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Ford Ka Help Needed!!

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    Hi,

    I recently drove back to uni from home (about 100 miles).
    During my journey I noticed that a warning light had turned on which looked like a thermometer with water underneath it. I haven't checked the manual yet for what this means if anyone knows? (I think it's related to the engine heating up?)

    Also, the heater only blows cold air however hot I set it and normally it warms up fairly quickly.

    Just wondering if anyone had any idea on what this could be and what I should do to fix it - I'm a complete moron with cars. Also, I did a short journey since this and the warning light was no longer on.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by JessMeg)
    Hi,

    I recently drove back to uni from home (about 100 miles).
    During my journey I noticed that a warning light had turned on which looked like a thermometer with water underneath it. I haven't checked the manual yet for what this means if anyone knows? (I think it's related to the engine heating up?)

    Also, the heater only blows cold air however hot I set it and normally it warms up fairly quickly.

    Just wondering if anyone had any idea on what this could be and what I should do to fix it - I'm a complete moron with cars. Also, I did a short journey since this and the warning light was no longer on.

    Thanks
    Yup thats the over temperature warning light tbh id get it into a garage for that one if you have the checked the obvious ie oil etc.

    The cold air problem is caused by the heater control valve which is inexpensive and easy to replace ill try and find you a step by step guide on some of the owners club sites.
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    (Original post by JessMeg)
    Hi,

    I recently drove back to uni from home (about 100 miles).
    During my journey I noticed that a warning light had turned on which looked like a thermometer with water underneath it. I haven't checked the manual yet for what this means if anyone knows? (I think it's related to the engine heating up?)

    Also, the heater only blows cold air however hot I set it and normally it warms up fairly quickly.

    Just wondering if anyone had any idea on what this could be and what I should do to fix it - I'm a complete moron with cars. Also, I did a short journey since this and the warning light was no longer on.

    Thanks
    How fast were you going on the motorway? Be honest!

    I have a feeling you may have a blockage somewhere around your heater which is why your engine is getting hot and why there is no hot air.

    The air temperature going over the radiator at motorway speeds was enough to keep the temperature cool enough not to overheat too badly, but I wouldn't recommend driving around town for too long.

    Check your coolant level in the expansion tank when the engine is cold!
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    I would be inclined to let everything cool and have a look at the coolant level.
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    Yup, a check of coolant level. If that checks out as being low, top it up with water, preferably mixed with some anti freeze given the current weather.

    Have a quick nose under your oil filler cap too - cold heater can be a symptom of a knackered head gasket, but I wouldn't consider it likely.
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    Blockage or stuck thermostat. Obviously check your coolant level first.
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    UPDATE!

    Well, I was finally home during daylight hours so got to check my coolant levels (which I topped up during the holidays!!) - they were REALLY low and I filled it up with about 2 4pint milk bottles full (if not slightly more). Then I turned the engine on for a bit (just to try and get rid of air) and topped it up a bit more (as the levels had decreased a bit).

    Went on a drive to sainsburys (not too far, maybe 5 miles) and did my shopping etc. Checked coolant levels again which had gone down again - topped up with antifreeze (had only used water before as didn't have any proper coolant).

    I'm thinking either I've got a leak (a small one as I managed to drive very far with my engine heating light on - like 50 miles ish if not more), or for some reason the levels went down loads over the holidays and the topping up I had to do after was just getting rid of air.. Does that sound right?! I did get someone to look underneath whilst I was filling up the coolant but the ground was wet anyway so couldn't tell if it was leaking out anywhere.

    Just going to keep an eye on the levels for hte next few days as I'm not actually driving anywhere at the moment and if they carry on dropping then I guess I'll have to go to a garage about a leak.

    Thanks for all your help!
    P.S. Random extra - when I drove to sainsburys after topping up the coolant levels the heating blew hot air!! (so I'm assuming that was related to that rather than the heater valve).
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    Yeh, the heater matrix probably drained of all the coolant (the heater uses engine coolant to heat the air) so with your leak then that will have drained all the coolant out.

    At the same time, I would check the heater matrix as these quite often blow a hole and is the normal reason for getting a slow, but steady leak. So that is the first place I would look if I cannot see an obvious leak.

    Try filling the coolant up with the engine running, you won't get the pressurised system, but you should still see the leak. The heater matrix is usually just behind the engine fire wall, you can trace the coolant pipes back to there. There is hopefully a drain, if not, you might notice your carpets are a little soggy...

    Keep us informed!
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    I exploded the heater tube on my focus, which had the same effect £25 from ford 10mins fitting
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    The heater tube on my mates Punto went, and that filled the car with steam while he was trying to drive round Stoke. Not good.
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    (Original post by Minardi)
    The heater tube on my mates Punto went, and that filled the car with steam while he was trying to drive round Stoke. Not good.
    I probably shouldn't, but I LOL'd so hard when I read that!
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    (Original post by gbduo)
    I probably shouldn't, but I LOL'd so hard when I read that!
    To be fair, ten year old Fiat, to be expected :p:
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    heater control valves on that age of ford are notorious for breaking, pipes snapping off etc.

    Usually if its not a heater matrix leak, the engine getting hot then blowers going cold means water is dangerously low so pull over to sort it!!

    your just lucky the ancient 1.3 in a ka is quite tough or you could have done some damage.

    If your loosing as much water as you say then you should be able to tell when you park up on a dry bit of tarmac.
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    Yeah i had to admit, given the engine water temp light came on, and you ignored it for 50miles, your luck to have either got home or still have an engine left to put water in.

    Once an engine looses coolant water (total loss) your talking minutes at the most.
    Similarly if you loose oil/oilpresure (again assuming total loss) your talking seconds.
    If you want to talk milliseconds to engine loss of cause, water pump/cambelt failure.

    But no, if its loosing coolent that fast (a slow coolent leak it a pint ever 100 miles) i would suggest getting it looked at asap. You may even be able to phyicaly see where its coming out or find a puddle under the car once parked. Or in the passenger footwell if its the heater matrix thats gone.



    Daniel
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    Could be your heater matrix? check to see if your passenger footwell is wet, if so you have your answer

    if it aint then you could have a loose/damaged/cracked hose, open the bonnet and inspect it while the engine is running. A good indication will be bubbles in the coolant resevouir as well as you leaking some. Normally when you running really low on coolant your engine fan will be constantly on aswell as record an incorrect coolant temperature error which I believe you have

    if you don't get the above, then it might be that your blower control panel is aat fault

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