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Old 20-05-2021   #1
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Air lock

Hi all,

What should have been a small issue ended with a new head gasket and a struggle to get someone competent to adjust the valve clearance. Anyway, I have worked my way down the list of necessary repairs and less necessary but nevertheless rational maintenance. Now the engine bay contains many new parts.


There is one issue that I have been struggling with and mechanics here do not have the patience to engage with (I am actually shocked at how many of them are not willing or able to look at a 25 year old car). My engine runs slightly too hot according to the temperature meter. The temperature also moves up and down just a few degrees around 90 degrees Celsius which is unrelated to whether the car is moving or not, or the weather conditions). And the heater matrix gurgles when I start the engine from cold. So, I tend to conclude that there is still air in the system, even though I have been putting it on a steep hill and had the engine on and the radiator cap off while pressing the coolant hoses for about 10 minutes. This has led to some improvement, but still the temperature is slightly too high and I suspect an air lock around the radiator, because opening the valve controlling the heater matrix lowers the temperature slightly. Also, the radiator fan does not come on when you expect this according to the temperature meter, even though the sensor is brand new and original. Same goes for the radiator, coolant pump, thermostat (I am on my third one just to be sure), all belts, gaskets, coolant, etc. Radiator fan directly on 12V works like a breeze.


My question therefore is, do you have any suggestions for getting rid of the air lock on my 1995 1.4 i.e.?
Or maybe, is the air lock eplanation not the right one?
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Last edited by Tipo19GR; 20-05-2021 at 16:16.
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Old 20-05-2021   #2
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Re: Air lock

I should post some pictures:
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Old 20-05-2021   #3
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Re: Air lock

gurgling is air, i had this on every start up and it went eventually. i think in the end i jacked it up at the header tank corner only, so that was the highest point, and ran it for a while with the lid off. I also opened the lid a little after every run and thought i heard air being expelled, and i think that may have been effective. I assume you are filling it up with the heat on to avoid air locks?

I would have thought running it through the heater would lower the temperature anyway because of the extra circuit in which to lose heat.

my fan comes on at 95 to 100 but its very quiet and easy to miss. this could move your temp around but if it's not that, well that is a little odd :-( i also found my wires had come unplugged from the resistor they are easy to knock off.

i had a learning curve with petrol so probably stating something obvious but i have found if the air mix is not quite right i.e. a leak i.e. running lean it seems to raise the running temperature, but then you would experience some running problems.
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Old 21-05-2021   #4
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Re: Air lock

It's amazing you made this post, I am struggling with the same thing on my 95 Tipo 1.4 ie. I had some issues with fuelling when the car was not fully warm, this is a problem I had for a long time but recently it became very bad. I suspected bad water temperature measurements were confusing the ECU, so I changed the coolant and tried to carefully fill and bleed it. But I still have a gurgling heater matrix.

This model Tipo is very difficult to bleed, there is no bleed valve in the pipes etc. (I think the 1.6 had a bleed valve so why not the 1.4 ?). I got rid of some air by squeezing the hoses either side of the thermostat, there was a big air lock there because the hoses were cold until I squeezed them and made a big "burp".

I think I will have to try jacking the corner up high, but also if you rev the engine it can also help to move trapped air.

Good luck...
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Old 31-05-2021   #5
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Re: Air lock

Thank you for your replies!

I am now applying the method of letting the air escape after each ride. I hope that will solve things. I have been thinking about a lean mixture as well, but it is an unlikely explanation, because the car drives perfectly, there is no power loss or anything, no hissing, it has a new ngk oxygen sensor, new exhaust from the engine all the way to the end muffler, new head gasket and head skimmed at a specialised workshop.

If I can get this solved, there is only a door lock to be fixed and then I can say it is in mint condition
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Old 03-06-2021   #6
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Re: Air lock

After I posted last time I refilled my system, I jacked up the corner of the subframe near the filler bottle very high and ran the engine squeezing the hoses etc. This seemed to eventually release a lot of trapped air, I now only have a few small gurgling noises and I do think that it gradually reduces if you drive the car and keep chasing the air out.
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Old 03-06-2021   #7
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Re: Air lock

i drove into Manchester last week, after work started the car up to go home and heard a gurgling, I couldn't believe it, as it hadn't gurgled for months. My extra bleed valve doesn't seem to have much effect.
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Old 04-06-2021   #8
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Re: Air lock

Jonti, do you also have higher than normal operating temperature? Or fluctuating engine temperature?
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Old 04-06-2021   #9
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Re: Air lock

I don't think I do. Temp is stable around 1/4 or 1/3 but can rise to over half and maybe even 3/4 in heat/traffic, which is a little alarming when you're used to diesels, which don't move. In my case I am worried about the state of the 2nd gasket above the inlet manifold and below the spacer (wish I replaced it at the time as the manifold has to come off again).
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Old 04-06-2021   #10
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Re: Air lock

What would a bad gasket beneath the spacer do? Allow air to be sucked into the engine?

I believe one of these gaskets is no longer available, either the upper or lower gasket, I cannot remember which one exactly. I had mine sealed with a liquid sealer.

Strange that you have the engine at 1/4 or 1/3, isn't it supposed to sit in the middle at constant speed? At least, my 1.4 i.e. did that for 15 years


You are right that the temperature management has always been a bit liberal on these engines in the sense that the fan kicks in relatively late and allows the engine to become quite hot, but in my experience that never caused a problem.
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Old 06-06-2021   #11
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Re: Air lock

Yes it could, and so be running hotter. I think my gasket also may have been resealed, but I can't verify until I take it apart. I ordered a gasket from Italy (not listed under the part no, so maybe the last one!) As you say, the other gasket is available. Mine runs at 75 or 80 degrees in free traffic. The middle of the gauge is 90, but because the edges of the gauge have more increments, it's actually nearer the middle of the range than it looks. My fuel gauge is jumping about though, looks like a poor earth or reader.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: Air lock

Hi Jonti,

I never responded to this. I ultimately managed to get the air out, so now the only issue left is that the temperature is a little bit too high, it is consistently around 94 degrees. I think this is probably a situation of lean running, and my next step is changing the fuel filter.


Did you order the gasket on ebay?

I have always considered the wildly fluctuating fuel level measurement as a feature, they all did this and it does not improve with age and systematically low fuel levels in the tank. This 'feature' actually synchronises beautifully with the wildly moving and pausing windscreen wipers and the failing indicator lights solved by pressing the emergency indicator light button. Add to the mix the lack of an air recycling switch on models without a/c and you have a perfect explanation as to why Tipo drivers are good at dealing with high levels of task load.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #13
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Re: Air lock

yes the fastest wiper intermittent setting in particular is alarming. My last Tipo was prone to grease on the voltage track, which momentarily paused the wipers at random points on the arc too... The fuel needle is quivering violently, plus the natural fluctuations. The hazard switch does knock out the indicators, pre-mot I exercise all the switches several times. An indicated 94 is to the right of the middle, so it's not right. After my garage heated up my car for the MOT emissions, I could hear air in the system. He made the comment that the heat 'would have drawn air into the system'. If this is true, and your really running at 94, you would think you would have an air problem. If not, is it an instrument panel fault?
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Old 5 Days Ago   #14
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Re: Air lock

I've had to open up my wiper motor electrics box a few times and wipe grease off the tracks... that cures the juddering on the slower wipe settings.

My gurgling in the heater matrix is also back.

Also changed the wiper blade inserts, a bit tricky on one side and the other has a couple of the little gripper fingers broken now so I'll have to silicone the insert onto the arm I think.

The fluctuating fuel gauge could be frayed / shorting wired under the boot carpet, over time they can get damaged by stuff being dropped into the boot etc.
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