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Thread: Car woes

  1. #1
    Senior Member suffolkbobby's Avatar
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    Car woes

    My beloved Suzuki Vitara finally failed the mot and had to go to scrap, not a bad run for a M reg.
    I had to find a cheap automatic as my leg has decided to act up when using a clutch.
    I can't get a motability car as standard rate of pip so I have to buy.
    Looking online (not ebay) I came across an immaculate 03 Rover 45 auto at a price I could just about afford a train ride away sold "as taken in and drives nicely". ( alarm bells should have rang when the receipt read spar or repair but she is a cracker).

    Now don't get me wrong, it is pristine, drives very well as described however, it has an overheating problem which was not evident until the next day, when not running the heater fan as I did when collecting, all signs are pointing to the head gasket having failed

    Fortunately I have a good friend who will do the work for tea and scones, the parts costing just over £120 met by a refund of VED for 50% of tax paid on the old car so the actual repair cost is just time.

    When done I will have a very nice automatic car but I could have done without the hassle of topping the water every time I use it. I know silly billy....

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    You might want to read this for other suggestions before shelling out for a head gasket replacement.

    http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Motor...ion939692.html

    Head gaskets are a bit notorious on that model, but overheating can have plenty of other causes that are cheaper to fix.
    Coolant air lock, faulty thermostat, faulty raditor, faulty cooling fan, etc., etc.

    TBH if running the car heater seemed to solve the problem then I would at first suspect the main radiator is 'sludged-up' and may need flushing out. (the secondary, heater, radiator comes into use when you turn the heater on).
    And/or the main fan isn't kicking in, easy enough to lift the bonnet and look if it's running when the temprature goes up.

    https://www.holtsauto.com/holts/products/speedflush/
    Cheaper to try than a new head gasket.
    Last edited by nukecad; 08-04-2017 at 02:22 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member suffolkbobby's Avatar
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    I noticed that all the hoses have been renewed so i'd guess the problem was being addressed by the previous owner, if a hose had gone and the engine overheated, that would be enough to cause a problem with the system. It's done 56k and so now due for a cam belt change, the water pump will be changed at the same time (apparently the impellers can corrode and reduce flow), fortunately my parts include thermostat, cam belt and tensioners, water pump, head gasket set and bolts, a gallon each of both coolant and engine oil and oil filter.
    I'll run rad flush through first though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Well if the water pump is to be changed soon then whoever does it should check the system pressure after refilling, that should also eliminate any airlock.

    Hopefully you get it sorted out and end your transport woes.
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  5. #5
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    Great to hear you can have all the work done free gratis, you'll have to get the beers in for some time to come lol

    Might also be an idea to have the radiator back flushed because like Nukecad I'm not fully convinced you have a blown gasket.
    A simple CO2 test could save you a lot of un-necessary work ?

    You've bought into a car that's capable of treble the mileage it has on the clock so with a bit of luck you'll have the Rover for ages
    Last edited by Number7; 08-05-2017 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Clarity

  6. #6
    Senior Member uncle bob's Avatar
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    The 1.4 Rover 45 is a troublesome engine and needs a far bit of attention to keep it healthy, I would advise getting the head skimmed by a machine shop as they can distort once overheated.
    List of parts to buy so your only doing it once is ...... head gasket set , set head bolt ( stretch bolt can only be used once ) water pump, timing belt , belt tensioner and thermostat.
    That gets the engine back we're it was before it blow but what caused the problem in the first place .....a new radiator could well be the answer .
    If you've caught the head gasket early the it just loosing water but once the water mixes with the oil it almost impossible to clear the
    Emulsified oil out of the radiator and heater matrix .......Back in my motortrade days I replaced many Rover metro 1.1 and 1.4 head gaskets ....
    Once the list of parts above were fitted along with the radiator the cars were reliable again ....and make sure you check the coolant weekly, only has to drop by a mug full and has the potential to blow again, as the engine was designed with "just enough" coolant to work effectively.....good luck .
    Motability vehicle history....
    1996 ford galaxy,1999 VW T4 window van (Ricon tail lift ), 2005 VW T5 window van (Ricon tail lift)
    2011 Mercedes Sprinter (Ricon tail lift)..all vans have been wheelchair accessible.

  7. #7
    Senior Member suffolkbobby's Avatar
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    Thanks Uncle Bob.
    My car is the 1.8i twin cam with the CVT Stepspeed Automatic Gearbox, so far she is behaving herself after a complete re-bleed of the system. Fingers crossed I may have had a blockage.
    According to the MG/Rover gurus, a little known (and commonly ignored) component of the cooling system in the 1.8 K series engine fitted to the MG Rover 45 (& the Land rover Freelander) nicknamed the "jiggle valve" has subsequently lead to overheating and many a mis-diagnosis of Head Gasket Failure, a costly and unnecessary repair.
    Fitted at the start of the bleed line, its purpose is to prevent pressure build-up in the expansion tank by regulating the amount of returning coolant. Apparently this ball bearing can get stuck and results in coolant loss and overheating. Simply removing the pipe and blowing air both ways is often enough to clear it.
    Weather permitting it will most certainly be investigated before doing anything else.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    nicknamed the "jiggle valve"
    Love it, if it's not working then "jiggle it" for a bit.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member uncle bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suffolkbobby View Post
    Thanks Uncle Bob.
    My car is the 1.8i twin cam with the CVT Stepspeed Automatic Gearbox, so far she is behaving herself after a complete re-bleed of the system. Fingers crossed I may have had a blockage.
    According to the MG/Rover gurus, a little known (and commonly ignored) component of the cooling system in the 1.8 K series engine fitted to the MG Rover 45 (& the Land rover Freelander) nicknamed the "jiggle valve" has subsequently lead to overheating and many a mis-diagnosis of Head Gasket Failure, a costly and unnecessary repair.
    Fitted at the start of the bleed line, its purpose is to prevent pressure build-up in the expansion tank by regulating the amount of returning coolant. Apparently this ball bearing can get stuck and results in coolant loss and overheating. Simply removing the pipe and blowing air both ways is often enough to clear it.
    Weather permitting it will most certainly be investigated before doing anything else.

    To be perfectly honest with you I'm so pleased it's not the 1.4 engine as it's basically poo ! And could have given you some major headaches
    I have little practical experience with the 1.8 unit but I'm guessing it's a Rover unit and not a Honda one ....think the joint Honda venture had finish by then .
    A jiggle valve is a new one on me I'll have to look that up sounds like you might have this all sorted to good luck
    Motability vehicle history....
    1996 ford galaxy,1999 VW T4 window van (Ricon tail lift ), 2005 VW T5 window van (Ricon tail lift)
    2011 Mercedes Sprinter (Ricon tail lift)..all vans have been wheelchair accessible.

  10. #10
    Senior Member suffolkbobby's Avatar
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    Would you believe it....I've been running her here and there for four days now and (touching wood) the temperature remains stable with no fans and the heater on cold. I fitted a new rover header tank cap costing £4.99 and the problem went away, the old one was not sealing properly allowing a higher temperature and loss of coolant.
    At least I have a set of parts should the need arise in the future and at todays price.
    Last edited by suffolkbobby; 08-14-2017 at 09:22 AM.

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