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Each model => Espace => Topic started by: ESPACED on January 09, 2011, 11:09:48 pm

Title: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 09, 2011, 11:09:48 pm
Hi Guys..
Happy New Year.
OK .This is ready strange and I canít work it out, sorry if its long winded..
Espace 2.2 TD 1998  engine rebuild completely about 2 years now..
I am London based and I went up to Leicester.. on the way up the espace was getting a little hot so I change my speed and that seem to do the trick.. on the way back I put the air con on as the engine seems to get a little hot again.. got back without overheating..
Took it to my mechanic (donít work on cars in winter to cold) and asked him to check it all over..
The thermostat / radiator and temp switch / heater matrixes are all new by the way, I had noticed that the rad cap was the wrong colour (should be brown) and I asked him to change it in case this was the cause of the hot engine which he did.
Mechanic ran the car for most of the day and it was fine.. that night I drove it home and it over heated??   Switched the engine off checked under the bonnet and all the pipes looked as if they were going to burst, ran the mechanic up and told him.. I wasnít far from home so I switched the engine on to see if I could get the car home and  funny enough it  seemed ok to drive the temp had come down and all seemed well?
Saturday checked for water, it needed a little, my son plays football in the morning at Borehamwood FC..  45min drive on the way there the heaters were not working (cold air) and the car over heated again, I had to switch off the engine (please note as soon as it hits the red I do stop.) checked the pipes and they seem to what to explode..  I restarted after maybe 2 mins. And again all OK and the heaters this time were working well? drove all the way there and back with no problem at all and the temp was 4 bars.
What is going on??? Is it a faulty thermostat? Or even the heater switch that starts the fan?
Why do the heaters in the car work some times and other times donít
It could be more that 1 thing and the heaters may be an air block but the overheating of the engine whenever it feels like??
Any ideas guys i would be grateful for any ideas why this is happening and how to put right

Best regards

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: colin4255 on January 10, 2011, 11:20:16 am
Assuming you have no water in the oil or oil in the water system (easy to check as you would see a kind of pale cream sludge on the dipstick of the oil, and some gunge in the expansion tank (water), then its highly likely you have an air lock in your water system.  These things  do need bleeding when you remove a lot of water to do things like fix a radiator, or work on the engine. It is just possible you have an air lock.  OR, it could easily be that one of the water pipes possibly to the heater has collapsed, partially blocking the water system.  No heat from the heater means no water is circulating to it.  Pressure build-up like you describe is bad, potentially dangerous and also a sign that something is blocked or being partially blocked. 

Personally, I would drain the system, flush the water system and radiator, and irrespective of whther the mechanic thinks they are working, fit a new thermostat immediately, then re-fill and completely and properly bleed all the air from the system and see what happens.

If you keep driving it like this will definitely kill the engine!

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: BrianM on January 10, 2011, 09:12:52 pm
You are losing water. Check for a drip at the fromt of the engine to see if it is the water pump. Check the footwells inside the car in case it is one of the heater matrixs. Have the coolant tested for carbons in case it is the head. Top it up & leave the cap off leave it running & see if you get a build up of air pushing out the coolant from the filler. If so then it is the head.

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 10, 2011, 09:41:31 pm
thanks for the replys guys..
no water is escaping from anywhere unless as steam from the expantion tank and we do not have cream..  I drove it and no sign of  over heating today but the heaters did not work as if the thermostat was stuck open..
I found out that the thermostat and rad fan switch were bought from Euro-parts... have re-ordered parts from Renault as i do not trust parts from Euro-parts.. and I let you know of outcome.. i hope it will be good news..
as for the heaters not working, your maybe right might have an air block now but will only find out once the parts have been replaced and system bleed..
Many thanks

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: jack daniels on January 11, 2011, 04:54:47 pm
I bought a trico thermostat a while ago that didn't work as it should. After e-mailing Trico they confirmed that it was wrongly listed in the catalog and wasn't for my vehicle at all. Sounds like you could have air in the system, I've found that the best way to get the air out of my petrol motor is just to drive it. We have some steep ascents and descents where I live, that combined with some sideways g force gets the air to the top pretty quick.

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: BrianM on January 11, 2011, 09:33:48 pm
if the thermostat is not working correctly then the temp gauge will stay low for a long time, may not even get to 3 bars. If you have 2 or 3 bars then you should have heat in the car unles you have no water in either matrix or the blend motor controler is up the swanney. Do you hear the motors move when you switch from hot to cold?
You only get overheating when you get too hot because the radiator  fan is not working, loss of coolant due to a leak or the head gasket is on its way out!

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: renaultbiler on January 11, 2011, 09:41:13 pm
...or poor performance of the water pump due to fault.

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 11, 2011, 10:28:29 pm
Hi all..
had the mechanic fit the Renault parts to day.. (Thermostat and the temp switch)
all working well..
Heaters working as they should and engine temp 3 bars going on 4 then back to 3 when the fan kicks in..
Happy .... not half...
 Thank you everyone for your input..
And may that be a lesson..  Always use decent parts....and try using Renault parts if you can..
I wonít be using Euro-parts again

best reagrds
Tony ;D

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: colin4255 on January 18, 2011, 12:30:03 am
Glad you got it sorted in the end.


Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 23, 2011, 03:40:34 pm
Hi guys
Back to the drawing board..
Car been fine for 2 weeks now and everything has been working as it should even sitting in traffic ... but yesterday coming down the M1 doing about 70 car over heated again...the RAC worked on it for an hour testing  and getting rid of any air locks and I drove home.. All OK..
The RAC said it may be a blockage of dirt in the system and I should take the thermostat out put a good quality water flush and run the car for 2 weeks and then put it all back.. (I donít think it is but I need to do it to eliminate the possibility)
This morning even before I turned the engine over i took the cap of the expansion tank and the pressure threw the water out ???????
So I started her up opened the air valves up and put water and went out, all seems OK..
I will flush the car but I can see this being the main problem
Does anyone have any ideas why this is happening..

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: jack daniels on January 23, 2011, 09:45:15 pm
what is the history of servicing for the cooling system for this vehicle?

how many times has it been drained and flushed?
what type of coolant was used?
what mixture ratio?
have different coolants ever been mixed in this system?
does the heater work ok on both sides?

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 23, 2011, 10:09:37 pm
Hi Jack
System has been flushed many times.. as I had it flushed to try and get the heater matrix unblocked ended up replacing both heater matrix.. the car was working like a dream..
Heaters on both sides sending heat that would melt cheese on toast..
What I canít answer is the mixture of coolant.. BUT yesterday when it over headed we had to replace quite a lot of water so the mixture would be weak, why this morning when the engine had not even been turned over should the pressure be so much that when the cap was removed the water was pushed out? and the car had stood over night
cant understa

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: colin4255 on January 23, 2011, 10:25:05 pm
It means that your water system is pressurising itself and then staying like that. There can be quite a few reasons for this.  When a thermostat sticks, assuming it sticks closed, its actually keeping water in the engine where it gets very hot  and pressurises instead of circulating around the car.  Tne actual idea of a themostat is to do exactly that until the water reaches a termperature at which wax inside the thermostat melts, allowing it to open and circulate the water. The idea to speed up warming up of the engine.  If its not a stuck thermostat, it could be an air lock in the system.  It could be a blocked radiator. It could be a partially collapsed water hose, but while that may explain the intermittent nature of the fault, I doubt a collapsed hose would cause the car to retain presure to tha textent overnight, unless you also have the wrong expansion tank cap on the car.  I would look for a blockage, or if a lot of work has been done, maybe a metal hose section has been bent or crushed?  There are a few of those on the car.  Are you sure the new heater matrix is OK? Did anyone test running water through it before fitting?

Also, do you have the right cap on the expansion tank? They all have different pressure ratings. Check with a Renault dealer to make sure the cap is the right one for you car. I'd replace it anyway seeing as you are having so much trouble.
It could be you have aleaking head gasket even... Its hard to say without stripping stuff down, but I would exhaust all the other possibilities first.. Good luck with it

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: renaultbiler on January 23, 2011, 11:53:05 pm
To me it sounds like an intermittent sirculation problem, could be the water pump being loose on its shaft.
Or a leaking head gasket, building up abnormal pressure in the system.
I would assume no hoses or pipes have been interchanged after work on the vehicle... (dont know if its even possible on this one)

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 23, 2011, 11:55:33 pm
Hi Colin,
heater matrix were working OK for over 6 months
cap is the correct one ( brown top).. radiator is new..
I'm going to remove the themostat which is new and from Renaults.. and see how it work with out it, because this is driving me mad.
this should be a simple problem to fix but I can't seem to find the cause..

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 24, 2011, 12:03:03 am
Hi Renaultbiler,
water pump new.. heatgasket new.. both fitted 2 years ago. mileage done 6000 miles since if that.
the RAC man told me its not losing water and he thinks it maybe a blockage in the system, but were??
when he reve'd the engine the water was a pink colour due to the antifreeze but changed colours to a slight brown at times? and then back to pink?

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: colin4255 on January 24, 2011, 02:01:17 pm
If we are to assume radiator, heater matrixes, expansion tank and cap  and all the hoses are OK and in good condition, then either you have been very unlucky and got two thermostats that don't work properly, OR your head gasket is leaking - they don't always go with a bang and in a cloud of steam straight away, they can leak for ages first - this would explain the high pressure, it could be coming from a leaking head gasket.  No easy way to tell apart from take the head off though anf then you'll have to replace the gasket in any case!!

Try the themostat first.  I am not sure about new ones, but a few years back, you could actually test a thermostat, by hanging it using string, immersed in a pan of boiling water. If it worked, you'd actually see it open.  Maybe worth a try once you have taken the thing out of the car??

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: GrahamT on January 25, 2011, 12:57:12 am
Hi Tony,
I suspect you have a very very small head gasket leak which is pressurising the cooling system.
The clue is that it is retaining the pressure. I bet it would hold it for several days!
A "sniff" test done by a garage may detect this but there may not be enough exhaust gas to detect it. Should be about £15, probably worth a try.
You could also try leaving the cap off with the engine running and watch the coolant for the odd bubble, try sniffing it too, you might smell the exhaust gas yourself.
If you're lucky re-torquing the head might reseal the head gasket but I regret to say it's probably new head gasket time.
All the best,

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: colin4255 on January 26, 2011, 12:14:33 am
It sounds like GrahamT is right. I know you replaced the head gasket about 2 yrs ago, but it sounds like its failed again. Maybe it was bever re-torqued after initial fitting? Maybe new head bolts should have been used (I am sureabout this but  Roy4matra who uses this forum will know the answer to that.   I am afrid I don't, but most modern cars have head bolts that stretch when first used, and torqued down - and if  re-used a second time, are often a few thousandsths of an inch too long after the first use and thus can never again be fully tightened down as they begin to bottom out in the block?).

It might be worth re-tightening the head bolts, but once a leak starts, I wouldn't hold out much hope that will work as the gasket is probably already damaged by the pressurised water leak.  . I have tried it unsuccessfully on other cars.

Its worth a go with the thermostat and the bolts if only to see if it works and you save the cost of a new gasket I suppose.

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 26, 2011, 02:46:26 pm
Hi Guy's
I think you maybe right.. new bolts were used.. when the head was repaired..
I may try and get  then tightened but would that work or help
seems to me more money has to be spent again..
don't really know what to do now..

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: colin4255 on January 26, 2011, 04:10:28 pm
Not easy to say.  On my 2.2 DCI G9T engine, they say you have to remove the engine to do any work on the head, so in my case if it happened, I'd just get a new gasket and new head bolts fitted as most of the labour cost is not related to unbolting the head, but getting the engine in and out of the car.

You won't be able to keep running like you are for very long until it does other damage to the engine and maybe warps the head too?

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 26, 2011, 10:15:53 pm
This is what I'm going to do..
I need to wait till the weekend and do some of the checks you guys have mentioned..will remove the thermostat and see if that has any affect. then I'll know which way to go... I'll not driving it till then...
I remember hearing someone say, you can tighten the head if you drop the engine to 1 side... not sure if that will help and do more damage..
many thanks for all the help to you all and I'll let you know after the weekend whats happening

best regards

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: colin4255 on January 28, 2011, 01:16:44 am
I really do wish you the best of luck with your issue and hope you can fix it without having to get a new gasket fiited. If GrahamT is right, even removing the thermostat will only delay the inevitable pressurisation of the system. I would take the stat out (and check it using a pan of boiling water just to see) and then leave the car running on the path and see if, or how long it takes for the hoses to  go hard. If the gasket is leaking, while it may take longer, you will still see the same pressurisation of the system.  Taking off the tank cap to see any bubbles is also a good way of checking. If you see any or smell anything like exhaist has then its a safe bet the gasket has failed.

I am sure there is a way to re-tighten the bolts without rmoving the engine. I am going to my Renault delaer tomorrow, so I will ask and any info I get, I will pass on. Roy4matra may as an ex renault RTE may actually know if this is possible??

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: roy4matra on January 28, 2011, 05:25:00 pm
Hi guys
Back to the drawing board...

This morning even before I turned the engine over i took the cap of the expansion tank and the pressure threw the water out ???????

Does anyone have any ideas why this is happening..

I'm sorry to say but this sounds like you have a head gasket blown at best, or a crack at worst.  To retain sufficient pressure over night to blow out coolant there must have been a lot of pressure in the system and that is not just the normal 1-2 bar created by the system being sealed and the coolant being heated.  The expanded hoses that you mentioned earlier also point to the over-pressure caused by the engine pressurising the cooling system, and the final proof is the heater blowing cold - as the engine blows gases into the coolant, this goes initially to the highest point in the system which are the matricies.  The fact that the heater is often cold right from the start is that the engine gases are already there from the previous run, so they don't get the warm coolant to work correctly.

Although you have had a gasket done a couple of years back, you may have caused it to blow again by getting it too hot (you said you switched it off when it reached the red but that is too late - the top of an engine gets even hotter just after switching off as the heat rises) or it may be that originally it wasn't a gasket but the start of a crack, and since then it has been slowly getting worse.

This does not sound like a problem with the thermostat at all, particularly since you have now fitted two new ones, and I would not waste time with that at this time.  A compression check should be the first test, and the engine should be hot (which is when the gasket or crack opens up) or possibly a block coolant test - this is a fluid that changes colour in the presence of engine gases in the coolant.

Tightening down the head bolts will not do anything even assuming you can get at them all, and if you do have a crack then that is another reason why tightening the head bolts would be a waste of time.  To remove the head on these engine means removing the engine, and that really means having a ramp since you have to lift the chassis away from the engine.  The garages have an engine dolly, and once all the bolts, electrics connections, pipes etc. are off or apart, the engine sits on this whilst the mountings are undone, and then the chassis is lifted up, leaving the engine on the dolly.  To do this at home with normal DIY tools is not really a sensible proposition.


Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on January 28, 2011, 11:29:28 pm
Hi Roy..
I know your Right!!!!
I needed a few days to let it sink into my head as i didn't really want to believe it..
i think my days as an espace owner may be over as I only liked this shape and really don't like the newer shape at all..
The kids cried yesterday when I told them we may have to change her..
I have done a lot of work on this car and could do it again by replacing the head gasket but.. as everyone has told me it may happen again and I'm not going to take that chance.. as I have already spent a small fortune.. (to embarrass to say a figure)
New pistons
New piston rings
New shims
Head pressure test and skimmed
New water pump
New radiator
2 new heater matrixs
New glow plugs
New battery
New valves
New exhaust
New tension rods

And the list goes on..
As I can remember everything..
Although if may be a 1998 it didnít matter to me as it severed it purpose and did the job well but now.. well all that has changed..

Iíd like to thank you all for the help in this post and in posts of past in my times of trouble

Best regards

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: renaultbiler on January 29, 2011, 12:44:15 am
I fully understand your point of view

If it was mine -and considering all that is replaced on it recently -i would put it at rest for a few days and perhaps consider to give it one last chance with new head gasket -to make the kids happy :'(
If i remember correct you did the work on this one yourself -so you know it quite well -its quite a few hours of work for sure, but still its not costly other than new gasket and new bolts and some blood sweat and tears  ::) long forgotten once its done.

Well, i wish you luck no matter what you decide :)

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: colin4255 on February 02, 2011, 10:46:44 pm
One thing to add here. I have been reading in detail some info in the vault about replacing head bolts and head gasket and there is a comment on one of the technical notes that says, before putting new bolts in, you should obtain a syringe long enough to reach the bottom of the holes where the bolts go and suck out any oil you find, so as to make sure the bolts actually tighten properly - which is interesting and maybe not something any non renualt trained garage or mechanic would know, but it still could cause the bolts to appear properly tightened when in fact due to a kind hydraulic locking when the bolts are under pressure, that they wouldn't be if there was any oil there.

Worth knowing if you do decide to go ahead with a new gaslet.

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: jack daniels on February 03, 2011, 12:23:58 pm
that is a good point Colin.
I dont know if that detail is in the average workshop manual, but one should allways check in a stud hole one way or another before puting the stud in. I use a least a vernier caliper to measure the depth, and take a look with a light, if that's possible. I measure the stud length before putting it in and again after its in to keep control over where they are. If you have another bolt to hand with the same thread but cut to a smaller dia you can even just run that in by hand to check that the thread is deep enough and not just the hole itself. There could be swarf, loctite, or fluid in there. The thread could even be damaged. An air pistol is ok but abrasive crap could come flying out, so its a good idea to at least cover the pistol and the hole with a rag. If there is lubricant in there, it could easily cause hydraulic lock for sure.

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: ESPACED on February 04, 2011, 10:27:05 pm
Hi Guys
All this was done..
My espace had 7 previous owners, when I bought her and she was not drivable... it was only the head that had blown.. so they told me...
When opening the engine, it was like open a can of worms.. Piston were damages valves were bent and scorched
I did everything by the book.. and nearly changed every
£400 on the head alone just to get the old glow plugs drilled out, skimmed and pressure tested
And the list goes on....
I have never added all the bills up because I didnít really what to know, but pretty sure near to £2000  or even more was spent when you take everything into account.. and that does not include the £500.00 I paid for her..

Any way
On the 3rd yesterday she was sold as a part exchange...
Gone for peanuts.....
Sorry that a lie..
For less really...

No longer an espace owner..

I would like to thank every ones input on this Forum, because without you guys a lot of question would have not been answer..

BIG THANKS!!!!   TO ALL!!!!!!

Now I have a Ford Galaxy 2.0 diesel  2007....
Quite nice......  Ops sorry shouldnít have said that

Many thanks
Best regards
Have fun guys....

Title: Re: strange over heating problem?
Post by: colin4255 on February 04, 2011, 11:16:44 pm
Thanks for the update. A step too far I guess, and who can blame you. The Galaxy is a nice car - I have driven afew. Good luck with it.