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Coolant has been leaking from the reservoir for some time.

Customer Question
Coolant has been leaking...

Coolant has been leaking from the reservoir for some time. Tank was old and brittle. Sealed the leaks several times but new leaks in different places kept popping up. Replaced the tank with new one. Everything was fine for a couple of weeks then coolant blew out the pressure relief cap (seemed to be a couple of gallons) but the temp gauge on the dash showed normal. Have refilled filled now three times and same thing keeps happening (temp looks fine according to gauge). Have now flushed radiator but almost nothing but clear water has come out. Wondering if this could be a thermostat issue. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Mechanic's Assistant: How old are the hoses? And have you tested the actual mix of your coolant?

At this point there is none of the old coolant left. Hoses were all replaced within the last three years. Radiator is empty now,

Mechanic's Assistant: What is the model/year of your Volvo?

1997 960 Wagon six cyl

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your 960 yourself? What have you tried so far?

Yes doing it myself. Just finished flushing with water. Purchased some commercial flush but was hesitant to use since so much aluminum on engine. Was in the process of trying to find out if using a flush additive is ok

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

How much does he charge?

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Volvo
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Answered in 2 hours by:
9/17/2017
Volvo Mechanic: Matt, Engineer replied 9 months ago
Matt
Matt, Engineer
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 23,189
Experience: Mechanical Engineer with 20 years experience in the auto industry, 8 yrs in formula 1 engine testing
Verified

Hello

I'd agree to replace the thermostat as the next step

Whilst the thermostat is being replaced you might as well also reverse flush the cooling circuit (remove top hose to rad and use a hosepipe to push water into the engine until you get clear water out of the radiator hose) and top up with 30-50% fresh antifreeze. Also check that the small diameter bleed hoses that run from the top of the radiator and the top of the engine aren't blocked as this allow the air to vent back to the header tank automatically.

If you still have a problem then check that the water pump impeller / turbine isn't spinning on its shaft. You should be able to achieve this by removing the bottom hose from the engine and use a screwdriver or similar to feel for the water pump impeller blades, whilst your assistant turns the engine over by hand.
If you can stop the impeller with slight pressure from the screwdriver the pump needs replacing.

Also its possible the belt is slipping so its worth replacing its especially if the rubber ribs are cracked or it looks shiny on flat side of the belt - while its off check that the tensioner and other pulleys all spin freely the exception to this is the AC pump ( if fitted)

I'd also suggest ensuring that you've got all the air out of the system as this sort of episode can leave pockets of air trapped and prevent the coolant from circulating properly.

So check that the small hoses that run from the top of the engine and radiator that run back to the header / expansion tank are free flowing and not blocked

If these are OK then remove the tank pressure cap and run the engine from cold with the heater set to full hot

As the engine starts to warm, squeeze the large hoses running to the radiator to help displace any air - all the time keeping an eye on the level in the header tank, making sure it doesn't drop below the minimum and open any bleed screws built into the top cooling hoses - closing them off as soon as they start to gush water

Once the engine is up to temperature the tank should be quite full. Switch the engine off and leave it to cool

Then top up to the mark once its all cold and replace the cap

and yes a flushing additive is safe to use on an aluminium engine but it shouldn't be left in there too long ( a few hours maximum) before flushing out with fresh water

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Volvo Mechanic: Matt, Engineer replied 8 months ago

Hi
do you still need help?
Bear in mind that the site takes a deposit from you at the beginning and this is held by the site until you rate my answer at which point the cash is split between the site and the expert. I am only paid for my work on this question if you rate my answer, using the star system at the top of the screen. Please do not forget! Thank you

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Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 23,189
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Experience: Mechanical Engineer with 20 years experience in the auto industry, 8 yrs in formula 1 engine testing

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