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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody, I am not very knowledgeable about cars and this is bothering me so I would like to ask for opinions before doing anything about it.

The reason for this is that if I ask any mechanic about this I am going to pay dearly for the fix (I know from experience) even if it is a trivial matter (which I am suspecting) since obviously any mechanic can gauge my knowledge level and charge accordingly.

I am driving a 1998. Accent, it has around 130.000 kilometers on it, I average about 5.000 km per year (I bought it in 2004. when it had 89.000 on it). Basically I drive it few times per week around town and occasionally on return trips up to 200 km.

Anyway, the problem is that during this summer I noticed a strange behavior when starting a car. The gas pedal showed some resistance a few times but even when it didn't the car kind of jerked while driving but only for the first 100-400 meters, after that driving was normal so I didn't bother with it at the time (it happened maybe 5-10 times total). It looked like it doesn't get enough gas/air/whatever but it cleared up quickly (this is my own estimate so don't take it seriously!).

The problem seems to have completely disappeared now that weather is colder.

Car is staying in a parking lot, usually under some trees but it was a hot summer and sun moves so the car was definitely well heated.

There are no problems with oil, there seems to be some kind of very slight cooling fluid loss (I never let it go below accepted levels) but I have been told that is "sweating" from the system that happens in older cars and is not an issue.

1) What could be the problem, if it is a problem?
2) Does it need attention from the mechanic?
 

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The reason for this is that if I ask any mechanic about this I am going to pay dearly for the fix (I know from experience) even if it is a trivial matter (which I am suspecting) since obviously any mechanic can gauge my knowledge level and charge accordingly.
smart man!


There are no problems with oil, there seems to be some kind of very slight cooling fluid loss (I never let it go below accepted levels) but I have been told that is "sweating" from the system that happens in older cars and is not an issue.
there is no such thing as the system 'sweating'. the only air opening in the system would be the tube going into the reservoir and for all purposes, the evaporation from such a small opening is pretty much nothing.

there are other things that could cause the problem you describe, but to start with i have a simple rule for diagnosis: fix what you know is broken first.

how often are you topping this up? are you getting any white exhaust? small amount on startup is fine, i'm looking for the engine burning coolant.

a coolant system pressure test may be in order, possibly cylinder compression test if we can narrow this down a little more.

finally, if you have the check engine light on that means there is error codes stored in your engine computer. we need those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have been told by another owner that what he called "sweating" occurred on his car on seams. He said used something called "sonax" (?? I Googled it and it appears to be a cleaning solution) according to some instructions he received and it worked. It appears unrelated to my issue but I mention it for full disclosure :)

I have topped it twice in the last 5-6 months, around 1 liter total, possibly slightly more (water, but I plan to put antifreeze in the car soon). I never had to do it in previous years (once per year during normal yearly service in late November the mechanics topped up and that was that).

No problems with exhaust as far as I know.

I don't have any engine light on, my car is very basic model meaning it has no air conditioning, no servo, no ABS, no central locking ... pretty much as bare as it gets. I am pretty sure it doesn't have an engine computer unless this is something the driver doesn't need to handle and is standard in the model.
 

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I have been told by another owner that what he called "sweating" occurred on his car on seams. He said used something called "sonax" (?? I Googled it and it appears to be a cleaning solution) according to some instructions he received and it worked. It appears unrelated to my issue but I mention it for full disclosure :)
it's a lie and/or coincidence. let me say it again for the last time:

there is no such thing as the coolant system sweating

as for you, don't waste your money on cleaning crap when trying to solve a problem. it's a little like saying 'my kettle won't turn on because the element is burnt out. i'm going to clean it out.'

I have topped it twice in the last 5-6 months, around 1 liter total, possibly slightly more (water, but I plan to put antifreeze in the car soon). I never had to do it in previous years (once per year during normal yearly service in late November the mechanics topped up and that was that).
that's not really so worrisome. there may be a very very slight system leak...one that i would not worry about considering how slowly you're losing coolant. it may not even be loss. the level goes up and down quite a bit in any car with heat and cooling of the engine. sometimes it'll lose a bit through the overflow tube if you've inadvertently overfilled it. it's not a problem, just leads you to believe that you're losing some coolant when it's just taking care of itself when you've overfilled it.

the only thing i can recommend at this point is to remove the MAP sensor and clean it out....gently! i'd just use some carb cleaner and thats about it. check your vacuum tubing for any cracks or breaks, PCV valve for blockage, simple stuff like that. even the plugs i'd replace if not done in a while. they do wear out anyways.

at this point with the problem not happening, its very difficult to diagnose. we can't test for what isn't there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just hoped this is something typical and easy to spot for people with experience. The problem itself seemed minor and only occurred in the summer so I was mainly worried that it is not something big disguised as a minor nuisance. I guess I will wait and see.

I am not sure what the stuff you mention is, guess I have to do some Googling again :D
I had a big regular servicing/repair done on the car 2 years ago and I traveled less than 10k km since + the car is running well now, so I will probably not do anything rash (chance of me messing something up is non-trivial).

Thanks for the help! :)
 

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anytime. glad to see you're doing a bit of research. once you learn enough there will be no mechanic that can take your wallet for a ride again :)

but then you'll just start doing your own repairs lol.
 
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