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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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Discussion Starter #1
My truck has been losing coolant fo a while now and I top it up weekly. I drove it today after it sat for a week but forgot to top up. Just as I got back in the drivway I noticed the red light on the temp gauge and shut her down. I left her for a couple of hours and tried to put some coolant into the tank.
Once I had the tank at the right level I started the motor and left the cap off to see if there was air in the system. About a minute later the tank is erupting like a wild valcano. I checked the temp gauge and it bang in the middle.
Is this a head gasket issue or worse a cracked block or liner slipping?
 

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27,805 Posts
Relax, cracked blocks and slipped liners are so rare that they really are something of an internet joke. Head gasket, very possibly. Easy check is to pull your plugs and look for one that is "steam cleaned"... most common. Next check for water in the oil... not likely. You can also grab a test kit at your local parts house to test your coolant for exhaust gasses.

Hsa the level ever dropped far enough to have an empty coolant tank?
 

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As pressure builds, if you dont get the cap on, it will start pouring out as it gets up to temp. Sounds like you may have a head gasket leak check close to the firewall with a mirror to see accumulation of dried coolant. Good idea to pressure test your system though, because it could just be a water pump, or throttle plate leak that is easy to fix.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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1,295 Posts
You could just try refilling/ bleeding as per RAVE before jumping into full on panic mode. Doesn't look like you've removed the bleed hose, cleared it and burped the system. Quick easy and no cost to do...
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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+1 on a proper fill and bleed. Your description is classic sign of an air pocket due to blocked breather tube.
 

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Premium Member
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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568 Posts
And again as has been said clean breather tube. I just replaced the top hose after the leak and had to drain all the coolant and refill (as the old hose was one piece and went down to the thermostat). After cleaning the breather hose and hole at coolant bottle with an air compressor the dried coolant and gunk that came out was incredible.....also make sure a nice flow from the top of rad hole. After the Rave bleed all good.
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Got sick just after I posted this. Got back to looking at the truck yesterday and followed all the above posts advise and managed to refill the system. Possibly blocked breather pipe causing coolant to exit expansion tank. I also found why I was losing coolant, the expansion tank cap was letting it out overflow.
Thanks,
Ray.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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1,295 Posts
That's good to hear Ray. Now you've renewed the cap, as a final check, with the car on level ground, start it up from cold with the cap off and check that you've got coolant coming through the small pipe and back into the header tank as it warms up.
We've all got a tendency to think the worst when these things happen- cracked block, head gasket etc due to the possibly unfair reputation these elements have for ultra fragility!
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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Discussion Starter #9
I drove it to work this morning. Temp needle in the middle all the way. Heater also worked as it should. When I get home I will check the level and top up as needed.
 

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I have had so many cooling issues (not just this truck) that my friends call my P38 the 'Cauldron'. I now have an aluminum radiator with aluminum nipple, did the fan clutch, most all new hoses, throttle body gasket (on my third) and heater o-rings done by previous owner 6 years ago. Proper filling of the system is critical and never just a fill and drive scenario.

I also recommend you pressure test the system with a good kit, like a Stant.

http://www.amazon.com/Stant-12270-Cooling-System-Pressure/dp/B0002SRGWU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442868072

You will need an adapter for the overflow tank, either the Rover or the BMW adapter as it is the same overflow tank. I got lucky as I already had the adapter for my BMWs.

I fill the overflow tank slowly, let it drain, fill, drain, fill, etc. Once I think it is full, I pressure test it which helps move the coolant through the system and then I need to refill a bit again. Now you have filled the system and tested it before you you start the engine.

Its worth the investment to help alleviate headaches when small leaks can be seen while the engine is cold. Much safer to poke and prod with mirrors and flashlights hunting down leaks rather than when the truck is running and hot.
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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Discussion Starter #12
Some more digging after my last post.
I rented a pressure tester and found the real source of my coolant leak. The timing cover gasket was blown out on the left side coolant passage. The engine on my truck has leaked oil and coolant since I bought it and I guess it was just time to sort it out.
I started last Friday and have spent a couple hours a day to complete.
The following work has been completed:
Valley Gasket
Rocker Cover Gaskets
Timing Chain and Gears
Timing cover Gasket
Oil Cooler line O-rings
Oil Pressure Sender
Oil Pressure relief and Bypass O-rings
Crank Front Seal
Oil pan Gasket
Oil Pickup O-ring
Engine Mounts
And the one job that made all the others easier - Secondary Air Injection pump and pipes removed, Plugs in the heads welded shut.
I started the engine last night to make sure the oil pump was doing it's job and didn't lose prime. Oil light went out after 2 seconds. I have about an hour left today to finish putting it back together but I am confident I have a leak free motor. My asphalt driveway will thank me.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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If it stops leaking, how will you be able to be sure it has anything in it?:think:

Sound's like a good job though!
Why, out of curiosity, did the SAI pump have to go?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Ahh, that would explain the obvious SAI envy we see from the non NAS owners on the forum....You must feel so inadequate?:razz:

Actually, other than passing emissions on the mainland or "America" as we like to call it, the SAI pump is totally redundant. I use one from the parts car to inflate pool toys! at that task it ROCKS!

Heck if you need to pass emissions, buy a VBdub Diesel, they are really good at that!
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I removed the SAI because the pump was getting too noisy. Also because every time I wanted to do anything in the engine bay I had to remove most of it anyway. I can now remove a spark plug without a snap-on truck load of tools or becoming a contortionist.
After almost a week on the road since the repairs my truck is officially leak free.
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Lol having a leak free Rover is a bonus. If it leaks again everything will be normal.
 
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