South Africa

South Africa
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07 March 2010

Cooling system (With gruesome pics)

We are now starting to replace radiators on early (95 on) and later model P38s as well as Discovery 1-2 vehicles at a rapid rate.
If you own a P38 or Discovery 1-2 model then you need to consider if your cooling system is in top condition, if in doubt as the doc says seek urgent technical advice and still in doubt replace or service radiator either way.
A failing radiator will destroy a good engine in no time, at speed on a high way a burst pipe can cause severe damage in 15 seconds

and onto the original post.....

Cooling is very critical to the performance and life of any engine.
Any internal or external blockage of sorts can seriously damage the engine to a point that it becomes useless, in other words the engine can be written off due to heat stress damage etc, believe me this happens more often than you would care to think and it can and probably will happen to everyone at some point, care and attention will prevent this from happening to you now or in the future.

Additives to the cooling system like radiator block leaks etc are at best a very temporary solution and should not be left in the system for long no matter what the brand/manufacturer says on the container, remember they want to sell there product and we tend to believe what we read on these well packaged products.

Every cooling system should be flushed thoroughly every 2 years but more often in severe dusty environments, you may think the coolant reservoir is clear but its in the engine block where most if not all the dust and other debris settles to the bottom of the block creating hot spots.
Hot spots will then cause your engine to loose power and use more fuel, its a delicate balance that’s very often over looked by mechanics and DIYers in all sectors.

Having previously worked and qualified on Earth moving equipment like CAT, Komatsu etc we used to change water filters on service's...... now bare in mind these machines are not cheap to buy so it's no brain storm why they are fitted with these kind of filters to keep the coolant clear of harmful particles like rust, dust and other odd metal bits from the manufacturing process.
The Range Rover is no different or for that matter any other car brand.

Anti Freeze-summer coolant additives:
Now this is very important, to go into exact details would take pages and pages to explain.
Simply its very crucial that the correct type and quantity is added, its aids in raising the boiling point and prevents corrosion, if you live in a hard water area then use distilled water.

Adding too mush additive can also be detrimental to your engine, always follow what the manufacturer specifies and do your self a favour, keep away from cheap anti freeze brands that are unknown, here in SA we have a large selection of both quality and cheap, the cheap stuff is known to cause damage to plastic's within the cooling system, I've seen this for myself.

Below pictures are form a P38, this is common and so over looked.

Below pics:
Just removed from a Range Rover that had a leaking transmission cooler..
Upon further investigating other coolers had to be removed for cleaning as they were seriously blocked.
With the coolers looking like this serious damage to both engine and transmission will occur and worst part is to see all this a complete strip down is required.

Front of radiator (Not visible when in place)
Radiator should be replaced but there is no stock at present so it will be sent in for professional cleaning and minor repair to the top little pipe that always breaks off. (protection shield coming soon)

Fan side, you wouldn't have thought it would be blocked up...
There's a transmission cooler there somewhere.
These are becoming a problem on older P38s
If you see the bottom of the radiator and it looks oily wet then further investigating is required.

Another blocked radiator, the transmission cooler again looked like the picture above and at the time of replacing the radiator (new) around the begining of 2010 it all looked ok, just goes to show how quick a leaking transmission cooler can block up a new radiator, dust over a short period will stick to the leaking oil and build up, as it blocks up the oil is sucked through areas of the radiator that is free and so on until, it totally blocks up.

From a L322......

Drained coolant from a L322 and this was after 3 flushes, it took another 3 more to clear the system completly.
it looks as if another brand of anti freeze was added to the cooling system which caused this milky mix.
NEVER MIX ANTI FREEZE BRANDS due to chemical reactions that will cause severe damage to your motor /cooling system