Coolant Pressure Cap Melted - Anyone Heard of this or know how much to fix? - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant Pressure Cap Melted - Anyone Heard of this or know how much to fix?

Hello,

I have a 2002 Mazda Protege 5. About 2 weeks ago, while driving down the highway, I noticed my temperature gauge at full temp and smoke coming from the engine. Not long before that I'd noticed the heater wasn't working. I brought it to a mechanic right away who told me that one of the belts was chewed up because something had seized, although he couldn't tell what, and that the temp had gotten so hot that the threads for the coolant pressure cap on the female end had melted. He said he'd never seen anything like that in 30 years of working on cars. He put on a new belt and got the pressure cap back on but said to start looking for a new car unless I wanted to put a lot of money into this one.

Yesterday I noticed the temp gauge climbing again and pulled over. There was steam and coolant coming out from under the pressure cap, so I guess it couldn't hold any longer. I really need this car to last me longer and am wondering if anyone knows how much something like that goes for? How much has to be replaced to fix the cap so it can maintain pressure? How big a job is this? Has anyone heard of this before?

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 03:15 PM
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Re: Coolant Pressure Cap Melted - Anyone Heard of this or know how much to fix?

The mechanic was too lazy to see what seized when he replaced the belt? It would have taken him 5 minutes at the most. I'd suggest you find a new mechanic.

Also, my gut feeling is that your water pump is what's failed. It would explain the chewed-up belt and overheating problems you're having. Provided no further damage has occurred (and you should stop driving the car until you get it fixed to keep any further damage from occurring), a replacement water pump and coolant reservoir should be all you need.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Coolant Pressure Cap Melted - Anyone Heard of this or know how much to fix?

Thanks for the reply. When he was checking it out nothing appeared seized, but he suspected something had to have been to explain the chewed up belt. He got back to me today to say I would need a new radiator and cooling system - $500. This amoung other things he found, like ball joints and cracked pipes, etc. So the total to get it back on the road safely was $1600. I'm gonna look for a new car.

Thanks for the help!!
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