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Thread: Coolant Leak

  1. #1
    apriliaforum prov-nov
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    Angry Coolant Leak

    Hi, everyone!

    I just bought my 2003 AA500 second hand with only 110 miles on it. Since I got it I've ridden less than 100 additional miles and just today convinced my wife to take a ride with me!

    So, after taking her to do a bit of shopping, we returned to the scooter to find the coolant leaking out of the small hold in the engine case near the water pump! It had leaked quite a bit. I was able to add more water and limp home just fine, but it's still leaking! The chincy tool kit included under the seat does NOT have an allen wrench to remove the cover to get to the coolant fill tube! I had to go buy a tool kit, etc., to get to the filler tube.

    I've read a lot of your posts and haven't seen any problems with coolant leaks! Have I just missed them or is this just an unusual problem?

    I have a lot of experience with car repairs and have replaced water pumps. The tell tale sign is when coolant starts leaking from the 'weep' hole, which is there to allow just a tiny bit of coolant into the bearing around the water pump shaft to keep it expanded and water tight. So, the weep hole allows the excess coolant out, but VERY little is lost!

    The leak in my AA500 is dripping many drops per second and definitely NOT normal!

    Had anyone had a water pump problem?

    Am I totally off base here and maybe there is supposed to be some sort of 'plug' in the hole that somehow popped out?

    Please help!

    Thanks,
    Lou

  2. #2
    apriliaforum Member Tractor Dude's Avatar
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    Sorry Lou - no problems with the coolant/water pump as you have experienced. Sounds a little weird but a warranty trip to the dealer should cure it. You HAVE called the dealer to transfer the warranty to your name, right?

  3. #3
    apriliaforum Member Tractor Dude's Avatar
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    PS - amen on the "quality " tool kit. Recommend all owners invest in a handful of metric allen sockets, wrenches & bolt/nut sockets---TD

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply, TD!

    I contacted the dealer this am (Heritage BMW Aprilia in McKeesport, PA), but he didn't want to take a chance on just sending me a new water pump since he thinks there could be other causes (high pressure caused by bad fan or some sort of blockage ???). I understand his position, but I could check it out much quicker than the hassle of taking it to a dealer (the closest one is maybe 80 or so miles away).

    How do I get it there? Rent a van or trailer? I could maybe drive it, but that's pretty risky since the coolant leak is pretty bad.

    Anyone have experience with contacting the USA rep for help?

    Appreciate any suggestions out there.

    Lou

  5. #5
    apriliaforum prov-nov
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    Lightbulb Coolant Leak-Resolved?

    Hi, Folks!

    In discussing the problem with a friend, I talked myself into thinking that the little hole behind the water pump in the engine casing can't be a 'weep' hole, because it's a closed system! I was thinking in terms of car engines with the fan on the same shaft as the fan blade!

    Therefore, I suspect there was some sort of plug for this hole that just vibrated out!

    I'd appreciate it if anyone out there would kindly take a look under the right side (when seated on the scooter) of the scooter at the water pump and then just a bit further back in the same area to see if there is a plug of some sort there! For orientation purposes, if you consider the water pump casing as a compass rose with N up, then this plug is due West about an inch or so just behind the water pump cover.

    Many thanks to anyone who will do me this favor!

    Lou

  6. #6
    apriliaforum Junkie sanatanadharma's Avatar
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    When I get down on my knees and look at the motor around the area of the water pump, I see that the water line from the radiator to the pump is connected slightly to the rear of the pump and slightly higher. Look here. You may simply need to tighten (or replace) a hose clamp.

  7. #7
    apriliaforum Junkie sanatanadharma's Avatar
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    I have been trying to understand this (I've had my Atlantic only three weeks) and have been looking at the parts diagrams at this site http://www.aprilia.no/spareas.asp?cat=6801&rel=03.

    I may be wrong in my observation (see previous post) but could not see anything on my bike that would explain a water leak, no plugs, holes, etc. What I identified as a water pipe may be a crankcase breather. Are the water pump mounting bolts tight and the gasket in good shape? Coolant may be migrating from a leak in some out of the way place.

    Apparently a water pipe runs from the radiator to the pump and another pipe runs from the pump to the cylinder. There should not be any coolant circulating in the crankcase or flywheel cover where the pump is mounted.

  8. #8
    apriliaforum prov-nov scudemax's Avatar
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    Hi campolo3 -
    Here is a picture of that area (I think). Is the leak at hole A, B, C or elsewhere?
    max
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  9. #9
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    Coolant Leak!

    Thanks folks for all the help! The picture is excellent! Unfortunately, it's not quite the same as my scoot. Mine is a 2003 and it's the only one I've ever seen so I have no idea what other years look like or if Aprilia made any changes in the same model year.

    My water pump housing has NO hole in it whatsoever and the leak is definitely not from anywhere else but the small hole I mentioned. On the pix given, it is 'similar' to the one labeled 'C', but is in a slightly different place since my housing is different.

    I called a dealer yesterday and they agreed to send me the plug that is supposed to be in the hole, but now I'm thinking that maybe they have a model that's like the photo and they think I'm talking about the one labeled 'B', which definitely it way too big relative to the hole in my engine block!

    I'll call them again to make sure we're on the same page!

    If anyone has a photo of a 2003 Atlantic 500 that's different from the one given, please post it if you don't mind.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    Lou

  10. #10
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    Lightbulb Coolant Leak!

    In looking at the pix again AND realizing that aparently Aprilia made two versions in 03 (an internal thermostat model and an external thermostat model), I must have the other model if the pix is from an 03 Atlantic 500.

    The pix looks like it has the internal thermo, so mine must be the external thermo since the water pump cover is VERY plain with no holes or other protrusions.

    Thanks again,
    Lou

  11. #11
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    Unhappy Coolant Leak!

    So, now that I'm home and able to compare the photo sent from scudemax, I can say for sure that it is leaking from hole 'C'. It looks like the hole may be threaded, but I haven't verified that for sure.

    Of more concern, though, is if coolant is supposed to come out of that hole if whatever plug goes in there is removed? Or, in other words, should coolant be in that part of the engine and if not, then what could be the cause?

    Still not sure I'm out of the woods!

    Lou

  12. #12
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    Coolant Leak!

    So, duh!

    Obviously I'm not paying attention, am I? The photo from scudemax is of a 'healthy' engine, I assume, and there is NO PLUG of any sort in that hole ('C') and so there must be a more serious problem, because the coolant was dripping heavily from that hole!

    Someone please talk me out of this diagnosis, because it looks like it's going to be a long and expensive trip to a dealer unless I can talk them into letting me fix it!

    Help!
    Lou

  13. #13
    apriliaforum Junkie sanatanadharma's Avatar
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    OK, I have looked again at my 2003. The picture is indeed a photo of an internal thermostat water pump (one in which the thermostat is located in the removable outlet for the upper pipe at the pump). My scoot, like (presumably) campolo3's has a thermostat located near the cylinder on the left hand side. The flywheel cover and holes “B” &”C” are the same on both versions, or at least mine looks like the picture. There is no plug. If “C” is a tapped hole, that would be a mighty small screw/ bolt in it. The allen head plug at location “B” is an oil plug in the crankcase breather system. BTW, that is the crankcase breather tube barely visible at the upper left of the picture. The water pump impeller is sandwiched between the cast flywheel cover and the black water pump cover. There is a gasket sealing these two parts. The shaft that drives the impeller passes through the inside surface of the flywheel cover. It has an oil seal that keeps the crankcase oil and pump water separate. The hole identified as “C” may drain this area. My take on the problem is that either the oil seal is bad and coolant is getting into the flywheel cover (this would be bad; is your oil frothy as when mixed with coolant?) – OR- there is a blockage somewhere in the coolant system and pressure is building up in the water pump because the flow elsewhere is restricted and thus water comes out of the hole. Does water drip out when the motor is cold and not running, or only while running or after having been run? Lou, since you are experienced, I suggest you drain the system, remove the water pump cover and look around. You aren’t likely to be any worse off.

  14. #14
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    Lightbulb Coolant Leak!

    Thanks for checking your scooter and verifying what I think is wrong. I would go ahead and remove the pump cover, but I don't have a new water pump cover gasket AND the scooter has less than 250 miles!

    I'm hoping I can get Aprilia USA to agree that this is such an extraordinary situation that they are willing to take care of it, including transportation cost or just swap it with a new scooter. I know it's asking a lot, but this situation is most unacceptable!

    I've read about replacing the water pump shaft o-ring, etc., and it's a big job that I wouldn't attempt while the scooter is so new. Moreover, I have no idea if any other damage was done while the scooter was operated in this condition even though it was run for only about 5 miles.

    From some of the stories I've read, this scooter could be down for months!!!

    Lou

  15. #15
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    Coolant Leak!

    Sorry, but I forgot to answer a couple of questions:

    I don't see any frothing in the oil on the dipstick, even though I would expect that!

    Yes, it leaks when not running and when cool!

    Thanks,
    Lou

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