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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been a touch warm he in SoCal the last couple of days. Haven't driven too much as we've been enjoying the A/C and football. Stated the car this evening and it hiccuped a little, stumbled then caught on. All went well on the 13 mile drive until I stopped at the exit. I noticed the temp gauge was reading hotter than normal. Went down as we started moving again. Still read a tad above normal when we got to our destination. On the way home I kept an eye on the gauge and the car started running into the 3/4 mark on the freeway. That's when I noticed the pleasant smell of coolant. Nice.

Don't live far from the freeway so was able to get home without getting onto the red. In the time it took me to stop the car, get out and walk to teh passenger side there was a nice stream of coolant running down the driveway from the passenger side. :facepalm: :mad::thumbdown:

Popped the hood and see this.


MY 855's cap showed visible cracks letting me know to replace it. I wasn't able to pull the bottle to check the lower hose or pull the cap as it is still hot, but would this be considered a normal way of the cap failing? Thinking if coolant was being ejected in this manner there was some nasty back pressure in the system.
 

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Could just be the cap going bad. Could also be that you have topped your car off with water instead of coolant too many times so it will now start to boil at max operating temp and is being forced out that way.

Worse case scenario is that you could have a cracked cylinder pushing out exhaust into the water jacket doing this as well.

If your coolant may be dilute, work on that first and check the cap to make sure the gasket looks good. If neither of those appear to the issue, get ready to rent a gas detector for your coolant to see if there are exhaust gasses leaking in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks Stealthy. Going to wait for cool down or morning to inspect cap. I dislike taking things apart at night.

Cap/gasket look to be in great condition. Came off with little effort. Didn't sniff anything out of the ordinary unlike my old 855.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Another question. The coolant is currently green. Is there a difference between ' parts store ' coolant and the juice sold at the dealership? Need it to get going tomorrow and don't want to mix the two.
 

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I can say with certainty there's a difference between parts store coolant and volvo OEM. Parts store coolant comes in many colors. OEM R coolant is a dark blue/green.
 

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mine did this when i had a cracked sleeve. good luck op.


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Another question. The coolant is currently green. Is there a difference between ' parts store ' coolant and the juice sold at the dealership? Need it to get going tomorrow and don't want to mix the two.
My untested opinion is that some coolants disappear quicker than others. I don't have any leaks or cylinder issues, and my coolant is disappearing and I have el-cheapo coolant.

Also, my reservoir cap had a tiny leak that I couldn't see visually. The cap is designed to be pressurized. Fluid that's pressurized has a much harder time coming to a boil. So if you have a microscopic crack that's bleeding pressure, you might start to boil. Get a new cap and try it, it's the cheapest fix and it might just do the trick and if it isn't then you're only out $15. But yeah, a leaking cap was what my issue was.
 

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All y'all:

Evidence both scientific and anecdotal point to the fact that the old green and blue (HOAT) cannot be mixed. Your car came with blue HOAT and was mixed with old green glycol cuz some cheap dumbass mixed your coolant. Long term damage includes sludge, deteriorated rubber hoses and plastic bits, accelerated alum corrosion and pitting, metal fatigue (cyl walls); anywhere cast iron meets alum it will compromise the metal. Might want to google 'engine coolant electrolysis'

http://www.hemmings.com/hmn/stories/2006/12/01/hmn_feature20.html

http://townsendimports.com/Web/cooling_system_folder/coolingsys.htm

HOAT (blue, pink or yellow etc)) coolant: "is phosphate free and pH buffered with inhibitors to aid in the prevention of electrolysis. When servicing cars that have been using it, the difference in the appearance of the internal cooling system is noticeable. Upon thermostat replacement, the aluminum is not covered with the white aluminum oxide or pitted from electrolysis as is common with the green coolants routinely used by some."

So to sum it up: The old green (prestone, etc) is not compatible with HOAT coolants. When mixed w/ the blue volvo or any HOAT pink/yellow etc you are telling your car you hate it and wish it were dead. why so mean?
 

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A leaky reservoir cap does not cause engine to hiccup or stumble. Coolant in cylinder(s) does.
 

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A leaky reservoir cap does not cause engine to hiccup or stumble. Coolant in cylinder(s) does.
This. +1. to everyone saying its just the cap. why would it stumble on start up? my car was leaking like this when i found out i had a cracked sleeve. i personally think its a crack so you might wanna carbon test it!

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Drain the coolant and replace with Volvo OEM. See if it was watered down coolant causing it to boil. Also worth it to check the coils and ignition harness.
 

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With a 24 psi system (closest info I could find to our system), the difference in boiling point between 50/50 coolant /water mix and 100% water is 15ºF, so I really don't think slightly watered down coolant would have any impact on anything (except the freeze point).

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Topped off with distilled water this morning. Check dipstick. Oil looks good. Warmed car up. Started just fine by the way. Needled stayed at mid-point. Went on 20 minute drive on surface streets. All good. Temp didn't budge and shifted ( GT ) just fine. Pulled into driveway, popped hood. No leaks and fan running. Took another peek at gauge, started moving up. Hooked up my portable scanner, went on another run on surface streets. Shifting not so good, holding gear, and temps started rising. Scanner indicated 239* @ start. By the time I returned temps were pegged @ 253* and needle was close to the red. Temp started dropping but not much. No loss of fluids though. Good thing I guess. Stuck thermostat?

Appreciate the help!
 

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Here is the issue, the water cooled turbo in the R gets well above boiling point and is not force fed, the circulation through the turbo is controlled via convection, not the water pump or a thermostat.

As you top off with water and go under the 50/50 mix, instead of just convecting through the turbo, it starts boiling and percolating, dumping steam into the cooling system which tries to force water out of where it belongs in the system, including out of the cap.

Been there, done that. Anything less than the 50/50 mix of the right coolant will boil in the system and cause issues.

I too used to just top off with distilled water having had many vehicles that were not so sensitive to the antifreeze mix. Only took a couple of top offs before the turbo was percolating all the time.

If you shut off the car after a good run and you can hear the percolating and see the bubbles trying to push their way into the reservoir, its a good indicator that you should try to get your coolant straightened out before you do anything else to track down this issue.

If its still overheating with the right coolant mix, then look at the thermostat, but not till then. Blobs of vapor being dumped into your cooling system could be the cause of all of this.
 

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PS - As someone who also runs a scanner, its not unusual for the engine temps to go above boiling when you are slow moving or its hot out and the fan hasn't kicked into overdrive. I've seen temps between 215 and 220 pretty often when the temp gauge is still pointing straight up. Its also the reason why those vapor bubbles made by the turbo can live quite a while in the cooling system before they condense back into a liquid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks again Stealthy. I topped off just so I could get the car to the shop for fluid change. Was in no way planning to run it this way for any length of time. Wanted to see if it would go all bubbly guts and start spewing coolant before I even hit the road. One shop wants to do a complete system inspection before drain and fill. They are saying could be bad waterpump, thermostat or air in the system.
 

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Unless the water pump is leaking you should be good there. The R is also good about cycling air out of the system, so as long as the reservoir was topped off you should have any issues there either, its not like some cars where purging the system can be difficult.

As long as they don't find leaks I'm sure this will come down to the coolant or thermostat with my money being on the coolant. I've seen quite a few other people beside me have issues with dilute coolant, but I haven't seen that many tales of failed thermostats here. As long as you don't let your coolant go to crap and corrode the system they are pretty reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got the coolant changed. On the way back home noticed the temp gauge heading to the hot side. Turned right around and the shop checked it out. Saw them add some more coolant ( did a full flush and fill to get the mixtures correct). They took it for a test drive. Now back in the work bay.
 

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Here is the issue, the water cooled turbo in the R gets well above boiling point and is not force fed, the circulation through the turbo is controlled via convection, not the water pump or a thermostat.
I'm not following how the coolant through the turbo isn't affected by the water pump. It seems as if everything within the cooling system would be affected by the pressure differential due to the pump. Any diagrams of the cooling system showing this?
 

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Both the turbo inlet and outlet hoses are connected to the intake manifold before the water pump. There may be a slight pressure drop across the tube because one orifice is closer to the pump intake than the other, but the arrangement that feeds in from a low level and then goes out high is how it uses heat to drive the flow which works even when the car is turned off.

 
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