Just Commodores Forum Community

It takes just a moment to join our fantastic community

Register

VE Commodore Sportswagon coolant disappearing

Discussion in 'VE Holden Commodore (2006 - 2013)' started by Tony Sweet, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Tony Sweet

    Tony Sweet New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Members Ride:
    2008 VE Sportswagon
    I have a 2008 Sportswagon. Overheated a few months back driving from Toowoomba back to Brisbane a few months back. Stopped and added water after it cooled down and took it to radiator bloke who fixed it, replaced the water pump. A few weeks later started to use a lot of coolant again. Took it back and did pressure test no external leakage. My concern it is internal with damage caused to gasket and at worse head. Oil is clear, and clean no oil present in coolant, not bubbling, no visible smoke and the engine sounds ok. Any advice please as to what to do next?
     
  2. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

    Messages:
    5,087
    Likes Received:
    774
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    Members Ride:
    VE Berlina
    Some leaks can be very hard to see. Hopefully it's the radiator but you might have to pull it out to find it. Removing the lower plastic cover might help you see it. Also check for pink stains around the front of the transmission.
     
    Tony Sweet likes this.
  3. UTE042_NZ

    UTE042_NZ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2017
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Members Ride:
    MY17 Magnum Ute
    Not losing any oil though? Your concern about overheating causing head gasket damage could be correct and there are different degrees of damage. Yours may have just enough to allow a small amount coolant to be sucked into one or more cylinders on the intake stroke, but not so bad that the coolant is blown into oil galleries during compression, or oil sucked into bores. (YET).

    You say it took a couple of weeks after "the radiator bloke fixed it" (whatever his "fix" was and whatever he applied it to). Did he pour some "Product" in the radiator or did he re-torque the head bolts? That two weeks may be how long it took for portions of the head gasket between the cylinder bores and the water jacket galleries to be eaten way (due to decreased torque on the head bolts from expansion and contraction during and after the overheating). If so, the process is probably continuing.

    I some cases you may see water dripping from exhaust tips when engine is warm and idling (and idling may be getting rougher). You can also check for air bubbles in the radiator at high revs. Pulling and examining all the spark plugs can also give you a clue (the affected cylinder(s) have lighter, cleaner, brownish plug ends that eventually get a build up of minerals from the water).
     
    Tony Sweet likes this.
  4. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6 STORM Series 1, VE Anniversity V6 Series 1
    How lot is a lot coolant being used.how much per 100 k is the car using?
     
  5. Tony Sweet

    Tony Sweet New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Members Ride:
    2008 VE Sportswagon
    No idea mate. Uses more on longer trips when engine is warmer longer
     
  6. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6 STORM Series 1, VE Anniversity V6 Series 1
    I dont think these Alloytech (your Engine) suffer with issues like the Echotech with LIM (Lower intake Manifold Gasket leakages) but if this is the case you should see water in the oil, they call it COFFEE. Some get confused when you start the car up and 5 minutes later you see water coming out the muffler or rear pipes and they think they have a blown head gasket but most of the time this will happen depending on the days temperature but I you car has the Correct Coolant and you run you car the correct dosage 50/50 or 60 coolant/40water as you can smell and taste it a mile away (Dont drink it) and see the water coming out of the muffler and catch it with a cup and it smells or even taste like coolant you could have a issue.
    I heard of one issue with these engine and in this case one head was cracked in the exhaust to the water jacket so when you turned the engine off the water pressure wold force itself out of the crack to the exhaust and when starting the engine 5 minutes later you would see water coming out of either a dual or a single pipe. If you have a crack and water go's into the cylinder well thats different as you can destroy the Engine because you cannot compress a liquid.
    Older cars like the Ecotech on the Vr VS VT Vy all you have to do is take all the Spark Plugs out and see what hole sprays out with water but to do this on a Alloytech its a big job.

    You have to be unlucky for this as I know at least 2 persons that have overheated a Alloytech and there car shut off before it was damaged. Dont now if it was a VE or VF, some more experience member here will tell you if you car engine has protection for this.
     
    Tony Sweet likes this.
  7. Tony Sweet

    Tony Sweet New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Members Ride:
    2008 VE Sportswagon
    Hi admin and thanks for thorough response.There is no sign of any water in the oil at all nor oil in the coolant space in fact both are quite clear. Have never seen and fluid including droplets come from exhaust either. We are in Brisbane so does not get real cold here weather wise. I had a pressure test done a few days back and now it is clearly leaking externally from right side of the car. The bloke may have busted something when he was doing pressure test which did not show any fault at the time. Hopefully the radiator is not had it and it is a hose or something. I am also thinking of adding something like Bars or Blue devil gasket fix just in case once the external leak is sourced and fixed. From what I have read it seems to be a gasket problem and not a cracked head or anything like that.... Thoughts please?
     
  8. Skydrol

    Skydrol Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    2,118
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    Members Ride:
    Pontiac G8 GT
    Hard to say but my best guess is a Craked Head. What happen is, cracks are shut when the engine is cold and open when warmed up. Not necessary all mix oil and coolant, all depends where the crack is located. When the head warps or blow the head gasket, some blow by get in the cooling system and the oil. So you might see the coolant boil with bubbles and the oil turns into coffee color.

    Pressure tests might pass since the engine is cold and the crack is shut during the test.

    Few words of caution...

    Cathalytic Converters, when oil and/or coolant get in the exhaust gases, they (Cat) get clogged quicker than a hurry. So a prompt repair is in order. Let it be, you will see EGR Fault, Multiple Random Misfires, O2 Sensor Codes, Power Loss, Transmission Shift Problems... all that, because a clogged Cat Converter.

    By the way... when it was the last time the Coolant was replaced/flushed by the service manual?
     
    Tony Sweet likes this.
  9. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6 STORM Series 1, VE Anniversity V6 Series 1
    Geeee,, this job alone is a nightmare to flush out the old coolant
     
  10. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6 STORM Series 1, VE Anniversity V6 Series 1
    More info needed. Where was it leaking on the righ side of the Car? Did you see it on the Clean Floor leaking? If you see a puddle on the floor on the right hand side you need a fibre optric camera to see where its leaking from. Only last week I purchased this from ALDI with a 1M flexible steel lead, It one of the Best ever WORK ZONE tool that I bought and it come very handy too
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  11. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6 STORM Series 1, VE Anniversity V6 Series 1
    One of the best $70 I have spent from ALDI and its comes very handy. Its a Fibre Optic camera System and comes with any tool needed to to retrieve lost rings down the drain, its water proof, Comes with 1 M lead + you can buy a extension lead for up to 4M

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Tony Sweet likes this.
  12. Skydrol

    Skydrol Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    2,118
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    Members Ride:
    Pontiac G8 GT
    Is quiet easy if maintenance is done. Thr problem with Drxcool, when is old and trap air in the system, it will gum up. Once Dexcool start to decay, is a very slow process. When the engine overheat, is too late. By changing it with fresh new coolant, will remain nice and fluid. Same with ATF and peiple wonder why the transmission is fried.

    Thr Owner Manual has all the maintenance intervals.
     
  13. bureng

    bureng New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2019
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Members Ride:
    2011 HSV R8 Tourer Wagon E3
    I have a 2011 HSV R8 sports wagon developed a leak at the bottom radiator plastic fitting after changing the radiator hoses. This elbow has a o ring that goes flat after a period and once disturbed from putting in the new hose developed a leak . The elbow is held in by a c clip easy to replace once the radiator is out.

    Note: The radiator fins were totally blocked by road grime at least 15 cm up from the bottom , so some degreaser and a good hose out was necessary. Also time to flush the condenser fins out as well while the radiator is out. I was surprised by the total blockage and think this really needs to be a service item, as it would cause engine over heating down the track. I also have concerns about the dash coolant temp gauge it was showing the vehicle to be running at normal temp when I noticed the coolant leak , upon draining the system I noted quite a lot of fluid had leaked already. Can't say how much but enough to raise concerns that the temp gauge will only warn you when things are really in big trouble.

    1.To remove the radiator first remove the air intake piping to gain access to the fans .
    2.Remove the top and bottom radiator hoses if you can't get the hose clamp at the bottom leave it and just remove the bottom hose at the engine you can get at it when the radiator is out. Just the hose can get tangled up a bit when lifting it all out. Push the bottom hose down to let as much rad fluid out to minimise the weight.
    3. Unclip and remove the over flow and bleed hoses at the radiator cap inlet.
    4. Unclip the fan harness on the top drivers side of the assy., then unclip the two top plastic clips holding the fan assy in. Lift out the fan assy it sits in two plastic mounts at the bottom. Comes out easy with a bit of maneuvering.
    5. Undo the top radiator mounts and the top air con condenser bolts.
    6. The bottom rad elbow doesn't have much room as it hits the c frame. Now the a/c condenser bottom mounts are part of the radiator. So to get the radiator out you have to lift the condenser up and out to the front of the car , its bottom mounts to allow the radiator to come away.
    7. Lift and maneuver the radiator out past the c frame & watch you don't damage the condenser cores as its bottom mounts on the radiator tend to scrape against it as you lift the radiator out.
     
    Bigpoppadolph and Tony Sweet like this.
  14. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6 STORM Series 1, VE Anniversity V6 Series 1
    Another issue I was told last night is on the V6 version of VE. Right!!! You know where you radiator cap is (not really a radiator cap but) Now follow that alloy pipe upwards to the engine and under the Manifold (you take that section off to Change Spark Pugs) where that pipe goes where you cant see it normally they have a few reports of leaking there ( i think gasket or "O" ring) then the Coolant runs backward and falls on the floor.
    Apparently this is very hard to spot, all you see is coolant on the floor when it gets bad

    Other experienced member might know about this know issue,
     
    Tony Sweet likes this.
  15. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

    Messages:
    5,087
    Likes Received:
    774
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    Members Ride:
    VE Berlina
    Yep, there are 2 O rings there where that metal neck bolts to the engine. I've had them leak twice in 9 years. It's not hard to replace really, and you can usually see pink coolant running down the front of the engine as well as the back when they're leaking. $25 to do them at home. Not Surprisingly the cooling system holds a lot more pressure after doing these.
     
    Tony Sweet likes this.
  16. vywgn

    vywgn Active Member

    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Members Ride:
    1967 Holden HR Premier Wagon / 2015 VFII SV6 Sedan
    Seen that leak alot. People think it's the thermostat at 1st, when it's actually those seals. W0117 is the Permaseal part number for them and are $22 from Burson and they would have them on the shelf. Very simple to replace just loosen off the bolts for the inlet manifold, lift it up and there is 2 10mm bolts that hold that housing in place. Little bit of a jiggle and it comes off
     
    Tony Sweet and Skydrol like this.
  17. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6 STORM Series 1, VE Anniversity V6 Series 1
    Holden wants $40 each LOL.LOL.
    I will buy the NEW Alloy bit where the cap goes as it come with the O rings + the Bolts. My Alloy bit has slight pitting where the o ring is situated
     
    Tony Sweet likes this.
  18. VFSV6FORME

    VFSV6FORME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    202
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6 STORM Series 1, VE Anniversity V6 Series 1
    Since I will be fixing this issue I will remove the top Manifold completely because I want to change spark plugs and coil packs.
     
    Tony Sweet and vywgn like this.
  19. Skydrol

    Skydrol Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    2,118
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    Members Ride:
    Pontiac G8 GT
    Good to know that is a common issue with the V6, I was assuming was a V8.
     
    Tony Sweet likes this.
  20. MattSAU2XR8

    MattSAU2XR8 Active Member

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Location:
    Caloundra
    Members Ride:
    VE SS Auto 2007
    Probably also want to look at the transmission fluid if its an auto - since if the transmission cooler is inside the radiator then if radiator fails internally coolant goes into transmission - needs to be caught VERY early to have any chance of not replacing tranny
     
    VFSV6FORME, Tony Sweet and greenacc like this.

Share This Page