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Loss of water quickly & steaming & whistling.


Neil-Serenade
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Morning. My car suddenly decided to empty itself of water on Sunday and steam was coming out from the engine. I topped it up with 2 litres of water yesterday morning but that was gone in no time and more steam started to appear, even coming through the air vents and speakers and out from under front wheel arch. Was also whistling like an old kettle and then started to make a rattling noise when trying to pull away, sounded more like a diesle. Got a mechanic to have a look and topped it up again with 4 litres but same thing again happened. The water was being pumped round but I was told either the water hose has gone or the head gasket but wouldn't know if it was gasket until changed the hose which apparently required removal of cambelt. Was told if it is head gasket, could be looking at bill of £500+, is this correct and what work is involved if this is the case. Thanks.
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nah the clutch won't have anything to do with the way the engine is loosing water, as your mechanic has said, its either a water hose has split or it could be a simple case of your heater matrix may be the cause of loss of water, have you checked around the front carpet area to see any water has been leaked inside? I could also say its your water pump as that usually is the case of major loss of water. to find out if headgasket has failed you need a compression test done to see if any of the cylinders has lost any compression. or usually there are visible signs of headgasket failure like a lot of white smoke/steam coming from the exhaust


my personal opinion mate if the headgasket is gone you are better off getting another engine as there are loads of zetec engines around. or maybe possible upgrade to something with a bit more poke

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Is it loosing water without the engine running?  If not give the hoses a squeeze in case that forces some water out.  If the head gasket has blown there may be a white gunky substance where the oil has mixed with the water, check the dipstick and also the oil filler cap.

 

For £600+ you should easily be able to find another engine and get it fitted.

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Check the engine oil. If it has any white sludge in it. It may very well be the headgasket.

 

my advice would be to fill it up with water. Fire it up and stand there and watch to see what happens. It may be leaking (i had 2 waterpumps go in 2 weeks) or it may be burning it. If it is a headgasket, low down power will be affected and the engine will overheat regardless of how much coolant is present (providing its blown by a water gallery) not to mention fuel consumption will increase. You may also notice your coolant water being a bit oily or sticky

 

IF its s blown headgasket......change it. A full gasket set is about 30 quid

 

dont be afraid to try these jobs yourself. Zetec engines and escorts for that matter are easy to spanner.

 

Grab a haynes manual and give these things a go. I only learnt through doing it myself

 

btw your clutch slipping will have zero affect on the engine itself

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  • 3 weeks later...
There's no white smoke or steam coming out exhaust and no white gunk on oil cap. Also no dampness inside foot well. I filled it up with water the other week and it drained itself in a couple of hours without the engine being on. I jacked the car up on the front the other day and water was still dripping down and it was coming through or past the alternator so I don't know if anyone knows which hose that maybe and an easy way of changing it. I tried to remove the bumper so I could see better but I can't access the 4 bolts behind the grill even from underneath.
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Is it possible to fix the pump itself in terms of a new gasket or seal etc if they can be taken apart or am I just better off buying a new one? That must be why I was told the can belt would have to be removed in order to change it. Is there an easier way of doing it without removing it? I couldn't even remove the front bumper the other day as I couldn't get my hand in to remove the nuts even from underneath.
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If the engine has overheated to the extent that the engine sounded like a diesel then I would be doing some tests to make sure the leaking waterpump hasn't caused a Head Gasket Failure - compression test would suffice.  If the head gasket has gone and combined with the clutch going then you may well be better off considering another Escort....

 

To get to the bumper, take the grill and the plastic covers off.

 

The above compression test should be able to be performed by any garage

Edited by horizon
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Remove the fog lights first. Makes it a million times easier to get bumper off.

 

Firstly you need to be 100% sure its the pump...are we even sure its leaking

 

Fill it up with water. Turn it on and sit there and wait to see where it all comes pi$$ing out from.

 

if it does start leaking from the pump. You could try some radweld type stuff. Changing the pump is a bit of a ballache.

 

zetec engines are pretty robust so i doubt you have blown the headgasket unless you have run it for a looooong time without any water. I ran mine for around 10 miles with the coolant system bone dry and mine survived

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