2006 LR3 4.4L Coolant Steam and Overheating - Land Rover Forums : Land Rover and Range Rover Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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2006 LR3 4.4L Coolant Steam and Overheating

Good morning.
This post has helped me tremendously over the years, thanks for all the input and experience.
I have a 2006 LR3 4.4 L with 225,000 miles on the engine and running strong thus far. Couple days ago, I started the vehicle, noticed the engine revved up to about 1000RPM, and stayed there. On driving, the truck seems sluggish didnt want to change gears, so I switch to sport to manual changed gears. About 20 mins into the drive, smoke coming from the engine and the temp gage shot up in the red. I pulled over, shut down the engine and had the vehicle towed home. Next morning, I was able to start the vehicle, popped the hood and looking for coolant leak. After about 20 mins, the temp gage was in the mid range, I noticed puff of steam from the T-Stat housing where it connects to the engine on the right side of the block. It wont steam consistently, only intermittently. I am thinking the housing is cracked and as the thermostat opens and closes to regulate the temperature, resulting in the intermittent steaming of coolant. I know I have to replace the T-Stat housing assembly and flush the system. What else could have caused this and I would appreciate any advice from you. Thanks in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 05:00 AM
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220K is alot of miles. I would imagine most of your cooling system is pretty tired if you haven't replaced some items. There's a good chance something is leaking. You'll have to do a pressure test to find out. Make sure the cooling system is full and the engine up to operating temp. You can use water as it will all be coming out shortly. That is, unless you're doing it outside and it's cold where you're at. make sure to use the proper antifreeze on refill. It's not all the same.

Once warmed up, the entire cooling system is pressurized. The thermostat opening and closing most likely isn't contributing to an intermittent leak.

It sounds like you got the engine pretty hot. That engine does not like that. I would do as little as possible to resolve the leak and then see where you're at. There's a possibility you warped a head and popped a head gasket. If you can find the leak and get it fixed, you can do a combustion gas test on the cooling system to see if you have a head gasket problem. If you're in the clear, I would replace the radiator and every hose and repeatedly thank the automotive gods that you don't have to do head gaskets on that engine.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Good morning and thanks CTO90 for your feedback. I have regular maintenance on the vehicle and it is in good shape, I try to stay ahead of the maintenance. The radiator coolant system was flushed and new fluid added, in addition all the coolant hoses were replaced at 200K miles. After the vehicle was towed home, I wash it down and let it dry, started it up and the engine ran fine for about 10-15 mins until the temp gage in the mid range. Right about then, I can see the intermittent puff of steam/coolant from the right side of the T-Stat housing around the area where it connects to the engine block, and subsequently, the temp gage would start climbing.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Regards to the temperature, I am in Houston, TX, so its pretty warm here most of the time.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 06:38 AM
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The temp gauge in the dash does not accurately reflect true cooling system temperature. The needle will sit at mid-point over a pretty broad temperature range. To get true temp, you'll need either an infrared thermometer or an OBD2 tool- either a basic scan tool or one of the plug-in gauge display units.

You'll need to do the pressure test, then once you find and repair the leak, determine if further damage has been done. Auto Zone and Advance have pressure testers in their loan-a-tool inventory.

Many people, including more than a few "professionals" will dump just any coolant into any vehicle. And you will find coolant labelled as "universal" when it isn't. Yours requires a specific coolant. Make sure you use that. Radiators don't last forever. The unit on your truck operates at a somewhat higher pressure than those of years past. This puts additional stresses on it. They also will corrode internally and often begin to clog. At that age and mileage, your radiator may not be performing well. If I lived somewhere that hot, I'd consider replacing it as a precaution. It's cheap insurance. A head gasket job on that truck would be likely cost more than half the vehicle's value.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 04:11 PM
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Right about then, I can see the intermittent puff of steam/coolant from the right side of the T-Stat housing around the area where it connects to the engine block, and subsequently, the temp gage would start climbing.
I think that you have identified the issue yourself. Fix this issue first before worrying about what else might be an issue.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Ian, thanks.
Here is an Update - I replaced the T-stat housing and restore the system. I started the vehicle and the temp stayed in the mid range on the gauge. I decided to take it for a spin around the block and noticed that the temp would climb as the vehicle is accelerating in speed. I turned the heat on and the temp came back down in the mid range. I stopped at the store, shut the rover down and got some water, started it again and came home. I noticed when accelerating, the temp climb, slowed down and the temp back in the mid range and stayed there until I got home. I open the bonnet and no leaks. I have to replaced the bleeder valve, a while back the plastic bleeder broke and I used a straight piece of pipe to connect the hose. Is this indicative of air in the system? I back off the bleeder on the reservior as well, it ran for about 5 mins at idle and stayed in the mid range.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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The T-stat housing assemble fixed the intermittent coolant steaming issue, maybe a crack or something in the housing.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Also, when I was driving around the block, I left the top cover of the shroud off. I am thinking replacing the bleeder valve and bleed the system properly and with the shroud installed, should be OK? Thoughts?
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:57 PM
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Ian, thanks.
Here is an Update - I replaced the T-stat housing and restore the system. I started the vehicle and the temp stayed in the mid range on the gauge. I decided to take it for a spin around the block and noticed that the temp would climb as the vehicle is accelerating in speed. I turned the heat on and the temp came back down in the mid range. I stopped at the store, shut the rover down and got some water, started it again and came home. I noticed when accelerating, the temp climb, slowed down and the temp back in the mid range and stayed there until I got home. I open the bonnet and no leaks. I have to replaced the bleeder valve, a while back the plastic bleeder broke and I used a straight piece of pipe to connect the hose. Is this indicative of air in the system? I back off the bleeder on the reservior as well, it ran for about 5 mins at idle and stayed in the mid range.
Some times it takes a while to get the air out of the system. Having air in it can cause the issues you are describing. Try going for a run and then releasing the reservoir cap straight away after stopping the motor. Watch out that you do not burn yourself on the coolant if it escapes. But the release of pressure from the system will "burp" it and get a lot of the air out.
If you have water in the system rather than glycol coolant, you will notice more rapid heat increase when accelerating.
Turning the heater on is just adding additional cooling capacity. It could highlight a thermostat or radiator issue.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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Good morning and thanks. I will try that and provide some feedback.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 08:25 AM
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The bleed screw in the tee is the high point in the cooling system. Without it, the system will probably continue to trap air. BMW uses the exact same piece and it's not unusual for trapped air so block the circulation of coolant at higher temps. In short, you need it.

Part of the coolant refill procedure is to turn on max heat and once warm, run the engine at higher rpm for a bit. Then bleed. You may have to do this a couple times to get it all. I have a fixture that screws into that tee that I connect to a venturi vacuum source. It lets you power-fill the cooling system in one shot.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 08:51 AM
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The bleed screw in the tee is the high point in the cooling system..... In short, you need it.
The blead screw makes it easier to bleed, but it can certainly be bled without it. It might just need topping up after the first couple of trips.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 09:53 AM
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The blead screw makes it easier to bleed, but it can certainly be bled without it. It might just need topping up after the first couple of trips.
Because air isn't lighter than water and won't rise to the highest point. The designers just put that part on there as decoration.

When your system vaporlocks and you lose a head gasket, send Ian the bill.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Good afternoon and thanks for your advice and recommendation CT090 and Ian. Ian, I am please to report that I followed your recommendation regards to bleeding the system. After popping the coolant reservoir cap, it gurgled for a bit and the fluid level dropped. I ran the vehicle between 2500 and 3000 RPM, the gauge fluctuated between the mid range and about 3/4. Cold air was coming out of the vent system. I popped the cap twice and the fluid gurgled and the level lowered. I refill about 1.5 gals and about the 2nd time, warm/hot air started to come out of the vents. The needle stabilized and stayed just below the 1/2 way mark on temp gauge. I took it for a spin and got up to about 70/80 MPH, the gauge stayed steady. Got back home and checked for leaks - none. Popped the cap on the reservoir again and it stayed just above the fill line. I appreciate all your help and the time you take to review and provide feedback - you are both amazing individuals helping to guide us novices and give us a bit of piece of mind, even when the news is not that good, however, at least we have an idea what we are into. God bless you both and your families. Now, the next job I need to do is to replace the reservoir, reading from the posts, I may have a float switch that is saturated and lowered in the reservoir. Thanks again for all your time to review and provide feedback. I know it is very much appreciated.
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