00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - polecat10
My Kangoo (2000 1.9D) is overheating and losing it's coolant. After only a mile or so the temperature guage quickly rises to 3 quarters- then falls back to the centre in a couple of seconds. When I open the bonnet the coolant is down below the minimum mark. I put a new cap on the coolant bottle today (genuine renault part) but it has made no difference. The coolant is venting out of the cap- it is not leaking slowly but coming out all in one go.
I only had the car a few days- it has done 102,000miles.
I would be very grateful if anybody could tell me what to look at next. The fan is working okay and comes on a lot.
If it's the gasket- how much would that cost?

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 05/07/2008 at 22:09

00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - andyp
It certainly sounds like head gasket failure, easiest way of finding out is to take it to any garage for a "sniff" test, which is very quick and not expensive. If it has gone, i wouldn't expect much change from a grand to fix it these days ! Other causes could be thermostat or water pump, but unfortunately it does sound like HGF !
00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - piston power
Is there any poodles of coolant on the floor?

A pressure test is required to see if there is a leak from a hose or water pump etc, & the sniff test to see if the head gasket is shot.

Any water in the oil?

00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - polecat10
Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate them,
I'll get the 'sniff' test later this week. Coolant isn't dribbling out- it doesn't lose any overnight- just loses it all in one go after a mile or so- it is steaming when it comes out so doesn't reach the ground. It just had a major service as I only had it a week, the mechanic told me the coolant pressure was high.
One thing though' it does run rough for the first couple of minutes and runs rough at idle after it has vented it's coolant.
I'll keep you posted on how I get on. I can't afford a grand - any ideas what is the cheapest it could possibly be if I shop around?
00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - thomp1983
first question, you say it's just been serviced, was this problem present before then? during the service was the coolant changed? if so it could be as simple as an air lock, bleeding the coolant on some cars can be a nightmare and some have to vacuum filled or you'll never get air locks out.

did the mechanic have an opinion on the high coolant pressure? (how did he draw this opinion, coolant on a hot engine is always under pressure so without proper measurements imo it'd be hard to say if it's too high or not.)

the rough running could be as simple as a duff glow plug or it could be from low compression due to h/g failure, without hard facts it's difficult to guess. does the car produce alot of white smoke (coolant burning).

when you say it's overheating, is it hitting the red on the guage? when it is hot is the big pipe from the top right of the rad to the engine hot?

lastly, where did you buy it from?


Edited by thomp1983 on 06/07/2008 at 17:57

00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - polecat10
Hi Thomp,
It started overheating on it's way to the garage for a service (by coincidence) after I'd had it about 6 days and the mechanic told me he noticed the coolant hissing out of the filler cap as soon as he opened the bonnet. service involved flushing engine oil and changing coolant.
The mechanic has written on the service receipt, "may have cooling fan switch fault but nopticed expansion tank top leaks, recommend new top. Also noticed cooling system may be pressurising too much , which could indicate thermostat or head gasket issue. Advise further investigation" He advised me to buy a new cap before I did anything else- it has made no difference.
The cooling fan does work and comes on often- even when travelling at about 45mph on a cold evening.
The coolant temp warning light comes on briefly when it overheats and coolant was coming out as steam so it definately is getting hot.
Mechanic also said "engine doesn't start as it should when left for a while, suspect issue with diesel flowing back- probably caused by problem with diesel primer"
He didn't seem to know what the problem was, so I am worried about taking it back to him to waste money on his guesswork.
I'd be grateful for any ideas you may have!


p.s. I bought the car privately so have no comeback- it ran perfectly on the 5 mile test-drive and I drove it 400 miles the first day I had it with no problem. I knew it had no service history and has had a few owners. I broke 2 of my own golden rules there but needed a car in a hurry for a new job . Now I am paying to hire a van:-(
00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - thomp1983
well first check as i said above should be thermostat, let the engine warm up (midway on guage will be fine) then check the big hose from the engine to the rad (normally right hand side on right gets warm, don't know the exact kangoo layout but generally the big rad hose on right (as you look into engine bay) is after the thermostat, so if the 'stat is stuck that hose won't get very hot (it will get slightly warm due to thermal transfer). or if you know the location of the 'stat remove it and put it in a just boiled kettle and see if it opens.

00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - polecat10
Thanks Chris I'll try that tomorrow and let you know how I get on.
I'll have a bucket of icey cold water ready to plunge my hand into and hopefully Murphy's law will kick in and I won't need it.
Got the hire van this morning- another kangoo, think they'll notice If I switch the engines? It's a different model and colour, otherwise I would have just swapped the plates:-)
00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - thomp1983
it won't get hot enough to burn yourself unless you keep your hand on it for quite a while.

00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - polecat10
Okay Chris- I've done the test (I couldn't wait until tomorrow due to being hopeful that it isn't the CHG)
This is what happened-
I topped up the cooland to the max mark and started it up. Air hissed out when I took the coolant cap off even theough I haven't started the engine for 48 hours.
After sitting on the drive for about 5-10 minutes the temp guage was on one third and not really rising. I had to take it around the block(1/2 mile) to get it up to half way. The needle wavered just under half way as I was driving about 30-40mph- I could see it going up and down slightly.
When I pulled up back at home the temp guage was on half way, I popped the bonnet and the coolant had expanded- the bottle was completely full to the top with no air left and it was just starting to bubble out of the filler cap under high pressure (the cap was tight and only replaced 2 days ago, bought from Renault)
The radiator fan was going and stayed on until I turned the ignition off.
I felt both hoses coming from the radiator (one about an inch thick, the other about inch and a half) both were still COLD, not even slightly warm.

I hope this means it is the thermostat- how much might it cost if it is?
00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - TurboD
When I had a problem like this with a diesel it was a cracked cyclinder head- quite common and always pressurises the water first.
Could be costly, why was it sold?, what history has it?, have you contacted previous owner?
Be good if it was thermostat- wasn't in my case!!
00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant - thomp1983
based on that then id certainly be changing the thermostat, they are quite a cheap part no more than about £10 so if fitted at a garage no more than £30 provided they will charge half hour labour not really a big diy job but you will need to make sure the coolant is properly bleed afterwards.

00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant-UPDATE - polecat10
Thanks for all the replies-

Here's what the problem turned out to be-
The cylinder head was cracked and warped and wasn't the original head (was from an older model),
one of the pistons(on the end of the row) was worn on the top and had much more play than the others-(rings gone?-my mechanic insisted I see this with my own eyes) I could see this is where the cooland was leaking and running across it.
The mechanic says the gasket was a few weeks old although the (private) seller had had the car 18 months and said he'd not had problems with it.
My mechanic is going to fit new (used) cylinder head(he got it for £50), 1 new piston from Renault(cost £80), skim and pressure test head, fit new timing belt- all for £430! which is not as bad as I feared and sounds like a bargain.

I will get it back later this week- the head is off getting skimmed. I just hope this is the end of it and I don't have any more problems. Any idea if having this work done makes an engine more likely to let go again- or should it now be good as new?

Edited by polecat10 on 28/07/2008 at 18:55

00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant-UPDATE - TurboD
Sadly, pretty well bang on. Diesels are NOT a ticket to cheap motoring , IMHO
00 1.9D help!- overheating & losing coolant-UPDATE - polecat10
Yeah, this will probably be my first and last diesel. Don't know why I bought another French car (had a citroen BX then a ZX about 10 years ago- nowt but trouble, '02 clio was ok though) but I won't make the mistake again.


Value my car