Leaky Head??


Hi there.
First....I know nothing about engines.
Indeed in my youth I burnt out 3 engines before I realised you had to oil in occassionally.

Senario... 1990 Sportrak EL
She's got 93,000 miles on her.
Water temp gauge raises about what was normal, but not fully over to H.
Expansion tank fills to overflowing, Rad empties out. (over 50 - 60 miles).
Radiator cap looks old.
Apart from that she's fine.

This is wife's pet what do I tell her??

Your help and advice much appreciated

If water is emptying from the

If water is emptying from the rad its either a leak or the cylinder head gasket problem.Assuming there are no puddles beneath the motor each morning then its loosing water under pressure.
So ...
Does the exhaust blow white smoke/steam when the engine is hot? If 'yes' the head gasket is faulty or head is cracked.
Remove the rad cap whilst engine is hot [take care you could get scalded - cover the cap with a cloth and remove cap slowly]. Rev the engine. Does the water in the rad show bubbles or signs of oil? If 'yes' the head gasket is faulty.
Does the radiator show signs of water leaking from the rad cap? [unlikely if the rad is emptying every 50 miles - too much loss. Expect a head gasket or system leak.].Buy a new cap or fit a new seal [make one from inner tube] into the cap.

Finally - possibility that the coolant system is blocked and under pressure the coolant is being blown out the radiator cap. The steam would be quite obvious because the rad is emptying after 50 miles.

To expand on Mace's post, if

To expand on Mace's post, if the radiator cap doesn't seal it will let the coolant leak out of the radiator into the overflow tank when the engine gets hot, but let air into the radiator when the engine cools down. After a few cycles, the tank will overflow and the radiator will be empty. Get a new cap from a Diahatsu dealer.

It could be a head gasket, thermostat or blocked radiator but I'd start with the easy/cheap possibilities first. Just be careful not to overheat the engine, or you will have to buy another one. They aren't cheap.

Once you get it sorted out, have the system drained and refilled with new coolant to keep it lubricated, prevent corrosion and keep it from freezing in the winter.

Thanks chaps........put new r

Thanks chaps........put new rad cap on last night....no joy.
Looks like the head gasket....

She runs fine, its a bloody shame.

Anyone want to buy a Sportrak with a blown headgasket?????

Wife's just found a Vitara she like the look of....buggar!!!