Sort radiator leak or leave it?

(5 Posts)
lljkk Wed 26-Nov-14 08:18:18

Banger little-used always-needs-repairs 7 seater. Mechanic realised in summer it was empty of coolant blush, I've been keeping an eye on it since. Sure enough coolant is disappearing faster than it should so probably a S L O W leak somewhere in the system.

Not mechanical enough myself to diagnose or fix, besides it isn't obvious, must be well hidden, would need to be tested under careful pressure to find the leak.

Should I take it back to mechanic to (expensively) find the cause, or just keep topping up occasionally (might cost £20/yr). What would you do?

lljkk Wed 26-Nov-14 09:23:03

everybody is as mechanically declined as me, I guess.

jaibk Thu 27-Nov-14 08:00:14

Find the cause..a leaking split hose..loose clamp. .or busted radiator.

if you can use a screwdriver, then with some basic tools you can fix the leak your self.

WMittens Thu 27-Nov-14 09:21:13

If the slow leak suddenly becomes a bigger, fast leak (and given the material is broken and heating-cooling-heating-cooling-heating-cooling it's likely to be deteriorating) you could well end up stranded.

Has your mechanic said how expensive it would be? It might only be £80 or so. If you lose all the coolant and you don't notice you're writing off the car - the engine is going to suffer significantly (possibly warped cylinder head, etc.).

Depending on how quick it's leaking it might not be too difficult to diagnose - system topped up to corrected levels, newspaper on the floor under the engine bay, run the engine for a while - you'll see where any drips are coming from (might even be possible by sight without the paper).

Once you know where the drip comes from you can try tracing the path upwards; if it's dripping from hoses you can tie toilet paper around it - if the paper gets wet, the leak is above that area; if it doesn't, the leak is below.

If you don't get it fixed, keep a close eye on the water temp gauge - if it suddenly drops to zero pull over immediately and stop the engine. Also keep a look out for lots of steam in your mirrors.

gamerchick Thu 27-Nov-14 09:22:55

Little leaks tend to turn into big leaks ime. But I know nothing about cars though.

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