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Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 4340
Experience:  Fully qualified 19+yrs exp/self employed technician in the UK
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I got a guy who is a mechanic and who lives round the corner

Resolved Question:

I got a guy who is a mechanic and who lives round the corner to drain my coolant from my volvo car and I insisted that I wanted 50 50 that Volvo recommends but he would not do it and said that because my car is a 1994 model it would damage my car. I am a female who knows very little about cars but I insisted that I wanted 50 50 but he wouldn't do it and put in 3 to 1 mix and used tap water as well. my car seemed fine however, we had a minus 2 temp for a few days and it wouldn't start and he came back and started it. However it went to -2 again the next night and it wouldn't start and he started it again and I charged it up in the drive. However, it won't go again and he was refusing to help me but changed his mind and said that there must be something wrong with my car. He said that he would start it today again but won't put in the 50 50 The car was perfectly fine and had just had it's MOT before he touched it. Please help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.



Hopefully i can help..


What was the reason for having the coolant replaced? is this the first time its been done?


What is the engine actually doing by not starting? ie:- Does the engine spin over or Just no responce when the key is turned?


Do you know exactly what this mechanic does to get it going?


Any warnings/lights suddenly come up on the instrument panel at all?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Robert, This guy had washed my car and had looked in the bonnet and said that my coolant looked dirty and needed replaced. It had been changed in a garage when it got a full service 2 years before and it was fine and ran fine. There is a noise when I turn they key when it doesn't start. He starts it with a battery and leads. No warning lights come up. My car had just passed it's Mot that day and was running very well and I have never had any trouble with it and I have had it since it was new..

Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.

Hi..there thanks for your reply..


Ok..A routine coolant change shouldn't cause a problem like this - I am assuming he hasn't washed the engine bay! if he has then this would ultimately cause a whole host of electrical problems if water gets into the the engine electrics/like small plug connectors/relays/fuse panels/parts of the ignition system etc..

..Normally any good mechanic would test antifreeze/coolant "strength" with a proper tester - most under a tenner is ideal for quickly testing the concentration of the antifreeze in your vehicle as thats what you test for..if the strength is low then thats time to replace..if by what he said it looked "dirty" by in what way..rust - oil? if dirty then yes it would be worth replacing..aswell as too "flushing" out the coolant system of whats left in there..before adding new coolant which i may add "has to be close to 50 percent mixture"..You can get 5 litre concentrates which are already pre mixed to put in - aswell if need be a small top up of distilled water..if you live in a hard water area..It wouldnt harm the engine to put 50/50 in..putting straight water in would - as coolant/antifreeze helps reduce internal corrosion/rust formation where straight water doesnt...I feel from what your describing is that the battery is getting low hence the reason for jump starting and then the car starts up..which means either something has been knocked of during the coolant change/something has got wet during the coolant change - electrically which would need to be checked out ie: alternator connections/starter connections/earth connections - The best advice i can give you from here would be once you get it started maybe try a local garage try here and have them check it over or even a reputable mobile mechanic to re-inspect the areas as above or for a possible battery parasytic drain/charging fault..I do hope this helps..if you need to ask anything else or include anything further then just continue before you rate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Robert, If the car starts is the car safe to drive and take it for a run with that coolant. Also if I should stop the car would it start again? If there is water in the electrics etc. would I be able to burn it off if I take it for a drive. I am so worried now about my car and this guy is not helpful at all and he has said it's my car that has a problem and I believe that he has caused this and done something wrong. He also knows that I lost my husband a few years ago and still is not the least bit helpful.

Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.

Hi..there..thanks for your reply..


You can do..if you have back up for example RAC/AA as such just incase..If not maybe leave the car running at idle for about half an hour if possible on your driveway - once its started - to get it too fully heat up and that should let the engine heat up/aswell as ensure the battery gets charged ideally you would need a multimeter to check the alternators doing what it should be doing ie:- sending at least 14.5v to the battery aswell as from the output terminal on the back..with the engine at idel and left just periodically keep montioring the temp gauge etc..and then turn off and then try the car again till its cooled down too see if starts up again..if not then i would very much advise getting somebody that knows what their doing by checking the charging system/battery/starter etc aswell as all electrical connections under the bonnet as previously mentioned to sort this out for you or at the very least inspect the previous job carried out to see what may have been damage or knocked off or subsequently got wet during the coolant drain...Its unfortunate to hear this possible mechanic isnt willing to help you out even though he knows the score as per your recent loss? just sounds like to me he's givin you a problem you could of done well without or cause an issue that wasnt their before to gain extra money from it -it can happen and have seen it/heard it myself losts on call outs..but like i say above give that option above of maybe taking it around the block..or just let it idle for a while or as mentioned above maybe pop into your regular garage or via that site and explain exactly whats been done from start to present and they should be able to help you out or trace the fault down at least i would hope..I do hope this helps further

Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 4340
Experience: Fully qualified 19+yrs exp/self employed technician in the UK
Robert and other Volvo Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you so much Robert for all the advice that you have given me because I didn't know where to turn. I am in the AA so if I do b/down I will get help. You have given me an enormous amount of help when I was feeling so low about my car and I could give you a big hug. I will take on board what you have said and advised me. I am truly grateful for all the help that you have given me. Thank you so much.

Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.



Thats no problem very pleased to of helped..However if you need to ask anything else or need advice then just ask..and many thanks for rating my assistance most appreciated..Regards Robert

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