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Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4716
Experience:  Fully qualified / self employed garage technician in the UK
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Lots of problems a year. Orange warning light showed

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Lots of problems for over a year. Orange warning light showed on dashboard - after many months it was linked to an ignition problem (new ignition) and warning light stopped appearing. Today the orange light appeared again and the car was juddering, Also last year the carpet was saturated with coolant - no change on temperature dial - several causes were looked at and eventually a new radiator seemed to fix the problem. Also over the year there was excessive heat coming from beneath the dashboard (driver's side) and then later the fan kept running long after the car was stopped. The mechanic put water into the coolant tank and this seemed to stop fan running after engine stopped. Today (a very warm day) the orange light returned - under the carpet was wet on driver's side and car was juddering when driven. My husband put water into the coolant tank and the orange light disappeared. Just drove the car - 5 minutes at 30 mph (sunny evening) no orange light- not juddering - condensation on window - heating off but hot air from beneath steering wheel and fan continued to run after engine stopped for a minute or two. I feel may be all these issued are linked and it is really hard work getting the mechanic to look at this because he has already done a lot of work on the car.

The only way coolant would get into the cars footwell is by a faulty or leaking heater matrix or the hose/pipe work to it..the heater matrix is part of the heater box and thats how you get hot air into the car by the hot coolant passing through the matrix - so that certainly needs to be looked into and kind of surprised they actually changed the main radiator - one way is to get a coolant pressure tester onto the expansion tnak pump it up as per the psi on the cap and then basically go around the entire coolant system looking for leaks aswell as getting the lower dash panels out from beneath the drivers steering wheel.basically access to the heater matrix and the feed/return coolant pipe work to see the matrix and check for leaks around that..but if the coolant is getting to the car thenyour heater matrix is the problem..the orange light maybe due to the lack of coolant juddering if the ect sensor on the thermostat is getting a proper reading as per coolant temperature/fans continuing to the ect is used by the ecu too to sense the engine temperature and alter fuel/air mixture according to how hot or cold the engine is...a diagnostic scan may prove that...i do hope this helps
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Robert

I hasked the garage who did the work - they confirmed that they tightened the clips to the hoses (the next day the car completely steamed up and had to be towed back. They then replaced the hoses. The problem returned shortly after and they eventually discovered that there was a fine crack in the radiator (heater matrix) which they replaced. Not long after the problems I described started and the response has been to add water to the coolant. Today I mentioned that the carpet and underlay under the driver's side is damp/wet and the response was that this may be because the original saturation had not yet dried out (coolant will take longer to dry out as it cannot evaporate in the closed area. Just to mention there seems to have been quite a few components replaced over the year (the ignition system, etc) - I am taking this car to another garage who specialise in electrical work who will look at the matrix again after removing the dashboard.


Yes any type of water that does get into the car whether it be rain water or coolant..will always take a good while to fully dry out..but effrot should be made to get the area dried out..even if that means using athe same type of vac that can lift water out of carpets a bit like the ones used in your house for cleaning carpets would be able to help with that..but you will never always get it out there unless you have a good few warm days with the windows just open slightly would help too..but if your still having to top up coolant then you should have to do that..and something is clearly causing the coolant level to drop continually which is something you need address..but if your seeking anothe rgarage to check this out then ensure they do proper testing for leaks either by pressure test or using a special fluorescent dye leak test kit can help too..
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Robert, thank you again, I have made progress and the new garage did a pressure test and identified that the leak is coming from the heater matrix and that the part did not seem right for the car. They have not yet looked under the dashboard. I contacted the original garage and eventually found out that the radiator fitted was not a genuine Ford part. The mechanic who fitted it has left the company some months ago. They have offered to provide a courtesy car and fit another heater matrix. I still am concerned but my husband wants to give them the opportunity to put it right.


Good to hear you have finally got to the route of the problem..and proves that the "new garage" knows what they are doing - as that would be the first thing even i would do to test for leaks or by dye leak test on any coolant system as i mentioned before - The problem i see is that you've clearly stated that this leak has gone on for sometime and then told to keep filling it up regardless of the fact the matrix and the new one was the original garage has had alot of chances to put this right..... all i can say really is that if the new garage as identifed the matrix faulty then i would of left to them to sort out...but its totally down to your choice who does the job..if the original garage are willing to provide a car and do the job a reduced cost and fitting genuine unit..then it might be worth giving them the benefit of the doubt..just ensure once the jobs complete they give you a run down of the parts fitted and show its a genuine matrix fitted.and the system has been re-tested to ensure no leaks are present...