low coolant after replacing water pump and timing belt - Volvo Forums - Volvo Enthusiasts Forum

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Old 08-27-2010, 09:40 AM
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Default low coolant after replacing water pump and timing belt

My husband and I purchased a '99 Volvo V70, (XC) for our daughter only four months ago. It had 156K miles on it. Shortly after buying it, the low coolant light came on. We took the car in to a dealership and were told that the water pump was bad. We had both the water pump and the timing belt changed at that time. Not two weeks later, the fuel pump went out and we had that replaced, as well. We expected that there would be no more issues like that considering the car has a good service record and we had just replaced two components that realistically have a shelf-life of ten years or so. However, the car is losing coolant again at the rate of a pint a week right now, which is about every 125 miles. It does not lose the fluid while parked, so it must be exiting the vehicle somewhere in the lines while my daughter is driving. Does anyone know what the possibilities for this is? We spent $1400 on the water pump and timing belt and were told that they were the reason that there was coolant loss, but I am still having the issue two months later. I find it hard to believe that something else went wrong in the period of time since the water pump replacement. Either way, I would like to know what possible reasons there are for this coolant loss. I do not smell coolant in the cab of the car, nor is the placemat under the heater vent damp, so I don't suspect that it is the heater core...... besides, it is 105 degrees here in Texas right now! Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:12 PM
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It seems to me that the dealer took you for a run around. If it leaked before the water pump was replaced, that wasnt the issue. I have 165k miles on my s70, original water pump, 206k on my old 850, original pump. BUT if the engine was too low on coolant and the waterpump was just spinning, its possible it over heated and thats why it needed replacing.

I would start the car tomorrow in the driveway and let it idle a few minutes and warm up. Its more than likely one of the main coolant lines running either from the engine to the radiator or to the turbo. They get old and small leaks show up only under pressure from the water pump.

Look over all of the coolant hoses, and see if any of them get wet. I would put my money on one of those lines. Dont rush, and dont let the car get too hot.

If you cant find the leak, dont forget to look under the car to try to locate it. Good luck!

Where in Texas are you? I can recommend a few shops around Austin and San Antonio.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:32 PM
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Location: Pennsylvania
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It's possible you could have a blown head gasket and the coolant is actually leaking into the cylinders or into the oil. I would check the oil dipstick, and if the oil has a milky white look to it, then it's the head gasket.

Head gaskets go bad mainly from overheating. Possibly the water pump was leaking and the previous owner just let the coolant run low too often.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 35

That happened to me before the water pump was leaking too and I figured out it looks like the return line gasket was twisted and that was the cause. (Must have pushed it back during reassembly.)

Last edited by mikeross; 09-14-2010 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:28 AM
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
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One option could be that the radiator is leaking. The thing about it is the coolant is going somewhere. I would take it back to the stealer since they fixed it less than 90 days ago. I would think they would take care of it since they made money to repair it and they are the Volvo specialist.

Other than that, I'm with TXs70 on starting the car, letting it run a few minutes, and finding the leak. If you have no external leak, it may be inside the motor, head gasket. The thing about a leak near the water pump, they are hard to find sometimes because of the belt & fan motion blowing the leak around like a fine mist spray. '''

Tip: When checking for the leak turn the ac OFF. This stops the ac from leaking the water/condensation that will distract you.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:10 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Lake Elsinore, CA
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Maybe also check under the carpet for bad heater core? if you can't find the leak anywhere else...
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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So what happen ? What was the cause of the leak . ?
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