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Old 11 November 2005, 10:53   #1
MikeCardiff
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Default HELP ! Coolant has turned orange / rusty



Thankfully not on my Impreza, but on my wifes MGF.

She was stuck in traffic for ages yesterday and said it overheated and there was smoke coming out of the engine. She stopped and checked and all the coolant was gone, so she refilled it with water, but as it ran around the egine and back into the filling bottle it was bright orange, and looks as though it has rust in it and around the filler cap.

Theres no oil that I can see, so hopefully the head gasket hasnt gone, but her car did overheat not so long ago when a hose split and all the coolant drained while she was driving.

Anyone know what the score is here ? Has the coolant just flushed out rust from somewhere in the system because of the overheating, or is it something more serious ?

I wouldnt care that much normally, but shes having to borrow my car until hers is sorted, so the sooner the better !!!
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Old 11 November 2005, 11:22   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeCardiff


Thankfully not on my Impreza, but on my wifes MGF.

She was stuck in traffic for ages yesterday and said it overheated and there was smoke coming out of the engine. She stopped and checked and all the coolant was gone, so she refilled it with water, but as it ran around the egine and back into the filling bottle it was bright orange, and looks as though it has rust in it and around the filler cap.

Theres no oil that I can see, so hopefully the head gasket hasnt gone, but her car did overheat not so long ago when a hose split and all the coolant drained while she was driving.

Anyone know what the score is here ? Has the coolant just flushed out rust from somewhere in the system because of the overheating, or is it something more serious ?

I wouldnt care that much normally, but shes having to borrow my car until hers is sorted, so the sooner the better !!!
Sounds like you have a corroded radiator, the core is blocked causing the overheating, Has it been run on just water & no antifreeze Mix ???
Hopefully the car boiling over will of not damaged the heads/gasket. If the Mgf's use the same K Series engines then you may not be so lucky as the have a reputation for head/gasket problems ..
Dean
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Old 11 November 2005, 11:36   #3
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Thanks, will tell her to take it to the garage and get the rad checked
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Old 11 November 2005, 12:01   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanF
. If the Mgf's use the same K Series engines then you may not be so lucky as the have a reputation for head/gasket problems ..
Dean

Yes they do use the same engine and as you say are prone to head gasget failure.I'd say your gonna be lucky if the head gasget hasnt gone.
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Old 11 November 2005, 12:07   #5
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The orange in your coolant is not rust, if I remember from my mechanic course days, it's chemicals in the oil reacting with your antifreeze, head gasket is the most likely, I'm afraid. Anyway, the MGF has an aluminium block and rad, IIRC, where would rust come from? I can't think of anywhere.

Cheers

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Old 11 November 2005, 12:22   #6
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Great, so looks like it probably is the head gasket then ! serves her right for not checking her fluid levels
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Old 11 November 2005, 12:23   #7
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Bear in mind some antifreeze brands are actually orange - as it does come in all sorts of lovely colours (orange, red, purple, blue, green etc). But it should remain transparent.

However, the fact the engine overheated and had ran low on water on a k-series engine almost definetely means head gasket damage, I'm afraid.

Usual cause of this is leakage via manifold o-rings. And occasionally a water pump leak (amongst other things).

get the car down to a garage and have the cooling system pressure tested asap.

Last edited by ALi-B; 11 November 2005 at 12:28.
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Old 11 November 2005, 12:25   #8
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Mike true its her fault for not checking, but i know of a few people that have had MGF's that head gaskets gone on them and they are not cheap at all !

Richard
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Old 11 November 2005, 12:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper
The orange in your coolant is not rust, if I remember from my mechanic course days, it's chemicals in the oil reacting with your antifreeze, head gasket is the most likely, I'm afraid. Anyway, the MGF has an aluminium block and rad, IIRC, where would rust come from? I can't think of anywhere.

Cheers

Grim
Ok Rust was thew wrong word then, Rust coloured, Tell me why then , when radiators do become blocked / cores degraded, rgardless of what engine casing type the water is always rust coloured & even that colour on cars that have not had head gasket problems only Radiator related ??
Are you sure it's an Alloy Block !!!

Dean

Last edited by DeanF; 11 November 2005 at 16:14.
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Old 11 November 2005, 16:14   #10
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When the car blew the hose, the garage she bought it from fixed it under warranty and did say that even though the head gasket seemed fine then, it may cause problems in the future as they are prone to it.

I ran the engine for a bit earlier to see if I could see any obvious leaks, and looking in the coolant bottle while it was running the returned coolant was spraying in pretty strongly, so I suspect the radiator isnt blocked.

Only thing I'm worried about now is that the dealer is about half an hour away - do you reckon it would be safe to drive the car down there ( while keeping an eye on the temp etc... ) or is this likely to cause more engine damage ?

Blxxdy women - dont know why they cant buy proper cars like us blokes ;0)
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Old 11 November 2005, 16:47   #11
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If you do go to the dealer, as you said, keep an eye on the temp, have the cabin heater on full (just open the windows to keep cool!) and switch off the engine as soon as get stuck in traffic. You should get in one piece! Oh, and take lots of water with you, just in case.
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Old 11 November 2005, 16:50   #12
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Thanks, thats sort of what I was planning - she can take it down anyway and I'll follow her in my car to bring her back ( with spare water and battery booster etc... ) - will be just like one of the backup vehicles on rallys !
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Old 11 November 2005, 19:31   #13
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Some good news ! She phoned the garage earlier and is taking it in tomorrow - she told them over the phone what we thought it was and they said both the head gasket and radiator are covered under her warranty, so it wont cost anything to fix - and more importantly I can get my car back quicker.

Thanks all who posted with advice
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Old 11 November 2005, 19:31
 
 
 
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antifreeze, car, coolant, engine, orange, overheats, radiator, rust, rusty, subaru, turn, turned, turning, turns, water


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