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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's up everyone, long time no see! Finally got around to fixing a couple things on my R that i've been meaning to forever, mainly a power steering leak, and a bad wheel speed sensor. Unfortunately, as I was driving to the DMV, I got a low coolant stop engine warning. I shut it off immediately, and while I was popping the hood/grabbing my coolant I keep in the trunk, I also noticed a small roughly four inch diameter coolant puddle forming under the car. Limped it home, had to stop four more times. The strange thing is, when the message would come on, my res would appear to be low. Then when i'd go to top it up, the res would fill back up when I unscrewed the cap. On my way home, since it had a small leak, it would fill up to a little less then it was before, but it'd still come back up. After doing some poking around in the engine bay, I narrowed it down to the right side, under the airbox/turbo inlet pipe and to the right of the motor. (will update post with pics). After hours of looking around under the hood and taking stuff apart, I finally found where the leak was coming from! Or so I thought! The hose that connects to the drivers side of the radiator, on the other side of that hose going into a metal pipe, the clamp was very loose, and I felt that it was leaking coolant since the bottom was wet and it made sense, since many things below it were covered in coolant as well. I snug the hose onto the pipe, tighten up the clamp, let the car idle for ~30 or so minutes, and no leak! I thought I fixed it, so I went for a drive. I didn't even get half a mile down the road before the coolant low warning came back. Pulled over, popped the hood, sure enough the res was low again, about half an inch below the low mark. When I slowly took the cap off, AGAIN, it filled back up to full, exactly where it was before I drove it. I confirmed it wasn't leaking by checking under the car as well, it doesn't appear that it's leaking, it's just something is causing the coolant to become low when the system is under pressure, and only when I drive. Anyone have any ideas? I'm completely stumped with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·








^Hose in question that was leaking


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inb4 crackazoid


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
does it still do it after you topped it off again?
After I (allegedly) fixed the coolant leak, I topped it up a little so it was slightly above the full line. After driving, it showed the message and when I removed the cap it filled right back up to where it previously was.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's because it was under pressure ....once it cools off fill it to the max line and you should be all set.
Funny thing is I tried that when it was cool too, and it did the same thing, at least i’m pretty sure... My car is dropped off at a shop right now, i’m going to run by after class tonight and see if I can top it off a little while cold and if that helps the issue.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·




Before ^






After ^



I do hear a slight hissing from the coolant res but it’s really quiet, guess I didn’t notice it before. It doesn’t seem like any coolant is leaking from it though.


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So appears to be fixed then? I do see something you need to replace... get an 05+ power steering reservoir.
 

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Yep, tank fills when you remove the cap. Put cap back on and let pressure build up and then you will be low again. So sounds like you fixed your leak and didn't top off initially. After you topped off you should be fine unless you still have a leak. Best way to pinpoint it is to rent a pressure tester and pump it up to ~10 psi and see where the leak is.

Keep in mind that after topping it off you might still have air in the system... it helps to rev the engine for a few minutes to help push the air into the bottle. You can do that with a cold engine and leave the cap off. If level starts to get high in the bottle just put the cap on it or put cap on after a few minutes of revving it, let it build pressure, check for leaks again then shut off and let it cool down before checking level again.
 

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If it kept doing it you've got a cracked sleeve or two...missfire when starting cold or sitting for a while is a good indicator as well...and also the black layer of carbon on the upper section inside your coolant tank is an indicator as well.
 

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It sounds to me like you have a large air pocket in the cooling system somewhere. Since air can be compressed it is allowing the coolant level to go down more than it should. If there was no air in the system then the coolant level would only go down as far as the hose expansion allowed.


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Just a stab at it here. Have you ever had the water pump replaced and, if so, what brand did you use?

I had similar symptoms to you last summer and what I found was that the PO had replaced the water pump as part of the normal cam belt change. He had used a supposed OEM-spec NAPA pump that used composite blades. Many miles later (like 40K) I replaced the coolant and shortly thereafter as a result of the symptoms you have described, I ended up finding out that I had spun the blades off the impeller of the water pump. OEM pumps use metal blades so if you have replaced the pump with one that has composite blades, you might have lost them.

Anyway, just a thought.

Good Luck,

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If it kept doing it you've got a cracked sleeve or two...missfire when starting cold or sitting for a while is a good indicator as well...and also the black layer of carbon on the upper section inside your coolant tank is an indicator as well.

Agh, hopefully not, it doesn't have any misfires at all, it runs perfect. As for the coolant res, I honestly think it's just dirty, it's a 200k mile car and this is the original one, plus the previous owner was running green non volvo coolant in it at one point which stained it making it tough to see

Yep, tank fills when you remove the cap. Put cap back on and let pressure build up and then you will be low again. So sounds like you fixed your leak and didn't top off initially. After you topped off you should be fine unless you still have a leak. Best way to pinpoint it is to rent a pressure tester and pump it up to ~10 psi and see where the leak is.

Keep in mind that after topping it off you might still have air in the system... it helps to rev the engine for a few minutes to help push the air into the bottle. You can do that with a cold engine and leave the cap off. If level starts to get high in the bottle just put the cap on it or put cap on after a few minutes of revving it, let it build pressure, check for leaks again then shut off and let it cool down before checking level again.

That's what i'm thinking it might have, I did top it off after I fixed the leak though. A pressure test was performed at my mechanics and he didn't find any leaks. I did let the car sit, revving it occasionally for 15 minutes or so with the cap open, and the level went down a little, but not a lot.

So appears to be fixed then? I do see something you need to replace... get an 05+ power steering reservoir.
Have an 05+ power steering res, just was a little sloppy when topping it off with fluid :facepalm:


Just a stab at it here. Have you ever had the water pump replaced and, if so, what brand did you use?

I had similar symptoms to you last summer and what I found was that the PO had replaced the water pump as part of the normal cam belt change. He had used a supposed OEM-spec NAPA pump that used composite blades. Many miles later (like 40K) I replaced the coolant and shortly thereafter as a result of the symptoms you have described, I ended up finding out that I had spun the blades off the impeller of the water pump. OEM pumps use metal blades so if you have replaced the pump with one that has composite blades, you might have lost them.

Anyway, just a thought.

Good Luck,

Bill
I have not had the water pump done, I was going to do it when I got the timing belt changed in ~3k miles or so.


It sounds to me like you have a large air pocket in the cooling system somewhere. Since air can be compressed it is allowing the coolant level to go down more than it should. If there was no air in the system then the coolant level would only go down as far as the hose expansion allowed.


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Called Rolling motors, he seems to think it could be an air pocket/possibly a thermostat issue. Replaced the thermostat 2 years ago roughly though, so that'd be weird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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How old is your Heater Core?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
How old is your Heater Core?
Not sure to be honest. The heat still works perfectly fine, and the lines don’t leak


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Stomish, I have an excellent motoR with a brand new SMF and clutch installed with brand new timing belt, water pump, camseals, rear main seal, and oil sump cleaned, new seals Work done by Ben at Rolling Morors. 56k on motoR
 
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