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OK so first off I'm fairly sure I know I shouldn't have used radweld so please no need to tell me I shouldn't have done this etc etc. I'm simply amazed they are still aloud to sell that garbage.



Anyway so I had a small leak thought some Radweld was an easy fix. Put it in yesterday drove on the engine for 20 mins or so and all seemed fine. Been out today and no heating, not on electric not when the ice was running. Turned the heating up to high and it says the heater isn't on most of the time then it will come on for a few seconds before going back off again.



Fairly sure the radweld had clogged up my heater so few questions:



I usually drive on 95% electric with the heating off, am I OK leaving it as is for now? Not going anywhere much at the moment as working from home due to lock down or do I need to get the coolant changed ASAP?

If the coolant needs changing is it an easy job?

If the heater core needs replacing where is it and can it be changed without too much bother?



Once again I realise I've not done the right thing please don't reply just to tell me I'm an idiot I know I am. Your help is appreciated
 

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Are you sure that the leak hasn't created an air lock in the heater?
Seconded...radweld is designed to go into systems with heat exchangers, it shouldn't go off unless in contact with air and even then will only seal the tiniest of gaps. If you ca access the hoses feeding the heat exchanger (or even any flexible coolant hoses), give them a squeeze when the system is running. This will help pump water round and might free an airlock.

Radweld has saved my bacon a couple of times, fixed a leak in a heater matrix once. Clearly won't be as good as fixing something "properly", but it sure is cheaper!
 

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There was always a bit of a gurgling bubble of coolant in the heat exchanger above the glove box (RHD). Highest point in the system and where any air bubbles ended up.Most owners have reported this, and usually more noticeable after a coolant change, where I have usually advised to mash it down the motorway on mountain mode to cure.

If this does what it says on the tin, and solidifies in contact with air, then, yep, that's probably where it has turned into a solid lump.

I would have said your flow valve would be knackered but if you are getting neither electric nor engine heat, then yes probably the glove box matrix.

Including the failed rad, expect a £4~5k bill if you let a dealer do it. If you can do it yourself then it might be achievable on a budget using US sourced parts (if that LHD cabin rad is the same?), but if you got to this point then perhaps not yourself to do this job? Sorry for bad news. :confused:
 

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Holy moley!! It's hearing repair costs like these which scares me about this car.

Mind you, if that was just the heating not working I would probably live with that rather than cough up that much!! Mione isn't working right (mentioned elsewhere) and I suspect from what's been said it's the valve but I'm not about to spend a fortune fixing it.
 

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Holy moley!! It's hearing repair costs like these which scares me about this car.

Mind you, if that was just the heating not working I would probably live with that rather than cough up that much!! Mione isn't working right (mentioned elsewhere) and I suspect from what's been said it's the valve but I'm not about to spend a fortune fixing it.
Well, that is why I sold mine, with much regret and hand-wringing.

Fact is, it's going to be generally true for all electric cars. Less frequent, but much more expensive, failures.

That pricing is a guess on my behalf, based on a fair knowledge of the work and parts price, but one way or the other tread carefully when getting a dealer to commit a price, as they'll see a pretty much open cheque book if you present them with that problem. If you can get them to commit to no more than £2k to make sure the job is complete, I'd jump at that, TBH.

Never, ever use anything but premix dexcool in any of the circuits. They all have HV interfaces and putting anything but a fully neutralised coolant in is asking for problems. I am aware the handbook even offers up the chance to mix coolant from tap water for the engine circuit (only) but, really, don't do it. There is still an electric heater in that circuit hooked up to a source of damaging/lethal electrical power.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are you sure that the leak hasn't created an air lock in the heater?
I had the leak for 3 years and other than having to top up the water in the header tank once every 6 months or so it all worked fine
 

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Fact is, it's going to be generally true for all electric cars. Less frequent, but much more expensive, failures.
I agree with the general point above, but the same is true for any modern car - larger, more integrated, more expensive assemblies that are less suitable for home maintenance.

It is ironic though that the issue we are talking about here doesn't relate to the electric bit at all.
 

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I agree with the general point above, but the same is true for any modern car - larger, more integrated, more expensive assemblies that are less suitable for home maintenance.

It is ironic though that the issue we are talking about here doesn't relate to the electric bit at all.
Well, yes and no. The parts on electric cars are currently fewer and more expensive.

The bias of cost between diagnosis, disassembly and part cost is quite different. EVs cost thousands to fix and, as historic anecdotes show, months to fix. Having a car off the road for 4 months because no-on can figure what's wrong, or the parts are still being made in Korea, or whatever, is not a zero-cost.

This may all change, of course, as the thrust of your point is generally correct that ICE are on a trajectory of increasing complexity and cost, while EVs are on a reducing trajectory. We're not there quite yet, I don't believe, but by 2030 probably so.
 

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I had the leak for 3 years and other than having to top up the water in the header tank once every 6 months or so it all worked fine
Sadly that probably also allowed the air pocket to build up. Modern cars are often designed with high points in the coolant system, and can only be filled using a vacuum system. The kit is cheap but you need sufficient storage for the whole quantity of coolant.
 

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Well, yes and no. The parts on electric cars are currently fewer and more expensive.

The bias of cost between diagnosis, disassembly and part cost is quite different. EVs cost thousands to fix and, as historic anecdotes show, months to fix. Having a car off the road for 4 months because no-on can figure what's wrong, or the parts are still being made in Korea, or whatever, is not a zero-cost.

This may all change, of course, as the thrust of your point is generally correct that ICE are on a trajectory of increasing complexity and cost, while EVs are on a reducing trajectory. We're not there quite yet, I don't believe, but by 2030 probably so.
Exactly. But hybrids, however well designed, are the work of the devil with more than the sum of the components of an EV and an ICE drivetrain.
 

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Exactly. But hybrids, however well designed, are the work of the devil with more than the sum of the components of an EV and an ICE drivetrain.
Nice way if describing how hybrids combine worst of battery and ICE technology.
 

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Exactly. But hybrids, however well designed, are the work of the devil with more than the sum of the components of an EV and an ICE drivetrain.
That depends on the technology and its implementation.

There have been various incidents with Volt reported in the US (not heard of likewise for Ampera in UK) in which either the engine failed and the electric carried on, or the electric failed and it just ran the engine. A regular system would have been a break-down.

If you have two machines working in parallel and each is at a lower stress operating point which extents its mean time between failures, then two machines together might well experience less than half the failures than if each of those two machines were running independently.

In a fully serial hybrid ('electrified ICE') then, yes, it is a Frankenstein. The current outpouring of PHEVs are generally based on an old dinosaur gearbox with a motor thrown into it somewhere. This perpetuates 'the old ways', which is what the industry would like.

But the above is NOT what i3 and Ampera are about, yet here we are 10 years after those things came out and we've STILL not seen anything of technical comparison. Unbelievable.

So your point is correct, @dk6780 , but only for specific cases. Richard and I are not talking about these mock-up PHEVs. I don't even call them EVs. Just slapping a motor into an ICE doesn't make it an EV, and as you say, at that point you get the failure rate squared rather than halved, because any one thing will shut the whole thing down.

I've suggested before that cars should come with an optional 'space' in which you can fit a standard form factor and connection system/protocol, and you can then buy either of more batteries, a REx, or nothing at all and use it for luggage! If your REx were to go wrong, you could drop it off at the dealer, get a spare installed for a few days, and go back later. Or just have a swap-and-fix service, not like you really care whose it is if it works, or just rent one for your holidays and hand it back. Would you have the same objections if that was the technology?
 

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That sounds like the eutopian dream of hot swapping battery packs rather than recharging on long journeys.
If the full system including all of the electrical modules and ancillaries such as heating and fuel tanks could be switched then that would make sense. However that will never happen as for packaging reasons components are spread all over the vehicle.
The late unlamented Renault 21 was designed to accept both FWD and RWD drive trains and the compromises to allow both meant lots of wasted space and a chassis that handled poorly for both options. The aerodynamic compromises of including an ICE in an EV to make a hybrid or REx are similar.
Your point about series hybrids is well made. They were what I was referring to, so apologies for being OT. But, whilst advanced hybrids can continue to function when components relating to one drive system, the complexity of the interlinked systems means that relatively minor failures in simple components becomes inordinately expensive to repair, e.g. the OPs situation.
I take technical issue with your including the i3 REx in the same group as the Voltec. There's no link from the REx unit to the drive, it goes via the battery and is not an independent drive.
 

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I take technical issue with your including the i3 REx in the same group as the Voltec. There's no link from the REx unit to the drive, it goes via the battery and is not an independent drive.
Why? Voltec does that 'too'. It does 'other stuff' as well, but it is a serial hybrid just like an i3 most of the time off highway.
 

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That sounds like the eutopian dream of hot swapping battery packs rather than recharging on long journeys.
If the full system including all of the electrical modules and ancillaries such as heating and fuel tanks could be switched then that would make sense. However that will never happen as for packaging reasons components are spread all over the vehicle.
There is no reason to apply that restriction.

That's sounds a bit like someone throwing up all the problems with electric cars back in the 1990s. Yeah, the tech is not market-ready, yet, and your point is?.....
 

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If you leave components in the core vehicle they have to be connected to and may represent the problem. The OPs example is a case in point, changing the ICE is unlikely to cure the issue and the effort of changing the ICE is much greater due to the components outside of the ICE module which are shared with the EV module.
 

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I had the leak for 3 years and other than having to top up the water in the header tank once every 6 months or so it all worked fine
You should never top up with water as it is coolant, not water that is leaking away. I would recommend draining the engine coolant and re-filling with the premixed Dexcool by following the procedure.
 

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Replacing a heater matrix on a 1995 VW is a dashboard out job and a dealer would happily quote you 12 hours labour for it. Multi-thousand pound repairs are not the exclusive domain of electric vehicles and never have been.
 

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I’m a mechanic,but not on ev’s.
I’ve got an ampera and this is what I’ve always done with any car with matrix problems.
Remove both hoses leading to the matrix in the engine bay,put a hose pipe onto one of them and turn on fully,if it’s got a slight block in it,it will come out.
If it’s not flowing,swop they pipes and try that.
If it’s blocked,then you’ll have to remove it.
The electric heat is by an element,only the heat off the ice is through the matrix in the car.
Let us know how you got on.
 
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