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Thread: Engine 'coolant' frozen solid - advice?

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    Default Engine 'coolant' frozen solid - advice?

    Went out to the car earlier, bit of a screech on starting but it turned over and ran normally for 10-15 seconds or so until I noticed the smoke from under the bonnet. Switched it off, couldn't see anything obvious or where the smoke was coming from, then felt around the rad pipes and they're pretty much frozen solid. Had some cooling issues a couple of months ago, now fixed, but the garage obviously just filled it with water. Totally blame myself for not checking the antifreeze.

    Guessing the smoke was poss from slipping belt? Anyway, now it's just sitting exposed in the car park outside the flat getting even more frozen. Could be days before it thaws out in this weather. Is leaving it sitting outside going to cause even more problems, or will the damage already have been done? Heard some horror stories about cracked blocks etc

    Parents have a garage I could stick it in and get a heater under it, but it's getting the car there. Rang AA who want £167 to join with homestart, since I'm already broken down. Tad expensive but I'm willing to pay if getting it to a warm place will stop it from dying!

    Sorry about long post - any advice appreciated.
    Corrado G60

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    damage is prob already done
    91 G60 ed1 , 89 16v gti , 88 breadvan

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobC
    Had some cooling issues a couple of months ago, now fixed, but the garage obviously just filled it with water.
    They're not much good, are they? I was under the impression that you put antifreeze/summer coolant in at any time of year(?)

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    Can your folks tow you round to theirs, or are they in the AA ("you're the member, not the car")
    Megasquirt for the win!! Long Johns for the Win-(ter Mechanic!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BristolFish
    I was under the impression that you put antifreeze/summer coolant in at
    any time of year(?)
    you need it all the time. it stops/helps prevent corrosion within the block

    it increases the boiling point of the water and stops it freezing int his weather

    when its thawed you could have issues like core plugs being popped out by the ice, could have a cracked block because of the ice and a dead water pump... just have to see, all depends onthe extent of the freeze

    30% antifreeze is fine in our climate
    Got an M3 instead

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    Banned after significant club disruption Dec 5th 2014 Chris Eyre's Avatar
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    Empty whatever's left in it, out, asap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_H
    Can your folks tow you round to theirs, or are they in the AA ("you're the member, not the car")
    Sadly they're away until next Tuesday. No one I know has that AA 'member not the car' membership and can't find one single mate who is willing to give me a tow - useless b*stards!

    I guess I'll just have to wait until it thaws and hope for the best. Really disappointed with the garage but equally p*ssed off at myself for not checking. Just as I've got it running and driving right. this happens
    Corrado G60

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    Any kind members in the Preston area available?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Eyre
    Empty whatever's left in it, out, asap.
    I can see why that'd be a good idea but I suspect it's too late to do this, top and bottom hoses whilst not totally solid were almost there (could just about "crush" the ice inside by squeezing the hose pretty hard). Only way I know of draining the system is to take the bottom hose off - presuming that's not going to help here?

    Would bunging some antifreeze in the expansion tank help at all or is that a waste of time?

    Cheers for replies.
    Corrado G60

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    waste of time
    91 G60 ed1 , 89 16v gti , 88 breadvan

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    Banned after significant club disruption Dec 5th 2014 Chris Eyre's Avatar
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    It's worth every effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobC
    Only way I know of draining the system is to take the bottom hose off
    Just get whatever you can out. Rad empty, whatever.

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    Wouldn't a bowlful of hot water (replenished as required) slid under the sump help thaw it out enough to drain?
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    Banned after significant club disruption Dec 5th 2014 Chris Eyre's Avatar
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    Kettle down the outside of the radiator - anything

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    id suggest letting it thaw carefully ...boiling water may well cause more cracks and damage especialy on stuff like the rad
    91 G60 ed1 , 89 16v gti , 88 breadvan

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    if it's damaged the engine, get it round to the garage. they broke it, they should fix it. if there's no antifreeze on your invoice it proves they didn't do the job right. if they'd put it in, they would have billed you for it no doubt. slack buggers.

    but yes maybe you should drain it out, can you set up a heater to blow on it overnight?
    Last edited by alexisblades99; 19th December 2009 at 21:24.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexisblades99
    if there's no antifreeze on your invoice it proves they didn't do the job right
    Whilst I agree, you know what garages are like, they`ll squirm out if they can

    I`d drain out whatever is in asap, run COLD water over the radiator and engine, then slowly start putting warm water over. Even cold water is warmer than the ice thats there now. You want to defrost slowly, but I`d want to get out whats in there asap, it may only be half frozen now, another day and it could be fully frozen.

    Worth some time now, it may save some severe damage.

    What about taking off the fan belt and starting the engine for a few minutes. Then let it stand so the heat soak melts the water ? That way, you won`t be trying to turn a seized water pump

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    I think you need to thaw it out slowly but soon!

    If you have ice in there and it gets colder its going to expand and possibly do some if not more damage to the block.

    Got any hot water bottles?

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    Can't run a heater to it unfortunately, parked in the car park outside the flat. Just been to have a look, can't get the bottom hose off in the position its parked. Will have to wait until tomorrow morning. Poked my finger into the expansion tank and there's ice floating round in it but not frozen solid. Chucked some anti freeze in just in case - yeah I know, too little too late..

    Can't be bothered doing any more tonight, off to get drunk and forget about it. Cheers for suggestions.
    Corrado G60

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    Banned after significant club disruption Dec 5th 2014 Chris Eyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigeP
    Whilst I agree, you know what garages are like, they`ll squirm out if they can

    Worth some time now, it may save some severe damage.

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    Last year the same happened to my escort mk5 1.9td van. I removed the belt for the water pump/power steering pump and drove to the nearest car wash , about a 4 minute drive , and washed the front of the block/rad for about 15 minutes with the hot rinse untill i was able to turn the water pump pully by hand. I then refitted the belt and started the engine and within a few seconds the rad got hot then the bottom hose. I added antifreeze to the expansion tank on the way home.
    ABF block, p&p KR head, 276/276 catcams, megajolt, dcoe 45,

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    interestingly there's a bucket of coolant that came out of one of the rally cars which has turned slushy. it looked blue and smelled of antifreeze, but clearly that wasn't enough to stop it freezing up (admittedly it has been quite chilly lately).

    it goes off after a couple of years too i think?

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    blue stuff is meant to last 2 years. i found that the blue stuff in my mk3 started to go brown (rusty) just before 2 years!

    i stick with the pink g12 stuff, easy to get hold of etc
    Got an M3 instead

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    This happened to me today, literally word for word, although mine ran for a good minute seemingly ok before i stopped it after popping the bonnet and noticed the aux belt in pieces. Was a bit of steam, looked like condensation evaporating while i scraped the windows.

    My own fault entirely, no-one to blame, so lesson learned Pushed my luck one night too far for various complex reasons. Going to thaw it out tomorrow and see what the damage is.

    When this baby hits 88 degrees, you're gonna see some serious sh*t...

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    Run the engine without the belt and the engine heat will melt the ice, when melted drain, refill with antifreeze, put the belt back on and check for leaks/damage and pray

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    Just got to hope the battery holds out, been a bit weak recently and no belt means not alternator either. But its still the best way to defrost it.

    When this baby hits 88 degrees, you're gonna see some serious sh*t...

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