Volvo Community Forum. The Forums of the Volvo Owners Club

Forum Rules Volvo Owners Club About VOC Volvo Gallery Links Volvo History Volvo Press
Go Back   Volvo Owners Club Forum > "Technical Topics" > XC90 '02'15 General
Register Members CarsBlogs Help Calendar Mark Forums Read


XC90 '02'15 General Forum for the Volvo XC90 Phase 1 Series

  • VOC Members: There is no login facility using your VOC membership number or the details from page 3 of the club magazine. You need to register in the normal way
  • AOL Customers: Make sure you check the 'Remember me' check box otherwise the AOL system may log you out during the session. This is a known issue with AOL.
  • AOL, Yahoo and users. Forum owners such as us are finding that AOL, Yahoo and are blocking a lot of email generated from forums. This may mean your registration activation and other emails will not get to you, or they may appear in your spam mailbox

Thread Informations

engine coolant level

Views : 306

Replies : 7

Users Viewing This Thread :  

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Feb 10th, 2019, 14:28   #1
john langrick
Senior Member

Last Online: Yesterday 21:49
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southend on sea
Default engine coolant level

Hi, a quick question re coolant level.

I had a bit of a fright when son borrowed my xc90 my2003 d5 driving about 40 miles.

I did have coolant level issues about 6 months and 3000/miles ago diagnosed to the radiator which was replaced and since then, no issues.

Son returned car saying that the 'coolant low' message displayed a couple of miles from home. I looked at this the following morning and the resevoir was empty and on ignition, red warning and stop engine message displayed.

I refilled to the mark and all appears well. But now very wary. Car in at the indi tomorrow for pressure testing.

I do notice that once the engine warmed and driven a few miles, the level drops about 3cm.

When cold, usually the next morning, releasing the resevoir cap, there is a release of air pressure and the level returns to normal.

I understand that there remains pressure in the system even when cold, but is this normal?

I have had lots of cars in the past and to be honest never had coolant issues so not sure if this is normal operation.

I just wonder if the large radiator pipes have become flexible with age and thy are now expanding under pressure and may need changing.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Many thanks
john langrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10th, 2019, 14:48   #2
VOC Member

Last Online: Jul 12th, 2019 16:47
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Bradford

If you can hear air releasing when you open the cap in the morning there is no pressure loss so it would appear the cooling system is fine. A pressure test is done to determine leaks in the system both internally and externally.
As for the drop in level when engine warm, the thermostat opens up and allows coolant to circulate around the engine and heater system etc.Thats why you should always check level cold.
The initial level drop could be that there was an airlock after the rad was changed.
I would be surprised if you had a problem.
Gokartbandit69 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Gokartbandit69 For This Useful Post:
Old Feb 11th, 2019, 13:17   #3
XJS Driver

Last Online: Yesterday 15:54
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Hitchin

I have the same - coolant level light came on and I found it was indeed low (several centimetres). Topped up and has been a week now but level fine; this w/e checked all hoses, rad and ran with cap off to look for bubbles but nothing - all fine. So I am in similar position where some coolant has gone somewhere but now hopefully stopped, but am watching closely!

Did have same issue with my reliable but old Galaxy - same level for years then suddenly one day had dropped an inch or more; topped up and has been fine since.
XJSDriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11th, 2019, 14:12   #4
Junior Member

Last Online: Jun 18th, 2019 12:42
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: London
Default Failed water pump seal, any dried coolant crystals?

Our D5 XC90 did the same for ages. It was only when we did a timing belt service that we found dried coolant crystals covering everything. It's really easy to pull the black plastic timing cover off to check, it's a single 10mm bolt and a handful of clips. Since you're in there check all of the tensioners and pulleys for dried bearings including the alternator pulley. Ours had a dried bearing on the plastic timing pulley. It sounded like a high pitched whistling sound, like a boost leak, but changed pitch with the RPM.

Amazon had the Aisin water pump for 45 a little while ago. It was identical to the genuine Volvo part we took off only the Volvo markings had been ground off. Hope you sort it soon.
dstc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11th, 2019, 20:16   #5
john langrick
Senior Member

Last Online: Yesterday 21:49
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southend on sea

Thanks for the responses. Timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt radiator all replaced within last 5000 miles.

My local indi pressure tested and checked around today. Still remains a mystery.

Will just monitor daily and see how it goes.

Thanks again for the responses.

John l
john langrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20th, 2019, 19:21   #6
john langrick
Senior Member

Last Online: Yesterday 21:49
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southend on sea

A quick update and the plot thickens.

I appears to have a problem leaking coolant only when my son borrowed the car for short trips.

It was a warmish day lat week and I turned the heating off. I since lost coolant to within about 2cm of the bottom of header tank with warning message that coolant was low.

Coincidentally my son likes a cool car and when he borrows it he invariably turns the heater down. Invariably the car then looses coolant.

I never see water in the nearside foorwell. There appears no leakage from.the hoses entering the bulkhead.

As mentioned in earlier post I have a new radiator fitted and again no fluid loss under the car.

I do understand that there is a heater matrix on the inside of the bulkhead and pipes pass through the bulkhead to this heater matrix.

When the temp controla are turned to zero, is there a valve which reduces the flow of water through the matrix? If so, I believe it may be this valve which leaks when switching from hot to cold only. When it is either in a fixed hot or cold position it appears to be fine for months. It appears only to leak when transitioning.

Does this make sense, anyone had a similar problem, does such a valve exist and if so, where is it?

Cheers john l
john langrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20th, 2019, 23:38   #7
Premier Member

Last Online: Aug 16th, 2019 17:08
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: southampton

There is no such valve. The coolant always passes through it
owenfackrell is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to owenfackrell For This Useful Post:
Old Mar 21st, 2019, 06:26   #8
Premier Member

Last Online: Yesterday 20:10
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Cross Country

Coolant can only be lost through leaking outside the engine or inside the engine

Check engine oil for coolant
Check transmission oil for coolant
Check you are not consuming coolant through a bad head gasket
Remove under-engine panel and clean it, then refit and drive for a couple of weeks, remove and look for fresh oil/coolant stains
Remove under-engine cover and park over a clean sheet of cardboard, see if anything drops down
Remove timing belt cover and look for leaks around water pump
XC90 R-Design MY2009, Black Sapphire Metallic. HP-Sound, RSE, Nav, Tel, ParkingCam, BLIS, ParkingHeater, RestHeat, Removable Towbar, Summer: CRATUS 20x8 on Pirelli Scorpion Zeros 255/45, Winter: NEPTUNE 17x7 on Continental WinterContact 4x4 235/65.
SwissXC90 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to SwissXC90 For This Useful Post:

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:05.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.