 16 valve and the level bar in that is at the half way mark or below.

The point I'm making is that these engines need a lot of space for expansion.

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Post by kiwi » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:27 am

Ok another useful tip!

Check the low level warning light on the coolant is working.

On the side of the expansion tube you will find two wires a few inches from the base of the Radiator, these plug into a switch which if you twist should come out. Check its working :!: Of course now its out the water level will be down below the switch unit so if it lights it works :wink:
if its the old float type or looks corroded replace it. They are cheap enough (got to be cheaper than kiwiland).

Now if that light comes on then you know your losing water somewhere.

I have given up checking my water level every trip simply because evry time you open that rad cap you depresurising the system and inverably losing water. that light is becoming my friend and to be honest its much better to have it on than its companions that say I am cooking :wink:

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Post by 94xm » Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:23 pm

My other halfs 91 tzd allways seems to need a top up now and then, no signs of a leak anywhere at all. My best guess is possibly the waterpump. Its been like it for years and years. The only pipe failures i have had on that 1.7 td are twice on the small pipe that snake's past the the oil filler at the front of the engine. A horizontal running pipe about 20/25 cms long. Both times i didnt spot the leak for ages as its allways such a small hole and the water evaporated long before it actually dripped under the car.

The only other one was at the back of the engine from the heater matrix somewhere which is a pain to get at but usually goes pop in a big way, so probably not that.

I allways fill the expansion tank to just above half way. I use alot of blue coolant too so you can see a mark if any of the pipes are leaking.
cheers

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Post by kiwi » Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:49 am

I use alot of blue coolant too so you can see a mark if any of the pipes are leaking.
I would love to get some Blue coolant! The coolant that is sold in the auto stores in NZ seems to be only Green.

First time my Radiator overflowed the site of Green fluid when I was showing off the suspension to a mate sent a chill down my spine thinking Octopus pipe. :roll:

Scarey thought that a Trainee Garge mechanic could put coolant in the LHM fluid reservoir aint it :shock:

simonineaston
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Post by simonineaston » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:46 pm

Wow - lots to get my head round there folks! Here's a few answers: I do have the extra header tank - yellowing opaque plastic between the battery and the intercooler matrix - I assumed the half-way mark, which takes the form of a thick seam, would do as a guideline for filling up. Yes the warning lamp for low coolant level does come on, as well as the STOP! lamp :-0 No. i've never checked the low level switch simply because everytime the lamps come on, I check the level and indeed there's no sign of coolant (or water as it now is in my system!). No, the carpets are dry everywhere :-) No. there's no sign of water in the exhaust :-) Performance seems brisk enough but then I've never driven any other BX let alone another TZD so going by the performance isn't the best test for me! BTW I tried your "fil it up then run for a minute" test and no sign of any bubbling over... :-)
Have decided at the week-end that I can't let this drag on specially bearing in mind all the dire warnings about coolant being critiacl so am summining courage to do entire new cam-belt/water pump/system flush caper Yikes!
Simon, Bristol UK
('91 TZD 1.7)

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Post by jeremy » Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:57 pm

I hadn't realised you had a 16 valve or TD. In the header tank there is a level bar, a bit below the seam. You should be able to find it by poking a screwdriver or similar rod through the filler.

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Post by tom » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:32 pm

OK then. It is a Turbodiesel and it has a new rad cap. The water is going somewhere so if you have a garage,cover the floor with newspaper and with the door open, run the car for half an hour or so until the fans cut in. Switch off, move forward and examine the newspaper for clues.

simonineaston
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Post by simonineaston » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:01 pm

I'm still having no luck on this one, having spent what seems like hours staring at various combinations of newspaper-on-floor, and hot engine running, with fans and without !
The only clue I have spotted is steam venting from the 1/4 inch hole in the neck of the header tank... In my ignorance I assumed that the pressure cap was to keep it all in, but if the steam is venting out of the hole presumably the rubber seal in the cap is being pushed up against the spring pressure enough to let it out - is that right??? Or does this suggest I haven't bled the system properly?
Simon, Bristol UK
('91 TZD 1.7)

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Post by roscoe » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:59 pm

I bought a cheap coolant recovery bottle at my local SuperCheap and stuck it in my turbo diesel. Connected a small fitting into the overflow hole on the side of the expansion tank and ran the hose from there to the bottle which I jammed down the nearside of the rad between the headlight and airfilter. Filled the overflow bottle half way, changed the rad cap to a two stage type and haven't had to look at my cooling system since. A quick glance at the overflow bottle level when cold should show the level still at half way or so, when hot it comes up quite a bit due to the expansion in the engine. When the engine cools down, it sucks the coolant back out of the bottle so acts a self-regulating system. However, if you have a leak in a hose somewhere, you will find the coolant still disappearing - I suspect that might by your problem. When hot/pressurized, a small hole is opening up and spewing coolant, as soon as the pressure/temp drops, it reseals itself.
cheers,
Roscoe
1991 TZD
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