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[Astra Mk5/H] [04-09] coolant leak- radiator or water pump?

Discussion in 'Astra, Corsa, Zafira, Meriva, Adam, Agila, Tigra & Nova [Includes AstraVan & ComboVan] owners forum' started by kevdivvy, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. kevdivvy

    kevdivvy Member

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    Location:
    torquay england
    has anybody any experience of intermittent water pump leaks of coolant? My 2004 astra H 1.6 16v occasionally loses about 1/2 ltr of coolant. This will occur maybe once per week. The area around plastic radiator casing on the offside was wet and stained with antifreeze, so i assumed leaking radiator, however it is also sprayed in a circular arc onto the engine mount and underside of the bonnet. The water pump is also directly in line with this side of the radiator. question is, does the water pump intermittently leak and spray onto the radiator, or is the radiator occasional leaking and blowing back onto the water pump belt and spraying around?? You can notice coolant loss, top it up and then fo a 300 mile trip with no loss. The after about a week of short 8 mile trips to work and back with still no loss, one day the coolant will drop again with staining in the underbonnet and radiator area. Does the water pump sometimes intermittently leak like this? thanks
     
  2. V6_Veccy98

    V6_Veccy98 VxON Club Member VxON Club Member

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    Location:
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    Hi
    Have you tried running the engine with the bonnet up? Let it get nice and hot, ie until the fan cuts in several times, you may see where its leaking from.
     
  3. kevdivvy

    kevdivvy Member

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    re astra 5 coolant pump?

    Yes tried that. Today I put a small piece of hardboard between the pump and the radiator. after a trip of about 5 miles coolant was spaying around underbonnet onto bonnet , my cardboard, and around engine bay in circular arc from auxiliary belt. cardboard proved not radiator as radiator then dry. then i jacked car up and tried to see actual leak from pump by removing under wing panel. Coolant everywhere but cant actually see where leaking from. Annoyingly i then left it running having cleaned the area up, let the fan cut in twwice and then no leak. Shining torch etc on pump from below and above all dry! I/m pretty sure water pump at fault as no where else around there with coolant in it but i would just like to see it coming out of the pump!
     
  4. paul.spencer

    paul.spencer Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Waiwhetu, New Zealand
    Drives:
    96 Astra Estate X17DTL
    Hi there,

    I noticed your post yesterday but figured I didn't have anything useful to say. I see that by using a sheet of hardboard or cardboard you have norrowed it down somewhat - well done. I can imagine that t is frustrating trying to pinpoint the leakage, to actually see it. Can you actually see the weap hole on your pump? If you can't see it from below you might have to use one of those flexi-mirror inspection tool or something. Maybe you have to really rev the engine (not just idle) to see the leak happening..?

    It probably is intermittent leakage from the water pump and at least it is easier to change your pump than it would be on an engine that uses the cambelt to drive the water pump. But I was going to say that on a crappy diagram I can see a coolant hose going to the water pump mounting. I guess it is possible that leakage at some times occurs there, but more likely the pump I reckon.

    I have had water pumps suddenly completely fail and gush out all the coolant (no fun at all) so maybe better to install a new pump straight away. And could flush the cooling system while you're at it...

    Cheers, Paul
     
  5. kevdivvy

    kevdivvy Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for your advice paul. yesy i was under it , over it with an inspection lamp and a mirror today and still cannot see the leak. it is however getting worse so the only thing i can think is it comes out the front shaft of the pump while running and sprays everywhere but doesnt drip when still. still cant actually pinpoint the leak though but have checked all the hoses around the area. i think next thing is just to change the pump. Do you know if its possible to just slacken off the auxiliary belt adjuster rather than remove the belt etc? If i change the pump i will let you know the outcome!
     
  6. paul.spencer

    paul.spencer Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Waiwhetu, New Zealand
    Drives:
    96 Astra Estate X17DTL
    Yeah I guess you may never really see the point of leakage and you may drive yourself silly trying, so I agree probably just bite the bullet and change the pump, flush the system renew the coolant.

    Good question whether you could get away with just slackening aux belt tensioner, but water pump remov/install instructions I'm looking at say to remove belt. Looks like once you've slackened it off you may as well remove it anyway while you fuss with the water pump.

    Do you have a Haynes manual with info for your engine? (assuming there is a Haynes manual for your car) I imagine it should give you a decent guide, plus the torque settings and so on...
     
  7. kevdivvy

    kevdivvy Member

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    Location:
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    Hi paul. thought i would update you with the outcome. l went to the local motor factors and bought a new Quinton hazell pump ( £56) and an auxiliary belt (£12) and a set of female torx sockets (£9.99) then Saturday settled down and changed them. easy job took me about 2 hours and glad i did as now it has given me the impetus to change the cam belt in the spring. All went according to plan and yes, the leak has gone. Strangely still cannot see anything wrong with the old pump except the little rubber gasket between it and the block was very flat, wonder if it was the cause. Anyway changing the pump is not a bad job if anyone else is tempted to try it and it fulfilled my ambition that this car would be one i could maintain myself. best thing is the local dealer quoted £140 + vat so i am well in! Thanks for your reply and advice. Kevin
     
  8. paul.spencer

    paul.spencer Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Waiwhetu, New Zealand
    Drives:
    96 Astra Estate X17DTL
    Hey that's great, glad it seems to have worked out well. Thanks for the update. Sounds like you fixed the problem, saved a few quid and learned more about your engine too. And the torx sockets will probably come in handy for other jobs...

    Cheers, Paul
     

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