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Car broke down.

Happy Grumpy

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The battery is around 3-4 years old. I did notice it would be slow to tick over after filling with gas on a long journey a few weeks ago, where there was the aircon, headlights and dashcam all running.


This morning from out of nowhere it conked out and wouldn't turn over. Though the electric windows and and aircon would still run, and the dash would light up as normal, so didn't seem like a battery issue.


Got a new battery put in. See photo.




It turned over perfectly. On my way.


500 meters to 1 km later, the exact same thing.


It would turn-over sometimes, but loose power and cut-out quickly. While ticking over the engine did seem to be knocky, with a knocking sound that was audible. Go to move and it would cut out again.


Got a tow truck back to the house.


Turned her over no problem. Backed he into the driveway. Turns over and runs perfectly in neutral. 1st gear and reverse in the driveway is fine, no warning lights come on or came on.


I don't really fancy taking her out again to make sure, in case she cuts out, which loses the power steering and braking ability, so is quite dangerous on the road.



To the more mechanical minded and experienced, do the symptoms sound like a battery issue, or something else? The car is 9 years old with 80,000km, always serviced and never had any problems before.








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Sounds like water in the gas? Siphon it all out, put 5l of fresh gas in and try again. Added measure, if you get to a store bung some fuel system cleaner in there to absorb the water.


OR someone put diesel in instead of gasoline


Same cure.


Good luck.


If this doesn't work look for the ground connection to the chassis. Follow the black wire from the battery. Usually ends up at the starter motor.

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33 minutes ago, Vacuum said:

Never start the car with the ac turned on.

Why not? Being doing it in every aircon car I've ever owned for at least the last 20 years.

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26 minutes ago, giddyup said:

Why not? Being doing it in every aircon car I've ever owned for at least the last 20 years.

If the battery doesn't have full capacity, there might not be enough power to crank the engine.

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I was wrong about the coolant.


It kicks over from cold, and the engine fan comes on after a second. That's unusual. So I rechecked the coolant with a flashlight.




It could easily be a Nasa lander taking a photo of Mars. 😁



So, 2 questions:


1) Before I put new coolant in, do I need to remove the dry bits of baked coolant residue? Probably have to remove the coolant tank to do that.



2) There was no light or indication of it over heating. 


Is a complete lack of coolant likely to cut out the power/engine while driving? 



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"2) There was no light or indication of it over heating"

Light or gauge might be broken.

Is the mars photo of the overflow tank or the actual radiator ?

Running without coolant for any length of time risks serious engine damage...piston's can seize ,heads can warp.....

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Opened up the radiator.


It looked like this:



There's a dipstick next to it that isn't for the oil. I presume it is for the radiator. There are only 2 dipsticks for the engine.




It was wet up to the visible mark on the left, which looks way past the mark for it being empty.

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Bin it and buy a new one, car that is. It's been my long held ambition to go through my life and never open the bonnet (hood to our Yank friends)  of a car.  So far it's worked out for me.  

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Looks like way too much engine oil ! !
....the other dipstick maybe with a yellow or orange lock/clip head is for the automatic transmission oil...maybe have a look at that too.

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That crap in the overflow tank is rust particles. They came from the engine block or cylinder head if not aluminum.

Running on pure water, not coolant for donkeys years.

No radiator I have ever seen has a dip stick - it is a sealed system with excess hot water going to the overflow tank, to be replaced in the engine and radiator by vacuum as the engine cools.

Remove rad, flush engine, clean coolant overflow tank, install new rad complete with all hoses, fill with coolant - I buy mine from the Toyota dealer premixed.

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Re turning over cold but not when hot.

The engine compression rises with heat, thus, more battery juice required to turn over a hot engine.

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the dry overflow coolant tank, dry; maybe the system has been chuffing out steam? and it's eventually fried dry...

I had that, so installed another surplus tank in series. Whatever was thrown from the main overflow bottle, is caught by the next one.

When cooled after stopping... the 'now not lost vapourised fluid, is drawn back into the primary overflow bottle.

when saying , 'in series' : what I did was put another new pipe at the output of the overflow bottle, feeding it over to the other side of the engine compartment (where I had room to put the extra bottle)

Main point is to (with silicon etc) is to seal the Top of the primary bottle. 

Any future top ups can be via the new secondary bottle.

This method now provides me over 4 litres of Expansion space, instead of the standard 2L


Why not replace, with a single 4L bottle? one may ask?

 Well when one returns from a Service, invariably the attendant has, silly man, actually filled the primary bottle with whatever Coolant was left over... subseqently lost on the road on the way home!   I can conserve 'that' now...

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Yes, an automatic.





What happens to an engine with no coolant?


Coolant/antifreeze circulates through the engine, maintaining the correct working temperature of different components. If your car runs out of coolant on the road, you’ll likely experience the following:


1. Dashboard warning light or abnormal temperature gauge – The first sign of low coolant should be a dashboard warning light, or a rising temperature gauge.


2. Automatic engine cut-off – If you drive a modern car, it will be fitted with an automatic engine cut-off feature. This is designed to prevent damage when the engine starts to heat up due to lack of coolant. You won’t be able to drive the car further until it’s cooled down.





This could be it. 

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