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Coolant loss but no leaks

4112 Views 88 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  joeymannero
Hi fellow Alfa lovers !

hope all is well in the world of owning an Alfa, I’m certainly beginning to experience it.

I have a 2.2 JTS petrol with 105,000 on the clock. I use it as my daily driver and recently noticed coolant loss. Did some basic checks ;

No leaks around the cap.
No leaks on the main pipe going underneath the coolant bottle.
No leaks at thermostat or oil cooler.
No leaks at the radiator.
No leaks at the bleed screws.
Car not overheating and stays on 90 dead on
Fan kicks in fine
Took the under tray off and observed with no leaks.
Next day I started it from cold and just let it idle and noticed after the car warmed up that the water level slowly rose all the way up to the top of the coolant bottle and water started spitting out of the little air vent hole at the top. After closer look I could see the top part of the bonnet was covered with coolant and around the brake fluid bottle and top suspension on the right. So it seems the water spits out from the hole. That can’t be right, that hole is to relieve pressure as the cap spring opens up, if I’m not mistaken? I’ve also bought a new cap.

so the dreaded head gasket words started entering my mind, but no oil or water is mixing. I did notice as I watched the coolant bottle at idle that bubbles would enter it every now and then from the bottom pipe. I let the car cool, took off the cap and then used the diy head gasket tester with the blue liquid. Let the car idle and the liquid turned yellow, which says possible head gasket compression leak or coolant contamination.

has anyone experienced this? If water is spitting out the vent hole of the coolant bottle then maybe it is the head gasket on its way? Not sure how much I should trust the tester, but I tried it on my wife’s car and it stayed blue.

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

I’ve tried searching for a smiler issue on here but no one’s seems to have the issue where coolant is being loss from the top of the coolant bottle hole!
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2017 Guila 2.0 Tbi Lusso spec, 1972 S2 Spider Junior, wife drives 939 Spider, + Abarth 595
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8,478 Posts
The CO2 test is all you need to know, no point in looking anywhere else. Its a head gasket.
 
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· Registered
2017 Guila 2.0 Tbi Lusso spec, 1972 S2 Spider Junior, wife drives 939 Spider, + Abarth 595
Joined
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8,478 Posts
Its Cylinder #3 where the leak is. If you look at the 4.00oclock position you will see the head is very clean where it has been 'washed'. The block should be fine, I dont think the 2.2JTS has wet liners (like a 105 engine) so you wont disturb anything (can anyone confirm that?). And as suggested you can clean up the surfaces with abrasive paper quite safely. Check for black carbon build up in the inlet ports, one of the biggest problems with DI engines.
 

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2017 Guila 2.0 Tbi Lusso spec, 1972 S2 Spider Junior, wife drives 939 Spider, + Abarth 595
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8,478 Posts
Thanks Top Down,
Will be sending the head to the shop this week to get it checked and slimmed. The block does look ok and the liners level.
This maybe a silly question, if I take off the cams so I can send the head to the engineering shop, how do I put the cams back so that they are back in the correct position as I took them off, the cams don’t have markings against the head. I have them set at the 2 and 10 o clock position, so I guess I’ll just put them back like that. I think I may have just answered my own question. Lol I just want ensure the valves are in the correct position in line with TDC.
I cant answer that accurately as I have never done so. But, usually there will be a mark on the cams where they line up against some reference or another. YOU MUST NOT PUT THEM BACK LOOKING CORRECT!! you could well cause huge damage.

It would seem that the timing chain is referenced against the sprockets. Tread carefully though, do lots of research.
 

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2017 Guila 2.0 Tbi Lusso spec, 1972 S2 Spider Junior, wife drives 939 Spider, + Abarth 595
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8,478 Posts
That’s fine, I appreciate the input. I’ve made the markings and taken loads of photos. The heads at the shop and I’m looking forward to the call tomorrow to find out the result of the inspection.
Dont be misled or confused about cam position. The important thing is the position of the cams not only in relation to each other, but to the timing chain and that in relation to the crankshaft. You really do need to get yourself some technical documentation to follow, what you are doing can be a matter of life and death to the engine. Be careful if you are unsure of what you are doing. On a scale of 1 - 10 in difficulty, this is a 10 and an oil change is a 1.
 
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