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Hi all,

First time poster and sorry if this has been posted before, i tried searching for coolant related problems but could not find a direct answer.

Around 3 weeks ago i purchased a 2007 diesel 2.4 JTD 159 and for two days everything was fine until one morning i found a big coolant puddle under the car.

Took it to an alfa specialist and he recommended a new reservoir cap, all seemed fine until it overheated and i started noticing my reservoir either draining way too much below the minimum when cold or going way above the maximum. When i step on the throttle in park i notice bubbles in the tank.

Car has full service history at an alfa specialist and water pump/belt was changed 3 months ago, i don't know if this is indicative of a head gasket or water pump problem. The coolant is clean and has remained the same colour, nothing coming from exhaust either.

Unless there is a hose somewhere feeding air into the coolant. The front hose from the radiator isn't very hard also? is this normal?

Apologies for the long spiel, first alfa romeo and panic has ensued :(

Also could it be the water pump is somehow faulty? i let the car get to temp (90c) and the reservoir was still above max with no indication of it circulating (i think).

Any response welcome, thank you in advance!
 

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were you able to pinpoint where the coolant puddle came from?

check you reservior for any damage.

and you can try and bleed out any bubble from lower points like where the temperature sensor is (green plug sitting between the engine and the battery
 

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The cap is a pressure cap, designed to release pressure in the header tank. They very rarely go wrong. The coolant on the floor means the tank is over-pressured and so coolant is being forced out.

You must have air in the system so I would bleed the radiator. There should be a bleed screw on the back of the rad on one top corner or the other (usually right hand / left as you look side).

With a cold engine (e.g. first thing in the morning) - go unscrew the bleed screw slowly.

Don't unscrew it completely.. if it comes all the way out, it'll be impossible to screw it back in while a load of coolant is gushing out all over the place.. :D ... just back it out slooooowly until either air or coolant comes out.

If any air comes out (hissing) then that's good... in a way.... If only coolant comes out, then you don't have air in the rad'.

If air comes out let it hiss away while you sip some tea... until coolant comes out.. then tighten the screw up and top up the coolant reservoir if the level has dropped significantly (down to "Min" say).

Drive the car around normally for the day and then do the same check again the next morning. You should have no air in the rad'. Or very little. If it's very little.... do the same bleed again and repeat it again until you get no air, or you work out that there is "always" air in the rad'.

If you have, or you always get air in the rad.. then you have a head gasket fault. It may be minor.. and you might be able to drive it around for weeks, or months... but the summer is coming and one day you'll be on a long trip up the Pyrenees at +35C ambient temperature .. the beast will pack in completely sooner or later.

Water pump problems are usually manifested by the car overheating while you're driving along normally. The car doesn't circulate enough coolant through the rad' quickly enough to cool the engine down, so it gets hot and the fan comes on, even though the water in the rad' will be cool (since the pump is not circulating the hot coolant quickly enough). But your pump is new... so not much prospect that it's faulty.

When the beast is hot.. feel the hoses then.. and the top of the radiatore. If you have hard hoses and a cool top/hot bottom on the rad', then that also points to head gasket.



Ralf S.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hey guys, thank you so much for the reply's.

Soldiiiier- The coolant leak looks like its coming from the back of the reservoir, but i'm not sure. Pretty certain its the rear side of the engine.

Also ralf S- I cannot locate the bleed screw on the radiator, is there a picture by any chance? I only have the metal bleed screw on the rail which was recently replaced...

Is this green screw easily accessible? They seem to fit so much into the engine bay it's hard to locate anything.


Thanks again so much for the reply's, makes me feel good to finally be an Alfa owner. ;)
 

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Hard hose and extension tank bubbling at revs are subject to damaged head gasked only.
No other way to generate extra air pressure in cooling to create so.
There might be another reason ( keep fingers cross ) as block crack. Less possible since you see coolant puddle.
This way everyting be inside.
Puddle might come from any weaken clamp because of recidual pressure. All to be changed.
Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hard hose and extension tank bubbling at revs are subject to damaged head gasked only.
No other way to generate extra air pressure in cooling to create so.
There might be another reason ( keep fingers cross ) as block crack. Less possible since you see coolant puddle.
This way everyting be inside.
Puddle might come from any weaken clamp because of recidual pressure. All to be changed.
Sorry.
But the hose is no longer hard even when the car is at temperature and the leak only appears hours after the car is cold. Most likely from the reservoir? I cant see a leak even two hours into the car being parked and i've looked all over the hoses and cannot see any coolant residue?

I'm most likely trying to justify everything but the head gasket because i know it's a very expensive repair and a terribly thing to occur three weeks after a private purchase :cry:

If someone has a picture of that separate bleed screw I can try to release pressure first and really get an understanding of how much pressure is building up in a day (if any).
 

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But the hose is no longer hard even when the car is at temperature and the leak only appears hours after the car is cold. Most likely from the reservoir? I cant see a leak even two hours into the car being parked and i've looked all over the hoses and cannot see any coolant residue?

I'm most likely trying to justify everything but the head gasket because i know it's a very expensive repair and a terribly thing to occur three weeks after a private purchase :cry:

If someone has a picture of that separate bleed screw I can try to release pressure first and really get an understanding of how much pressure is building up in a day (if any).
If you still see the puddle, you should identify the source and fix. It is clear.
Might be any clamp which are nopmally getting weaker by the time.
Further problems to be checked easy if any.
I am not familar with extension tank leakage. Nether heard. No such problem in Russia.
 

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Hi 159happy,
I've got a 2.2 petrol, and only one month after purchasing it (and on my birthday) it overheated.
I knew nothing about it until steam started coming through the interior air vents. When I lifted the bonnet the expansion bottle was full, steam seemed to be coming out everywhere.
Got towed home, and found out that the thermostat was jammed SHUT.
N.B. the temperature gauge inside the car showed 90 degrees and never moved hence why I knew nothing of the impending doom. Hope this helps.
 

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Hi 159happy,
I've got a 2.2 petrol, and only one month after purchasing it (and on my birthday) it overheated.
I knew nothing about it until steam started coming through the interior air vents. When I lifted the bonnet the expansion bottle was full, steam seemed to be coming out everywhere.
Got towed home, and found out that the thermostat was jammed SHUT.
N.B. the temperature gauge inside the car showed 90 degrees and never moved hence why I knew nothing of the impending doom. Hope this helps.
Thanks ferret! Is the thermostat easy to get to? or should i take it to the shop immediately?
 

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Thanks ferret! Is the thermostat easy to get to? or should i take it to the shop immediately?
Yes they are easy to DIY, mine however was covered by warranty, good job as well as it cost £180! (genuine Alfa part plus half hour fitting)
Let your car idle until it reaches temp, (you can speed up the process by revving it with the throttle) then reach down to the radiator hoses. Once the thermostat opens all of the hoses get hot, whereas mine with the thermostat jammed shut, one side of the radiator the hoses were still cold.
Mine did a 23 mile journey on free moving roads, did a little stop start city driving then overheated going up a multi-storey car park.
Like I said "NO WARNING" temp gauge showed 90 degrees the entire trip (once heated up from cold)
 

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