Sportrak mystery water loss


Hi. I know there are several posts on overheating although it has only happened once to me.
I recently bought a 1995 sporty elxi and when driving home noticed the temp gauge rocket up. I pulled over and noticed the coolant system was empty. The AA were called in case of any underlying probs. He pressure tested the system and found no problems or leaks. Suggested head gasket blown. I have occasionally had to top up with water but nothing major. After the car has been running for a while i can hear a bubbling/hissing noise coming from around the head once the engine is turned off. Have been to two garages and had two different answers.
a. water pump was needing replaced.
b. there is nothing wrong with it!!!
Any ideas?

Losing coolant

Hi Galbo.

I have a 1997 Sporty XiSE. I was having to top up the coolant ever 800kms or so. Reading earlier postings I tried replacing the rubber seal on the radiator cap. It significantly reduced the coolant loss.

Having said that, I didn´t have your bubbling noises. Hopefully nothing ominous.


1.Sporty radiator caps eventually leak. The rubber seal inside the cap perishes. Try cutting a new seal to fit inside the radiator cap or buy a new radiator cap. A loose cap looses water [rapid steam loss and you dont notice coolant evapourating]and the cooland loss stops the water circulating. You get an air lock and the coolant boils.

2.Get each cylinder compression tested. That will determine if there is a cylinder head problem. Pressure testing the coolant via the radiator wont show any cylinder head leak!

3.If the water is boiling in the cylinder, air has entered the system or water has boiled/steamed within the cylnder head. The cause can be a thermostat jammed in the closed postion so there is very limited coolant circulation. When the engine is at running temperature, is the bottom of the radiator 'cold' whilst the radiator top is 'very hot'? ---- if 'yes'change the thermostat.

4. Look for leaks ..... check all hoses. Check if the carpet inside the car is dry adjacent the heater. If wet the heater is leaking.

5. Take a look at the exhaust vapour .. is it white when the car it running hot - suspect a head gasket has blown/ cracked cylinder head.

6.Take a look at the oil dipstick .... is it gunged ...suspect a head gasket cracked leaking water into the oil.

Sportrack mystery water loss

Thanks for the quick response. The car had a new radiator fitted prior to purchase and would expect a new radiator cap but will check it out. I have a couple of days off coming up and will work my way through the points provided.
Thanks again, it really is appreciated. Smile