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Old 1st March 2007, 21:13   #1
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Default Engine Overheating: Urgent Help Needed!

Guys,

My little bro is stuck with a problem:
-- He says the car is driving weird.
-- The temperature gauge is showing MAX temperature.
-- He heard some sort of a hissing sound in the afternoon today.

I am suspecting coolant leakage to be the problem, and am advising him to start driving back home after topping up the coolant tank with (mineral ??) water. Also, have asked him to stop as soon as the engine temp gauge reaches 3/4 mark, open the hood and check coolant level, if it has gone down, top up, let it cool down, and drive again.

Calling 24-Hr support is out of question, as the car is Matiz, with no service backup whatsoever.

Here are the questions:
1. Is my diagnosis correct? If not, what else could be the problem? I can ask him more questions on phone and seek your advice.
2. Is it safe to drive a distance of 10-12 Kms (Indiranagar to HSR in bangalore) under such conditions?

Thanks a lot,
Su-47

Last edited by Su-47 : 1st March 2007 at 21:18.
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Old 1st March 2007, 22:14   #2
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In addition to your diagnosis, has he confirmed the radiator fan to be working fine ? I once had this problem of the fan malfunctioning in my old 800 which caused the temperature gauge to soar up. In my opinion it would not be a wise idea to drive for 10-12 kms unless you stop the car every time it crosses the normal temperature, allow it to cool down and then start driving again.
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Old 1st March 2007, 22:17   #3
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Matiz is notorious for overheating problems - can be due to the following factors:

1. Coolant leak, most commonly from the inlet manifold - cannot be fixed unless you dismantle the whole unit, takes you over half a day or more. Keep refilling coolant as fast as it leaks out

2. Cooling fan, typically failure of fuse/ relay for hi-speed fan - Matiz has 2 fans, the second coming on if temp crosses 120 C - and if the relay or fuse fails, the hi-speed fan does not come on, increasing the temperature till it reaches the danger mark. Only solution is to check/ interchange the fuse/ relay (before that, check whether the fan is running at higher speeds once the temp crosses the threshold level).

3. Is there a leak in any of the hoses - the hissing sound indicates that there is a steam leak somewhere, can only be from cracked or loose hoses

4. I have also changed my temperature sensor thrice - a defective sensor leads to wrong readings
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Old 1st March 2007, 22:35   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rr_zen View Post
In addition to your diagnosis, has he confirmed the radiator fan to be working fine ? I once had this problem of the fan malfunctioning in my old 800 which caused the temperature gauge to soar up. In my opinion it would not be a wise idea to drive for 10-12 kms unless you stop the car every time it crosses the normal temperature, allow it to cool down and then start driving again.
Yes, the radiator fan is working... Since there was no reply for a long time, I asked him to start driving considering my diagnosis is correct...

He has come back just now after putting 3L of mineral water in coolant tank. So, it indeed appears like a coolant-leakage problem. Will take it to the mechanic tomorrow.

Thanks for the reply!
Su-47
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Old 1st March 2007, 22:41   #5
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[quote=hvkumar;383134
3. Is there a leak in any of the hoses - the hissing sound indicates that there is a steam leak somewhere, can only be from cracked or loose hoses
[/quote]

I hope this one is true, as it sounds cheapest to fix
Thanks,
Su-47
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Old 2nd March 2007, 01:19   #6
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I use distilled water for radiator. Is that okay to use mineral water for radiators? I doubt.
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Old 2nd March 2007, 10:31   #7
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Buy battery water from any shop which deals in auto parts. Cost of bottle=15rs.
As for temp gauge it could be
1. Faulty radiator fan
2. Blocked plumbing
3. Busted thermostat
4. Engine issue(High load due to engine problem), like running without engine oil
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Old 2nd March 2007, 11:48   #8
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This is my conception about battery water aka distilled water.
It is basically used as an electrolyte in batteries.Hence, it is mixed with ACID!
Im sure that having ACID in water and using it as a coolant is BAD for the radiator,water lines, etc....
Mineral water can be used till it is replaced with Coolant mixture.
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Old 2nd March 2007, 11:53   #9
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But why mineral water. Any water would suffice as long as there is water inside the radiator.
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Old 2nd March 2007, 12:30   #10
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EL: I didnt want to torture the teeny-weeny microbes present in normal-water by putting them into the hostile environment of a car's radiator. They also have a right to live, infest somebody's intestines and multiply there

Jokes apart, I asked him to use mineral water as that was the most convenient solution...
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Old 2nd March 2007, 13:03   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous View Post
This is my conception about battery water aka distilled water.
It is basically used as an electrolyte in batteries.Hence, it is mixed with ACID!
Im sure that having ACID in water and using it as a coolant is BAD for the radiator,water lines, etc....
Mineral water can be used till it is replaced with Coolant mixture.
Nope, the one which comes in plastic bottles is not mixed with acid. It clearly mentions on the packaging as "Pure distilled water".
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Old 2nd March 2007, 20:41   #12
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Here are my 2c,

If you know its coolant leakage(radiator/hose), my suggestion is to top it up with water and drive with the radiator cap open, as the pressure does not builds up so the leakage does not happens.

Important: Remember to top-up again every time you stop the car. (Park for some time).
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Old 2nd March 2007, 21:26   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutra View Post
my suggestion is to top it up with water and drive with the radiator cap open, as the pressure does not builds up so the leakage does not happens.

Important: Remember to top-up again every time you stop the car. (Park for some time).
I'm not sure thats a very good idea. Driving the car around with the radiator un-capped is a big No No!
The engine runs at high temperature and the steam generated will damage wires, plastic components and electrical contacts, etc. in addition to causing a mess in the engine compartment.
If the steam enters the engine block then you're most likely going to need a new engine block soon.

This is besides the fact that personal damage will occur from steam - burns!

Never uncap the radiator until after the car has been turned off and allowed to cool for a few hours at-least.

Sutra, your suggestion could cause a dangerous condition and prove to be very expensive for anyone. Please refrain from purely speculative suggestions.
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Old 3rd March 2007, 00:22   #14
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Su, check the radiator cap... it has a rubber gasket kinda thingy, if thats missing or torn, then thats what the problem is...just change the cap and ur on the road. secondly it would be good to check for a leak in the radiator as that may be the problem too. (since u must've checked for a hose leak and also say the fan is working) and if the fan is working in the correct rpm it should be.... maybe its lost some revs and that could be enough for the overheating problem
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Old 3rd March 2007, 10:38   #15
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Aah78, You missed my point, the cooling system is already leaked you are in middle of nowhere, you can't leave your vehicle on the road. Driving in such condition you cannot go beyond 2-3kms before your engine spills it's guts out.

Driving without radiator cap, doesn't allow the pressure to build up, so in case of rubber hose/radiator, the puncture does not leak as profusely, the pressure inside the cooling system = pressure outside.

Still not convinced, its like boiling water in a vessel, if you cover with Lid, it boils the lid over, if left open it will boil till dry, read about James Watt and you would know.

This is not speculative suggestion, I have been stranded more than once over high hills, with busted hosepipes and hairline fracture in the Radiator.

This would be the safest way to limp back home / workshop without any damage to you or your vehicle.

As earlier highlighted, Remember to top-up again every time you stop the car. (Park for some time). If the engine is hot, keep the engine running while adding water to avoid any damage to the engine block.
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