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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help please


My 2000 Mk3 2.0 Duratec Mondeo has been losing water for some time. It started off very slow - I would have to top the water up once a fortnight.

Over the past 3-4 months the filling interval has been getting shorter and I am now at the stage where I have to top up once or twice a day.

I *think* that the water only comes out when the engine is actually running and I am constantly running the car now in "diags" mode so I can keep an eye on the head temps.

Another new development over the last 3 days is that, when the water is low, I can hear a "gurgling" sound in the cabin whilst driving at low speed - It's a bit like like bubbling or running water.

Any ideas please of where I could start to diagnose the leak ?
 

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Likes to fettle
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130 Posts
The gurgling will probably be the air going thru' the heater matrix, is there no signs of the leak anywhere?, is there steam from the exhausts, by the way are you topping up with water or a mix of antifreeze and water?, if you run it for a while with the bonnet open can you not see anything?, a drip, stem, smell of water/antifreeze?, pressure test is usually a good idea, is your engine oil ok, not got a mayonnaise texture to it!
 

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Megger
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Check underneath where the heater matrix hoses pass through the bulkhead, is there any signs of rusty colouring down by the steering rack/subframe? Theres a drain from the matrix-air con and thats where mine showed, also if you run the car upto temp , heater on hot and demist but no fan do you see condensation on the screen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi guys - thanks for the answers - I am using just water at the mo (no antifreeze) - No steam from exhausts and oil is fine (no mayo).

I will try the heater test later Megger.
 

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2 common failure points on these engines for mystery leaks are as follows.

thermostat housing has cracked - can happen if a mega cheapy stat is used to fix a lack of heat issue or if the bolts holding the stat are fastened too tightly when fitting it, generally the crack only shows up when the engine reaches operating temp & thus pressure as thats what opens up the crack for water to leak out of.

the header tank on the wing has split ( normally on the underside out of side ) - again this split is normally self sealing & only lets out water when the engine is upto temp/pressure.

as mentioned above though, the gurgling noise will be air flowing through the heater matrix either caused by the cooling system getting far too low & thus allowing air bubbles into the system or there may be a problem with the heater matrix itself ( its not a common fault but has happened in the past where the heater matrix is the cause of the coolant leak & thus letting in the air there & producing the gurgle etc.
 

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This happened to me - it was the header tank which had split on the underneath. Do you get a puddle of coolant on your drive, right next to the driver's side wheel? If so that's almost certainly what it is. I was going through about a litre of coolant a week.

What happens is that you get hairline cracks in the bottom of the header tank, which open up just enough to leak coolant when the engine is warm. When it cools down, the hairline cracks seal up again. On mine, the cracks looked like little scratches, each about 1cm long. Barely even visible if you don't know what you're looking for.

A new header tank is about £45 from Ford. For me that completely cured the problem. Good luck.
 
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