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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the story. Truck needs consistent refills at reservoir. Been just using distilled water. I feel as though by now it's a system with nothing but water.

It's now cold in Texas. It wont reach operating temp. Stays in the blue or just above.

Do I add green or orange coolant. And what might be the reason for the observed characteristics? Be they constant refills, not reaching operating temp. Etc.

Truck has no heater. So I need to fix that too. During hit days itll reach operating temp and just stick there. But when cold or wet, stays well below the half way mark.

Best,
Ashtray

P.s. anyone in San Antonio, Texas that might want to chime in and help?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Well, first question is: Where is the coolant going? Leak? blown head gasket?.....
Second, why no heater? disconnected? is the leak at the plugs used to disable or was it bypassed?
Third, what year and engine type?

Have you tried a new thermostat? that is kinda what it is there for, and seems not to be working.
I use Orange in my 02s
Just pure distilled water will dissolve some of the engine parts, buy a bottle of corrosion inhibitor and dump it in, if you are not going to replace the coolant soon. Costs a few bucks and will save the engine.....
 

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I’m with bolt, where’s the water going ?, with so many refills you can pretty much guarantee there’s air in the system, find the leak first, then we can advise more, the fact your not using coolant you could be looking at corroded core plugs, blown head gasket, check the passenger carpet ( O-rings on heater ) ,
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is a BOSCH 4.6 MY '00
I've got no clue where it is going or really how to check.
The passenger carpet is not wet.

When I purchased the truck it already had no heater. Supposedly due to bad servo motors for the blend doors. I would not doubt if the heater matrix was entirely removed or blocked off. The glove box, when opened, falls almost entirely to the floor so I'm sure someone has tinkered around in there.

How do you go about tracking a coolant leak? There are never any puddles where I park. The only visible leak on the motor itself is at the valve cover gaskets and the power steering pump hose. The throttle body heater lines have been bypassed because that was my first major malfunction when the hose popped off and spilled coolant everywhere.

Just to add, I've noticed this same behavior when driving in the rain. If I hit a big puddle, the temp drops from the half way point to about 1/4 way.
I'll check my oil too...I know that chocolate milk looking oil means there is coolant in it. I'll smell my exhaust too for any sweetness. That is about as much as I know.
 

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Interesting that rain is mentioned.
If it drops fast, like within seconds, when a puddle is hit, it is an electrical issue. Loose sensor lead or corroded connector somewhere under the bonnet. Need to find that.
If the water is coming out the exhaust, and there is no coolant left, it will not smell sweet, like coolant......It will however be damp.
Possible that you overheated when you blew the intake manifold heater line, and now have a blown head gasket.
Pull out each plug and look for one or more that are really nice and clean, like steam cleaned. That will help to tell if it is getting out through the exhaust. Look at the underside the cap of the oil fill, there should be no moisture there either.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay. Good to know. Should I rent a pressure tester? One of those hand pumped ones with the gauge on it?

edit: or what about UV light detector? Should I try that?
 

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If it is not leaking coolant visibly, it is pretty safe to say its either leaking into the cylinder(s) and out the exhaust or into the oil. I do not believe there's anywhere else it can go.

I run dexcool (orange) 50/50 in my 2001. You do not want the system to be mainly water even if it is distilled.

Sounds like the reason you don't have a "heater" is that the blend motors will not open the flaps that direct air across the heater core. It's unlikely that it just lacks a heater core, the previous owner probably just bypassed it due to leaking o rings.

As for never making it to operating temp - either the fan is constantly engaged or your thermostat is stuck open.

Look at your oil
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Can I manually open the flap doors? I would like that.
 

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I would also recommend repairing the Throttle body heater unit. I used the OEM kit from
Land Rover as my INDY mechanic tells me he had trouble with the aftermarket ones leaking abruptly. I followed the you tube video by Doug from Atlantic British. Easy and worked well. I have heard horror tales from people who have had the throttle stuck open in as warm as 50 degrees.
I did the Audi Heater core swap and use the orange OAT coolant with no issues. I’d use a new thermostat and hoses if they are suspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice. I have never heard a story of the throttle body staying stuck open. I want to note, I drove it last night in ~60 degrees F. It got to operating temp and drove fine.

I will ask again, maybe it was missed, but can I manually open the flap doors to get the heat going? Assuming of course that the heater matrix was not blocked off.
 

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Let’s make sure you have water getting to and from the heater matrix first, pop the 4 screws on the panel under the glove box, remove the glove box ( a few more screws) , you should now see the alloy pipes and the joint where the Orings sit, with the car running feel both the pipes for heat, the water should always be running through the heater, it’s the flaps that control where the heat goes,
it is possible to move stuck flaps a little, but in all honesty if that’s the case your better off having a read up on dash removal and heater box overhaul, if you can find someone with a diagnostic that can check your blend motors/flap it would save you a lot of grief , or if your thinking of keeping the car a while invest in a nanocom, you could sell easy enough afterwards.
you then have a diagnostics that will help you no end of times.
there not cheap, but a few visits to a shop and your half way to getting your money back !
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What does it mean when I actually can hear something behind my dash flap open and closed? It happens when I go from hot to cold on my A/C cluster. It sounds like a clunk, very soft, not dramatic, but quite obvious if listening for it.

I'd hate to remove the dash! *egads* that sounds like a pain. I do intend to keep the truck..but anywhere I can save money and do stuff on my own, I will.

I've got a friend with a heated garage, so if worse comes to worse and I have to remove the dash for an overhaul, then it isnt that terrible of a thing.

edit: I'll check to see that the matrix is getting water to and from later today.
 

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The noise you hear is probably the blend motors but you don't know if they are doing what they should do without having a look. You don't need to remove the whole dash, you can get to them without see https://www.rangerovers.net/repairdetails/blendmotor.html. Simple way to check if there is coolant flow through the heater matrix is to check the temperature of the two hoses that go to the heater matrix from the engine bay. All you need to do is touch them to see if they are both hot.
 

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The noise you hear is probably the blend motors but you don't know if they are doing what they should do without having a look. You don't need to remove the whole dash, you can get to them without see https://www.rangerovers.net/repairdetails/blendmotor.html. Simple way to check if there is coolant flow through the heater matrix is to check the temperature of the two hoses that go to the heater matrix from the engine bay. All you need to do is touch them to see if they are both hot.

Richard,
Ive had cars where the heat from the engine gives a hot feeling in the pipes, you know the heaters on these are prone to air locks, that’s why I’m suggesting the in and out feeds, then he can also check the flap isn’t stuck, but more worrying is where’s the water going,

ashtray, are the hoses getting pressurized ?,
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The noise you hear is probably the blend motors but you don't know if they are doing what they should do without having a look. You don't need to remove the whole dash, you can get to them without see https://www.rangerovers.net/repairdetails/blendmotor.html. Simple way to check if there is coolant flow through the heater matrix is to check the temperature of the two hoses that go to the heater matrix from the engine bay. All you need to do is touch them to see if they are both hot.
I let the truck run for about 15 minutes. The gauge reached operating temp, or close to it. But the pipes leading to the heater matrix were cold to the touch. I checked around for residue from leaks and there was nothing visible at all that would make me raise a brow.

Richard,
Ive had cars where the heat from the engine gives a hot feeling in the pipes, you know the heaters on these are prone to air locks, that’s why I’m suggesting the in and out feeds, then he can also check the flap isn’t stuck, but more worrying is where’s the water going,

ashtray, are the hoses getting pressurized ?,
Which hoses? I saw that the ones in the cabin are metal, so I'm not sure how to check if they are pressurized. The ones in the bay seem to be rubber and I can check those. I did notice that the most front most top radiator hose remained smooshy and soft the entire time from start to shut down. Granted It was only running for close to 15 minutes. I can let it run longer today while at work and check again. I have read that hoses of the cooling system should be firm with very slight give when at operating temp.

Side note, the heater matrix still has the oem clamp style hose clamps so I'm assuming, at least, that it has not been tampered with from OEM.
 

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The cooling system isn't pressurising due to the leak and you have no flow through the heater matrix. The lack of flow might be because it is simply low on coolant so it is full of air, make sure the coolant level is correct. Find the leak, bleed it properly and you should find that the heater starts to work. If you have been filling it with plain water then you could have rusted through core plugs. You'll need to rig something up so you can jam a hose into the top of the header tank and pressurise the system, then you should be able to find the leak. I had a car that was losing coolant and never getting up to pressure so I cobbled together three different sizes of hose, wrapped PVC tape around the largest until it was a tight fit in the top of the header tank and the smallest section could take a tyre pump. Pumped it up to 25psi and the leak from 3 core plugs was immediately obvious.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Is it as simple as replacing the core plug after that? Do they not make attachments for our expansion tanks?

It currently sits at the correct level. I might just take off the cap and let it run and see if some bubbles gurgle out.

Is it okay to remove the cap while the car has been running i.e. @ operating temp? I'd like to bleed the air first through the expansion tank, go buy some orange stuff and top it off with that and perhaps corrosion inhibitor and new plugs and wires all around to be honest. Since I bought the truck, its not been touched as far as regular tune ups or anything so I wouldn't mind just replacing them all and in doing so seeing which ones may be rusted out or steam cleaned.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Is it as simple as replacing the core plug after that? Do they not make attachments for our expansion tanks?

It currently sits at the correct level. I might just take off the cap and let it run and see if some bubbles gurgle out.

Is it okay to remove the cap while the car has been running i.e. @ operating temp? I'd like to bleed the air first through the expansion tank, go buy some orange stuff and top it off with that and perhaps corrosion inhibitor and new plugs and wires all around to be honest. Since I bought the truck, its not been touched as far as regular tune ups or anything so I wouldn't mind just replacing them all and in doing so seeing which ones may be rusted out or steam cleaned.
couldn't edit, so quoting to add...I just drove to lunch, reached operating temp like nothing and it is cold and raining. Been raining for a straight 10 hours or more actually. I touched the metal pipes running to the matrix and they were indeed hot. Nothing wild, but to the touch were absolutely without a doubt hot metal pipes.
 

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So, at the moment at least, you have flow through the heater matrix, I suspect last time you checked the coolant level was down. In that case it's the blend motors not doing their job. If you can see the metal pipes you should also be able to see the blend motors. Try changing the passenger side temperature and see if you can see it move.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Not to throw a monkey in the wrench of diagnosis, but last night when I checked, the level was the same as it was this morning/today. In other words, I have not tampered with anything from last night to now. Maybe I didn't let it idle long enough last night? Perhaps the difference was letting it idle for a bit vs. driving it for about 10 miles.
 
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