Where is my water going?

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fatbugger
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Where is my water going?

Post by fatbugger » 21 Jul 2005, 02:12

Hi all
This has got me baffled.
I have a 98 peugeot 406 sx 1.9td and I am loosing about a pint of coolant a week.
There are no visible external leaks anywhere.
Had all covers off checked water pump, hoses' radiator, heater bleed points and the whole of the exterior of the engine.
There are no signs of coolant/antifreeze loss at all.
Had cooling system pressure tested no problem here either.
Fitted new expansion bottle cap from my local Peugeot dealer just in case.
There is no trace of water going into oil.
No increase in oil level or emulsifying of the oil. I have even changed the oil and filter to check this as well.
No water blowing out of exhaust system or puddles under the car but I am still loosing about a pint a week.
I have noticed the car temp gauge normal running about 75-80 degrees
will go up to just over 90 degrees in traffic if hot day then cools back down to about 80 degrees again.
Car runs beautifully has just been to Devon and back for a weeks holiday and it returned a shade under 55 to the gallon with the aircon on most of the week.
There is no loss of power or unusual noises
The engine has just clocked up 125000miles but runs smooth and quiet.
Can anyone give me any ideas please?

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CitroJim
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Where is my water going?

Post by CitroJim » 21 Jul 2005, 03:14

Heater matrix has to be a favourite here. Any damp and soggy carpets or funny smells in the cabin?
Although (toungue firmly in cheek) if your 406 leaks like all my old 405s did then it might be a trifle difficult to tell. I have to say though, a pint a week would soon be noticed by the smell if nothing else.
One thing to keep in mind, all my Pugs and Citroens all seem to loose coolant if you try to keep the expansion bottle topped right up. They seem to find an equilibrium near or below the minimum mark where they then loose no more for ages. Certainly my last 405 did and my 205 and Xantia both do.

fatbugger
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Where is my water going?

Post by fatbugger » 21 Jul 2005, 04:33

Hi Jim
No soggy carpets or damp smells at all. Complete cabin area bone dry.
This is a complete mistry it is baffling me. When the coolant light comes on and you look into the expansion bottle there is no coolant visible just the bottom of the plastic filler tube / level indicator.
It's really annoying as it spoils what is a really nice car

RichardW
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Where is my water going?

Post by RichardW » 21 Jul 2005, 17:19

Have a very good look along the bottom edge of the radiator - not exactly unknown for PSA rads to rot here. Run you hand along and see if it comes back blue from the anti-freeze.
Otherwise, is there pressure in the system even when the engine is cold, or does it pressure up very quickly after starting the engine, and bubbles in header tank? Head gasket failure at anything over 100k miles is not exactly unknown either...[:(]

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fastandfurryous
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Where is my water going?

Post by fastandfurryous » 22 Jul 2005, 00:42

I think this is the beginnings of a head gasket failure.
The O/E fitment gasket (card/steel laminate) will usually fail on most 1.9TD engines somewhere between about 110k and 140k. They never fail water-oil, so you never see the mayonaise that is so common in other engines. These usually fail water-cylinder. The failure is very progressive, and it will take something like another 5-10k for it to fail completely.
I've had various 1.9D, 1.7TD and 1.9TD engines headgasket fail like this on a variety of cars. Budget on £100 of parts (head set, Steel-elastomer head gasket, and a new set of bolts) and either 2 days to do it yourself, or about another £200 on labour at a garage.
While the head is off, it's a good time to have a light skim, and grind the valves in. If yours is an EGR model, this is also the time to disconnect/blank off the valve, before the intake becomes completely choked with sludge.
If you're doing the work yourself, personally I recon it's easier to have the whole engine and box out to do this, as access to the right-hand engine mounting is very very tight indeed, and it means removing the cambelt tensioner too. Access to the intake manifold bolts (especially the centre one) is an absolute joke, meaning that the exhaust manifold has to come off too. With the engine that far stripped down, it's well worth changing the cambelt at the same time (about 30 mins extra work) and probably the water pump too (again, 20 mins more).
I did the head/cambelt/EGR on a 1.9TD 406 recently, and if I'd known then what I know now, I'd have had the engine and box straight out. also means you can check and possibly change the clutch for the want of about 30 mins work, rather than the usuall 4 hours.
Sorry to be the purveyor of bad news, but I've seen it all too many times before.

nicksuch
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Where is my water going?

Post by nicksuch » 23 Jul 2005, 00:36

id second the head gasket idea, try standing it for a day and start it in the dark with a car behind with its lights on !! any clouds ?

Homer
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Where is my water going?

Post by Homer » 23 Jul 2005, 01:52

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by RichardW</i>

Have a very good look along the bottom edge of the radiator - not exactly unknown for PSA rads to rot here. Run you hand along and see if it comes back blue from the anti-freeze.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
My Xantia rad went there with no signs of leaking.
I guess it was only leaking when hot and was drying out as fast as it leaked.
Eventually it got worse and became obvious.

farmboy
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Where is my water going?

Post by farmboy » 23 Jul 2005, 02:40

I had the same problem on my 306 TD, no sign of water, but too was using a pint or so a week. changed the rad cap also after a garages advice and was told it couldn't be the head gasket but it was. when the engine is running a small leak in the gasket between the water jacket and cylinder lets the engine increase the pressure of the rad system forceing the water passed the spring loaded red cap and out of the overfill pipe next to the it, which drains out in the drivers side wheel arch as you drive so no trace left. to check this pull the pipe out of the wheel arch and face it towards a pannel in the engine bay, after a day or so you will see a small trace of water there, also a quick check is to feel how hard the coolent pipes get when running as the extra pressure makes them go rock hard. i changed mine in a day and a half but would advise you get it skinned, values reseated and new stem seals fitted, should then last for another 125,000 PS to save time use exhaust manifold nuts to remove the studs then push in back out of the way to save removing it from the turbo aslo note to remove drivers side engine mount as a dowel in the head locates in it stopping the head coming off.
Good Luck!

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fastandfurryous
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Where is my water going?

Post by fastandfurryous » 23 Jul 2005, 03:08

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by farmboy</i>

should then last for another 125,000 PS to save time use exhaust manifold nuts to remove the studs then push in back out of the way to save removing it from the turbo aslo note to remove drivers side engine mount as a dowel in the head locates in it stopping the head coming off.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
If you use a multi-layer steel-elastomer gasket it should last indefinatley from that point onwards. The problems with exhaust manifold mountings, and the dowel in the engine mount are exactly why I would recommend pulling the whole engine/box to do the job. makes it far easier, and involves less skinned knuckles, and far less swearing. I've managed to pull an engine, do a head, cambelt and clutch, and drop the engine back in all in a day before. (a long day though, to be honest!)

fatbugger
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Where is my water going?

Post by fatbugger » 26 Jul 2005, 00:19

Thanks to everyone for the info.
Have looked at all suggestions. Coolant pipes are not getting hard they are quite pliable even after a 50 mile round trip including high speed motorway driving. Have checked in dark with car behind starting from cold and exhaust is as clean as a whistle no smoke, haze nothing.
nothing leaking from headertank overflow pipe.
I just do not know what to think.
Would car run lumpy from start up if there was water in the cyliners? I have no misfires it starts first crack from cold and runs as smooth as anything.

solara
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Where is my water going?

Post by solara » 26 Jul 2005, 14:02

When the heater matrix went on my 306, I had no soggy carpets. This was because it evaporated as soon as it warmed up. Switch on the airflow to windscreen and turn on the demister on a cold morning. Anys signs of a clear windscreen turning misty near the vents are a dead giveaway.

James.UK
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Where is my water going?

Post by James.UK » 26 Jul 2005, 18:53

Try some Fortes radiator sealer and see what happens, its worth a try for £10 - £12 ish..

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fastandfurryous
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Where is my water going?

Post by fastandfurryous » 27 Jul 2005, 03:03

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by fatbugger</i>

Would car run lumpy from start up if there was water in the cyliners?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Not to begin with, and not on only loosing a pint a week. I'm also skeptical about the haze in the headlamps test, as when these headgaskets fail, they initially loose water only when the engine is hot, and when that's true, you'll only be putting a tiny bit more moisture into the exhaust (combustion gas is full of water anyway, from combustion of hydrogen)
The heater matrix is worth considering, but I haven't heard of many 406 matrixes failing. HG is still favourite in my book. Sorry!

bikeboyz
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Where is my water going?

Post by bikeboyz » 28 Jul 2005, 18:02

What type of coolant are you using? if its the "green" type like Comma Coldstream, then its service life may be up. Had identical problem with my old 106D. The chemicals in the green coolant realy only last three years like its says on the bottle then breaks down and starts to magically disapear. A drain, flush and renew and everything back to normal.

nicksuch
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Where is my water going?

Post by nicksuch » 31 Jul 2005, 16:24

The night time light test was from personal experience, my car had become a strange starter, almost like a flat battery, a couple of slow cranks then it would go, I even left the battery chargingwhile it was parked. then one night as i was starting it (2 or 3 slow turns before it fired up) a car was behind in the dark with its lights on and i saw the cloud of steam? water vapour? for a second or two. Upon investigation the head gasket had been damaged when fitted at new and was allowing water to be pulled into the cylinder as the engine cooled.
Combustion of hydrogen ???? what you got a fuel cell in your motor ?