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Thread: Coolant leak from bulkhead / firewall area

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    UK
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    Default Coolant leak from bulkhead / firewall area

    As title
    2005 UK spec D5 auto.
    I have a coolant leak! - This is dripping from an open ended rubber pipe on The RHS (looking into engine bay) 3" above the gear shift cable. About 1/2" diameter It seems to go back under the heater (towards the middle of car)
    Carpets dry, leak reduces when heating turned off. No leak around heater connections on engine side
    My assumption is that the heater core is leaking from the top, and then draining into the AC condensor drain. Is this even possible??
    Cant think of any other source of the leak!
    Before I start pulling the heater core, has anyone got any better ideas or confirmation that this is the case?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    I'm confused by "dripping from an open ended rubber pipe." The interior heater lines are aluminum tubes that run from the side of the heater core and then pass through the firewall to connect to the rubber heater hoses in the engine compartment. I don't think there are any rubber heater hoses in the interior. If you are sure the leaking fluid is coolant and the interior lines and connecters aren't leaking, then the core is probably leaking. Seems like it would eventually flow down to the carpet, though.

    Can you take a pic of the leaking fluid?
    2001 Volvo V70XC
    Venitian Red/Beige
    Cold Weather/Touring/Premium packages
    08/01 Build Date

  3. #3
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    Yeah, a pic would be good as the open-ended rubber pipe you seem to be referring to sounds like the plenum drain not the condensor one. And it is coolant you are seeing and not just water, right?

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-118K mi to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-270K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '98 V70-gone @390k kms
    '91 744GL-killed by son @ 220K kms
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    '90 744T w/Turbo Plus-killed by son @260K mi
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by billr99 View Post
    Yeah, a pic would be good as the open-ended rubber pipe you seem to be referring to sounds like the plenum drain not the condensor one. And it is coolant you are seeing and not just water, right?

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Thanks Bill, I thought the condensor / plenum drain was one and the same - im pretty sure that is where the fluid is coming from.
    Taking a picture of this little bugger will be nigh on impossible! I can only just angle my head enough to find it.
    I am 99% certain that the leak is on the passenger side of the bulkhead, but draining onto the engine side - Just cant quite conceive how that is working (My old car suffered heater matrix o ring failure, so I know all about that!!)

  5. #5
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoeB View Post
    I'm confused by "dripping from an open ended rubber pipe." The interior heater lines are aluminum tubes that run from the side of the heater core and then pass through the firewall to connect to the rubber heater hoses in the engine compartment. I don't think there are any rubber heater hoses in the interior. If you are sure the leaking fluid is coolant and the interior lines and connecters aren't leaking, then the core is probably leaking. Seems like it would eventually flow down to the carpet, though.

    Can you take a pic of the leaking fluid?
    Moe, thanks.
    To clarify, the leak is on the engine side, but im pretty sure its originating on the passenger side and finding a drain hose
    Fluid is definitely coolant and not condensate.
    My gut feeling is a pinhole squirting over into the condensor housing, but thr net seems devoid of previous experience!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinperry View Post
    Thanks Bill, I thought the condensor / plenum drain was one and the same - im pretty sure that is where the fluid is coming from.
    Taking a picture of this little bugger will be nigh on impossible! I can only just angle my head enough to find it.
    I am 99% certain that the leak is on the passenger side of the bulkhead, but draining onto the engine side - Just cant quite conceive how that is working (My old car suffered heater matrix o ring failure, so I know all about that!!)
    Martin:

    I guess what I am referring to as far as the plenum drain are the ones that are attached to the two "grids" on either fender-side of the panel right forward of the windshield. If you see what I mean. There is also a drain off the bottom of the heater housing that attached to a pipe going into the space just forward of the right side front door. I also thought that the condensor drain attaches to the tunnel right under the condensor in the front centre console area under the radio and CCM?

    Anyway, I'm still confused but the possibility of a pinhole leak somewhere in the coolant hardlines is not inconceivable especially if you live anywhere near the seaside and the car has some time on it. Not caused by internal corrosion but external from the salt air. It is something I've had happen even on oil and tranny fluid hardlines as they do not have the same anti-corrosion specs as the brakelines.

    Good Luck,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-118K mi to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-270K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '98 V70-gone @390k kms
    '91 744GL-killed by son @ 220K kms
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    '90 744T w/Turbo Plus-killed by son @260K mi
    '78 245-killed by wife @166K mi
    '76 265-gas hog gone
    And other misc. Euro stuff

  7. #7
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    It may help a little...
    2001 V70XC - Nautic Blue/ 2-tone Sand/ Premium/ Instant MPG 12 - 63/ Pirelli P4 12/32" - 740/ Duracell 48/ MOBIL-3309/ Pennzoil EURO 5W-40/ Zimmerman Z-coated/ Akebono/ 190K-mi/ Great Lakes

  8. #8
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    May I missed it but is the coolant level going down? Are you having to add coolant?

    Terminology correction (pet peeve and less confusion caused). The AC evaporator is in the HVAC box in the car with the heater core. The condenser is in front of the radiator.

  9. #9
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    UK
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    Thanks All
    Got to the bottom of this.
    The leak was actually from the lower radiator hose, where it joins the water pripe round the back of the engine. Thich was spraying onto the bulkead and dripping from the condensor drain!!
    Thank goodness for that - the removal of the heater matrix on a RHD car requires removal of the entire dashboard.
    That said, why are all the hose clips installed upside down in the factory to make them total PITAs to undo???

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinperry View Post
    Thanks All
    Got to the bottom of this.
    The leak was actually from the lower radiator hose, where it joins the water pripe round the back of the engine. Thich was spraying onto the bulkead and dripping from the condensor drain!!
    Thank goodness for that - the removal of the heater matrix on a RHD car requires removal of the entire dashboard.
    That said, why are all the hose clips installed upside down in the factory to make them total PITAs to undo???
    The clips are lined up that way because all the engine install work at the factory is from under the car. That is, the car is suspended on the transportation system, the front subframe with engine, gearbox, and front suspension is lifted into the car and all the humans then hook up the hoses and wires...from below.

    And such things are never thought of by the process engineers in regard to anyone ever working on the car after it leaves the factory.

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-118K mi to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-270K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '98 V70-gone @390k kms
    '91 744GL-killed by son @ 220K kms
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    '90 744T w/Turbo Plus-killed by son @260K mi
    '78 245-killed by wife @166K mi
    '76 265-gas hog gone
    And other misc. Euro stuff

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