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Old 06-25-2009, 01:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 96 Discovery - Overheating & losing coolant

Hi All -

Let me start by saying - I am by no means a mechanic but I will very much appreciate all input. I apologize if this is long and I apologize again if my mechanical vocabulary is not what it should be but I think more details is better than a merry-go-round of posts.

I bought a 96 Discovery (currently has 130K miles) and brought it into the Dealer. I asked them to give me a list of everything that was wrong - everything. There was quite a list and I fixed everything on it EXCEPT they said there was an issue with my head gasket and they wanted to charge me $4,500 to fix it and redo the exhaust. I asked how bad that issue was and they told me on the list of things to fix, this was far down and that I should keep an eye on my coolant and my oil - and I have been vigilant for the last 3 months keeping an eye on my oil and my coolant and they've both been fine - I haven't even needed to add any oil.

Then driving to work last Friday (on the highway going approx 70mph, about 15 minutes into my trip) - there was a loud whining and suddenly smoke everywhere. I pulled into the closest gas station I knew of - about 1/2 mile from where I was - and they actually work on LandRovers (and I really didn't want to have it towed). The mechanic there owns a 95 Disco. When I got there if I poured any coolant in, it just ran straight out of the bottom (literal retained nothing). They fixed my water pump and said they hadn't seen one look so bad and were surprised landrover hadn't put it on the list of things to fix. They said they could see no residual damage to my radiator or anything else

She ran like a charm since I picked it up Saturday morning and then suddenly last night driving home (approx 20 minutes in the car at highway speeds) what looked like steam was coming in through the AC vents. I immediatly turned off the AC but the steam just kept coming in through the vents. The steam (gas?) had no smell. When I lifted the hood, no steam, no smoke, nothing.

I called the mechanic I went to last week & he said that my AC drain was probably clogged (as I also get water at the feet of the passenger seat). I called my Dad who was kind enough to stop by my house and drive the Disco over to him today. They were quick and charged no $ and sent my Dad back along his way.

On the way home, the Disco started to overheat when my Dad got near my house (approx 20 minutes highway speeds). My Dad pulled over to let her cool down. Then he got back to my house and added coolant.

On his trip back to the mechanic, he had to stop twice due to overheating (maybe a 20 ride) and let her cool down and add coolant (at this point he used water as it was running out the bottom but not as bad as last week)

The mechanics there checked last week and are checking again - but they think the head gasket issue was a misdiagnosis. They are trying to figure out what's wrong now.

I hate the idea of relying completely on a mechanics word so I was hoping to educate myself on the possiblilities of what's wrong? Any input is much appreciated!! Thanks for your time!
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tara View Post
Hi All -

Let me start by saying - I am by no means a mechanic but I will very much appreciate all input. I apologize if this is long and I apologize again if my mechanical vocabulary is not what it should be but I think more details is better than a merry-go-round of posts.
Thats Ok! There are people here who are not mechanics who think they are...Thats much worse.

Quote:
I bought a 96 Discovery (currently has 130K miles) and brought it into the Dealer. I asked them to give me a list of everything that was wrong - everything. There was quite a list and I fixed everything on it EXCEPT they said there was an issue with my head gasket and they wanted to charge me $4,500 to fix it and redo the exhaust. I asked how bad that issue was and they told me on the list of things to fix, this was far down and that I should keep an eye on my coolant and my oil - and I have been vigilant for the last 3 months keeping an eye on my oil and my coolant and they've both been fine - I haven't even needed to add any oil.
Its not so much using fluids, but they do leak often. $4,500 is quite a bit to do a proper head gasket repair.

Where in the country do you live?

Quote:
Then driving to work last Friday (on the highway going approx 70mph, about 15 minutes into my trip) - there was a loud whining and suddenly smoke everywhere. I pulled into the closest gas station I knew of - about 1/2 mile from where I was - and they actually work on LandRovers (and I really didn't want to have it towed). The mechanic there owns a 95 Disco. When I got there if I poured any coolant in, it just ran straight out of the bottom (literal retained nothing). They fixed my water pump and said they hadn't seen one look so bad and were surprised landrover hadn't put it on the list of things to fix. They said they could see no residual damage to my radiator or anything else
THe coolant tanks do have a hsitory of cracking on these. If I recall, the white one is the newer version.
Quote:
She ran like a charm since I picked it up Saturday morning and then suddenly last night driving home (approx 20 minutes in the car at highway speeds) what looked like steam was coming in through the AC vents. I immediatly turned off the AC but the steam just kept coming in through the vents. The steam (gas?) had no smell. When I lifted the hood, no steam, no smoke, nothing.
Hi humidity? Comepletely normal.

Quote:
I called the mechanic I went to last week & he said that my AC drain was probably clogged (as I also get water at the feet of the passenger seat). I called my Dad who was kind enough to stop by my house and drive the Disco over to him today. They were quick and charged no $ and sent my Dad back along his way.
Could be..Always good to have that drain unplugged...They clog all the time.

Quote:
On the way home, the Disco started to overheat when my Dad got near my house (approx 20 minutes highway speeds). My Dad pulled over to let her cool down. Then he got back to my house and added coolant.

On his trip back to the mechanic, he had to stop twice due to overheating (maybe a 20 ride) and let her cool down and add coolant (at this point he used water as it was running out the bottom but not as bad as last week)

The mechanics there checked last week and are checking again - but they think the head gasket issue was a misdiagnosis. They are trying to figure out what's wrong now.
Do they have a gas analizer? Check for exhaust in the coolant.

Quote:
I hate the idea of relying completely on a mechanics word so I was hoping to educate myself on the possiblilities of what's wrong? Any input is much appreciated!! Thanks for your time!
Ask away. Right now, testing needs to be done and results analized.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks - I live in NJ. I balked at the $4,500 since I only paid $3K for the truck itself (knowing it needed some work).

You are correct - The mechanic just called me and said that the coolant tank is cracked (which btw mine is black) and they are going to replace that and my thermostat (which is now going a little hokey).

They don't seem to be looking for anything else and I'm not sure if they should be? I don't want to fix what isn't broken but I certainly don't want to be breaking down on the side of the road every week either (and I think that also causes a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on a car/truck).
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nah, theres nothign this truck needs that unreasonable. Thermostats and Coolant tanks go bad... I would strongly suggest ALLDATAdiy.com :: Leading Source of Diagnostic and Repair Information and sign up for a year and look around, get to know your car.


I know a good mechanic in St Louis.
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Probably a good idea for me to pick on of those up!

I noted an old post that says that when the "old black coolant recovery bottle" is replaced with the new white one that they should make sure they "bleed the air out of the engine" - is this the same part I'm talking about? Do I need to make sure they do this? (What does that even mean?)

Thanks again!!
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bleeding is getting the air out of the passages. Not a big deal really and you have todo it to every car. So, they likely will do it.
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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While your Rover is in the shop ask them to check to make sure the viscous clutch for the fan is ok too. It's a 2 min check.
You really want to be careful that these engines don't overheat.
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I will ask them to look at that as well.

I fear there is another underlying issue that hasn't been diagnosed and was the final straw on the water pump. Mainly because it overheated again AFTER that was fixed. Did the overheating cause the tank to crack or did the tank crack and cause the overheating.... which came 1st the chicken or the egg...

I certainly don't want to find a bunch of stuff wrong with it but I'd rather be proactive if possible - as we all know how much residual damage can be caused - especially in an older truck who's parts may be a bit more "fragile" for lack of a better word.

Thanks for the words of advice (I'm going to go google the advice so I can be better informed when I call my mechanic back as he's currently waiting for parts)
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