/ Van cooling system help

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Cheese Monkey - on 21 Mar 2013
My lovely van has recently developed some major issues. About a month ago a water hose split and it overheated, but I didnt let it redline. Recovered, repaired and serviced and all was fine for a week. Then a week later around town it started overheating and another leak was discovered around the thermostat housing, however the water level was still high. Thermostat and housing changed. A day later the temperature was up again, new leak at the water pump and several hose connections. Now 3 days later and having spent 600 on the thing it has developed another leak. Why are all these leaks appearing? It has never properly redlined and the head gasket is good. After each fix it has been pressure tested fine. Since the initial water pipe split it has not lost a significant amount of water. To say it is driving me mental would be an understatement. I am very reluctant to send it back to the garage again, I want to fix this myself now as I have no cash!
gethin_allen on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
When it was initially repaired, did they put any system cleaner through it?
This stuff does exactly what it says and dissolves gunk, unfortunately, older cars are often only held together by the gunk.
Cheese Monkey - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to gethin_allen: I have no idea, it has never been mentioned to me. I'm guessing a gunk blockage would cause high pressure [leaks], lack of coolant flow and overheating?
woolsack - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Cheese Monkey: Petrol or diesel? old or new?
Dave Williams - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

It may be that they've refilled it with new coolant at a higher concentration than before which is now, by the sound of it, successfully finding all the weak spots in your cooling system. The only good news is that it'll eventually stop leaking but you may have to replace a few more bits before that happens. Seems as if you've been particularly unlucky though.

Dave
Dave Reeve - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Cheese Monkey: I would take an educated guess and say that the level of antifreeze in your cooling system is now at a higher concentration than it was before, hence new leaks appearing. Also, if one hose was perished enough to split, the chances are the other hoses are or were perished too, assuming they are all original or of the same age. The only other major items left that could potentially leak are the radiator and the heater matrix... If you still have leaks then there are a number of leak sealers on the market that work well and don't cost a fortune.
Cheese Monkey - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to woolsack: 2000 diesel, 135k.
Cheese Monkey - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Reeve: Leak sealers have not worked, not even made the slightest bit of difference. All the hoses appear good, all the leaks are around connections and there is pure water in with only a touch of antifreeze. Pure green bile in it before.
Dave Reeve - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Cheese Monkey: I think the next thing I would do is to compresion test the cylinders and check that they are all at the same level. It's possible that even though the temperature gauge didn't go in the red that the head has warped or the head gasket gone. If it had then when the engine is running it could pressurise the cooling system to the extent that water is being forced out...
Cheese Monkey - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Reeve: On a big old 2.3 diesel? A compression check isnt something I have the tools for :( . It is running smooth as normal and no smoke.
woolsack - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
It has never properly redlined and the head gasket is good. After each fix it has been pressure tested fine.

still suspect your head gasket, have they done a sniffer test to detect CO in the coolant?
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Dave Reeve - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to woolsack: Does it leak all the time or only when the engine is running ? If it's only when the engine is running then sounds like the cooling system is under high pressure and head gasket is a prime suspect...

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