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XM_on_ a_ shoestring
rolleyes.gif Hi forum members,
Those of you who read about my heater problems in December 2005 may want to know the rest of the saga.
I ordered a new expansion tank then decided to unblock the heater matrix by reverse flushing it with a hosepipe.
Anyone who's worked on a 2.5TD will know the lack of space available between the bulkhead and engine. Anyway I disconnected the heater pipes. Then, I connected back up the top (return) pipe. In the engine bay, I connected the the hose to the heater return pipe. As the water flushed out the heater matrix I just let it fill up in the footwell then mopped it out. The better half was in control of the hosepipe and I just had to shout to her when the footwell was about to overflow into the rear footwell! I'm sure there is an easier way, but I wanted to check the contents of the flushed water to see what was coming out with it. Sure enough fragments of the disintegrated remains from my old expansion tank were visible in the water. I kept flushing it till all that came out was clear water. That was it sorted! So I thought.
The following day we went to NEC. A good run out for it. On returning we got held up in a traffic jam and the temperature started climbing and climbing. It was at 95 to 100 in the traffic.
Something was still amiss. Now I hadn't done my main radiator as it was newly fitted by a dealer for the previous owner (10/2004 stamped on it), so I didn't think it would need flushing.
But as these fragments had found their way into the heater matrix, they would surely be in the rad as well.
Anyway, I started to trace the pipes to see where they all went. The one coming out of the intercooler was hard to trace. I followed it and it went in front of the main rad. I rang up my local XM service centre. "Oh yes there's a smaller rad in front of the big rad".
That's it I thought, that must be blocked. I removed the top bottom hoses off main rad, took the headlamps and front off. There it was, this little thing all clogged with debris - dead leaves, straw, cellophane from a cigarette packet etc. Now we're getting somewhere. With the front off, I started ringing round for a new small rad. It was £80 approx fron GFS. If I want one ring before 5.oo they said and it'll be in in the morning.
Before rushing out to spend my dosh, I decided I'll try to flush the small rad in situ, hose attached with some domestic 15mm bore copper pipe attached between the two. Under mains pressure I tried to flush the rad out both ways but to no avail - all that was coming out was a small trickle with bits of muck in it. I decided to leave the hose tap on and had lunch. By the time I come out it should have unblocked it. It was worse than that. When I went out after lunch a fine spray was coming from the front of the car. The mains pressure had caused/found a pinhole in the rad.
That's it I rang up again and ordered it.
So, I disconnected the pipe to the intercooler and noticed a green loking water trickling out of the pipe and intercooler which was strange because after I'd done my heater matrix, the coolant was just refilled with plain water(I'd got through alot of antifreeze since December). The small rad obviously fed the intercooler but mine wasn't doing the job.
I carefully lifted the two rads out together with small pipes still attached to small rad. Then carefully laid them on the ground. The little rads overall condition looked okay. With the rad on the floor I noticed the longer pipe that was attached to the intercooler was severely kinked. I promptly unkinked it and attached the hosepipe to it. After a small amount of dirt came out it flowed clear almost immediatley!
That was it! That was the crux of the problem!!
It appers to me that the garage that fitted the previous owners new rad, kinked the pipe on the air conditioning pipes instead of routing it properly and trapped it.
The receipt for the rad suggests they are XM specialists!!!
Anyway, I did buy a new small rad (we're going to France in August I don't fancy any coolant problems on holiday), but the old one could be repaired. Has anyone done pinhole repairs on rads. If so sould you post on details. Could you solder it?
I hope this helps anyone out there with similar problems.
Oh and the heater seems OK at the moment - lovely and warm again!!!
So I'll finish by saying - CHECK YOUR PIPES!!!
Hi shoestring,

Glad to hear you got your overheating problem fixed, for the moment at least.

The original (and replacement) Valeo radiators are aluminium which is prone to pinhole leaks. The last time I replaced mine I hung out for a copper core which they say lasts much longer. Well its still OK at the moment so we'll wait and see.

The aluminium radiators can't be soldered. Some kind of radiator sealant is probably your only solution apart from replacing the rad. However, there are conflicting views here and on other forums on the use of radiator sealants. I think the jury is still out on the issue.


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