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Car coolant

steadyeddie Avatar
2y, 4m agoPosted 2 years, 4 months ago
Afternoon all.
I'm a complete no-hoper when it comes to cars and need a bit of help.
I think my cars coolant/antifreeze is empty, I will attach a picture to show which bottle it is.
If it is the coolant, what, and how much do I need to fill it with bearing in mind that it's going in for a service in a couple of weeks so just needs sorting temporarily.
It's a Fiesta 1.4 petrol 2007 model
steadyeddie Avatar
2y, 4m agoPosted 2 years, 4 months ago
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#1
[img]http://i62.tinypic.com/2aglqme.jpg[/img]



Edited By: steadyeddie on Aug 01, 2014 13:34
#2
It's the larger bottle on the left
#3
You can get it from the supermarket/petrol station for less than a fiver. But... do not drive the car or run the engine until you fill it. Once filled leave the car standing for a while then check the level and look for leaks. If OK, drive a short distance or just leave the engine running and make sure the engine temperature doesn't go too high. If it goes into the red stop immediately - there may be a leak that can destroy the engine.
#4
Yes it's the coolant, if you just want a temporary fix you'll be fine with water until service where they can sort the right mix etc. fill to the minimum line and squeeze the hose attached to your radiator a few times to clear all the air in the system
#5
It's the wifes car, last night it cut out on her 3 times before she got home, that's when I noticed the coolant was empty, also a large patch on the drive so I assume it's leaking. Is there any damage likely to have been done?
So can I just top it up with water for now to get me to the garage?
#6
if its completely empty, then you must have a big leak otherwise you would have blown your engine up by now as it needs topping up rarely

what made you decide to check it? Engine suddenly overheating?
#7
Get some radweld from wilko or halfords it's about a fiver, but will seal the system and make it functional again - Unless the Radiator is completely dead! http://www.holtsauto.com/images/products/repair-and-maintenance/cooling-repair-systems/holts-radweld-plus-hi.jpg
#8
Very important that you don't go driving about with no coolant, otherwise you will cook your engine and it'll be off to the scrapyard with your car.

The reservoir should have a MAX marker on it somewhere (and probably a MIN too) so look out for them, they are normally part of the plastic mold itself.

Buy some coolant, mix it up accordingly (maybe 70% water, 30% coolant, or 50/50 if you're feeling generous). If the amount to be topped up was small (e.g. less than 1 litre) and it would only be temporary then I'd say you could get away with straight water. But we don't know how much you need to fill so best to be safe. If there is a lot missing it is more indicative of a leak. You also need to be wary of air locks that stop the system filling up. On many cars there are little bleed screws on the coolant system pipes. If your car has these, then loosen them up before filling, and as coolant starts to flow from each in turn as you fill, tighten each of them up.

The underlying question is.... what happened to all of the coolant? If you;re the sort that only checks the car once a year then maybe you could expect the level to be low, but there's a chance that there's a leak somewhere. Maybe something simple like a gasket on your thermostat, maybe something more tricky like the water pump, or something bad like head gasket. Take off your oil filler cap and look for white gunk. If there is, it could indicate a head gasket problem (it might not but it's one of the first things to check). Is the exhaust blowing out white smoke even after it's warmed up? Another potential indicator. You could ask the garage to check for leaks (they can pressure-test the system).

Are you sure that the service your car is booked in for will include coolant replacement?
#9
steadyeddie
It's the wifes car, last night it cut out on her 3 times before she got home, that's when I noticed the coolant was empty, also a large patch on the drive so I assume it's leaking. Is there any damage likely to have been done?
So can I just top it up with water for now to get me to the garage?
Fill with water and check all the hoses and tighten up the jubilee clips

didnt your wife notice this big red light when it cut out ;)

http://web-images.chacha.com/images/Gallery/4386/quick-guide-to-dashboard-warning-lights44616489-aug-13-2012-1-600x400.jpg
#10
If you are going to drive it, take some hot water with you, if its a big leak it might all be gone by the time you get to a mechanic.

DO NOT use cold water to top it up if you have a hot engine.

Nowdays cars have anti freeze left in all year round, you will need to get the right mix of anti freeze & water ready for winter.

If you do have to stop to top it up, do not just remove the top, I did that once on a Vauxhall Viva the hot water went up in the air, you have to let it cool down.

Edited By: bubblegum2910 on Aug 01, 2014 14:03
#11
Amendment after you mentioned that there's a puddle on the drive. Don't waste coolant filling it up (besides it's toxic to pets but attracts them - not nice stuff).
Pour some water into the system and see if it comes straight back out again. If it does, then identify where the leak is coming from and update us.

If you just want to get to the garage, yes just bung some water in it and hoof it down there.
#12
i suggest you try and identify the source of the leak. it's probably pretty obvious like a split hose. try repairing with duct tape filling with water and or antifreeze and drive very slowly to the garage. once you have filled it try turning your heating on maximum and see if it blows hot. if it does keeping the heater on maximum will help keep the engine cool but it will make you very hot so open all the windows. keep a careful eye on the engine temperature and stop the car if it moves into the red line to allow it to cool.
#13
The OP clearly knows very little about basic car maintenance, I suggest that he gets his local garage to inspect it without even moving it/starting it again.
#14
Topped it up with about 2 litres of water and got to the garage no problem.
Thanks all for the help
#15
steadyeddie
Topped it up with about 2 litres of water and got to the garage no problem.
Thanks all for the help
great!

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