A few people already know the ongoing saga about my car, but I thought I would post this here for anyone who is interested...
On Sunday morning the low water level light flicked on in my car, so I topped her up with some water. That night after work, the light came on again. 'thats a bit strange.. must be a busted hose somewhere' pulled over into a servo topped up with water, and noticed a lot of splash marks around the hose going into the radiator on the drivers side.
Monday morning I decided to take her into the local workshop to get her fixed. I figured it would be either $30 for a hose, or $300 for a radiator. The mechanic had a look and saw a small hole in the hose. I said "phew.. I was a bit worried it would be the radiator or something worse.. the car has been a little jerky at idle" At this point the mechanic said 'ooohhh' and opened the oil cap... steam shot out, and there was caramel goo dripping from the cap...
First thought was head gaskets.. So off came the heads.. the gaskets where fine!!!
Next we thought it was the heads.. So they went off to get pressure tested.. 24 hours later we got the call... the heads where 100% OK.
Next thought was a cracked block.. but before we went pulling the block out of the car, I decided to ring around and ask people what other things it could be. One suggestion was that it could be the manifold as that is water heated, and has been known to corrode, and have water seep into the engine.
It was at this point that the mechanic decided he wanted to check the water pump. He pulled it out, and found a tiny pinsized hole in the back of it.. The pump had been spraying water straight into the timing chain case, and from there into the engine.
What we have been able to determine is that the previous owner of the car must have not used coolant. at some point some corrosion started forming inside the pump, and slowly over the years, it has been eating away until finally it formed the hole. The mechanics know it isn't me that doesn't use coolant - cos my engine was full of it!!
So there you go.. a simple $5 bottle of coolant a few years ago, could have prevented this rather large repair bill I am facing at the moment (2 weeks with no car and $3800 so far!!!)
OUCH!!..... I thought i had a few dramas,sorry to hear that Kel,I dont use coolant as such infact never really have,I only use a corrosion inhibitor as freezing isnt really an issue in WA. For those that dont know NATRA Radiators have a 3row on the market heaps better than the standard 2core if your car is modified.
most coolants actually eat your engine! A Current Affair or Today Tonight did a story on coolants and most actually eat Alloy and metal for breakfast :) The Holden($50 a bottle) brand and one other were the only good ones. At work they only put in two 500ml bottles of coolant, the rest water, all radiators must have water in them.
If your car is now back on the road, check it for stray voltage in the cooling system. If it's not finished yet, ask your bloke to check for stray voltage before it leaves the shop. It can happen again, regardless of what coolant or corrosion inhibitor you run!
Car is still off the road. Hopefully I should get the heads, the harmonic balancer and the timing chain case tomorrow. If all that arrives, then we should be able to get the engine back together tomorrow night.
Then fingers crossed the engine will get back in the car on Saturday.
I will have to get the car dyno'd when I get the chip reprogrammed.
Jim - thanks for that.. I will mention it to the mechanics tomorrow.
Green ED XR0 (yes XR0 - it has zero cylinders at the moment)
the same sort of thing happened to my 98 xh xr8 ute. went on a trip and the damn water level light kept blinking on and off. checked under the bonnet and everything appeared aokay. took it to ford thinking it was a buggered sensor and got the call a bit later saying that the water pump had sung its last song and that the timing cover needed replacing as well. i was fortunate that this occurred just before my warranty expired. i also didn't suffer any other damage apart from this, however it does make you wonder about the reliability of the v8 pumps.
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