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Radiator Burst


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Just days after I had the Cruise Not Available-Limp mode issue sorted on my 2002 3.0 V6 Auto X-type with 87,000 miles on the clock, I found that the red warning light was on and the “Engine High Temp” message was on. I managed to drive to my office and call the breakdown assistance of my insurance.

To be honest I have never checked any fluid levels on the car, apart from the Oil. The expansion Tank seemed always full (you could see that it was pink up to a little higher than the middle) So, I didn’t bother to open it and check.

The guy arrived 45 min later, and after he removed the Expansion Tank Pressure Cap we found that it was empty! It was a little bit embarrassing! He put some water and that was all.

Unfortunately, the Tank was stained and seemed to be full when actually wasn’t!. I checked it twice since last month and the level was always ok. Although I had to use a screw driver to remove the Expansion Tank Pressure Cap, as once it finishes its tread it won’t come off! Is that normal?

Last weekend as I was about to get into the blackwall tunnel I noticed that the aircon wasn’t working properly. It seemed like if a lot of condensed air with a funny smell was being blown from it. I checked the outside temperature, it was 16 degrees Celsius, so I thought it was because the auto setting was set at 19 Degrees. I put it in the lowest to see if it would “find it easier” but the situation didn’t change. My first reaction was that the Aircon would need to be refilled.

Couple of minutes later as I was inside the tunnel, with heavy traffic doing around 20MPH I noticed that the red warning light was on and the “Engine High Temp” message was on again! I just hopped that I’d be able to cross the tunnel where I could let the engine cool down and put some water in the Tank. Honestly, they were the longest 5 minutes of my life really, as I was 100metres from the end of the tunnel something that looked like smoke started to get out of the bonnet, and 60 seconds later he heard a big pufffffffff… followed by a lot of steam and hot water pouring from the very front of the card. I killed the engine immediately and thought it was a burst hose. I had to be towed to the garage 

To my discontent today at the garage I discovered that actually it wasn’t a hose that burst, it was actually the radiator! A crack where you can see the interior of it is wide open all the way along the side (passenger side) towards the bottom of the radiator.

Has anyone have the same issue before? I would have expected the hoses to burst first! The only thing that I can say is that it is going to be very costly.

What could be the cause? I’m thinking to replace the pump and thermostat as well just in case, but I’m a little bit worried that something else could be the cause and that it could happen again?

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