Engine Warning Light

29
Found 28th Feb
My Corsa had the red boat light come on this morning and it then it didn't have any power. How can I fix this?

I filed up the coolant tank with water yesterday but didn't know I had to use anti-freeze. I think the water has frozen.
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The engine is overheating. Stop using the car and wait till the sun comes out to defrost the water. You then have to drain the water and fill it back up with coolant
maionline12 m ago

The engine is overheating. Stop using the car and wait till the sun comes …The engine is overheating. Stop using the car and wait till the sun comes out to defrost the water. You then have to drain the water and fill it back up with coolant


I'm at work right now and need to get back home this afternoon.
Ooops, try and get it to melt somehow, add anti freeze, fix any burst pipes, pray nothing worse has cracked.

If it's any conciliation, you ain't the first and won't be the last.
You say filled up, was it empty or did you just top it up?

If it was empty, did you empty it?

If you topped it up, by how much and what colour is it now?
dataload2 m ago

You say filled up, was it empty or did you just top it up?If it was empty, …You say filled up, was it empty or did you just top it up?If it was empty, did you empty it?If you topped it up, by how much and what colour is it now?


it was empty. I've been having to completely fill it up every week since I got the car 6 months ago.
david_wavid11 m ago

it was empty. I've been having to completely fill it up every week since I …it was empty. I've been having to completely fill it up every week since I got the car 6 months ago.


That's very abnormal, could be a serious problem but could also be something very simple like a loose hose.

Driving with it overheating is a very bad idea unless you're scrapping it in the immediate future.

As said you need to defrost the water with a heater (not the car heater) or let it defrost naturally in the sun.

Have you been filling it up with water all this time? If it's not been overheating you might still be ok, as damage is caused when engines overheat.

If it hasn't been overheating and you've been using water for 6 months, you'll be fine getting home if it defrosts and the light goes off.

Then at least get some water out and put antifreeze in it for tomorrow.

Soaking it up with rolled up kitchen roll would work if you have no other way, just don't drop wet kitchen roll in there.
Also check core plugs have not been pushed out by expanding frozen water
dataload5 m ago

That's very abnormal, could be a serious problem but could also be …That's very abnormal, could be a serious problem but could also be something very simple like a loose hose.Driving with it overheating is a very bad idea unless you're scrapping it in the immediate future.As said you need to defrost the water with a heater (not the car heater) or let it defrost naturally in the sun.Have you been filling it up with water all this time? If it's not been overheating you might still be ok, as damage is caused when engines overheat.If it hasn't been overheating and you've been using water for 6 months, you'll be fine getting home if it defrosts and the light goes off.Then at least get some water out and put antifreeze in it for tomorrow.Soaking it up with rolled up kitchen roll would work if you have no other way, just don't drop wet kitchen roll in there.


Thanks. The plan is to sell or scrap it in 3 months. It has never overheated or shown that light before and I have only been using water solely for the last 6 months.
And if it starts OK, put some Radweld in it to try and stop or at least slow down the leak until you can get it sorted.
Flynn.Jack3 m ago

Also check core plugs have not been pushed out by expanding frozen water


This too, my post didn't include possible damage caused by frozen water.. lets just hope for the best and learn a lesson about always using antifreeze.

I suggest getting the coolant loss issue fixed before summer though.
david_wavid5 m ago

Thanks. The plan is to sell or scrap it in 3 months. It has never …Thanks. The plan is to sell or scrap it in 3 months. It has never overheated or shown that light before and I have only been using water solely for the last 6 months.


Probably worth paying £20-£30 for someone to diagnose the problem (use clickmechanic.com) in case it's an easy fix.

Otherwise I suggest just keep topping it up and scrapping it, coolant stop leak is worth a go for a fiver just to save you the hassle of filling it up.

Use antifreeze though, again to save you the hassle of frozen water or immediate car death by frozen water / overheating.
dataload2 m ago

Probably worth paying £20-£30 for someone to diagnose the problem (use c …Probably worth paying £20-£30 for someone to diagnose the problem (use clickmechanic.com) in case it's an easy fix.Otherwise I suggest just keep topping it up and scrapping it, coolant stop leak is worth a go for a fiver just to save you the hassle of filling it up.Use antifreeze though, again to save you the hassle of frozen water or immediate car death by frozen water / overheating.


Do you think it will naturally defrost by this afternoon? The temperature here is -3c all day. I thought if the engine was overhating, it might've melted the frozen water but sadly that didnt work.
This is what you want it's £7.99 from Halfords, there are cheaper ones but this is probably the best.

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david_wavid10 m ago

Do you think it will naturally defrost by this afternoon? The temperature …Do you think it will naturally defrost by this afternoon? The temperature here is -3c all day. I thought if the engine was overhating, it might've melted the frozen water but sadly that didnt work.


Might do if you can park in the sun but it's pretty cold today, I suppose you could open the cap and pour some hot water in to help it defrost a bit.

A fan heater would be your best option in this situation to defrost it quicker but obviously you're at work and possibly don't have access to an extension lead and a fan heater.

Any females (or strange blokes) at work with a hair dryer?
Edited by: "dataload" 28th Feb
i actually at first thought this was a joke post with the red boat, which is obvious a tempture warning sign and then putting plain water in the coolant, i know it is a serious post but i was looking for the joke , i recommend reading the manual
It's probably frozen since temps have plumited to below zero, the freezing point of water. Water expands when frozen, often on cars it will burst the pipes, pop the core plugs etc. clearly it's leaking previously, leaks usually only get bigger, the frozen water may have made the leak bigger too. The icon means it's either over heating or the coolant temperature sensor is faulty. I would suspect it's frozen and once defrosted it may be ok. It could also be a faulty headgasket or faulty water pump or a combination. Over heating causes headgasket failure. If you're getting it scraped in a few months a bit of stop leak might get you by. Although I would check hoses and repair if you can as they're cheap and easy fix. Obviously use engine coolant too. At least whilst temperatures are below zero.
dataload31 m ago

Might do if you can park in the sun but it's pretty cold today, I suppose …Might do if you can park in the sun but it's pretty cold today, I suppose you could open the cap and pour some hot water in to help it defrost a bit.A fan heater would be your best option in this situation to defrost it quicker but obviously you're at work and possibly don't have access to an extension lead and a fan heater.Any females (or strange blokes) at work with a hair dryer?


Unfortunately no access to heaters or hairdryers. Fingers corssed I can get home tonight.
Does the corsa have a coolant level float in the cap or reservoir?. Maybe that has frozen in the low position. If not then it's more serious as others have suggested.
Probably best scrap it the heads most likely gone on it u have been filling it up for 6 months everyweek. It's a corsa they aren't very strong in first place where was the water going was it leaking. Getting mixed with the engine oil or something else the cars been neglected for a long time this is probably it's last straws good luck anyway. Check the engine oil level there might be no oil either and also if there is any sludge in there that's a tell tale sign the head gaskets leaking blown
Edited by: "MynameisM" 28th Feb
ScubaDudes1 h, 13 m ago

Does the corsa have a coolant level float in the cap or reservoir?. Maybe …Does the corsa have a coolant level float in the cap or reservoir?. Maybe that has frozen in the low position. If not then it's more serious as others have suggested.


It has a over flow pipe, to which I topped it up with water yesterday.
MynameisM1 h, 25 m ago

Probably best scrap it the heads most likely gone on it u have been …Probably best scrap it the heads most likely gone on it u have been filling it up for 6 months everyweek. It's a corsa they aren't very strong in first place where was the water going was it leaking. Getting mixed with the engine oil or something else the cars been neglected for a long time this is probably it's last straws good luck anyway. Check the engine oil level there might be no oil either and also if there is any sludge in there that's a tell tale sign the head gaskets leaking blown


A blown head gasket is no reason to scrap a car, if it's been driving fine for 6 months and just leaking coolant I'd say it's worth a look to see what the problem is.

Head gasket going is only a concern if it's overheated, which he says it hasn't.. until today anyway.

Garages always make out a blown head gasket means scrap the car, not true at all.

All gaskets go with age and if just leaking externally, replacing the gasket will be fine without even an oil change.

I know people that do them on your drive for £250, which is at least half the price of a *cheap* garage.

A coolant leak doesn't mean it's been neglected, as he's been topping up the coolant so obviously been checking the level, he just didn't know he had to use antifreeze and for what ever reason hasn't had it fixed.

All depends on the condition, age, mileage and attachment you have to the car.

Personally I'd be either looking myself to find the leak or get a mechanic to look at it, most garages will actually look for free.

Just don't get the work done there and find a mobile mechanic instead.
david_wavid5 h, 5 m ago

Unfortunately no access to heaters or hairdryers. Fingers corssed I can …Unfortunately no access to heaters or hairdryers. Fingers corssed I can get home tonight.



you might find you have more issues, cause more damage to the engine, as other have said. if it had no antifreeze in then best not to even try and drive it in these temperatures.Get it towed to a local garage who can leave it inside defrost the water and hopefully fix the issues you have.

And once you have done this, try asking someone who has a car and can do basic maintenance to teach you the basics.
Edited by: "eslick" 28th Feb
If your planning to scrap it might be worth looking at scrappage deals for new cars on PCP’s if you have the cash. They are offering some decent discounts on new cars often making them cheaper than a 1-2 year old car!
david_wavid28th Feb

I'm at work right now and need to get back home this afternoon.


Was it limped home OK? Or is it dead? Surely I can't be the only interested reader hoping for a good outcome?
AndyRoyd7 h, 56 m ago

Was it limped home OK? Or is it dead? Surely I can't be the only …Was it limped home OK? Or is it dead? Surely I can't be the only interested reader hoping for a good outcome?


A Corsa with a coolant leak that’s gone undiagnosed for 6 months. Then in a bitter cold spell frozen solid.
If it wasn’t junk before it is now. Could be anything from a burst or loose pipe to cracked head or block.
Then you have risk of a frozen water pump and stripped timing belt on the cards too.

The lesson here, is don’t ignore a problem and look into it sooner rather than later.
Edited by: "Oneday77" 2nd Mar
Are u ok did u get home safely matey
am i the only person that thinks this was stupid... What did you expect to happen, plus inside ur engine is now properly corrroding lol
Edited by: "chrismc20050" 2nd Mar
AndyRoyd2nd Mar

Was it limped home OK? Or is it dead? Surely I can't be the only …Was it limped home OK? Or is it dead? Surely I can't be the only interested reader hoping for a good outcome?



MynameisM2nd Mar

Are u ok did u get home safely matey


Managed to get home with the help of some boiling water from work. I have taken the advice and bought some Radweld to help get me through the next 2 months before I scrap the car, It was only a cheap run around.
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