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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometimes, at ambient temps of up to 65 deg F outside, I see steam from tailpipes upon startup. Steam disappears into thin air 1-2 feet from tip of tailpipe. Not billowing clouds.

Steam from tailpipes eventually stops completely, but takes an incredibly long time to do so. I observed to check exactly how long. Cold starts take sometimes 10 minutes idling, warm starts take about 5 minutes idling for steam to disappear if vehicle has sat for about an hour or more, then restarted when still warm-ish. No steam on immediate restart or short gas station stop.

Fully hot and stable coolant temps settle around 180 - 185 deg F when driving, city or highway. Oil color looks good and typical, coolant color bright (using Land Rover product).

History: In this past year, I had a plastic Y pipe replaced under the supercharger which was causing coolant loss to the tune of 8-16 oz per week of 200-300 miles driving. Water pump and idler were also replaced during the same visit.

Coolant loss has essentially stopped. I don’t know if there is a “normal” amount to lose in a pressurized system, IIRC the cap DOES vent after a certain PSI. I leveled it to the indicated line with 2-4 oz. after having not opened the cap in more than 12 months.

What’s everyone think? Worth spending money to look into further? Any other checks I can or should do?


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2010 Range Rover HSE
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I've wondered on this a bit too, and I would say my 2010 NA does the same thing you are describing, so maybe if enough people chime in, this is just the car/engines normal operation. Its cold here now and on cold starts in 20/30 degree weather it has a lot of white smoke. But definitely not billowing clouds, just looks like a lot of moisture. It could just be this particular engines startup procedure, or something about the exhaust or intake that allows condensation to form until the engine gets to temp. My car is parked outside full time too, but I would also say it very rarely to never takes a trip where the engine doesn't get up to operating temperatures.

I did have to put a small amount (like a 2 second pour from the bottle, hardly worth the cost) not long ago, but my reservoir had been low for a bit, but didn't seem to continue to go lower. The coolant was replaced in the middle of summer in Arizona and the car lives in New Hampshire, so I'm not surprised if that small amount was just due to temperature differences.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've wondered on this a bit too, and I would say my 2010 NA does the same thing you are describing, so maybe if enough people chime in, this is just the car/engines normal operation. Its cold here now and on cold starts in 20/30 degree weather it has a lot of white smoke. But definitely not billowing clouds, just looks like a lot of moisture. It could just be this particular engines startup procedure, or something about the exhaust or intake that allows condensation to form until the engine gets to temp. My car is parked outside full time too, but I would also say it very rarely to never takes a trip where the engine doesn't get up to operating temperatures.

I did have to put a small amount (like a 2 second pour from the bottle, hardly worth the cost) not long ago, but my reservoir had been low for a bit, but didn't seem to continue to go lower. The coolant was replaced in the middle of summer in Arizona and the car lives in New Hampshire, so I'm not surprised if that small amount was just due to temperature differences.

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To be fair, no I did not use distilled water when mixing coolant to add

It may have to do with the quick warm up (thermostat bypass, or whatever it’s called) these do heat up to temp incredibly quickly.

Or it may be the radiator cap. I have a brand new 200 kPa rated cap, but I’d expect it to have a vent for a reason.

I have no idea what the “nature” of red coolant is supposed to be vs green, nor what to expect from a pressurized system vs my old Jeep’s flip cap.


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Yeah can't say for sure, but it seems like this would be something related to either startup, water buildup, or a head gasket/cooling system leak.

Though its interesting you mention red coolant, as my manual says orange (and I thought pretty much every modern LR uses the orange OAT, exceptthe BMW years)...

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Some quick research would suggest condensation, either from the intake or a vacuum or PCV line. Possibly excess oil getting past the rings/bad rings, or excess fuel. To be fair, the Rover startup is pretty dramatic (in a good way though) so maybe its a startup/emissions thing to get the cats heated as quickly as possible. The 5.0L was a newer development for our cars and that was the timeframe where emissions laws really came in, so possibly.

I'll be curious to hear other responses...either this is totally normal or we both have a problem haha

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What you’re probably seeing is basic water in the exhaust system evaporating. You won’t always see it because ethe dew point has to be within a few degrees of the temp. The closer it is to the temp the more you’ll see. This is because the higher the dew point the more water accumulates in the exhaust system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah can't say for sure, but it seems like this would be something related to either startup, water buildup, or a head gasket/cooling system leak.

Though its interesting you mention red coolant, as my manual says orange (and I thought pretty much every modern LR uses the orange OAT, exceptthe BMW years)...

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Red… orange… this stuff. Red grapes aren’t red and white grapes aren’t white. LOL!




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I thought it was pink! I think what you are seeing is normal. Water vapor is a large part of car exhaust when the cat is working correctly. What's left at shutoff condenses to water then has to heat up and turn back into vapor to clear out. I see some cars that drip quite a bit of water when running and cold. You shouldn't loose much coolant, I just added a couple tablespoons for the first time in two years. Your venting cap only vents when pressure builds from an overheat which hopefully, is never.
 

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2002 Range Rover 4.6HSE
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I believe what you are seeing is normal. Nobody complains when vapor comes from their tailpipes during the winter, every car does this. The vapor is mostly condensation that builds from the warm exhaust cooling down with colder air temps and a certain amount of humidity.

One thing I've noticed is that different engines vapor very differently. My Ford F-350 diesel only vapors a very short amount of time, remarkably short, even in very cold weather. My Mustang GT vapors quite considerably for a period of time, and its brand new.
 

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You should not be losing any coolant. When you say the problem is "essentially" fix, do you mean it has a very slow leak that is hard to detect?

These small leaks are very hard to find, but important to solve if you do anything more than local driving. My 2004 L322 had a small pin hole leak, that gave me nothing be headaches. Short trips were fine, but get on the highway for more than an hour it would overheat 10 minutes after exiting the highway. I would dread coming to a stop light when exiting the highway.

It ended up being a pin hole leak in the valley pan gasket, which is near the top of the engine. The small leak would not let the cooling system properly pressurize. The elevated pressure keeps the water from boiling. Typically that small leak would not lose enough coolant to be an issue, but when the coolant dropped below the level of the leak the pressurized air would rush out. And the drop in pressure would cause the water in the coolant to spontaneously boil.

Water (and coolant) is not compressible. The air in the cooling system is compressible, and holds the pressure. A leak above the coolant level will not let the system pressurize. If it's just below the coolant level, it's a delayed fuse ready to blow.

The only way I found the problem was to pressure test the system dry. You can hear the air rushing out even the smallest hole. However, you need a quiet area to do it, which is why most shops do not pressure test dry. On my 2004, the dealership would just put some leak-stop in, and send me on my way. It would last for about 3 months.

On my 2004, i started out fixing the coolant hoses one at a time, as they failed. That strategy was not working. So I finally changed every hose, gasket and o-ring myself, which is when I found the valley pan gasket failure.

Two years ago I bought a used 2008 L322 SC. At the first sign of a coolant leak I changed all the hoses, plus the thermostat while I was in there. Every hose had signs of fatigue, usually bulging or softening near the hose clamp. Since I had to remove the SC to get at the hoses, I changed the SC oil. Also I changed the lower coolant temp sensor. It has an o-ring which can leak, it's easier to buy a new sensor with o-ring than find just the o-ring.

The 2008 is running great well worth the effort. The biggest problem was finding all the part numbers. I ended up buying parts from 3 different suppliers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes! You read “essentially” between the lines exactly as I meant to convey that message, LOL.

That sounds like a good plan, what you did replacing all hoses/gaskets/etc. Rubbers were never Land Rover’s strong point. My hood seals are tearing on my 2012.

It’s time I learn more about my vehicle and I think I’ll start there!


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