Engine & Gearbox CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC Coolant Overflowing

Discussion in '3rd Generation (2006-2012)' started by tightgit, Wednesday 2nd Oct, 2013.

  1. tightgit Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


    I have a 2011 CR-V I-DTEC with 11,000 on the clock and I’m getting coolant coming out of the overflow pipe from the expansion tank. The car first did this last June about a week after being serviced when my wife noticed a ‘funny smell’ and upon looking around the engine I noticed some coolant from the overflow pipe. I thought that it may have been overfilled from the service and took out some coolant to the correct level. No more instances until late August after coming back from holiday after about a 300 mile run. Again coolant coming from overflow pipe. I again lowered the level to midway between the min and max marks and kept on eye on it. I had the main dealer check the car in November and they could find no fault and topped the coolant up to past the max mark. I left it here as I thought they should know the correct level.

    Nothing since then despite going on some long trips and holiday, until last week when my wife came back from about a 40 mile trip and on checking the coolant again it found it had overflowed.

    The overflow is not a great deal but enough to mark the rocker cover and drop down onto the suspension. It has done it again a couple of times since on local short trips but not to the same extent as I only noticed coolant at the end of the overflow pipe and not dripping down the side of the engine to the suspension. The garage has checked it again but still cannot find any fault. According to them ‘they have run it up to temperature and the fans come on at the correct temperature range and the temp drops back to operating parameters with no signs of any leak or overflow’.

    The car does not show any symptoms of overheating. The car gets up to temperature and the gauge sits at about two bars short of the mid way mark and does not rise. There does not appear to be water in the oil or oil in the water. It does not lose any water only when it comes out of the overflow pipe. The pipes from the expansion tank / radiator do not appear that hard when warm that would indicate the system is over pressured. If you did not know it was overflowing intermittently and looking to check it then you would not know there is an issue. The car does not do it every time ( I took the car for a 20 mile trip at the weekend with a mixture of fast roads and country lanes and no sign at all, but my wife did a shortish run on Monday and agian there was coolant at the end of the overflow pipe) but I can’t see a common denominator that may be causing this. Maybe the expansion tank cap, but why not every time?

    Help, any ideas ?
  2. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    That's a rather bizzare issue. Is the radiator cap on correctly ?
  3. tightgit Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Yes, it is strange. As this is a diesel it does not have a radiator cap as such. The cap is on the expansion tank and is fitted correctly.

    Doing a bit of search it would appear that the expansion tank cap may be of the type that don't hold pressure all the time, only when the coolant starts to boil, but I stand to be corrected. I wonder if this is sticking some times and not sealing properly when it should, therefore coolant comes out of the overflow pipe.?
  4. FCRV Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Blockage in cooling system or more worrying head gasket.
  5. Doc Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
    Sounds to me like it was originally overfilled which caused it to dump a load of coolant and pretty much then found it's own level. You've then taken it out on a long run in August (very hot weather) and it's then further tried to finish the job and find it's own level. You've then further reduced the level, to half way between the min and max) to insure it's correct which has then solved the problem. This suggests that even after the second time it overflowed it still had too much fluid in it as you had to remove some. After this you didn't have a problem for 3 months, Aug to Nov, because the level was then right! The dealer has then stupidly gone and overfilled the system again and caused the problem to happen all over again. No the technician does not know better when they fill it past the maximum level, there is a minimum and a maximum mark on there for a reason! If I was you I'd remove some of the fluid to half way between the min and max line as you had done previously, which is exactly where it should be, as this solves the problem the first time. Then keep an eye on it but I wouldn't expect you to have any further problems.

    I don't believe you have any problem with the system, blocked pipes, head gasket or otherwise. It's simply been over filled.