My wife's Alfa 156 has been having coolant loss for, well, a couple of years at least. I've always just topped it up before we go anywhere in it (usually she just takes it to town to do shopping, not long drives). Well, day before yesterday, I forgot to do that, and she called me on the way home that she'd just noticed a warning message on the console about coolant temperature and that the needle was at 130. So I went and pulled them home, and yesterday ran the car after filling it again. The thermostat works fine-- when the temp got just above 90 I saw the coolant level drop in the reservoir and the temp immediately drop. So when I looked at the front, and there was dripping from the radiator matrix.
Now it all makes sense to me, why coolant was being lost at varying, but slow rates, that it was dripping out the radiator, especially during warmer months and longer trips.
A neighbor is breaking a 156, so I can buy the radiator off it from him, but I'm very much tempted to use sodium silicate to see if it fixes things for now. From the US a lot of people in the past had success using that for all sorts of coolant leaks, even as a permanent fix. Just, the big warning is that it will clog up the heater matrix. (eg: Sodium Silicate used to stop the leak
Is coolant always flowing through the heater matrix, or is it only flowing when I turn the heater on? And where is it, if I need to disconnect / bypass the hoses to it?
I'm looking for a quick-fix for now, because I've got fence to make for animals and other seasonally pressing things that I'd rather not take a day swapping radiators...