Sprinter-Forum    
 

Go Back   Sprinter-Forum > T1N Sprinters > T1N Talk

T1N Talk General Discussions related to T1N Sprinters.


 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-22-2012, 11:44 PM   #1
ron234
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: in our sprinter!!
Posts: 17
Thanks: 18
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default Pressurized radiator on cold engine

I've spent some time searching the forum for more information on this... but... my symptoms aren't quite the same as other things I'm reading.

Here goes:

Your basic 2006, 2500... higher top converted cargo-camper van.

1) In the morning after Sprinter has cooled down, if I check the coolant, the top BLOWS off with a lot of pressure (I use a towel so it doesn't bop me in the face).

2) There is NO OIL in the radiator fluid.

3) There is no water/white stuff/emulsion in the oil (I change it myself... 3 x's now...nothing, ever)

4) No white smoke out the exhaust.

5) I have been losing coolant... depends on heat and how much I drive. it's not a Ton... maybe 2 cups every 1200-1500 miles?

6) I had the radiator pressure tested... no leaks.... but there was a small tear in the cap, so we replaced that... it's been a few months... no change in anything.... still pressure blows on even a cool engine EVERY TIME I check (First I thought it was because I was going up and down in elevation!)

Also, I still have a consistent amount of coolant loss.
The coolant light is usually on (even within 15 minutes of driving after I've topped up. I will check it the next morning and there is no noticeable loss of coolant by then, but the light is still on MOST of the time... so... I think the light must be dead most of the time)

7) No leaks on the ground under the van

8) I looked for white residue indicitive of a leak on the engine somewhere... nothing I can see... [I'm not sure where the water pump is though. I tried looking everywhere, though]

9) Maybe I'm running a bit hotter than most people on this forum. The van temp gauge runs just under 215F when I'm going up and down hills in Colorado. Sometimes it might creep over that, but then the fan kicks on and it stays steady, even across the desert. Never overheats into the red. (We don't tow anything or have a lot of weight in the van because we are both very small people with small clothing.)

Is this something I can just ignore? It's not causing problems now, I guess, but... is it going to cause problems later?

I still get 26 mpg so long as I don't drive 80.... I have plenty of power... Most driving is highway miles. But we live in the van now, so... I'd like to solve it now if it's going to cause more problems later.

THANK YOU!
ron234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 25,675
Thanks: 13,393
Thanked 14,587 Times in 9,266 Posts
Default Re: Pressurized radiator on cold engine

Sounds like you've done your homework.

Number of miles? If high (maybe even if not??), it could be your water pump seal. The water pump is the shaft which the large cooling fan is mounted on. Mine leaked enough to need top off for quite some time before drips showed when mine went bad, but that doesn't mean yours is bad. Just worth checking closely.

Pressure when cold....
Is it negative or positive pressure? Even with the slight leak while I was adding coolant, my system went under negative pressure when the cap was removed when the engine was cold. Try to figure out whether it is blowing out or sucking in. Sucking in is a good thing.

You description of engine operation sounds very normal to me. A little loss of coolant isn't a hazard unless you fail to repond to higher than normal (typical) operating temperature or don't top up when necessary. A leaking water pump seal can sometimes take a while to reveal itself. It is highly unlikely that a pump seal will avalanche into a major failure (assuming that is what is going on), but there are no guarantees.

Sorry I can't offer more. vic
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.

Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 09-23-2012 at 12:23 AM.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 01:08 AM   #3
Altered Sprinter
Happy Little Vegemite
 
Altered Sprinter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hobart Tasmania Australia
Posts: 14,942
Thanks: 1,114
Thanked 2,360 Times in 1,866 Posts
Default Re: Pressurized radiator on cold engine

The dynamics of co efficiency between engine temperatures as to oil type and coolant don't always get along that well as to outside temperature V's inside engine temperature, thus a cooling system at times can struggle as to temps and oil pressure with especially elevations under varying loads, you don't have a thermostat that will compensate for both low elevation as to high elevations of operations, as engine and radiator give different readings under proven cooling system tests.

Vic said a water pump seal , could be it leaks under hi operating pressure but not at idle. if water is present it will run back along the side of the block and drip or show rust stains near the base of the oil breather pipe, at the same time look for oil weapage and built up grease at the same section the base of the alternator is another key as is the underside of the heat shield.
It may be a blocked radiator , engine coolant type they do have a life span, before cooling efficiency starts to degrade.Partially blocked fins in the front of the radiator,this can to a degree effect cooling at varying temperatures.

If in doubt where you just can't seem to find a reason as to coolant loss, then arrange for a hi-pressure test on the radiator and the head at the same time, if both pi pressures are in the green zone all is OK if one is green and the other yellow to red then at least your locating where the hi temps are deviating from, and this can then be investigated further.Sprinters are a weird mob made by Germans not for American or Australian climates, as for a German air-con operation in tropical zones. you have to be joking.

Drip, drip , sizzle, sizzle.
__________________
I get My Rocks off! In a Mercedes Sprinter
AU..Tasmanian time AEST Hobart
There is a peaceful solution.It's called a peace Revolution.
No Shalam - No Shalom
Now lets take back the - Sprinter-Forum.


Of course I'm being totally biased.
Driving my life Away in a 313 Cdi Mercedes-Sprinter


Altered Sprinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 01:12 AM   #4
autostaretx
Erratic Member
 
autostaretx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 18,234
Thanks: 3,183
Thanked 8,354 Times in 6,066 Posts
Default Re: Pressurized radiator on cold engine

Quote:
Is it negative or positive pressure?
It sounds like positive pressure (tried to bop him in the head)... so i'm voting for a compression leak into the coolant.
In a non-diesel, i'd say "cracked head gasket" (tiny, tiny crack), such that the 15 psi of the cooling system isn't forcing water into the cylinders.
It could be a broken cylinder head restraining bolt... the 300+ psi (and higher) of the cylinder can lift the head to pressurize the water, but the water pressure can't do the reverse.

My attempts to prevent the water from getting back into the cylinder are to explain lack of colored smoke.
The loss of water says it's going somewhere

One frequently can't see "smoke" from your own car... but someone following along behind sure can.

--dick
__________________
2005 T1N 118" Freightliner 2500 Passenger Wagon (2.7L, 15" tires, standard (short) roof)
Get YOUR Sprinter's full configuration datacard by entering your VIN to https://www.datamb.com/
http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference <-- lots of service documentation, Thanks to Jens Moller and Arnie_Oli
((as always: this post may go through a couple of post-posting edits... so maybe give it ten minutes before commenting))

Last edited by autostaretx; 09-23-2012 at 01:15 AM.
autostaretx is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 01:27 AM   #5
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 25,675
Thanks: 13,393
Thanked 14,587 Times in 9,266 Posts
Default Re: Pressurized radiator on cold engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
...
One frequently can't see "smoke" from your own car... but someone following along behind sure can.

--dick
Missed that Bop in the head.

I've noticed that diesels also seem to share that pungent sweet odor of hot coolant burning in the cylinders should that be where it is going. FWIW. vic
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 01:33 AM   #6
talkinghorse43
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: near Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 3,184
Thanks: 425
Thanked 964 Times in 697 Posts
Default Re: Pressurized radiator on cold engine

You can buy a tester that will analyze the gas composition in the head space of the radiator and tell you if you have a leak of exhaust into the coolant. My son bought one from SnapOn for ~$100, but others are cheaper.
__________________
'02 316 2500 SHC FTL 140 passenger, NAG1, 3.73 diff, 16" wheels, OM612 w/EGR (>430k mi.), '04 Golf PD-TDI (>160k mi.), both bought new
talkinghorse43 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 05:46 AM   #7
abittenbinder
Doktor A (864-623-9110)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Clemson/Greenville SC
Posts: 2,173
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2,718 Times in 796 Posts
Default Re: Pressurized radiator on cold engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron234 View Post
Is this something I can just ignore? It's not causing problems now, I guess, but... is it going to cause problems later?
I would be curious to hear if your heater's performance is erratic. If you have not been operating the heater on a trial basis this summer, do so and let us know.

Doktor A
abittenbinder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
Amboman
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 735
Thanks: 35
Thanked 163 Times in 120 Posts
Default Re: Pressurized radiator on cold engine

Thermostat stuck shut
Amboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 08:57 PM   #9
ron234
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: in our sprinter!!
Posts: 17
Thanks: 18
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default Re: Pressurized radiator on cold engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
It sounds like positive pressure (tried to bop him in the head)... so i'm voting for a compression leak into the coolant.
In a non-diesel, i'd say "cracked head gasket" (tiny, tiny crack), such that the 15 psi of the cooling system isn't forcing water into the cylinders.
It could be a broken cylinder head restraining bolt... the 300+ psi (and higher) of the cylinder can lift the head to pressurize the water, but the water pressure can't do the reverse.

My attempts to prevent the water from getting back into the cylinder are to explain lack of colored smoke.
The loss of water says it's going somewhere

One frequently can't see "smoke" from your own car... but someone following along behind sure can.

--dick
Thanks for all of these answers!

1) I found the water pump, and no white streaks or dribbles.

2) Wife follows the van in our car about once a week, and has never noticed white smoke (asked her earlier to look for it)

So... to check on broken cylinder restraining bolt or "tiny tiny crack" I would ask someone to do a HEAD pressure test?

The vehicle has 130,000 miles on it (answer to previous question).

I'm going to go drive around with the heater on to answer Dr. A's question about inconsistent heat now.
ron234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
ron234
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: in our sprinter!!
Posts: 17
Thanks: 18
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default Re: Pressurized radiator on cold engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amboman View Post
Thermostat stuck shut
That causes pressure inside the radiator? How do I check for that?

Interestingly, I only drove about 20 miles yesterday... stayed at the same elevation... and this morning, I still had a decent amount of positive pressure blowing the cap off (although not as much as when I check once a week... that's like scary pressure!)

There is also a lot of GURGLING when I release the cap

Also interesting, there was more fluid in there today than when I topped it off yesterday.
The temperature was colder this morning when I checked than it was yesterday when I turned the van off.

Thanks for all this advice and help to everyone.
ron234 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 04:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.