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Thread: Alto VXR weird heating problem

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    Default Alto VXR weird heating problem

    Assalam alaikum all

    My Alto VXR is behaving quite weird. When I start running, it runs fine up to some irregular distance (it may run fine up to 20 km and start heating or up to 100 km and start heating) during which temperature gauge remains in middle position. Then the gauge starts climbing above mid position and comes back again to the mid point. Then after some more drive it starts climbing and comes back again. The point which its returns from to come back to mid is irregular. Sometimes it comes back from just above mid and sometimes from near the upper limit mark of normal drive temperature. Sometimes does not come back and continues climbing and starts throwing water out of overflow tank. The water quantity in radiator is not reduced unless thrown out of overflow tank.

    I went to some mechanics and got following things checked.


    1. Radiator Got it cleaned from a radiator workshop. The guy told me that radiator was not that much chocked and warned me the problem may still be unresolved.
    2. Radiator Cap Replaced with a genuine one from Suzuki dealer.
    3. Thermostat Valve Has been uninstalled even before i owned this car
    4. Leakage Did not perform a pressure check because leakage is out of question as water content does not reduce.
    5. Radiator Fan Works absolutely fine. Checked with a direct fan mode too.

    Now the only thing that comes to my mind is head gasket (and in the mechanics' mind too). BUTTTT if it is gasket problem then the problem should be persistent and not irregular. If temperature goes up then it should not come down. When the radiator pipe becomes hard after heated up then it should not become soft when temperature comes down back. And when i start the car with radiator cap unplugged, the water is not thrown out (a symptom of blown head gasket or deformed head) and it just circulates smoothly.

    So I am quite confused whether i should go for a head repair work or not. What are your suggestions?

    Can it be a water body problem?
    or should i go for a head repair/gasket replacement?


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    if your engine had no thermostat in it, I can very well assume that its being cooled by water only and the coolant also has been lost. In this case check metal coolant intake pipe going to the water pump it can partially block itself with corrossion and not allow cooled water/coolant from the radiator to enter the engine as your engine does not have a positive closing bypass on the thermostat.

    Also have the headbolts retorqued, but it may also be that the headgasket is also corroded from the rusty water. Do the simple things first, and install the Tstat back and put the fan on auto, check for leaks by pressurising the system with 15 psi of air, the leak will show itself.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    how we test the cooling system leak using 15psi .. ??

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    you sacrifice a radiator cap by drilling through the strong spring valve on it, and attach a pipe nipple or even a schrader valve and a cheap gauge, pump the system with a bicycle pump or hand pump to desired pressure and check.

    be sure to block the overflow pipe with something also.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    Hi man first step to check
    I doubt that ur engine gauge is malfunctioning.
    What an Idea SIR G.......

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    Xulfiqar, you seem to be a very technical man and thank you for your suggestions. today i managed to go to mechanic and had the head bolts re-torqued. Two of the bolts got about 90 degrees rotation (one at the center of head and one at an end). Two others just gave a "tuck sound" and remaining two remained unchanged. Now lets hope the two bolts fix gives me relief.

    And as far the intake pipe going to water body is concerned, i will get it checked but i want to ask you about the bypass pipe connected to tstat housing. This small pipe just comes out of the housing and connects back to radiator pipe. I assume that when tstat is installed and when engine is cold, this pipe bypasses the radiator and coolant circulates without passing through radiator. If i am rite then what will happen if i block this bypass pipe with a stopper?

    sohna, i wish it was only a gauge fault but in fact gauge is not faulty. When the gauge goes up, i can feel the engine heat by feeling the pressure in radiator pipe. And also when the gauge goes to the upper limit, overflow tanks starts throwing out. This means that engine really gets hotter.

    Thank you all for you precious comments/suggestion, specially xulfiqar.

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    when the Tstat is shut the coolant just - short circuits itself in the engine, it keeps going around the cylinder block and head, the coolant pump is centrifugal meaning that its not positive displacement until it comes to efficiency speed. when the T-stat opens up the hot coolant which was being pushed around has another path (the radiator). If the metal pipe that connects the bottom radiator pipe to the pump is corroded the entire system will function like a blocked radiator as coolant cannot flow due to restriction in that pipe, meaning that the systems pump is only moving a little cold coolant because it cannot push it out of the engine - hence you see elevated temperatures.

    In positive bypass block systems like any mercedes benz, VW engine, the thermostat actually blocks the "short circuit" port when it opens. This means that all coolant is forced into the radiator and back. If the radiator blocks partially in this condition the engine temperature will rise but only slightly.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    OK i get it. i'll get that pipe checked. And one more thing i'll do is either i'll install a new tstat or will block the "short circuit" pipe so that it behaves like an "all time open tstat valve" with a positive bypass block system and see what happens. After tightening the heald bolts i've not seen the heating problem till now. Lets see

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    there is no short circuit pipe - the short circuit path is cast into the cylinder head - when you remove the Tstat valve you will understand the short circuit path.

    The metal pipe is the coolant intake pipe - if you block this you will destroy your engine.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    xulfiqar, are you sure about Alto that bypass is cast inside the cylinder head or engine bulk? i am asking you because what i know is some vehicle types have cast inside and some have external. I inspected the coolant flow circuit of my car and found out three paths of flow, all emerging from tstat housing and entering back to intake pipe going towards water pump. One of these three paths goes through radiator, One goes through interior heater, and the third one goes directly into the intake pipe. This third pipe is the one which i think is the bypass pipe because it does nothing but only bypass the radiator and heater. What do you say? I mean blocking this pipe should not block the radiator path isnt it?

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    your thermostat housing does not have a positive blocking bypass. hence simply blocking that little pipe wont help - its there to prevent cavitation at the water pump impeller.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    really how informative. I never knew about cavitation before but now after you mentioned i read some stuff on internet and got some info. Thank you for that. Can you elaborate a bit how this little pipe prevents cavitation? is it because it provides a bypass so that on high rpm head pressure at water pump doesn't fall below the vapor pressure of water?

    One more thing, after i re-torqued the head bolts i have not seen any heating problem yet. I hope it has been eliminated but I've not put the radiator fan on auto mode yet. I will put it back to auto mode and let you know the outcome.

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    It provides a solid "head" to the pump if for any reason the water intake is dodgy (like partially blocked radiator)
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    xulfiqar, after tightening of head-bolts i did not see heating problem and yesterday night i put the radiator fan back to auto mode. from then on i ran about 90 km during which i passed through steep slopes as well and heating problem did not occur but after 90 km it started heating up with the same previous behavior. The temp gauge climbed slowly upto just below the upper normal drive limit, stayed their for a while, and then came back to mid position in a quick fashion (like when tstat valve opens). Then it did not heat up and i reached home after 10 km and inspected the radiator inlet pipe which was soft enough.

    What should be my next step? should i put the fan to direct mode and carry on till winter ends? or should i do some next step diagnosis?

    The thing that confuses me is that if it is gasket problem then why does temp come back to normal and stays normal for quite some distance?

    Two day back i disconnected the three pipes and checked for any blockage in the water circuit. I poured water from tstat to both directions; back towards water pump, and towards radiator. Both paths showed no resistance.

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    pouring of water cannot show you any result, when the system is closed and the pump is spinning away the movement of coolant is quite high than simply pouring water.

    Run some radiator clean in the system and when you fill the system with fresh coolant purge out all the air from it, its a tedious process but air locks can happen and are quite a PITA.

    I still have my doubts that something is choking flow of coolant, radiator or water inlet pipe or even pump impeller corroded (Ive had a case like that in a margalla, the pump was silent but when I removed it, the finwheel was just a plain disc with no fins. )

    You would need to make a pressure cap adapter and check by pressurizing the system to 15 psi, if its leaky the pressure will drop and the leak will expose itself.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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    can you suggest me some good radiator cleaner that i can circulate through whole coolant circuit? Common radiator cleaners have a warning written on them that "do not start you engine while using this cleaner". I've heard that some parts of the circuit have protective layers that can be damaged by acids. So what would you suggest me as a cleaner of whole circuit and not just the radiator?

    Even after i got the radiator cleaned i can see that water in radiator gets heavily rusty which means that rust is present inside the engine block.

    I there any easy way of finding the exact location of blockages? Or will i have to open the water pump? the inlet pipe towards water pump runs below intake manifold and it seems quite tedious job to open it check for blockages.

    You suggested me for a pressure cap. Well, the water quantity does not reduce at all which means there is no leakage. Should i still preform this pressure check?

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    you can inspect the pipe with a mirror and torch, if you see its internals are flaky and corroding off the pipe is bad.

    For the cleaner - you can buy a proprietary product like liqui moly rad clean or you can make it yourself with 400 gms of tartaric acid dissolved in 4 litres of water, then fully drain the system and remove Tstat and fill with this mixture and keep engine running for about 20 minutes at 1800 rpm at least. Drain and collect (its acidic - so please do not let it seep into the ground) - flush the system with bottom hose pipe removed with a water pipe from a tap inserted into the radiator cap opening and keep on flushing till about 10 minutes, (you can let this water on the ground) - when done, put lower pipe back on and fill with a bottle of pure coolant and top up with pure distilled water or atleast A/C condensate water.
    ZRS - Zulfiqar Racing Systems ..... - professionals at work - at crackwheels.com

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