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silica grain in the header tank

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Kirky

Active Member
Apr 10, 2019
997
468
My car is still under factory warranty so I'm leaving mine until that's up. If it splits then not my problem to deal with. But outside of that hopefully more developments are done on this topic so I can make a decision
These are my thoughts too. I've got the 5 year manufacturer warranty so hopefully they'll have resolved most issues in 5 years time as I guess if it happens to enough cars, someone will eventually file a lawsuit against them.
 

RUM4MO

Active Member
Jun 4, 2008
6,165
424
South Scotland
These are my thoughts too. I've got the 5 year manufacturer warranty so hopefully they'll have resolved most issues in 5 years time as I guess if it happens to enough cars, someone will eventually file a lawsuit against them.
I don't think that that will work against the power of VW Group, has been tried plenty times in the past in UK at least with no redress to customers, which is all most of us are concerned with, being offered any settlement after you have sold the car on is not going to work - and VW Group know this only too well.

It's each customer looking out for themselves and maybe helping others to avoid problems that works.
 

LR231998

Alor Blue 290 Cupra
Jan 21, 2019
485
186
I have a 2016 (66) Cupra and my coolant tank says “milt silkat” on it too however I haven’t checked if I have the bag. Mine takes G13.
 

collywobble

Active Member
Jun 20, 2019
57
15
North Devon
Forgive me for posting here but earlier this year I purchased an Ibiza 1.2 TSi FR 2015MY for SWMBO. The owners manual says it uses G13 antifreeze but what was in the header tank was an orangey-pink colour. My daughter has a 2019MY Arona which has the lilac coloured anti-freeze (G13) and she said the anti-freeze in in her mother's car was the same colour as her old 2002MY Cordoba. I've had the Ibiza drained and flushed and replaced with G13 as per the owners manual but I am now worried I may have done the wrong thing. I assumed that the dealer I bought it from was trying to get rid of old anti freeze (I did have a bit of a falling out with him when I bought the car as we road tested it with no MOT and the front tyres with the cords showing!) I can't see any sack of silica in the header tank if that is where it is supposed to be.....
 

LR231998

Alor Blue 290 Cupra
Jan 21, 2019
485
186
Forgive me for posting here but earlier this year I purchased an Ibiza 1.2 TSi FR 2015MY for SWMBO. The owners manual says it uses G13 antifreeze but what was in the header tank was an orangey-pink colour. My daughter has a 2019MY Arona which has the lilac coloured anti-freeze (G13) and she said the anti-freeze in in her mother's car was the same colour as her old 2002MY Cordoba. I've had the Ibiza drained and flushed and replaced with G13 as per the owners manual but I am now worried I may have done the wrong thing. I assumed that the dealer I bought it from was trying to get rid of old anti freeze (I did have a bit of a falling out with him when I bought the car as we road tested it with no MOT and the front tyres with the cords showing!) I can't see any sack of silica in the header tank if that is where it is supposed to be.....
I’d always go with the manual especially if the dealer is clearly clueless to even what the legal standards are for a car.
 
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Dec 31, 2019
3
0
I’m having an issue with my heating and from looking at this thread this seems to hit the nail on the head. I purchased an extended warranty for my 2015 Leon fr estate which runs out in June. I have never looked at the warranty booklet, car had been serviced and I have receipts but because I didn’t use an approved garage or one that keeps digital records and VAT registered then warranty company aren’t going to uphold my claim. The service book states “service inline with manufacturers instruction etc” I thought this mean genuine parts and oils etc. Been quoted £944 to fix it - they didn’t go into specifics but did mention needing a full drain down and matrix change so I’m guessing this is the issue. I’m taking it up with seat uk in the new year but currently driving round in a cold car . Anyone had any experience of getting any “goodwill” from warranty company?
 

Bendy

Active Member
Aug 10, 2018
149
58
I’m having an issue with my heating and from looking at this thread this seems to hit the nail on the head. I purchased an extended warranty for my 2015 Leon fr estate which runs out in June. I have never looked at the warranty booklet, car had been serviced and I have receipts but because I didn’t use an approved garage or one that keeps digital records and VAT registered then warranty company aren’t going to uphold my claim. The service book states “service inline with manufacturers instruction etc” I thought this mean genuine parts and oils etc. Been quoted £944 to fix it - they didn’t go into specifics but did mention needing a full drain down and matrix change so I’m guessing this is the issue. I’m taking it up with seat uk in the new year but currently driving round in a cold car . Anyone had any experience of getting any “goodwill” from warranty company?
Your issue could be a fault due to the bag splitting, but it could also be unrelated. You would need the diagnosing garage to confirm if the heater matrix is filled up with loose grains and any evidence of a split bag in the tank.
My approved warranty initially refused to replace my rear shocks after they developed a fault and were noisy. I had to keep escalating my case until I finally spoke to a manager who agreed they had prematurely failed.
If you can prove the bag has split and do try the warranty route, you just have to be polite and not take no for an answer. Be prepared that the warranty company may want to send out an independent assessor, and if he finds the warranty isn't liable for the repair, you may have to cover their costs.
 
Dec 31, 2019
3
0
Your issue could be a fault due to the bag splitting, but it could also be unrelated. You would need the diagnosing garage to confirm if the heater matrix is filled up with loose grains and any evidence of a split bag in the tank.
My approved warranty initially refused to replace my rear shocks after they developed a fault and were noisy. I had to keep escalating my case until I finally spoke to a manager who agreed they had prematurely failed.
If you can prove the bag has split and do try the warranty route, you just have to be polite and not take no for an answer. Be prepared that the warranty company may want to send out an independent assessor, and if he finds the warranty isn't liable for the repair, you may have to cover their costs.
Thanks for your response. The service manager I spoke to has said that my issue should be a warranty issue but they are refusing because I haven’t used an approved garage for servicing etc. Hope I can get some goodwill from them.
 
Dec 31, 2019
3
0
Did you get this sorted?
Yes - good will came from seat but Warranty team were still having not playing ball. Turned out silica gel bag was intact but matrix clogged up with black gunge. SEAT paid 70% of the £1400 bill! Needed new matrix and associated bits, 4 flushes and they serviced the car so that’s my warranty is now back in place. It runs out in June anyway
 

Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
190
62
Leicestershire, UK
Yes - good will came from seat but Warranty team were still having not playing ball. Turned out silica gel bag was intact but matrix clogged up with black gunge. SEAT paid 70% of the £1400 bill! Needed new matrix and associated bits, 4 flushes and they serviced the car so that’s my warranty is now back in place. It runs out in June anyway
Thanks for the update.

I'm having similar issues and just replaced the header tank with a newer `non silica` one (no sign of the bag in the old one but I've not dismantled it yet). Removed the matrix myself using a guide from here and it was partially blocked. Gave it a clean to keep it going. Bought a new one for €90 from a European site and will fit it soon. SEAT wanted £500 for `parts` and 8 hours labour, so about £1300. They also said that there were none available in the UK as they were on backorder. Unreal.

It's the flushing that worries me. 3 coolant circuits and so much pipework! See what I can do.

My Mk1 was so much simpler!
 

RUM4MO

Active Member
Jun 4, 2008
6,165
424
South Scotland
@Brian Gordon-Stables, “unreal”, more like a true indication that there is a bigger than expected demand for that part, due to engine plant mess up.

I remember being faced with that due to a poor design/manufacturing of matrix by Ford on MK3 Escorts, “no sir we have never ever seen that happen before”. “Parts are on back order” when I questioned this and reckoned that failures were causing this shortage, “no connection at all” same idiots same lies, just almost 40 years have passed.
 

Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
190
62
Leicestershire, UK
@Brian Gordon-Stables, “unreal”, more like a true indication that there is a bigger than expected demand for that part, due to engine plant mess up.

I remember being faced with that due to a poor design/manufacturing of matrix by Ford on MK3 Escorts, “no sir we have never ever seen that happen before”. “Parts are on back order” when I questioned this and reckoned that failures were causing this shortage, “no connection at all” same idiots same lies, just almost 40 years have passed.
Dead right! Backorder = lots of demand for failing parts.

The EA288 engine (and cooling system) has been over engineered and is such a pain to work with.

Shame really, as I love the car and up until recently I'd had no issues. I look forward to it getting `fixed`.
 

jf_cole

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
24
7
I pulled my silicat bag out by hand. I plan to change the coolant a bit more regularly. In fact i might change the header tank fluid every 2 months or so and slowly do it over time.
 
May 23, 2020
1
0
Hi all - just searching silica and found this thread. I have a 66 Leon 2.0tdi 184 (80K miles) and just had it into the dealers for a diagnostic check: I first noticed the heater was not working very well a few months back.

Then on a long run the coolant level warning came on as I was setting off back. When I pulled over and checked, sure enough the bottle was almost empty. Engine temp was normal about 90 C. So it must have dropped over a fairly short period. Anyway, topped it up and took it steady heading 200 miles back. Had to top up another couple of times on the way back and assumed a persistent leak (In hind site probably just air in the circuit). I took the under tray off a couple of days later, but no sign of any leak after running half an hour. However I did notice hints of stain on the felt under the bonnet, like steam had been venting from or near the bottle at some time.

Then we got lock-down and I couldn't get it checked out for weeks. Have used it with caution but not done any long runs since. On a short run it seems OK and the level OK and temp seems to hold fine.

The dealer service dept. re-opened this week, so got it in for a diagnostic "health check" - Heater matrix blocked; Coolant "contaminated". Needs full flush and parts = £1200 to rectify. No mention of leak or overheating.

I queried exactly what sort of "contamination" and how come? Only then did I get some detail; that it's due to a silica bag bursting (This in a phone call - no mention of silica bag on the inspection report or in response to my follow up email query) . They gave me the number for Seat , so hoping I can get something as a contribution.

If not and I have to go it alone, I can fit a new expansion tank myself (Minus silica pack!). But I wonder has anyone had success with a DIY reverse flush on the heater core? I can see where the in/out connections are on the bulkhead.
 

Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
190
62
Leicestershire, UK
Hi all - just searching silica and found this thread. I have a 66 Leon 2.0tdi 184 (80K miles) and just had it into the dealers for a diagnostic check: I first noticed the heater was not working very well a few months back.

Then on a long run the coolant level warning came on as I was setting off back. When I pulled over and checked, sure enough the bottle was almost empty. Engine temp was normal about 90 C. So it must have dropped over a fairly short period. Anyway, topped it up and took it steady heading 200 miles back. Had to top up another couple of times on the way back and assumed a persistent leak (In hind site probably just air in the circuit). I took the under tray off a couple of days later, but no sign of any leak after running half an hour. However I did notice hints of stain on the felt under the bonnet, like steam had been venting from or near the bottle at some time.

Then we got lock-down and I couldn't get it checked out for weeks. Have used it with caution but not done any long runs since. On a short run it seems OK and the level OK and temp seems to hold fine.

The dealer service dept. re-opened this week, so got it in for a diagnostic "health check" - Heater matrix blocked; Coolant "contaminated". Needs full flush and parts = £1200 to rectify. No mention of leak or overheating.

I queried exactly what sort of "contamination" and how come? Only then did I get some detail; that it's due to a silica bag bursting (This in a phone call - no mention of silica bag on the inspection report or in response to my follow up email query) . They gave me the number for Seat , so hoping I can get something as a contribution.

If not and I have to go it alone, I can fit a new expansion tank myself (Minus silica pack!). But I wonder has anyone had success with a DIY reverse flush on the heater core? I can see where the in/out connections are on the bulkhead.
Hi Paul,

Sorry you've been having issues.

This is quite well documented in a couple of other threads, so I'll try not to repeat too much. I did a lot of research on the same thing (2014 Leon TDi 184) and most of the info I gleaned from these and then added my own contribution.

You've already got the first part of the jigsaw, silicant bag split and blocked heater matrix. The coolant loss usually comes after a DPF regen when your super hot (600 degrees) EGR tries to cool down (as it uses the blocked heater matrix circuit). The coolant effectively boils and shoots out of the overpressure release just under the lid of the header/expansion tank (hence the witness marks). Technically, there is no leak in the cooling system and the car is not overheating. As the system is pressurised it takes until the car cools down for the coolant level to drop below minimum and then it gives the low level warning next time you start up (just to confuse you into thinking the the loss occured when parked up).

In terms of cost. SEAT also quoted me c.£800+parts to sort it. Using info from this forum and a couple of other places, I got the matrix from Europe for £75 (UK had none due to so many being retro-fitted) and about 2 hours to remove/fit a matrix. SEAT's service doc says 8 hours to remove the whole dash (hence the eye watering quote), but there is a good workaround/cheat. Apart from the research time and a bit of trial an error, it cost me less than £100 and a few hours of my time.

Flushing the heater core only part cleans it and it's not really worth the hassle. May as well stick a new one in (mine has been perfect ever since).

If you have time to trawl through both of these, you'll be wiser and hopefully about £1000 better off.

https://forums.seatcupra.net/index....otorway-journeys-or-high-speeds.454370/page-8

https://forums.seatcupra.net/index.php?threads/leon-fr-tdi-184-coolant-loss.459546/#post-4915093

Feel free to ping me a DM if you need help with anything.
 
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Joshua Oakes

Active Member
Apr 30, 2020
55
14
What does it seem like the general consensus is to this issue, are people taking this bag out to prevent issues and changing coolant more often or assuming the people that designed the engine know what they’re doing? Is there any chance of a contribution out of warranty if something goes wrong? I’ve just checked my 2016 184 and it has the bag.
 

Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
190
62
Leicestershire, UK
What does it seem like the general consensus is to this issue, are people taking this bag out to prevent issues and changing coolant more often or assuming the people that designed the engine know what they’re doing? Is there any chance of a contribution out of warranty if something goes wrong? I’ve just checked my 2016 184 and it has the bag.
The people that designed the concept did not know what they were doing as the bag splits and blocks the heater matrix. It was well intentioned to extend the life of the coolant but newer cars do not have the bag and use a different coolant because it don't work!

Rather than removing my bag on my 184, I just changed the header tank for £20. It's a 15 min job and ensures you don't have any debris already in the tank. Quite happy to change coolant more regularly like we used to in the good old days.

The engine also has/had issues with the variable water pump, which was another bad idea. That now has an improved design that excludes the failure point.

Personally, I'd just change header tank and maybe your coolant.
 
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