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Old 01-23-2013, 01:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Coolent Leakage

Hi guys,

I've been a passive reader of this forum for many years and would like to seek some advice of the likely causes of a problem I encountered with my 2010 GV. Btw I lived in Singapore.

I've bought the GV brand-new and have never do any modifications or bring it offroad. Neither have I rev the engine or drive the GV any where above 110km/hr.

On 8th Dec 12, I sent my GV in for 80k servicing, everything were fine before the servicing.

Abt 2 weeks after servicing, i noticed that my aircon was not cold and i called the service consultant to tell him abt it. He asked me to send it in for checks the following week. However the aircon was cold again the following day and thus I called and told him that I will observe and send in only if the problem comes again.

On 31st Dec 12 when i took over the car from my wife after she returned from works, i noticed the temperature has went to the top. I checked and found that the coolent was empty. I called and send in my GV on 2nd Jan 13 and they found nothing wrong with it.

When i drove the car the next day i noticed that the coolent level has dropped again. I sent it in again and this time the service consultant said that there was a leak from the head gasket.

The repairs required 2 months due to parts.

My question are:

1) Why would there be an empty coolent tank since i've just sent my gv for servicing? Did they do something to the radiator and forgot to topup the radiator with coolent thus resulting in the overheat and leakage?

2) What will happen to my GV now? With this overheating and the changing of the head gasket and all the relevant parts affects the lifespan of the engine? I was told by friends that the engine will be damaged or lifespan affected once there is an overheating issue even if they changed all the parts.

Would appreciate if any gurus here can advise on the matter.

Last edited by GVDave; 01-23-2013 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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TWO Months!!??? I thought the GV was pretty common in Singapore and in any case, being in such a central commerce location you'd think parts are quick to come by.

What engine model do you have? In any case, overheating and blown head gaskets go hand in hand. Trust me, you don't want to consider how much damage can be done if it was driven too long without coolant so I hope it was ringing alarm bells and you shut it down before it fried itself. Was it venting steam when you pulled up?

It's a time intensive job to swap head gasket(s) and the parts cost can quickly add up if the head is warped or cracked. Sure it can be a real pain, but it certainly doesn't mean the engine is stuffed for life unless you've suffered major damage to the block ( which is unlikely on just overheating).

Hard to say what could've caused it. Did they change coolant during your last service? If so, perhaps they stuffed it up somehow and I'd be asking them some serious questions and at the very least explain the cause of the fluid loss. I'd also want to know how they diagnosed it to be a blown gasket in the first place. Coolant in your oil or a failed compression test will want to be the answer. Anything else and they're probably trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
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Last edited by DBO; 01-23-2013 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Was the coolant level ok when you got it back after the service ? or was it a case of assuming it was ok because it was just serviced. My suspicion would be that they drained the coolant fluid to do a change then forgot to refill it.
If the head gasket has gone you loose coolant as the failed gasket can drain the coolant into the oil. I assume it's still under warranty, if it was mine i would demand a replacement engine.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knighty View Post
My suspicion would be that they drained the coolant fluid to do a change then forgot to refill it.
And yet he was able to drive it for 18 days!

I might buy that they did not purge and fill the system correctly but it couldn't have been empty.

OP is at the mercy of the dealer as long as it is under warranty. A letter to the importer (copied to the dealer) is about all he can do.

This is why never have my car serviced by a third party. All they do is screw things up.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I just had a look at the service schedule, and for the petrol engine the coolant exchange (for green; long life coolant) is at 45,000 Km and again at 90,000.

It could very well be that they decided to do the 90K flush and it had unnoticed vapour lock during the refill. It's a very common cause of overheating because it's basically a trapped pocket of air which means there isn't enough coolant circulating in the block. That alone could have been the cause of your blown head gasket.

As the engine cooled down it may have then drawn out the remainder of your coolant out of the reservoir, giving you the low fluid indication. It'll be a tough one to prove, but it sure sounds like someone stuffed up. If they did do the coolant flush during your service then I'd be holding them responsible.
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2010 GV 3.2 Prestige 5dr
Mods so far:
- Factory nudge parsley
- 55W High Beam HID
- 2-Din GPS / Multimedia system
- Reverse Cam
- Blackvue dr400g-hd ii
- Dual Viar 480C compressors, 5 gallon tank
- Raised spring kit from Kings Springs
- LED DRL's & Indicators - (DIY Guide)
- Full LED interior globes replacement
- LED Tail Lamps
- 225/60R18 (on-road) / 245/75R16 MT-ATZ (off-road)
- Custom Boot Box (plans)/ ABR Sidewinder Dual Battery install
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi guys,

Thanks for your valuable assessments to the situation.

My GV is a 2.4L.

My GV is still under warranty but its the frustration of leaving it there for two months. According to them, they will be lifting the entire engine from my GV and changing the engine block, piston rings etc etc. I believe it would basically mean changing of the most of the component of the engine?

I did brought up my doubts to them that they might have forgotten to fill-up the radiator with sufficient coolent but they denied that.

And yes, I've carelessly presumed that all are fine after the servicing and did not bother to check. I would do that from now on and hopefully its not too late and I can still carry on driving the GV after all these repairs. Some friends of mine said that it would basically be a new engine after all these changes and I need not worry about the lifespan of the engine? I wonder how true is that.

As mentioned in my initial post, they did not found any leak on the first time I sent it in; after the overheating incident. ONLY the second time. Both times they told me they did a compression test, first time when engine was cold and the second time with the engine running.

They also claimed that they will be sending the damaged engine block back to Japan for investigation on the cause. I have requested that the result be reveal to me. Will share it here once all this are done.

This is already my 6 Suzuki and I have been satisfied with the performance both offroad and on tarmac with these vehicles. Until now. Sad.

What a start to 2013 for me !

Last edited by GVDave; 01-24-2013 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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After 80,000 trouble-free kms I think it's hard for the dealer to dodge this one. I would expect Suzuki will find that it was simple overheating and hold them responsible. But as long as either Suzuki or the dealer pays for this neither owe you any further technical explanation or are obligated to accept negligence but I hope at least they are providing you with a rental car.
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