coolant drops sporadically within 3-4 days

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My Name: Jjb0800

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 71200
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
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Hi my c3 06 1.4 coolant drops sporadically within 3-4 days. I topped up my coolant to the max level and in about 4 days it goes fully empty. I have checked underneath the car and on the drive too there are no visible leaks and near the coolant reservoir. I have replaced the radiator cap, thermostat and housing but still to no avail. The head gasket was replaced last year so I can rule that out. Could this be the radiator or water pump?
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
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Jjb0800 wrote: Wed Apr 13, 2022 4:03 pm Hi my c3 06 1.4 coolant drops sporadically within 3-4 days. I topped up my coolant to the max level and in about 4 days it goes fully empty. I have checked underneath the car and on the drive too there are no visible leaks and near the coolant reservoir. I have replaced the radiator cap, thermostat and housing but still to no avail. The head gasket was replaced last year so I can rule that out. Could this be the radiator or water pump?

Hi

You can't rule out a head gasket failure when the coolant drops sporadically within 3-4 days and you have done the other checks for leaks.

You should do a head gasket test (here) to be sure and save a lot of time changing bits that have not failed or waste time.

A radiator can leak and you can see this when the engine is hot and the bonnet open.
The water pump can leak, you need to take the cam belt cover off to see.
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My Name: Jjb0800

Top Contributor
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:37 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 71200
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
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Should I do a coolant pressure test first and then do the headgasket test?
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:47 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 100000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Jjb0800 wrote: Wed Apr 13, 2022 4:31 pm Should I do a coolant pressure test first and then do the headgasket test?
It doesn't matter what order you do the tests in, but it is important to do tests to save changing parts that are not faulty.
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My Name: Ozvtr

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
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Jjb0800 wrote: Wed Apr 13, 2022 4:03 pm I topped up my coolant to the max level and in about 4 days it goes fully empty. I have checked underneath the car and on the drive too there are no visible leaks and near the coolant reservoir.
If you are loosing coolant into the engine at that rate, the engine should run rough at idle.
Jjb0800 wrote: Wed Apr 13, 2022 4:03 pm The head gasket was replaced last year so I can rule that out.
You can get damage (corrosion) between the water galleries and the combustion chamber on the lower face of the cylinder head.
The TU3 engine has "wet liners". The head gasket forms a very thin seal around the top lip of the liners and it would be easy for the gasket to fail there if the surface is not prepared correctly.

As Arfur says, you need to be sure that it's not the head gasket, if you cant find any other signs of coolant leakage.
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