S-Type Water Leak

Developed an annoying water leak recently - the car, not me!

Nothing serious, it only seemed to blow water out when stopped and the engine switched off.

Water collected on the ground just behind the drivers side front wheel. Obviously coming from the coolant expansion bottle located just above this area.

First of all, this is one darned expensive plastic bottle! Around £86 + vat for a replacement!

Secondly it is a job you can tackle at home - with a bit of forward planning and some power tools.

  1. Remove wiper arms - remove the plastic plugs, remove the 13mm nut holding the arm on, tap gently on the end of the shaft whilst pulling firmly on the wiper arm at the drive end - don't bend it!
  2. Remove the plastic cowl that goes across the under-bonnet area below the windscreen. Several plastic clips on the leading edge, and around 7 philips head screws under the little pop-out oval plastic covers below the windscreen.
  3. Remove the 2 10mm bolts at each end of the bar which goes between the inner wheel arches, and the 3 10mm bolts in the middle. These will probably snap off, at which point you will have to drill them out to replace with new bolts. Get a stock of bolts, and drill bits, ready before you start.
  4. The bottle is held in with 2 10mm bolts. Remove and jiggle the bottle around till you can get at the rubber hose attached to the bottom. If you can disconnect the pipe from the metal pipe it is fastened to by a quick fit coupling you are doing better than me! I couldn't figure out how to remove this so I cut the hose then smashed the plastic quick fit coupling.
  5. Fit the new bottle, slide the quick fit coupling onto the metal pipe, refill with coolant (loosen the small pipe at the top of the bottle and rev the engine to get the air out).
  6. Refit the cross brace between the inner arches - almost certainly with the new bolts. Jack up the front of the car so you can reach the nuts underneath the wheel arch.
  7. Refit the plastic trim and it's various fastenings.
  8. Refit the wiper arms.

Go for a drive - you'll probably want to do that anyway, I always do! Leave the engine to cool then check coolant level.

Job done - go for another drive to reassure yourself it all works! I always do that too.

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