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Apparent Coolant leak

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My 99 C4 seems to be invisibly leaking coolant. I first noticed about 2 weeks ago when the temp warning light started flashing just after 2 hard accelerations on 2 different days. So, check the manuals and here, phoned the dealer who said it was a coolant level problem so I checked it when it was cold and yep, the coolant was barely in the expansion tank.

So, I ordered coolant and refilled the tank 50/50 on Saturday morning. Seemed fine all day even under hard acceleration. The temp guage is just about at the right side of the 8 while driving and while at lights it drifts to cover the left of the zero.

I checked the coolant level this morning, Sun, and it's down at min again in just one day. I refilled it this morning, drove the car around 20 miles and now Sun eve, it's back at min again and may drop further as it cools tonight.

So, I guess it's dealer time? Anything I should know? I placed newspaper under the engine today but saw no leaks at all.

I noticed a lot of TSBs wrt cooling, anything obvious I should arm my self with before visiting the dealer? I have a non factory warranty on the car now so hopefully, it will cover this.

My biggest question is the dealer says it serviced the car at 15k, I bought at 17k. Is this something they could have spotted at that time or does it just happen?


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There were a number of cooling related problems on early MY99 cars that should have already been taken care of. They include:

- a new tank design for both leaks and random coolant light flashing

- a new coolant tank cap (leaks)

- new hose clamps for some that leaked

If it is any of these problems then a "good" dealer would work with PCNA to try and get you repaired under warranty or at least with a reduced cost.

Worst case most of these things are relatively easy to fix for the DIY'er. Search the DIY section for tank replacement instructions if you need to do this.

Good Luck! :thumbup:

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Whats the 'normal' level of coolant in the tank when the engine is cold? I have to say I don't know. I'm thinking that filling to max when cold is a bad idea, i.e., when it gets hot, it overflows and then when it's cold, it's down at close to min again. If this is the case, then refilling it is a waste of time, it'll just end up on the ground anyway.

I refilled it this morinng in any case and drove it 10 miles to work and the level in the tank was .5cm above max and looked like above the level of the overflow hose attached to the tank. Does this mean it's now overflowing?

I plan on just driving it for the next couple of days and checking the level when cold, maybe, min when cold is 'normal' and if it stays level like that then I don't think I have a problem.

Any advice apprec.

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Whats the 'normal' level of coolant in the tank when the engine is cold?
Right at the Max mark. When I refilled mine (after installing the 3rd radiator) it has stayed there regardless of temperature.

As I said before, some of the early tanks gave erroneous low coolant signals.

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