q&A

Performance Vauxhall - - CONTENTS -

Your tech­ni­cal ques­tions an­swered by our ex­perts.

Good af­ter­noon. I’m hop­ing you can of­fer some guid­ance as my re­cently pur­chased Vec­tra V6 is giv­ing me trou­ble. The car drives per­fectly and so it should with a mere 50,000 miles on the clock, how­ever I’ve found af­ter a pro­longed mo­tor­way drive, the coolant level drops and I’m re­quired to add around 250ml to top it up. I can­not see any leaks un­der the car, or smell any anti-freeze, and the cool­ing sys­tem does not ap­pear to be build­ing ex­cess pres­sure. My lo­cal me­chanic reck­ons that the Vaux­hall V6 is known for us­ing coolant and thus, it’s not some­thing I should be alarmed over. This how­ever, does not sit well with me. I await your words of wis­dom. Gra­ham Cook.

AThis is one of those sit­u­a­tions where there is an is­sue but it is so slight that the cost/time re­quired to in­ves­ti­gate and rec­tify the prob­lem sim­ply can­not be jus­ti­fied. Yes, it’s an is­sue and no the Vaux­hall V6 isn’t prone to ran­domly use coolant by de­sign, so there must be some­thing wrong. What ex­actly, re­mains to be in­ves­ti­gated.

Our first port of call would be a pres­sure check ei­ther when warm or overnight, as when en­gines are cold, metal con­tracts and thus hair­line cracks and so on may seal up tem­po­rar­ily. We also rec­om­mend the ‘sniff’ test of the coolant, in ba­sic terms check­ing the coolant for traces of hy­dro­car­bons, i.e. ex­haust fumes, which in turn could hint at a head gas­ket or head cast­ing is­sue. It re­ally is hard to ad­vise what to do. Yes the car should be per­fect but at what cost? Un­til you can iden­tify the source, then we’d avoid un­nec­es­sar­ily re­plac­ing gas­kets or com­po­nents as costs will mount. We hate the term, but per­haps ‘let the fault de­velop’ un­til it be­comes more ob­vi­ous, though not so ob­vi­ous the car runs dry and over­heats.

Should a V6 Vec­tra be us­ing ex­cess coolant?

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