Coolant Loss in Car

49
Found 11th Jun
Hi, I have a 2004 Peugeot 307. I noticed last week that I had no coolant in the container under the bonnet, so I filled it half way.

2 days later, it was empty again. I've filled it up and again today it's almost empty.

Any ideas?! Really don't want to take it to a garage again as only just paid £500 to get some things sorted on it.

Thanks
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I know very little about cars but this happened to me and it turned out to be a leak in the radiator, if that is the name for the part?
mutley12 m ago

I know very little about cars but this happened to me and it turned out to …I know very little about cars but this happened to me and it turned out to be a leak in the radiator, if that is the name for the part?


How much did it cost to fix?
Could be a few things. Only time this happened for me was the head gasket failing, water getting into the oil. Open your oil cap and see if there is any residue on the cap.
It will look like mayonnaise if head gasket has gone. Pretty much a write off.

But, put some cardboard under the car overnight and check it in the morning for signs of a leak.
There's no mayonnaise type substance when I take the cap off the oil box. Is that where I'm looking?
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I’ve circled the oil filler cap. If it’s clear of any mucky substance then potentially it’s not head gasket.
Put some cardboard underneath. This will show if there’s a leak.
Edited by: "u664541" 11th Jun
Have a look at all the pipes that form part of the cooling system you are looking for any cracks where they have perished, also look out for water stains where the coolant has dried, a short term fix could be something like radweld
Edited by: "ding" 11th Jun
No wet patches or any signs of a leak
superfreddy24 m ago

How much did it cost to fix?


it was a long time ago so i don't remember how much it costs to fix but i recollect it was expensive to get the radiator replaced.
Only other thing if nothing obvious is to take it to a garage and they will put the coolant system under pressure and check for leaks
mutley12 m ago

it was a long time ago so i don't remember how much it costs to fix but i …it was a long time ago so i don't remember how much it costs to fix but i recollect it was expensive to get the radiator replaced.


I got my rad replaced 2 weeks ago. I bought the rad and coolant, garage charged 2 hours labour. All in was under £200.
I'll throw my guess in, only as it hasn't been mentioned yet. Water pump.
As lots of people said, COULD be any of many issues, AND, as you don't know much about cars, best to seek professional help, running an engine with low coolant is VERY unwise..
IF coolant not been checked for ages, AND as level was low, could now be airlocked...-air hiding within cooling system, often there is a SET procedure to bleed out the air...
I won't explain how, as it IS time for hands on professional help..
Ask friends/colleagues for recommendations on trustworthy garages..
Darzen10 m ago

Top up coolant and add this, worth a try for less than …Top up coolant and add this, worth a try for less than £2https://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/p/car-accessories/engine-oils-and-car-fluids/car-additives/cooling-system-treatment/?553996200&0&cc5_171&type=shopping&gclid=Cj0KCQjwu_jYBRD8ARIsAC3EGCKLghyEKlt1zxoVko47w6rV_0j3wnJb_yYaiKCRpuQpdZHI2PCLCwcaAu7bEALw_wcB


Thanks, I might do
Not had coolant losscfor quite a few years but on mine it was a very small split one of the hoses going to the radiator, when an engine is warmed up after 15 Minutes plus of driving the water in the engine and coolant system gets hot and the whole system becomes pressurised, it is when under this pressure that if there is a small crack or split even the water will be forced out under pressure even it is a very tiny hole, it can make it hard to find a leak when the engine is cold as there is no pressure to force the coolant out. I am afraid that if you know very little about cars it is time to visit a garage.

All these £500 pound repair bills and MOT costs etc is why I opted to buy a brand new £5995 Dacia sandero, no mot for 3 years, cheap insurance, full 3 years manufacturers warranty and breakdown cover, total peace of mind motoring.
Edited by: "SOUTHWALES" 11th Jun
Sorry to hear of your car woes. I had the same some time back on my Passat. I did every test possible and swapped out all sorts of parts including the coolant reservoir cap. It got so bad that I had to top it up every 40 miles! I then came across K-Seal (similar to what @Darzen recommended) and it worked brilliantly! No more issues after using it and even kept the car going for another 30k before I sold it. Worth looking into
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It's loosing it too fast for it to be head gasket, will be hose or radiator.
If there isn't any water in the oil ( headgasket failure ). Then it's likely to be leaking from somewhere. Sometimes it might only leak when warmed up under pressure or running. The cardboard underneath is a good idea but run the engine under load too for several minutes and see if you can see any leakage. You'll also likely see residue from the area it's leaking too.

If your headgasket hasn't failed yet then it soon most likely will if it happens to overheat which it might do if running low on coolant etc. You wouldn't want to replace the headgasket only to find it needs replacing/skimming again due to another problem that hasn't been rectified.

Headgaskets usually fail due to coolant problems. Waterpump faulty, leaks etc..etc..

That's why if your temperature gauge gets too hot and it starts to overheat you should stop and switch the engine off. Don't ever drive with an overheating engine.

K seal is usually ok for some leaks but most obvious leaks are usually easily rectified with replacement pipes/clamps etc..
You say you've had some work done? What have you had done? It's possible something hasn't been tightened correctly.
Head Gasket ? Or could be radiators leaking or thermostat housing! I’ve had it on past two cars unfortunately - BUT do yourself a favour Check the ECU plugs my last car Peugeot 207 I had so many issues untrue, main one coolant leaking and seeping into the wiring looms (wrapped in black tape) and it dripped into the ECU terminal causing pin corrosion and it was never the same again!
Edited by: "ASongOfFireAndIce" 12th Jun
.MUFC.6 h, 26 m ago

If there isn't any water in the oil ( headgasket failure ). Then it's …If there isn't any water in the oil ( headgasket failure ). Then it's likely to be leaking from somewhere. Sometimes it might only leak when warmed up under pressure or running. The cardboard underneath is a good idea but run the engine under load too for several minutes and see if you can see any leakage. You'll also likely see residue from the area it's leaking too.If your headgasket hasn't failed yet then it soon most likely will if it happens to overheat which it might do if running low on coolant etc. You wouldn't want to replace the headgasket only to find it needs replacing/skimming again due to another problem that hasn't been rectified.Headgaskets usually fail due to coolant problems. Waterpump faulty, leaks etc..etc..That's why if your temperature gauge gets too hot and it starts to overheat you should stop and switch the engine off. Don't ever drive with an overheating engine.K seal is usually ok for some leaks but most obvious leaks are usually easily rectified with replacement pipes/clamps etc..


Is that risky though? Could that cause more issues?
If you're lossing coolant that fast then I doubt K-seal or similar will help.

Most likely either a split hose or a hose not tightened up after work carried out. Also if the hoses are on jubilee clips its possible that just having it off and on has caused a split or cut.

What work have you just had done? And how long ago?

Quite possible for a leak not to be obvious because it might only happen when hot and pressurised when the leaking coolant is hot and evaporates.

Unlikely that you have the heating on at this time of year but also worth checking in the front footwells in case the heater matrix has failed and has coolant leaking into the front of the car under the carpets.

I'd take off the engine cover and get a load of paper towels/blue rag. Take it for a run to get it hot then pop the bonnet and look for signs of leaks. Be careful because fans can kick off even with the engine turned off.

Wipe the paper towels around pipes/joints and see if you find any damp.

Look particularly at the water pump and joints. Wiggle the pipes where they are clamped.
Its probably just a split hose like mentioned.
But 3 weeks ago I had a leek which took me 2 days to trace where from then in my dinner at work I found it was coming from the water pump 😫
So I ordered a full Timing Belt kit inc pump to change at the weekend but on the way home the timing belt snapped taking my engine with it lol.
Its now been scrapped..
I've booked it in at the garage. Think that's for the best.
stefromuk1 h, 20 m ago

Its probably just a split hose like mentioned.But 3 weeks ago I had a leek …Its probably just a split hose like mentioned.But 3 weeks ago I had a leek which took me 2 days to trace where from then in my dinner at work I found it was coming from the water pump 😫So I ordered a full Timing Belt kit inc pump to change at the weekend but on the way home the timing belt snapped taking my engine with it lol.Its now been scrapped..


Which car was it?
superfreddy2 h, 50 m ago

Is that risky though? Could that cause more issues?


The preference for me would be to repair the leak correctly as it's likely to be a relatively cheap and easy fix when you locate the leak. Unless it's the head gasket, radiator or water pump. K seal doesn't always work and is rather a bodge job than a long term fix. I don't think in the short term there is much risk but long term who knows.

Since it's an old car I'd be tempted to try it if it was the radiator or head gasket but virtually everything else is a relatively easy and cheap fix.
Edited by: ".MUFC." 12th Jun
SOUTHWALES11 h, 58 m ago

Not had coolant losscfor quite a few years but on mine it was a very small …Not had coolant losscfor quite a few years but on mine it was a very small split one of the hoses going to the radiator, when an engine is warmed up after 15 Minutes plus of driving the water in the engine and coolant system gets hot and the whole system becomes pressurised, it is when under this pressure that if there is a small crack or split even the water will be forced out under pressure even it is a very tiny hole, it can make it hard to find a leak when the engine is cold as there is no pressure to force the coolant out. I am afraid that if you know very little about cars it is time to visit a garage.All these £500 pound repair bills and MOT costs etc is why I opted to buy a brand new £5995 Dacia sandero, no mot for 3 years, cheap insurance, full 3 years manufacturers warranty and breakdown cover, total peace of mind motoring.


Total embarrassment, a dacia.
benrobertsno119 m ago

Total embarrassment, a dacia.


You can have any colour you want............as long as its white
As others have said this is likely a hose. Which tend to be cheap and on an older car, with sensible approaches can be done yourself.

One thing. Haven’t seen mentioned, heater matrix. Check your interior carpets in the front are any of them damp? Top up the system then make sure the heater is full in the off position. Do you lose any water?

Also if you are losing the water over days, then I’d guess more a topside hose that has the leak. Otherwise it would be under more pressure and dripping out when parked.
Similar thing happened to us, used radweld to temp fix until we got a new car.
Same problem not long ago, tried K-seal - no joy, had to top up the coolant every 2 days, after a bit of investigation it turned out to be a pipe elbow going into the heater matrix, less than £10 from Skoda main dealer.

Simple to change over, one side push fit the other with a circlip.
bp241120 h, 19 m ago

I'll throw my guess in, only as it hasn't been mentioned yet. Water pump.


I’d second that. Beyond a bad hose it’s the most common fault.
I topped it up halfway last night, driven it today and then this evening it's still full, so I don't know. Maybe the cap wasn't on tight enough, I don't know.

Second thoughts about taking it to the garage tomorrow now...
gcmarcal10 h, 57 m ago

Which car was it?


Renault Scenic 04 plate so wasn't worth me fixing
The cap on the coolant section... it is slightly faulty as in when you unscrew it, there's a part that doesn't come away with it, so you then need to pull it off with your fingers. I've tightened that yesterday and today I've not had any loss. Could it have been as simple as that?
Sorry to be dim, but is the radiator cap, the cap that goes onto the coolant bottle under the bonnet? i.e I unscrew the radiator cap and put coolant in?

I'm wondering if the cap is faulty, and not tight enough, could this cause coolant to escape somehow? It's just that I can't see any leaks anywhere. Since I tightened it yesterday, I've not had any coolant loss.
Edited by: "superfreddy" 12th Jun
superfreddy26 m ago

The cap on the coolant section... it is slightly faulty as in when you …The cap on the coolant section... it is slightly faulty as in when you unscrew it, there's a part that doesn't come away with it, so you then need to pull it off with your fingers. I've tightened that yesterday and today I've not had any loss. Could it have been as simple as that?


I am no car expert, but the cap is not meant to be pulled away completely in case you lose it, hence there is a sort of tag to keep it there, while you can still open it.

I don't think the coolant tank is the same as the radiator. The coolant cap being loose could cause the water loss. Someone with car knowledge will be able to confirm this or not.

You could always leave it for another week to see if you get any more loss. The engine gets hot if you drive long distance, that is when the coolant is used up more to cool the engine.

My humble knowledge on car.
mutley15 m ago

I am no car expert, but the cap is not meant to be pulled away completely …I am no car expert, but the cap is not meant to be pulled away completely in case you lose it, hence there is a sort of tag to keep it there, while you can still open it.I don't think the coolant tank is the same as the radiator. The coolant cap being loose could cause the water loss. Someone with car knowledge will be able to confirm this or not.You could always leave it for another week to see if you get any more loss. The engine gets hot if you drive long distance, that is when the coolant is used up more to cool the engine.My humble knowledge on car.


The same journey I've been doing has taken the coolant level empty in 2 days. After 1 day tightening the cap, there's not been any coolant loss.
superfreddy4 m ago

The same journey I've been doing has taken the coolant level empty in 2 …The same journey I've been doing has taken the coolant level empty in 2 days. After 1 day tightening the cap, there's not been any coolant loss.


As far as I am aware, the water becomes very hot when you drive so if the cap is not closed properly, the water could evaporate. If it seems ok now, I would leave it until it becomes a problem again. It may that simple and you have solved the problem.
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