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Old 03-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #1
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Engine overheating, spewing coolant

I'll keep my day full of adventure short.

Started my car this morning, sounded like my engine was knocking, I get on the highway and after about two miles the sound stops completely. I stop at a traffic light, accelerate and then I see a bit of white smoke behind me, it disappears then a second later my temp gauge spikes, the red warning light flashes and I pull over.

Pop the hood, and coolant is all over the back of the engine and the underbody metal below that. Looked like the coolant tank failed.

I live in an apartment for school, home (with all of my tools) is an hour and 30 min away so I get my car towed back to my apartment. I filled the expansion tank with distiller water. Started my engine again and let it warm up to running temp and there was no sign of leaking, rev'd the engine several times, let it ran for a few minutes...nothing.

Then I drive it gently around, after about 5 minutes it overheats again.

I have to wait for Monday to see if any of the local dealerships have a new tank. I have class at 9am on Tuesday so I need to fix my car Monday.

Any suggestions on what to look for to see if it is on fact the tank? Both times there was coolant on the power steering reservoir and dripping down the side for the top.

Thanks for any help...

John
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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Engine overheating, spewing coolant

John,

I have a used tank if you can get here to pick it up?
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #3
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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Engine overheating, spewing coolant

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:50 AM   #5
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Sounds like a head gasket. Normal Mini head gasket systoms of runs fine and then overheat all of a sudden and no leaks outside. The tank is boiling over and venting. That's where the coolant on the PS and header are coming from.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:52 AM   #6
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Engine overheating, spewing coolant

Thermostat stuck closed?
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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A shop can use a tool to sniff the coolant & check for the presence of combustion gas. Sounds like your head gasket may be leaking. How does your oil look, normal or like brown sludge?
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:01 AM   #8
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Engine overheating, spewing coolant

I gave John a spare overflow tank I had yesterday, just waiting for results of him replacing it.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:37 AM   #9
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Hope it's his overflow tank. I love easy fixes.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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I'm at home right now, I'm going back to my apartment later to try and fix this. I'm really hoping it is just the over flow tank.

I'll keep you all posted.
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