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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all

It seems i have a very thirsty car. I probably do about 70miles a week and every week without fail i am having to fill the water up in the radiator. the lights come on telling me to stop and the therm is very near the top...so i pull over..let it cool...fill it up. Today i have noticed that my heater seems to of stopped working...well it doesnt get hot anymore...any connection??
Can anyone tell me why its drinking water??
Its an r reg..renault laguna...2 litre petrol..
any ideas would be brilliant..
thankyou

Tjinuk
 

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Hi tj and welcome to the forums.

First off, have a look at your coolant tank cap and oil filler cap to check that there is no substance like mayonaise sauce, if there is, it'll point towards head gasket problems :crazy:

Other than that, is there any sign of coolant leaking under the car?
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum,

Iam sorry to here of your problem:( but lets start with the water loss,is there any sign of brown coloured froth in the water tank where you top up with water coolant??,

If you take your oil filer cap off and look at the under side of it is there any signs of light brown sludge??,

When you top it up with coolant is there any signs of a water leak when the car is running,if your not sure i would do it on a dry day and let the car tick over and get down on your hands and knees and see if there is any sign of a water leak??

I wish i could help more,please keep us updated and iam sure more members will help soon cheers Donald:)
 

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Hi Tjinuk, Welcome to the forums. :)

I had a '97 Laguna that the heater matrix failed and leaked coolant. It was only a couple of years old and Renault told me at the time that it was a common failure. As yours is about the same age, this may be worth considering.

The first signs of mine going was steam coming from the internal air vents and misting up the windscreen.
 

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When the engine is cold, take off the coolant filler cap and fill up the plastic container untill it overflows a little, start the engine and let it idle with the cap off, the water level may drop as it fills up the empty parts of the water system, keep adding water right up to the top, look for bubbles of air coming from the bottom, you may get a few big "glugs" but what you are looking for is a regular or steady bubble, if you are still getting any bubbles after 10 or 15 minutes, then it is very likely your "head gasket" has failed. If it has, then I would fill it with water and trade it in for another car, given the age of the car and likely cost of repairs.
 

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my heater seems to of stopped working...well it doesnt get hot anymore...any connection??
Yes. The coolant is what gives the heater its warmth. If the coolant level has been low there's a good chance there's now air in the heater matrix.

As for the main problem, it'll be either...

a leak somewhere. find the source and repair it.

coolant overheating and being thrown out the system once hot and expanded. this could be a faulty thermostat, faulty coolant pump, or faulty head gasket/head.

coolant mixing with the combustion gases. this will mean its the head or head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi all

Thankyou so much for your warm welcome and words of wisdom.

Told other half what you had suggested and today we topped water up...left top off and let engine run...a few bubbles were detected even after 5-10 ins. No leaks anywhere that we can see and no mayo or brown sludge either. Other half is adamant its the head gasket on its way...is this right?
Just dont want to fix the wrong problem if that makes sense..oh and the heater working again after i put more water in!!
thankyou in advance..

tjinuk
 

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I'd guess it might pay for you to have a compression test done.

Don't get going to Renault though. :)
 

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It appears very likely that the head gasket has a leak, this can be confirmed by testing the coolant for traces of combustion gasses (sniff test) find a garage who will make this test if you want to be sure. they will take a sample of coolant, add an indicator and it will change colour if it detects products of combustion.
If it is confirmed the gasket has failed, you have also to consider the possibility that the cylinder head may have distorted due to the overheating, if it is not flat, when you fit the new gasket, it could leak again soon afterwards, they can be re-faced, but its another expense, then you may consider a new cambelt kit, because you should not re-fit the old one once it has been removed and while you are in there it would be a shame not to fit a new water pump, so the costs could mount up quite easily.
 

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are you filling it up with just water?just a thought but it could be boiling dry if you are.you should mix it with anti freeze/summer coolant.i had a lagunaII which ran dry for some reason, i only realised when,like yours,wouldnt blow any hot air,so i put in a water and anti freeze mix and never had a problem again and the levels stayed put.
regards
nigel
 

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NTHSX has a point there,i run my lag on 60-70% anti freeze.the anti freeze is also a lubricant for the water pump bearings. Make sure your anti freeze is glycol based not methanol. Ethylene glycol doesnt boil away so easily as methanol.
 
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