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I own a Toyota Corolla Axio NKE 165 (2014). I have some query regarding the cooling system. Your kind advise and input would be highly appreciated.

On Friday, 8/March, when I started the car in the afternoon it was making some unusual noise and I had my mechanic come over and see the car. He claimed that the A/C motor was the cause and advised that I replace it. Also, the front shock absorbers were worn out, so the A/C fan with the shock absorbers were replaced and the car was handed to me on Saturday (next day). After which, I went for a short drive and everything seemed normal.

On Sunday, 10/March, I took the car and set off down the Katunayake highway towards Kandy, when I noticed an error message on the dashboard that read “check engine water / coolant level”. This error message popped up near the exit toll gate, so I drove to the nearest fuel station, about 1 to 2 km away, and checked my engine (the Coolant reservoir tank, not by opening the radiator cap). I was shocked to see that there was no coolant in the reservoir tank at all.

Later, I handed over the car to the mechanic and he is claiming that it is an issue with the “engine water pump” and that it needs replacement.

My query is;

1. How can all the coolant be lost suddenly? (note - there are no visible leaks including in the engine)

2. According to the mechanic, he claims that if the engine water pump stops working, then the coolant will overflow from the radiator/reservoir tank and it will be lost (his explanation for an empty coolant reservoir tank). Is this true? Can this happen?

3. Could all of this be due to some fault/error made by the mechanic during replacement of the A/C fan motor (as this fan also plays a vital role in the cooling process, according to somethings I read)?

Please note, there has been never an instance, before this, when the coolant level has been low. All this issue started after the replacement of the A/C fan motor.

Your kind advise would be a great help.

Thank You,

Best Regards.

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It certainly sounds like your mechanic is taking you for a ride.

First of all, I'm pretty sure that the cooling fan in the engine bay can be taken out without having to take out the radiator in the Axio. So your mechanic would have simply had to swap out the fan without touching the coolant or anything else. 

1. Maybe he disassembled the radiator to get to the fan and reassembled everything, which would mean he drained the coolant. After refilling, the cooling system needs to be bled to remove air bubbles trapped in the system. He may have not done that, causing the excess coolant in the reservoir to be pulled into the radiator. This can cause the expansion tank to lose coolant. 

2. Bullshit. Pardon my language, but I can't believe mechanics actually say all sorts of fairy tales like this to fool customers. 

3. It sure looks like that to me. 

Take your car to a different, good, garage or the agent and get the coolant topped up, bled out and monitor for a few days. 

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Hi Davy,

Thank you for your input.

The mechanic claims that he did not disassemble the radiator or any part thereof. He claims that only the A/C fan motor was replaced.

Further, he says, usually the engine water pump in any car needs replacement after about 100,000km.

I am unable to car from him, since I towed it and left it at his garage and he has already disassembled the pump.

Would you be kind enough to suggest some expert to help me on this regard?

Thank you

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, ziyard_9834 said:

Further, he says, usually the engine water pump in any car needs replacement after about 100,000km.

No, that's not right either. Water pumps last a really long time, especially if you have coolant in your system instead of tap water. What happens usually with water pumps is that the bearing gives way or the seal starts leaking. It doesn't need to be replaced so early unless there's an issue. 

Ask him to show you the original water pump that he took off the car. Snap a photo of it and share here. While you have it in your hand, try spinning the propeller to feel if it spins smoothly. Also check if the propeller has excessive free play (try to move it laterally). 

As for a good garage, I'm afraid another member will have to help you out as I'm out of the country and I've lost touch about good workshops. The only place I can recommend is the agent. 

Edited by Davy

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