massive coolant leak

Ben Swann benswann at
Mon Sep 22 08:47:08 PDT 2008

I can see someone wanting to throw in the towel if deferred maintenance was deferred
until many major systems were broken and needing repairs of $thousands all at once.
This should not be allowed to happen on these or any older vehicles.  If kept up with,
maintenance on these cars can be kept at a reasonable cost from both time and money

Several of the items you mentioned are services that only need to be done rarely - 60K
miles on timing belt and water pump where a good mechanic will clean up a lot of other
stuff while he is in there.  Exhaust - how long did that first system last?  Steering
rack can be a PITA, but like exhaust if rack was properly rebuilt and system flushed
then you are likely good for another 200k miles.  Brakes - routine maintanence on any
car.  Yeah - if the car needs all this at once then it may be overwhelming - these are
the cars that are being sold for next to nothing and generally drive the book value down
on a car that could conceivably last forever or at least go the million miles.

That said, I have dealt with cooling issues many times on the several Type 44 that I
have had or serviced for self or friends.  Things that tend to go wrong and difficulty
of repair:

Overflow tank - cracks, leaks - easy straighforward  repair.

Hose leak - upper radiator hose - not too difficult - keep one on hand because they can
be hard to source, especially when you need one Saturday eve. before needing to use the
car Sun. and Mon.  Other hose leaks similar.

Heater Valve - this is a bad one if it fails catastrophically when underway, as it can
result in rapid meltdown - head warp due to rapid loss of coolant.  If any signs of
leaking or impending death, replace now.  They tend to spit right down the case middle.
At very least carry some sort of bypass or blocker plugs and hose clamps should
emergency repair be needed.  Due to location, difficult to repair when engine hot - wait
'til cooldown or burned hands and arms.  Other coolant system problems may hasten
failure - so make sure fan, thermostat, warning system, etc. all working.

Radiator - plastic tandk nipples tend to crack - can be repaired.  I had one recently
that actually leaked around the end cap seal - slow leak was a little difficult to find.
Replacement straight-forward, but time consuming.  Metal end tank units are a good
investment if keeping the car.

You need to keep up with the MTFS (Multi-function temp switch/sender) and radiator fan
switch and wiring - verify operation of these so you have warning when there is a
problem creeping in - such as low coolant level.  This is to prevent other more
catostrophic failures.

Thermostat - can be pain to replace, but sometimes they fail.

Water Pump - they do give warning when in need of replacement and leak can be hard to
locate.  Replace with timing belt and should never be a problem.

HTH and good luck!


[Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 14:46:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: PyRo <pyro_10314 at>
Subject: massive coolant leak
To: 200q20v at
Message-ID: <839213.76830.qm at>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Whats up all. seems like my car might be getting closer to collect that social security
check. I walked out of my house today to a huge puddle on the floor. after checking my
hydraulic fluid cause that leaks too, i opened up the coolant resoivoir and it was like
i opened up the flood gate. i think i narrowed the leak down to the turbo coolant host.
Does this come out from the coolant manifold, because that is where i felt the fluid. Is
this a pita to replace? Im assuming that you have to remove the intake manifold to reach
it. Now the main question, when do you throw in the towel? With my rack needing to be
changed, along with a new muffler and now this, even though i still want to fix it, im
feeling that it might be that time. The car has about 214,000 miles.

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