KL-DE Temperature in the Red Zone - HEAD GASKET??



  • Hi

    I have just purchased an modded MX-3 with a KL-DE engine.

    Unfortunately, when driving the car home after buying, the radiator blew after 90 miles. I have since had a new one fitted.

    On 2 seperate occasions the temperature gauge has crept up to the red zone after doing only 3-5 miles… :(

    The 1st time i got the mechanic to check again as I had noticed that the large pipe connecting to the radiator from the left was loose. He tightened it down and claimed that the car was running fine.

    Yesterday I took it for a quick spin on the motorway, and yet again the temp sneaked up to the red zone..!?

    This time the mechanic is fobbing me off stating that there is obviously air in the pipes and that i should keep driving to get rid of it...

    I would be greatful if someone could offer some advise as I don't want to risk busting the head gasket.

    P.S: Coolant is red hot and heater blows cool when turned up. pipes are not scrunched up and no coolant seems to be escaping through the open 'breathe' pipe.



  • could be air in system….. or thermostat needs changing.

    do a complete system flush and coolant change.

    when filling back up open up the second cap located between two heads. and squeeze pipes to allow air to come out. then as car is running. open this again. so that it allows coolant to be sucked thru till it starts to bubble up then cap off..

    hope helps

    ps start with little things them work up



  • as above…with the cap on the engine part, also fill up here, chances are if this cap hasn't been taken off theres alot of air in the top part of the engine



  • Hi

    Thanks for the replies.

    I removed the cap and filled it up with water, started the engine so that the water was bubbling and then put the cap back on.

    I drove for 4 miles with no problem, however as soon as pushed the car over 50mph to 70mph the dial almost immediately jumped close to the red zone.

    I pulled over, opened the bonnet and could see that coolant was spitting out of the overflow hose. The temperature was starting to drop, so I gently revved the engine. At this point I noticed plumes of thick white smoke coming from the exhaust….

    After consulting with a trustworthy mechanic (not the one that fitted my new radiator) he was almost 100% sure that the head gasket had gone....

    Needless to say I am beyond gutted... :shock:

    I have put some K-Seal into the system and topped it up with water. This is supposedly a 'permanent fix' (it seemed to work on an old BMW I had previously), but there is no way of being 100% sure it will last.

    The question is now whether the seller knew of the issues...



  • arrr, well theres the answer, had it over heated since you got it? the gasket going can be because its overheated, maybe it did this because there was not enough water in it when the radiator went? or it could be because there was alot of air trapped in the top end, although when this has happened to me and i didn't know about the other filler cap mine never went, but i did find out about it and got it sorted in around 4 miles :?



  • @909d01eeaf=Unicorn:

    arrr, well theres the answer, had it over heated since you got it? the gasket going can be because its overheated, maybe it did this because there was not enough water in it when the radiator went? or it could be because there was alot of air trapped in the top end, although when this has happened to me and i didn't know about the other filler cap mine never went, but i did find out about it and got it sorted in around 4 miles :?

    Hey bud

    The car has overheated 3 times now. the 1st time was after I bought the car and was driving home. When i put my foot down on the motorway i noticed a plume of black smoke come out of the exhaust. Shortly afterwards the temperature went up. When i managed to stop, the rocker cover had steam coming out from under it.

    I've actually had 3 mechanics look at it since, all of them were sure that it wasn't a head gasket issue as the black smoke was probably built up carbon. however, when i over heated yesterday and white smoke was coming out of the exhaust another mechanic suggested the head gasket issue…

    Have you over heard of miracle cures such as K-Seal working in the long term? I am told that IF the head gasket has gone, it is probably only a hair line fracture as the problems only occur when I reach 70mph. Plus there is no mayo on the spark plugs or in the oil.



  • could be a one of two things still head gastet or if she has over heated so much you may have a cracked head.



  • youd know if the cylinder head was cracked, i had it on a previous car, it took bout 5 mins for all the oil to congele

    I've not heard of K-seal, i guess it can't do any harm :?



  • Nice one, take the crappy DE heads off, get some fresh CZT titanium retainers in some rebuilt KL31 heads and you are ready for boost :)

    blessing in disguise, not to mention the NA power hike



  • Change your thermostat, they only cost a few quid.

    Put proper coolant in your system not water.

    Change your head gasket its easy to do and only about £30.

    Get a tube of gasket seal aswell to make doubly sure.

    Get some quality 0w40 or 5w30 range fully synthetic oil in there.

    It won't even take half a day to do it, so even if your unsure about what your doing, start on a friday night and you will easily have it one by Monday.



  • Its your Thermostat.

    Basically you have coolant circulating round your engine, when the coolant is up to operating temperature your Thermostat (a heat operated valve) will open up and let some of the coolant go out to the radiator to be cooled and then back into the engine. The hotter the coolant gets the more it lets flow to the radiator to be cooled.

    The problem is that your Thermostat is stuck closed or is not opening properly, so your engine is eventually overheating.

    We know this is the case of 90% of cars overheating, and also you said your heater is blowing cold.

    Heaters usually work from being heated by some of the hot coolant being diverted to the heater core to heat the air, but because your thermostat is stuck there is no hot coolant being diverted, so its pretty obvious its your thermostat.

    The good news is its cheap and easy to fix and you do nat need ANY mechanical knowledge to change it or take it to a small garage and pay about £40 to get it changed MAX.

    1. Buy new thermostat (£3-5 ish)
    2. Buy new coolant (£5 max - do not use water!!)
    3. Drain coolant out of radiator by undoing the drain plug situated on the bottom of the radiator into a bucket.
    4. Locate and undo the thermostat housing, its held on by a couple of bolts on most cars.
    5. Replace thermostat, make sure you place in the correct way up.
    6. Replace thermostat housing.
    7. Replace drain plug and fill with new coolant.
    8. Run engine

    The only thing that can go wrong, is that the thermostat housing will leak, and dont worry if it does just put a new gasket on it. They are so cheap you might as well order one with the thermostat if you can.

    If this happens, either buy a new gasket for it (£2) or make a new one out of a cornflake box or buy some actual gasket paper and make one out of that. Just cut it out with sissors.

    Job done.



  • could be a cheap result - hope it works out for you mate!


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