Losing coolant and hydrolocking

sikhabibsikhabib Junior Member
edited October 2018 in Engine
My car is a 2013 Amarok with the only engine modification being a stage 1 tune with EGR delete plate by crispmods.
I had the timing belt, water pump, tensioner, coolant, oil, filters etc replaced about a month ago for the 200,000km Service.
The car has been using coolant for the last 2 weeks where I would have to add 500ml of water every few days to make the low coolant light go away.
I bypassed the coolant lines to the egr cooler with no change.
3 days ago the car struggled to crank over first thing in the morning like it was slightly hydrolocked - White smoke came out of the exhaust for the first minute of driving and was then 100% fine for the rest of the day. I started and stopped the engine about 10 times throughout the day and it was fine.

This morning the same thing happened, slight hydrocking in the morning and then in and out of the car all day with no problems.
I have noticed when the engine is warm, it sounds a little rough for the first second when started and then goes completely normal.
The car has NEVER over heated, it just started using water - I'm assuming I have a blown head gasket or cracked the head/block.
There is no visible coolant leaks.
The oil is not milky.
The car still drives normally with the same power as before - I can drive it all day and the temp stay normal (checking with torque).
The car has always been serviced on time and not thrashed.

Has anyone else had this problem?
I'm a little bit disappointed this has happened, is the little 2.0L working too hard to be reliable in such a big car?

Comments

  • deanp100deanp100 Member
    edited July 2018
    I can only assume you have done a headgasket . I had the egr done with blocking plates and a tune but I did it after it went. It is now apparent damage was already done and I got another 12 months out of it before my headgasket went. I was losing coolant like your amounts for a few days before it really went in a hug way. I had to throw the head away . New reco head, cams and valves was 2500. In the end it cost me 7000 to get back on the road but that included a new radiator and timing belt. You probably won’t need these. I would get it checked out ASAP or you will do the damage I did . Mine has 300000 kms on it so I am not complaining about the longevity so far.
    Deano
  • EdwinPEdwinP Forum Slave
    edited July 2018
    Your egr could have still leaked and it would depend on how if any blocking plates have been installed.

    Worth getting it looked at before something major happens.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
  • deanp100deanp100 Member
    edited July 2018
    The egr coolant pipes should be diverted around the cooler and the joins should be very visible for leaks. There should be no need to leave the coolant going through the cooler. The plates should be blocking off the exhaust.
  • sikhabibsikhabib Junior Member
    edited July 2018
    deanp100 wrote: »
    I can only assume you have done a headgasket . I had the egr done with blocking plates and a tune but I did it after it went. It is now apparent damage was already done and I got another 12 months out of it before my headgasket went. I was losing coolant like your amounts for a few days before it really went in a hug way. I had to throw the head away . New reco head, cams and valves was 2500. In the end it cost me 7000 to get back on the road but that included a new radiator and timing belt. You probably won’t need these. I would get it checked out ASAP or you will do the damage I did . Mine has 300000 kms on it so I am not complaining about the longevity so far.
    Deano

    That's my dilemma, I know it's going to be an expensive fix but with the car having travelled over 210,000km, how long until the turbos, clutch, radiator, suspension, bottom end etc need replacing? I can see this thing turning into a money pit.

    You did well to get 300,000km from yours!! Have you had much troubles with the car since the new head?
    deanp100 wrote: »
    The egr coolant pipes should be diverted around the cooler and the joins should be very visible for leaks. There should be no need to leave the coolant going through the cooler. The plates should be blocking off the exhaust.

    EdwinP wrote: »
    Your egr could have still leaked and it would depend on how if any blocking plates have been installed.

    Worth getting it looked at before something major happens.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

    I know that now lol
    I only had the blanking plate installed between the pipes at the back of the egr cooler - the manifold side was connected as per normal.
    The coolant lines have been connected into the cooler all this time.
    I'm hoping the reason the head gasket went is because the cooler started leaking which caused water to enter the cylinders.
    I feel uneasy spending all this money repairing the car when the motor can easily let go again for no reason.

    A bottle of head gasket repair into the coolant tank and trading it in seems so appealing atm :-/:-/
  • EdwinPEdwinP Forum Slave
    edited July 2018
    I believe a pressure test on the system can be done to help reinforce your thoughts on headgasket. A simple start to to confirm then go from there.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
  • deanp100deanp100 Member
    edited July 2018
    sikhabib wrote: »
    That's my dilemma, I know it's going to be an expensive fix but with the car having travelled over 210,000km, how long until the turbos, clutch, radiator, suspension, bottom end etc need replacing? I can see this thing turning into a money pit.

    You did well to get 300,000km from yours!! Have you had much troubles with the car since the new head?






    I know that now lol
    I only had the blanking plate installed between the pipes at the back of the egr cooler - the manifold side was connected as per normal.
    The coolant lines have been connected into the cooler all this time.
    I'm hoping the reason the head gasket went is because the cooler started leaking which caused water to enter the cylinders.
    I feel uneasy spending all this money repairing the car when the motor can easily let go again for no reason.

    A bottle of head gasket repair into the coolant tank and trading it in seems so appealing atm :-/:-/

    I would be divertin* those coolant lines first and seeing what happens. Very good chance coolant is leaking in via the cracked cooler. I diverted my coolant lines and blocked off the gas input but the crack in the egr water jacket was so bad the exhaust was coming out under pressure from where the cooler pipes attached. Some liquid steel fixed it and blocked of the two open pipes.
    My radiator was blocked by us8ng a liquid head repair in an emergency. The cores are very fine and completely blocked up.
    As to your earlier question my ute feels as good as when I first got it. I parked beside a brand new one a week ago and compared noises, injector rattles etc and mine sounds identical. No oil usage, no warning lights, great economy, good power . I reckon I will go another 300 k.
  • sikhabibsikhabib Junior Member
    edited August 2018
    I bypassed the coolant lines to the cooler, blew out all the remaining coolant in the egr tank then plugged up the ports.... Nothing changed :(

    The coolant bottle smells like exhaust and I can see gases escaping out of it when the car is idling - at a minimum, the head will need to come off to inspect the damage.

    At still stage I though I had nothing to lose so I put a bottle of this into the coolant tank
    http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/Product/NULON-HEAD-GASKET-REPAIR/523425

    I also bought a new radiator just in case it blocked mime (so cheap!! $95 off Ebay with a free bottle of coolant!!)

    Two weeks later, so far so good! The car has stopped using coolant, isn't hydrolocked in the mornings and feels great to drive. I keep an eye on the temps with torque and the are staying normal. While I don't have 100% faith in the car (no Nullarbor crossings lol) I'm hoping it will hang in for a while.

    I've pretty much decided I will fix the car. I love the Amarok and it's setup for work the way I like it.
    Has anyone pulled the head off a CNEA? How much of a mission is it?
    I've rebuilt and worked on several petrol engines but this will be my first diesel.
  • deanp100deanp100 Member
    edited August 2018
    sikhabib wrote: »
    I bypassed the coolant lines to the cooler, blew out all the remaining coolant in the egr tank then plugged up the ports.... Nothing changed :(

    The coolant bottle smells like exhaust and I can see gases escaping out of it when the car is idling - at a minimum, the head will need to come off to inspect the damage.

    At still stage I though I had nothing to lose so I put a bottle of this into the coolant tank
    http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/Product/NULON-HEAD-GASKET-REPAIR/523425

    I also bought a new radiator just in case it blocked mime (so cheap!! $95 off Ebay with a free bottle of coolant!!)

    Two weeks later, so far so good! The car has stopped using coolant, isn't hydrolocked in the mornings and feels great to drive. I keep an eye on the temps with torque and the are staying normal. While I don't have 100% faith in the car (no Nullarbor crossings lol) I'm hoping it will hang in for a while.

    I've pretty much decided I will fix the car. I love the Amarok and it's setup for work the way I like it.
    Has anyone pulled the head off a CNEA? How much of a mission is it?
    I've rebuilt and worked on several petrol engines but this will be my first diesel.
    You sound like you may be lucky to have pulled that off. I had my head done and it was a mission. No way a normal handy guy would tackle it. My mechanic had done one before and it was still a mission. He had to hire tools from Volkswagen dealer to set up the camshafts properly and get it timed properly or something like that. He said he would have rather replaced the whole engine than do the head.
  • sikhabibsikhabib Junior Member
    edited September 2018
    The forums picked a hell of a time to be unreliable... Everytime I googled something I needed, sure enough it was on ausamarok but unable to open it.

    So I ended up pulling the head and this is what I found....

    20180914_153328-1280x622.jpg20180914_154044-1280x622.jpg20180914_154337-1280x622.jpg20180914_154342-1280x622.jpg20180914_154052-1280x622.jpg20180914_153958-622x1280.jpg

    Yep cracks in every cylinder between the valves! The EGR cooler was leaking as well.
    So a new head, valves, head gasket and vrs kit later the car is running great! More power than it's had for a while BUT I have a problem.
    I got the car back together yesterday and drove all over Sydney today for work (250km). I kept checking the coolant level throughout the day and it was slowly dropping. What is really weird is that there is no pressure building up in the cooling system. Driving for 20min+ between jobs I can stop and open the coolant cap without so much as a hiss. The top radiator hose is hot but is soft when squeezing it.

    There are no external leaks, no water in the oil and it doesn't seem to be leaking into the the cylinders.
    The car isn't overheating and the heater is blowing hot air, I sure there isn't any air in the system.
    Has anyone had this problem before? Expansion cap???
  • suhua4suhua4 Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    It seems if you see coolant leaking or usage on this car you need to get it fix straight away or it will almost certainly done a head gasket or cylinder head...... Even there's no sight of overheating warning or any symptom, apart from losing coolant and burnt coolant smells......

    Sent from my CLT-L29 using Tapatalk
  • How can you check the egr cooling tank for leaks. I have replaced one but it hasn’t fixed the problem. Now the car appears to be hydrolocking.

  • sikhabibsikhabib Junior Member

    Hi Edgonefishing

    Not good news.

    I confirmed my egr tank was leaking when it was off the car. I stood it upright, filled the tank up with water and could see it leaking out of the exhaust side.

    To rule out the egr cooler as being the problem, join the two water hoses together which will bypass the cooler tank all together. Then blow out all the residual water remaining in the cooler tank and give it a few days. If the car continues to hydrolock, the head will need to come off unfortunately.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NhsITCvWp_Q

    Can you smell exhaust gases or see bubbles in the coolant expansion tank?

    Do you have an odb2 scanner? After I replaced my head, the coolant temp rarely goes above 90 degrees (usually 82 to 89). With the cracked head, it always stayed above 93 degrees and the temps would greatly fluctuate when going up and down big hills... This was only visible on the scanner (Torque), the Amarok dash never indicated it was overheating even when I got it up to 119 degrees once.

    If your handy with the tools and you need a new head, it can be done for less than $2000 ...

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