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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all

im a bit of a moose and yesterday purchased a 96 clio 1.9 diesel from ebay. I live in london and travelled to swansea to pick it up.

THe seller assured me that there were no problems and would easily take me back to london, hoever after about 10 miles the temp light on the dash went red.

I pulled over after around 5 mins and called the seller. He said it had never done that before (hah!) yet after stopping i could audibly hear the water bubbling in the engine. After letting it cool down i topped it up with 2 litres of water (!) and bled the system with a hexagonal screw on one of the hoses which i can only assume is the bleed valve. the car made horrible sounds while this happened because i think it was still a bit hot.

I then ran the car and looked under the car and could see 2-3 drips, coming quite fast. decided to try and get to some services and hoped it was a one-off. 20 miles later the heater goes from boiling hot to freezing and at the same moment the temp light comes back on. pull over and refilled/bled again. limped into the services and let the car cool again.

Refilled and picked the poor service station attendants brain for ideas, praying it wasnt a head gasket as well as a leak. started the car and located a big leak in the seam of the water expension bottle. Used electical tape as a temp measure to limp into Bristol, using the heater as a guide. stopped only once to refill/bleed.

Slept until the next morning, then limped to Halfords where i bought some sealant and gaffer tape. spread sealant liberally over the seam and it seemed to hold. checked under car again and found another drip so added radweld and leak disappeared!

made the 100+ miles back to london with no more incidents of overheating or leaking. heater boiling hot all the way.

There is no white/grey milky substance under the oil cap but there is a gritty black dirt like substance in the expansion bottle which i am hoping is dirty coolant. there is no white smoke that i have seen.

So have i gotten off lucky or have i been had? what are the chances i have blown a head gasket? could this also be a water pump issue?

im a poor girl with no money and i would hate to think i have been had!!!!
 

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All you can do is get another water bottle from the scrappie (drain the water out to make sure there`s enough going back in when you refill the system), and keep an eye on the levels (oil and water)
You could also get a compression test to check the gasket.
 

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Hi there and welcome.

What an experience - I think you were unlucky (going through all that), but I would say the car was lucky that you acted so proactively, rather than just carrying on regardless and blowing the engine.

I think if the head gasket failed (its happened to me with a previous car), you would not have returned from your journey, the car would lose power and then just conk out entirely.

Fluids not mixing is also a positive sign.

The 'grit' in the coolant will be Radweld - nothing to worry about.

Obviously, its easy to advise tackling the leaks, and replacing pipes, etc. But when you are on a tight budget, then I would advise carrying a couple of bottles of water in the boot, plus a bottle of radweld, until funds permit 'proper' repairs - keep an eye on the temp gauge/light whilst driving (I'm sure you will;) ).

The water pump usually makes an increasingly horrific sound before failing, so I again would doubt if that's a problem. Again, driving back would've been unlikely...

Can't advise whether you've been had (not knowing how much of a 'bargain' it was), but make sure you leave appropriate feedback...but also bear in mind that it could've just been bad luck, after all, the car is 11 years old, and these things can happen.

All the best,

Paul:)
 

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eElcome to the forum. Shame about the experience but on the positive side I have a '94 clio and had to replace the expansion tank due to the same type of problem. The car is still running, so I'm betting thats the problem. They tend to get brittle with age. As mentioned you can source a replacement from a scrappy for £5-10 and job done. Where in London are you?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
wow! thanks for the replies!

If the grit is radweld then the seller was definitely aware of the problem as the grit was in there before i put radweld in it!

negative feedback has been left - no surprises there. the worst thing is he knew i had broken town 10 miles out of swansea, promised to come and find me, then turned his mobile off!

I should also mention that the fan is working and kicked in twice - once on a 'test' drive (15 mins town driving) and on the return journey to london. it turns itself off after about a minute.

i will be replacing all the pipes/etc durng the week and hoping not to drive it too much.

i have about 10 bottles of water in the boot from having to limp between services on the motorway.

i am hoping it wont cost too much to fix as i am really really poor at the moment - how much would i expect to pay at a garage? ( i think i can do the expansion bottle myself )

i am in camdwn, london, and i bought the car for £200.
 

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Hi there, really sorry to hear about your troubles. I picked up a new car yesterday from Swindon and had a few problems but all sorted itself out luckily. If you're on a budget there's a thing that I've used in the past as a temporary fix and I've heard it lasts for year. It's called K-Seal, here's the website Welcome to K-seal.co.uk buy online K-Seal Seal-Up Quiksteel plus more....
It really is awesome and sorted my problem before I had the time and money to do a proper fix, I bought mine from Ebay for just over £5
 

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Let's be carefull out there
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Mate, Change the expansion tank 1st and see what happens. Try not to use too much radweld as this can block bits that don't need it (heater matrix) etc. I think the bottle may be a solution and at say £10 from a scrapyard it's cheap. Cant think of many scrappys in your area, I'm in W London and I know of one in Whitton, and some around Alperton.
 

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Hi angel - sorry to hear of your probs - you obviously done the right thing - stopping toping up etc., - well done. Obviously the water bottle has cracked and it's not really possible to make a permanent repair - your best bet is to get one from a scrappy but have a close look for cracks and signs of staining on the outside. It is possible for the water pump to leak without being noisey if it's in its early stages of failing - the seal can fail and drip. Radweld may slow the leak or stop it temporarily - but you will likely reach a point where the radweld can't cope. In regards to whether you got a good deal it's hard to say - only time will tell.
Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) and all that.:)
 
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