Q. Going up a long, steep hill recently in my Range Rover P38, the engine got hot and blew the top radiator pipe off. I put it back together and went in low range to get to the top. The temperature actually went down.
On the same hill going home, the temperature soared almost to the red so I changed down to third gear and it didn’t go any higher. While all this was happening the heater output switched between hot and cold. The temperature gauge normally stays just above blue and, on longer trips, halfway.
Is this problem occurring because I’m in ‘drive’ all the time? Should I change down?
Nigel Reid Bristol
A. The combination of an automatic gearbox, large caravan and a steep hill will give the cooling system a hard time even if it’s in top condition. I’m surprised the gearbox didn’t change down by itself when pulling up the hill. I would have the kickdown mechanism checked out and possibly adjusted.
It’s always a good idea to override the gearbox manually when the car is labouring: this’ll put much less stress on the engine, gearbox and drivetrain, and will help keep the engine cooler.
I would suggest using a good cooling system flush and cleaning out the whole system, then refilling with new coolant. This will make sure the cooling system is working as well as it possibly can.