VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I thought I would share my recent experience, in the hope that someone might find it useful, or someone might give me some useful information.

57 Plate 1.9TDi 102 (remapped to 136) BRS 93K full main dealer service history up to date

On my way down to Cornwall last week, I pulled up at a garage for a coffee. When I started her up again, I got the coolant low warning light on. Weird, so I filled it up and thought no more about it. Then it came on again 30 mins later. Hmm.

Engine bay wet on nearside behind the expansion bottle noted this time. Coolant leak for sure. Go slowly to my destination without further incident. I have no doubt that a combination of long hills on the A30 with a fully loaded converted camper had something to do with it.

Next day, went into Newquay for a bottle of Radweld in the hope that it can get me home. Came out with K Seal and chucked that in. Drove to Plymouth the following day after than and got a new seal for the expansion cap in case it was something silly like that.

Things have improved significantly with the K Seal, driving sensibly and the cap seal (only put 500ml in for the rest of the journey) pink coolant.

However, symptoms that still remain>

Cap off, I have small fizzy bubbles in the expansion bottle. Dropped the return pipes off the expansion bottle. One from the heater matrix is fizzy. The other, not so much. I have made a vid (short) of this so you can see. I'll drop them in the next post down once I have uploaded them.

Top and bottom hoses are pretty hard after a drive. Not rock solid, but seem very firm.

Still foams up and comes out of pressure relief cap on expansion bottle on a run, particularly under load.

So, I'm thinking head gasket. I've just ordered a "Block Test" kit off eBay to test the gasses in the coolant. Will video and report back the test for interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Videos of water returning to expansion tank from the 2 sources (radiator and heater matrix), one fizzy, one not.





 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,184 Posts
In the morning open the expansion cap. If you hear a whoosh and the expansion bottle fills it points to head gasket.
I had the same symptoms and even a sniff test wasn't conclusive.
Good luck buddyT:
BJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
In the morning open the expansion cap. If you hear a whoosh and the expansion bottle fills it points to head gasket.
I had the same symptoms and even a sniff test wasn't conclusive.
Good luck buddyT:
BJ
I've seen that loads of times (in posts about head gaskets), but I just cant figure out why it makes that happen. Why would the system de pressurise overnight in a sealed system and why with a duff gasket would it stay pressurised. I just don't have the knowledge to work it out.

Maybe someone knows.....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
39 Posts
I think the system will basically gain more pressure with HGF (particularly if engine under load) due to exhaust gas leaking through failure point. When you turn the engine off the system retains the extra pressure for along time i.e. overnight.
Its pretty hard to diagnose HGF and suppose you prob need to wait to see if problem worsens and make sure you keep an eye on fluid levels and the temperature.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,184 Posts
Exhaust gases leak into the water system hence pressuring the water to come out the expansion vessel under load. When you turn off the key and leave it overnight the water it all cools but leaves the water pressurised. Mine got to a point where the bottom of the rad had a 2" bow in the bottom of it!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Exhaust gases leak into the water system hence pressuring the water to come out the expansion vessel under load. When you turn off the key and leave it overnight the water it all cools but leaves the water pressurised. Mine got to a point where the bottom of the rad had a 2" bow in the bottom of it!!
Wow, well the problem here isn't that bad yet. I'm only planning one more trip in it this weekend before I book it in (if the block test kit comes up positive, which is what VW themselves use as I spoke to them yesterday).

Fingers crossed for the gentle trip to End Of The Road festival (not too far for me) and then take it easy. It isn't my daily driver, so no stress with it being off the road.

Quotes coming in today..............
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
Wow, well the problem here isn't that bad yet. I'm only planning one more trip in it this weekend before I book it in (if the block test kit comes up positive, which is what VW themselves use as I spoke to them yesterday).

Fingers crossed for the gentle trip to End Of The Road festival (not too far for me) and then take it easy. It isn't my daily driver, so no stress with it being off the road.

Quotes coming in today..............
I've seen lots of people with BRS engines saying "I should have changed it sooner". Quite a few with ruined heads, blocks and some with a full rebuild.

I dont think I'd be leaving it too long.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,184 Posts
Mines an AXB and ran it for a year like it. It's a vw! Will rattle on forever lol.
Had to do mine in the end because the dripping water rotted the starter motor so had no choiceLOL:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
In the morning open the expansion cap. If you hear a whoosh and the expansion bottle fills it points to head gasket.
I had the same symptoms and even a sniff test wasn't conclusive.
Good luck buddyT:
BJ
So I did this, this morning. No "WHOOSH", just a little "t."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
so, the ongoing story.

The block test kit came and I did the test twice. The second one was better as I left it a little longer.

So you start with a blue liquid and if you have a HG leak, CO2 gets into the fluid and turns it green (for Diesel) or Yellow (for petrol)

Here's the result, and a link to a quick video of the test running.



https://goo.gl/photos/FUhVXqn1Ju5z2P6XA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So all of this means that I'm booked in for a HG replacement with Terry @ TH Performance at the end of the month.

Fingers crossed that does the job !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
what is it with these vans !!

so far in four years and only 8000 miles Ive had to replace

turbo and drive shaft

Now theres a wheal bearing gone and I to seem to be loosing water in the expansion tank now

My van has only done 91000 miles i only use it for weekend breaks/holidays god help you if you make a living in your van and had to use it daily.

I have two sprinters 200,000 on one carry a big load most of the time urban driving, and a ford transit for work proposes and they just go on and on no probs , I had one sprinter for ten years years and in 100,000 miles all I replaced was battery,brakes and ball joints.only sold it because it got a bit scruffy.


After looking at post on this forum the head gasket problem seems to be on 56/57 plate t5s

Is it just me or is this the norm !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I think the BRS engine code seems to have a bit of a reputation for needing a new HG at 90K or so, at least from what I have seen on threads/internet etc.

My drive shafts and turbo are OK, but I did have a problem with my gearbox a couple of years ago which cost me £800 to repair.

One thing is for certain, when they go wrong, they cost decent money to put right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
O)K, so my van is in with Terry @ TH Performance in Havant.

In a weird way, the good news is that my HG has failed (always nice to know if you've been proved right).

Currently all going back together with new Cambelt and water pump as well.

Some pictures of where it's all happening:







I'll let you know what's happening when it's all back together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
End of the story is that I got the van back today with new HG and it's all fixed. No coolant loss and running like a dream.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top