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I have this issue with my 2011 1.8 petrol Insignia, where it loses coolant within 5 miles of topping up.

I get the low coolant warning every time I drive. The expansion tank doesn’t drain all the way which is strange. Once I top up, it’ll drain about 2/3 of the way and will stay there for 1000+ miles.
Garage inspected it during its last MOT service, but couldn’t see anything obvious

I have noticed corrosion below the radiator, ironically the radiator bracket snapped today! So need to get a new one of those ASAP. I’ve tried the following:
- New expansion tank
- new expansion tank cap
- New thermostat & housing... twice!

the only thing that did work was putting that ‘stop leak’ crap in the coolant, but I hate using that stuff. Any ideas anyone please?
 

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Get a UV light and get under the car and look for leaks. If your coolant isn't visible by itself under UV light (does not contain DIY), you have to add DIY. Also, get the engine hot. Some leaks only show when the engine or coolant is warmed up and the crack gets big enough. Maybe the leak is also near the engine, so the coolant instantly dries up when it starts to leak.

If it was the headgasket, the car would be really smoking under such coolant loss, so you can probably cut that out.

Don't put that "stop leak" crap in. :)

Good luck.
 

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Do the job properly and get it pressure tested. See if it holds pressure for a good while.

If it was the headgasket, the car would be really smoking under such coolant loss, so you can probably cut that out.
That is not correct. The Catalyst would take care of any smoke, indeed this could be a Head Gasket.

Stop the guesswork, this is not a Forum Cure. Get it tested properly before you cook it and ruin it.
 

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If it looses 2/3 of the coolant in the expasion tank within 5 miles? No way the cat would eliminate the smoke...

But Motor Surgeon is right anyways. If you don't find any visual leaks, get the system pressure tested. Also, is there sign of any sludge on the engine oil cap or on the dipstick when you pull it out? That would be a sign of a headgasket failure too.
 
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