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2012 Equipe - 3.0 SIDI Losing/Using Coolant

Discussion in 'VE Holden Commodore (2006 - 2013)' started by mikeryantipp, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. mikeryantipp

    mikeryantipp New Member

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    Hi all. As always when I fix one issue another appears...

    When replacing my brake fluid reservoir the other day I checked my coolant level with the coolant dipstick and noticed that the dipstick was dry. I topped up the coolant with about a liter of Red Dexcool and said that I would keep an eye on it.

    Since then I've driven about 15kms. I checked again this morning before work and noticed that the dipstick was dry again. I topped up again with about 500ml of Dexcool so that it would register on the stick (about half way).

    This is quite a loss in two days over 12kms of driving and seems like more than a small leak. I have never had a car with a coolant dipstick before and have always just kept an eye on the expansion tank to check levels. I'd imagine the dipstick is the best way to check the level?!

    • I have no white gunge on the oil cap or dipstick so don't think that coolant is mixing with the oil
    • I have also not noticed excessive smoke and there are also no noticeable coolant drips on the ground
    • The car has also not overheated and the gauge has always sat at about 40%
    • The engine bay looks bone dry

    Has anyone had this before on their 3.0 SIDI and if so where are the common leak points on this engine? All help as always is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

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    Make sure you also remove the pressure cap when the engine is cool to check the coolant level in the engine.
    Could be leaking down the back of the engine through the thermostat housing or the seals above the water pump.
     
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  3. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

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    Yes I replaced the Input pipe that the one where the radiator cap go on. It was leaking from as the "O" was gone. at the same time I replaced the coil packs + Spark plugs as you need to remove the alloy manifold above.
    Funny thing is it took about 3 to 4 time of filling the cap up (about 600Mil each time )in the morning before it had enough.
     
  4. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

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    There's a procedure to bleed air out after you have opened up the cooling system.
    Once the air is blead out there's more room for coolant. It might still pay to slip the little hose off the grille side of radiator when the system is warm enough to have pressure in the hoses ( but not boiling hot OUCH) and check if there's still air in it. If you get a steady spray of coolant your all good.
     
  5. mikeryantipp

    mikeryantipp New Member

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    Just had a good look over the engine and looks like I have a coolant leak at the back left hand side of the engine. I can't see where it's coming from, but can see where it's running along. It looks like more of a weep than a leak. I have put an arrow beside this in the picture. I know that the thermostat is at the back of the engine so that's a possible contender but I haven't had time to jack the car up and look from underneath. 20200105_150829.jpg
     
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  6. Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu Well-Known Member

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    That is the thermostat housing leaking. Had the identical thing going on.
    This is not a fun job. The thermostat is at the back of the motor.
    Holden repair procedure says to remove gearbox, this is what my mechanic did as well.

    You can't get down the back of it and be able to see.
    Last year, when I did some major repairs, I had the entire wiper cover off. Remove the upper intake manifold and this makes a lot of room compared to what there was. You would still have a c of a time getting in there to do it, but it's doable.

    You would loose a bit of bark off your hand for sure in the process.

    I just posted a how to for cooling system repairs (some) and show how to bleed it after.

    I would also suggest replacing coolant sensor, heater hoses, inlet housing seals and radiator cap at the same time. Why? Because once you are dong the thermostat, you may as well take the extra couple of hours to do other parts you'd expect to fail soon as well.
     
  7. mikeryantipp

    mikeryantipp New Member

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    Yes, I was thinking that might be the issue. I haven't had time to investigate further but have had to top up the coolant this week already so need to get it sorted.

    I don't think I'll have time/patience to do this job so will get the mechanic to do it.

    How much roughly did this cost you as it'd be great to know a ballpark figure?
     
  8. Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu Well-Known Member

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    About $400 for labour to remove the gear box. $100 for the part. You'd be charge about $550 for the job.
    $550 for a fricken thermostat
     
  9. mikeryantipp

    mikeryantipp New Member

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    Thanks for that. Yes, for a thermostat that's expensive but not the end of the world. Will confirm that that's the issue this weekend and drop it into the mechanic next week.
     
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  10. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

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    Been told by Holden and this is off record that when ever Holden stopped producing cars in Australia Spare Part for Holden will just dramatically jump up in prices. This is Mainly Genuine Holden parts that after markets cant or not willing to reproduce to keep Holden honest. This is Absolutely Disgraceful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  11. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

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  12. Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know if mine were replaced by the mechanic who did ours.

    Those pipes are named outlet housing (or similar) in the manual. Which is separate to the thermostat & housing.
     
  13. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

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    If I'm correct you can see those two pipes next to the Brake power Booster on the VE V6
     
  14. mikeryantipp

    mikeryantipp New Member

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    I drove Saabs for the best part of the last 5 years back in Ireland. Saab stopped production in 2011. The majority of parts are still easily had at fair prices. As with Holden, a lot of Saabs parts were generic GM parts used in Opel, Vauxhall etc

    I personally wouldnt be too worried about parts if Holden closes shop in Oz as I'm sure someone else will step in.
     
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  15. Trevor loves holden.

    Trevor loves holden. Well-Known Member

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  16. Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu Well-Known Member

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    Correct.
    We went through a long period of years where I had to rely on mechanics due to family medical issues. Frustrating stuff. Even so, this was one job that is just better to get someone to do, because dropping the gearbox is a straight forward job for a workshop.

    The outlet pipes are a seperate part.

    The kits normally come with the seals for the outlet pipes.

    True, SAAB and Cadillac parts are good alternatives. Sometimes good to source parts from the US on Amazon from those cars. Cheaper and almost as quick to get as Aussie supplied parts. (It is in Perth)

    Cam sensors, CAS, Cam Actuators MAFs, etc, all a fraction of local Aussie prices even with conversion rates.
     
  17. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

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    What two pipes? The whole casting is one piece so there is no two pipes, it just looks like that.
     
  18. Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu Well-Known Member

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    3DCD69A0-05BF-4505-B05B-EA614D40708A.jpeg Na. I mean the heater pipes that are connected to it. They lead round and are connected to the hoses. Sometimes, like the inlet seals, the seals for this leak.
    Still have to remove the housing to make the repair.
     
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  19. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

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    That sounds a bit like The Man Mundine threatening Mahamed Ali.
     
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  20. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

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    After reading the ways to change the Thermostat I was surprised in this bit.
    Read: https://www.gdlauto.com.au/how-to-change-the-thermostat-in-a-holden-commodore-alloytech-v6/

    And it says:
    Whilst doing this job we also strongly recommend you carry out a cooling system flush and changing the coolant from the factory red to green coolant. Make sure a full flush is done including the heater core. We have found the red coolants are more prone to leaking than the green ones.
    INTERESTING!!!

    It like when you have a Heat Attack they give you Asprin ("eg" green Coolant) but if you still have trouble they give you Warfarin ("eg Red Coolant) intersting to know the red coolant are prone to leak more then the green stuff.
     
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