Puma's just dumped all it's coolant


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New member
Oct 13, 2010
Marlow, Bucks
Evening all!

I last checked the coolant on Monday, and all was well.

Myself and my lovely girlfriend drove to asda earlier to go shopping. Everything was fine.

An hour later, we come out, and I notice trailing water from about 2 parking spaces away from the cat, and notice it's very wet under the car. I pop the bonnet, and there is no coolant.


I had a good poke around the engine bay, and there were no loose hoses, nothing blatent. The water seems to be dripping from the middle of the block somewhere, running under the sump and dripping onto the car park.

We called the AA, since that's what I pay them for! The man comes out 3 hours later, and diagnoses a leaky thermostat housing, and puts some radweld or similar (holts bottle) through the system, and it's still leaking.

It seems to be coming from the drivers side of the block, but I know no more than that! We drove gingerly home, with the AA man following and it is now parked on the drive safely.

I aim to have a better look tomorrow, and have thermostat in mind, but the AA man also mentioned the water pump. Has anyone ever had their puma empty itself in under an hour? It drives fine, temp is fine, heaters still work hot and cold. The coolant level had dropped slightly on the drive home, but I'm betting that it will be empty in the morning

Can anyone offer any advice before I don tools tomorrow and get looking

The drivers side sounds like where the water pump is located the thermostat is located on the other side of the engine
Could still be the thermostat or it's housing as iirc that's more towards the drivers side. Would be better if you knew whether it was coming from the actual side of the engine or the front. If it's the front I suspect thermostat/housing, if at the drivers side (actually the side of the engine) then possibly the water pump. Would be well to check all the pipes for possible leaks. (not trying to teach you to suck eggs...lol)

A similar thing happened to another member (Zara) in Dover on the way to the Ring' earlier this year. It looked from underneath that the leak was from the lower front but we couldn't pinpoint it exactly. Radweld did the trick nearly all the way to the Ring' with very little loss inbetween while driving but we took a long detour which involved some 'British' type roads (potholed and bumpy as hell) which reopened the leak we believe as when we stopped for petrol it decided to half empty itself on the forecourt.

Another bottle of radweld was enough to get to the hotel and iirc it stayed plugged overnight so she left the next day and managed to get all the way back home. Problem was a cracked thermo housing in the end.
That sounds like the thermostat housing mate!! as Yip said it happened to me on the way to the Ring this year :(
as the system depressurises it forces the coolant out of any cracks etc in the housing or pipes once the car is turned off so ends up all over the floor... (or various locations across europe in my case :( )

you might be able to see it better in the standard car but in mine it couldnt be seen because of the splitter in the way :lol:

hope you get it sorted and if it is that, itd be worth changing the themostat aswell :eek:k:
Cheers for the input guys! I bought a new housing from Ford yesterday for £25, so will get a new thermostat and coolant tomorrow and attempt to change it.

I hope it is the thermostat housing, can't really afford a new cambelt and waterpump!

Will let you know. I have no internet at home now so can only really log on at work.
My first Puma emptied its coolant when the core plug went, at the time it had covered only 2000 miles :| Good luck with the thermostat hopefully it cures your problem.
you dont need a new cambelt to change the water pump, its fed off the aux drive.

easy to change aswell
Hi Guys.

Well, we changed the thermostat, thermostat housing and put all new coolant in, and it just kept building up pressure! Temp needle stayed in the middle, but the engine was HOT! We traced the pipes back, and found that the LH pipe coming from the HCV was empty, and the RH one was pressurised. So we went to take the pipes off, and the hose connectors crumbled off the HCV!

1 Allparts HCV later, and coolant was getting round the system! However, the heaters were still red hot. About to despair, I had one last look around the engine bay, and noticed the HCV wiring plug was not connected. The plug on the HCV had come apart. I connected it all back up, and taped it on and it works fine now!

The heaters are still cold, and certainly take a lot longer to get hot, however there's still air in the system (after every drive I take the expansion tank cap off and air bubbles out, have a water/coolant mix in the boot, so will keep topping it up and seeing how it goes. At least the engine is cool now, and hopefully once teh system bleeds itself properly it will be back to normal, maybe even better due to the new coolant and parts. Failing that, I will buy a Ford HCV next month.

I did take a pic of the thermostat housing, but cant upload it to the net at the moment! What had happened, was the non-thermostat side of the housing had had a big chunk taken from the lip of the seal mount, so the seal had collapsed. At least it was blatent!
Ah - I can access picasa from work!


Can anyone tell the old from new?
Hi, this is an old thread, but hopefully a little extra info, for people still looking it up, to replace the thermostat housing for leaks, etc.
My old Puma 1.7 developed a bad leak when the engine got hot, which a quick pump-up pressure test at the coolant expansion tank, from a local garage, showed it was leaking at the thermostat housing seal to the engine block. It only leaked when pumped up to operating pressure, so that would only occur when engine was fully hot!
I bought a new housing from my local Ford dealer, as the cooling is (obviously) so critical to the engine not receiving overheating damage. I was happy to pay the extra for a genuine part with proper manufacturing tolerance and built in seal, etc., rather than a pattern aftermarket part, which MAY have been suspect quality (think spoiling the ship for a ha'peth of tar! - sorry, I'm getting old!).
When I removed the old thermostat housing (limited space behind the inlet manifold), the four securing bolts were very rusty, dark, hard to see and get a socket on, plus were wearing away, to make them very difficult to remove! I was concerned they would not be able to bolt back into place easily, or even successfully, so I also bought four new bolts from the Ford dealer.
Boy was I glad I also got the new bolts! They had bright nickel plated heads, which made it incredibly easy to see and get a socket on, in the confined and dark space behind the inlet manifold! I had no problem with bolting them to the correct low torque, which the rusty, worn old bolts probably wouldn't have done! Also, from the dealer they would have been the correct hardness of bolt material, to not strip out the thread of the soft aluminium alloy engine block, which any other cheaper (harder steel, etc.) replacement bolts could have caused no end of grief!
Since I did that, it cured the coolant leak & overheating and didn't give me any more problems (although I did have to replace the water temperature sensor a few years later - unrelated!).
I hope this helps - happy, cool motoring!
Any tips on getting off the bolt that's nearest the alternator? The sockets I have won't go on because they're fouling against the underside of the alternator.

Also, they're a 10mm socket, which is odd, not only because there's an 8 written on the head, but because the replacements I got from Ford are 8mm. Maybe they were changed before I got the car?

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