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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Inspected a 2000 auto 2.5 V6 today. First checked the oil on the dipstick - black but no signs of water mixed in it. The radiator overflow bottle was empty when we arrived though and the owner half filled it before we drove it. There was a tiny tick at tickover when warm and no tick at tickover after the test drive. It drove perfectly despite being driven hard for 20 minutes in 30+ degrees. Even made quite a nice V6 noise, albeit without making much forward progress due no doubt to weighing about the same as the QE2. Temp gauge stayed below the middle. No pinging. No smoke. No pistons came out the side of the block. Both heads remained firmly fixed. No signs of leaks around the head gaskets. It didn't run on when the ignition was switched off. It was possible to touch the cover on top of the radiator without getting burnt. Removal of the oil filler cap showed only a slight oil mist. No other signs of anything amiss. The radiator fan did come on though, but that would be normal when the car stopped moving after a quick drive in high ambient temps, wouldn't it? In any case, it also switched itself off a few minutes later.

However, the overflow bottle was empty again after the drive. We asked the owner about this and he removed the rad cap with his bare hands to check the level in there! No water visible in the radiator, and the owner didn't get burnt so obviously no pressure in the radiator either.

So what do you reckon is occurring here? Modified temp gauge to cover one of the fatal failures? Or just a loose or leaking hose?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There must have been SOME water in the system. Drain it to see how much.
Yup, I agree. I'd assumed that since it didn't seize. I was viewing it with the possibility of buying it. It's 90 minutes away so I can't do any draining etc.

Just needed ideas as to what's going on prior to hearing back from the owner after he's spoken to his mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Owner tells me he's identified the issue as being a leaking heater hose that he's now replaced and it's fixed the issue. Plausible?
 

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Owner tells me he's identified the issue as being a leaking heater hose that he's now replaced and it's fixed the issue. Plausible?
If it still drives OK and you can now see water, it might be worth a look; -Need to be careful removing cap from radiator now it's full.

Have you started bargaining yet?
 
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