Sportrak water problems ??


Whilst am determined to find a Sporty (see wanted section) I am a little concerned at the many references I find to "head gasket replaced" or "overheats" etc etc.

Is there a common theme here with Sportraks. I decided to not have a suzuki because they all seem to rot away but am I swapping that problem for a greater one.

Sporty water issues

I had a sporty for about 9 months, before upgrading to a big brother, (now on my second - P plate TDX). They do use a fair bit of water, especially if you hammer up and down motorways in em. As long as you check it regularly, it's honestly not a problem.... Let one run bone dry however...., then you've got a Big Issue on your hands, and I don't mean the "informative and oh so trendy if you read it" mag sold by itinerant illegal immigrants! I allowed mine to run bone dry, and needless to say it overheated and expired on a Tesco car park. The following day when I returned with a mate and a trailer, fully expecting to find the engine irreparably damaged, (Especially as the night before I had panicked and poured 2 litres of cold water into a boiling radiator), it turned over straight away. The only problem was I got wet feet, as the system had cracked at its weakest point under the pressure of the pure steam running round it - the heater matrix had gone. Trust me, you do not want to have to change one - it's a bleedin nightmare. So, to sum up, keep it topped up with H2O, and you won't have a problem.

Good luck

hi, yes sportraks can be pron

hi, yes sportraks can be prone to cylinder head problems, but with care this can be avoided in most cases (but not all!) my advice would be after buying one, flush the radiator and cooling system with a flushing agent and refill with a high concentrate of anti freeze, this will make sure the waterways are clear for starters, as in most cases the head gasket will have gone due to the car over heating. the next thing to do is to check the viscous fan is working, extreme care should be used when doing this. firstly, when the engine is totally cold (ie first thing in the morning), lift the bonnet and with the engine turned OFF, try to turn the fan blades, they should spin fairley freely without the fanbelt moving. next start the car and let it tick over until the temp gauge goes at least over half way, then the safe way is to turn the engine off, and then try to turn the fan again, this time it should be harder to turn (if the engine is hot enough) if this is the case, then the fan is ok. lastly, if the car seems to be running too hot all the time, the next thing to change is the thermostat.
after checking these points and making sure the car never gets too hot this should reduce the chances of the head gasket going, but it is fair to say that there are no guarantees as the heads are known for this problem on these cars.
lastly, this might sound daft, but if the car has done alot of miles or hasnt been looked after well, you might consider replacing the head gasket now, as this will give you more peace of mind that the gasket is sound, plus it is easier to replace the gasket now than when the gasket blows, as the cylinder head can end up warped by the over heating caused when the gasket goes which means having to get the head skimmed. hope this helps, steve

i am always in shit, its just the depth that varies

As stated below, the health o

As stated below, the health of the rad is absolutely key to avoiding any CHG (Cylinder head gasket) problems, and you'll find that most Sportraks may have had at least one replacement by now - and again as pointed out the heater matrix can often go if you neglect regular water changes, which are only about 20 mins work.

Try and look for one with a full service history, and when you find one (they really are an excellent all-rounder - infinitely better than the awful Jimny/SJ's/Vitara's I have hired on holidays) just make sure you drop the water and fill with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/water.

Ours has now racked up 81k with no problems, We tow our caravan (Fleetwood Cavalier, 4 berth, 866kg) quite happily with no overheating ever evident, and although I had the rad changed before I paid for the car, the matix is still sound. It's just a question of paying a little more attention to the cooling system.

Dave with a Sporty

Dave with a Sporty