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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
lol. It's not actually necessarily an issue, but I've never seen this before so thought I might ask you good people your opinion.

I just picked up a new (to me) Mito 1.4 TB 135 Veloce, 2010, for my partner and took it for its first hearty drive yesterday evening. Nice cold winter air and dry though frosty roads allowed the little pocket rocket to impress, and we both think it drives very nicely.

We drove about for a little over an hour on a mixture of suburban roads, country lanes and motorways and really enjoyed the cars well rounded abilities. We (meaning me! :lol: ) were pleasantly surprised with how quick it was in Dynamic mode and with the decent levels of grip on offer, even in icy conditions. It does seem a little thirsty compared to the official figures, though that's obviously partly down to the style of driving it was subjected to last night. It's nice and comfy inside and seems well equipped. All in all we're both very pleased.

Only thing that concerns me a bit is the level of steam that was coming through the front grills once we got the car back on the drive. A quick inspection, in the dark, confirmed that it was steam (not smoke) and it seemed to be coming off of or around from the front area of the engine block, just behind the rad. It wasn't bellowing steam, but it was a constant obvious stream of white that didn't stop for 10-15 minutes. I couldn't check the coolant level last night as it was far too hot for that, but I intend to do that tomorrow when I'm home. The engine block was very hot, but the temperature display in the car showed 90 degrees, which I understand it normal? Even the plastic cover was hot to the touch (like holding a warm-hot coffee mug). And it was -2 degrees outside, so lots of cold water in the air, but otherwise dry.

Is this familiar to other MiTo drivers - especially TB 135 owners? Just a little worried there could be a hose or rad leak or something?
 

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Behind the radiator at the front of the engine is the turbo and this does have a coolant feed to it.

In the daylight, give everything a thourough visual inspection. Pull the engine cover off too (3 plastic ball joints, it just pulls off).
 

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The turbo generates a heck of a lot of heat and retains it for ages once you turn the engine off. The whole front of my car stays quite warm for several hours after its been run.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cheers for the advice. The location of the turbo sounds suspiciously similar to the area I thought the steam was coming from. I'll get the cover off and take a look tomo in daylight.

I caught a whiff of a chemical when stood over the bonnet yesterday night. Really couldn't put my finger on what it was. Maybe it was hot coolant? Hopefully find out tomorrow.

Thanks again guys.
 

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Cheers for the advice. The location of the turbo sounds suspiciously similar to the area I thought the steam was coming from. I'll get the cover off and take a look tomo in daylight.

I caught a whiff of a chemical when stood over the bonnet yesterday night. Really couldn't put my finger on what it was. Maybe it was hot coolant? Hopefully find out tomorrow.

Thanks again guys.
It could well have been the coolant you were smelling. If steam was getting out it may be leaking coolant. If the car is parked somewhere that will allow for it, place a piece of dry card under the engine bay and secure it with a brick or something to stop it blowing away. When you go to check the car tomorrow check the card first and see if theres been a drip, might give a bit of an indication as to what's going on :).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice and help so far guys.

Had a good look at the MiTo this morning in the daylight. The service book is stamped almost yearly since the car was new but there is no supporting paperwork for jobs carried out, so I performed basic checks on fluids and such. The engine oil's clean enough and filled to just over the upper mark but the coolant level is just above the word 'MIN'.

I'm going to fill it up to max later today and keep an eye on it over the coming days.

I decided to give the car a good look over today and so was sat on the drive with the engine running whilst I was setting up the media system etc. After 30 mins I saw steam rising from the front grills again and on popping the hood could see that the steam was rising from the radiator area, just below the flat section of the front bumper.

The fan wasn't on and the cars internal temp was under 90 degrees. It's dry out, 5.5 degrees and the car was dry too, so I'm guessing there shouldn't be ANY steam coming from that area? If not I suppose it points to there being a leak in a connecting hose or a crack in the radiator?

That' the first problem. The second concerning thing is that the top of the engine is covered in engine oil on its far right hand side. Oil seems to be at its thickest on and surrounding the round vertical 'pipe' in the top right corner of the engine and at the front of the right hand ht lead. It's obviously on the other side of the engine from the oil dipstick and cap, and that side of perfectly clean and free from oil, so I'm guessing somethings leaking.

I've attached 3 photos just to better show what I'm talking about. Thanks again for advice. It's much appreciated. :)
 

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The steam must be from the radiator underneath the two 'hollow' area's indicated, which are the air intakes for non-turbo engines. Obviously there should be no steam from a dry radiator on a dry day. Probably get rad pressure tested?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The steam must be from the radiator underneath the two 'hollow' area's indicated, which are the air intakes for non-turbo engines. Obviously there should be no steam from a dry radiator on a dry day. Probably get rad pressure tested?
It is a turbo version (1.4 TB Multiair), but I guess all or some of the rad intakes are still in the same place?

Thanks. Yeah, def worth looking at getting a pressure test done. Seems odd that it only starts showing signs of steam after 20-30 mins driving though.

Also, for topping up a late 2010 MiTo 1.4 TB MultiAir, does anyone know if the coolant should be Paraflu UP or Paraflu OAT? They're both red and I'm finding contradicting opinions on t'interweb.
 

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Was it a private sale or from a garage? If it's from a garage I wouldn't mess about with it any more, take it back and let them sort it.
 

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If you haven't lost any coolant, perhaps this is water boiling off from a high pressure wash of the engine baby during prep?
 

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eyedee;11523546... said:
Thanks. Yeah, def worth looking at getting a pressure test done. Seems odd that it only starts showing signs of steam after 20-30 mins driving though.
...
As the engine (and coolant) warms up, it builds pressure in the coolant system. This is why you never ever open the coolant resevoir cap when the engine is hot. As the pressure in the system builds up, your radiator, or perhaps a hose connection gets a minor leak. A very small amount of coolant will produce a noticeable amount of steam.

I'v driven my MiTo in temperatures below -20 degrees celsius, and there's never been any steam visible, so this is not normal. Get it checked soon.


P.S. I made a cruel experiment a couple of weeks ago. I left the MiTo outside in freezing weather (-22 something) for the night, just to see how it starts in the morning. Started without a hiccup, and immediately ran as smooth as silk.
 

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The oil leak on that particular part of the engine is well known issue on the Mito. It happened on mine too. The metallic tube that is on top of 4th cylinder is the one that leaks because it gets clogged. Forgive me for my English but its called the oil fumes output tube which needs cleaning on every oil change.
Do not worry its not a big deal. Perhaps they have clean it already and they didn't clean the engine. I can't see the tube very well on your picture otherwise i could tell if it leaks right now.
Alfa now created a new revised tube which is plastic-rubber instead of metallic and they say it doesn't get clogged. You could add the new version if you'd like not to worry about the cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Rockhopper, it was brought from an independent dealer but I'm interested in getting Alfa Romeo's official opinion before returning the car. I'm hoping to book it in for a check-over asap.

Thanks cj romeo, but unfortunately it's definitely leaking coolant (see attached pic). As per Xuero's advice we put some cardboard under the car and the leaks are very evident. :(

Jpe61, that's quite impressive! Thanks for your advice.

And thanks Sundowner for your input regarding the oil. It's good to hear it's probably not a big problem. I think the outlet pipe may be called a crankcase breather here in the UK? I'm going to look into whether its been cleaned before.
 

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Does the steam smell like curry? That's what my Paraflu smelt like when I had a leak on my Guilietta, it also had steam rising from the bonnet area and it was actually the egr cooler cover. I don't know if Mito's have them and your leak on the cardboard looks further forward like it may be the radiator, although the undertray could channel it anywhere? Correction I don't think a TB engine will have one as I think EGR's are on on diesels.
 

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My Mito had a small coolant return hose popping off the coolant reservoir when I tried it first time, and that would cause dripping in the region your cardboard shows.
Our engines are not that different, so have a look there. The photo I attach doesn't show it very well, but I actually didn't notice the failure until I looked closer on the pictures. I had allready decided not to buy the car as the turbo boost was lost due to a split tube, but that is history now... :cool:

The hose is placed right next to the coolant filler cap, towards the engine cover

DSC07397.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My Mito had a small coolant return hose popping off the coolant reservoir when I tried it first time, and that would cause dripping in the region your cardboard shows.
Our engines are not that different, so have a look there. The photo I attach doesn't show it very well, but I actually didn't notice the failure until I looked closer on the pictures. I had allready decided not to buy the car as the turbo boost was lost due to a split tube, but that is history now... :cool:

The hose is placed right next to the coolant filler cap, towards the engine cover
Thanks very much for providing that photo and the info Leo.dk. I'll be sure to check out the coolant return hose when I get home. I did have a look around yesterday but the areas leaking weren't obvious to me.
 

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Looking at that photo of the cardboard is the wet patch closest to the edge of the car not where condensation from overnight would fall due to the splitter providing a route down, Im sure wet patches appear at these locations on mine, this is assuming it was left over night or that it rained.

The spot in the middle is probably where the leak is getting through and as the steam was coming from between the radiator and the bumper its probably the rad thats leaking, mine was this time last year, rad weld sorted mine out but at some point im sure Il need a new rad. I assume that the undertray has been removed so you can see where its dropping down?
 

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The spot in the middle is probably where the leak is getting through and as the steam was coming from between the radiator and the bumper its probably the rad thats leaking, mine was this time last year, rad weld sorted mine out but at some point im sure Il need a new rad. I assume that the undertray has been removed so you can see where its dropping down?
Rad is same as Corsa cdti and a whole load of Fiat models. You can get an OEM quality one with 2 year guarantee for £40 upward. Check GSF, or even ebay. If you want it to come in a box with Fiat/Alfa written on it its about £100

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALFA-ROMEO-MITO-FIAT-ABARTH-PUNTO-BRAVO-EVO-LANCIA-RADIATOR-GENUINE-51896964-/321628916943?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item4ae293cccf

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VAUXHALL-CORSA-D-DELTA-GRANDE-PUNTO-MITO-DOBLO-BRAVO-RADIATOR-/181636521604?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2a4a615e84
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looking at that photo of the cardboard is the wet patch closest to the edge of the car not where condensation from overnight would fall due to the splitter providing a route down, Im sure wet patches appear at these locations on mine, this is assuming it was left over night or that it rained.

The spot in the middle is probably where the leak is getting through and as the steam was coming from between the radiator and the bumper its probably the rad thats leaking, mine was this time last year, rad weld sorted mine out but at some point im sure Il need a new rad. I assume that the undertray has been removed so you can see where its dropping down?
There's been no rain for a day before and since the cardboard was placed outside. It also drips fairly quickly and consistently all day long and the colour and smell indicates it's all coolant unfortunately. I've not had the under tray off as I've just not had the time or opportunity in daylight hours to get the car up on ramps to get my head underneath. In all honesty I bought this car for my partner to use for work to remove the hassle of keep fixing and tuning her motorbike as I just don't have the time right now. However reliable some owners told me their MiTo's were maybe I should steered clear of Alfa's given my position! :lol: It's a beautiful looking car though, isn't it?!

Rad is same as Corsa cdti and a whole load of Fiat models. You can get an OEM quality one with 2 year guarantee for £40 upward. Check GSF, or even ebay. If you want it to come in a box with Fiat/Alfa written on it its about £100

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALFA-ROMEO-MITO-FIAT-ABARTH-PUNTO-BRAVO-EVO-LANCIA-RADIATOR-GENUINE-51896964-/321628916943?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item4ae293cccf

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VAUXHALL-CORSA-D-DELTA-GRANDE-PUNTO-MITO-DOBLO-BRAVO-RADIATOR-/181636521604?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2a4a615e84
Thanks very much bk.bas99. It'll def be one in a box with Alfa written on it, cos I'm not going to be the one paying for it and it's better to use official Alfa parts for any future come back and overall car value. :thumbs:
 
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