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Just tried to pop into town and the 400 would not fire up.

Got the bonnet up, and Battery is fine.

However coolant very low (when I last checked it was just off low - about two weeks ago).

So I guess I have a leak somewhere, first thought is the water pump, but will need to get garage to run a pressure test.

However not sure what would stop it from starting, unless the leak is is causing/has caused something else to hiccup.

I have a had scan around the forum but nothing comes up other than possibly the water pump or the expansion tank cap/sensor. But these should stop the beast firing up - as far as I can tell.

One thing to add - about 15 minutes later I tried again, she started for about 3 seconds then dies, with a lot of smoke out of the back (un-burnt fuel or what - I do not know).

Any ideas, but it sounds like a trip to garage is required, assuming I can get her off the drive.

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What colour the smoke?

White looking, and only out of off-side exhaust (as far as I could tell).

My worry is that might indicate failed gasket which would be a nightmare.

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Actually just had a proper look at the Battery, and this may at fault, even though it is less than a year old.

It is not a sealed for life (which is rare these days), so needs a bit of topping up and charging.

Will update as and when.

But does sound like the collant issue needs a look at ASAP.

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Now that I have had a second look at the Battery, the cells are all okay, and Battery health light is green, so it should be now okay, but the engine will not start.

Just tried to turn it over and once again it fired up for about 2 seconds and then died.

So kind of back to where I was earlier.

Did not notice any smoke this time, but then I assume any unburnt fuel had evaporated after an hour.

So back to square one, so once again anyone got any ideas.

Will be calling out the RAC tomorrow see if they can at least get it off the drive for me to a garage.

First time I have been let down so bad by LS, but I guess it had to come.

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Fingers crossed (and it seems where'd-it-go coolant problems on old LSs aren't unknown), but that sounds like classic head gasket. Hope I'm wrong.

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It's not necessarily a head gasket problem. A friend of mine had a similar coolant loss on her high mileage Toyota Yaris. Had a pressure test (with UV dye) and they discovered a small leak in the radiator, which they duly relpaced. The engine cutting out after a few seconds though sounds like a fuelling problem. It'll be a failed fuel pump relay or something small like that, I'll bet. Any chance of retrieving some codes to point you in the right direction? Mobile Auto- electrician time I reckon.

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It doesn't prove anything, but my local service manager has never removed a cylinder head from an LS in 20 years or so. It could be something else

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Well chaps, I am such a numpty, got the RAC out and after 15 seconds of turning the engine over he got it going.

I had badly flooded the engine, and with the cold weather not a hope in heck's chance of the fuel evaporating even overnight. Took a good minute to get exhaust gasses looking as they should do.

Not sure how I flooded it in the first place, as last time I did such a thing I had foot on accelerator rather than brake, so maybe I did that yesterday without realising. Last time I flooded an engine was many moons ago.

So panic over, and now need to get the old pressure test sorted, but there is a slightly odd noise under the bonnet, so my money is on water pump ('tis 25K since the cam belt was done, and the pump was okay then).

The RAC man said he had never known an LS have a head gasket problem, and he was amazed at how quiet my engine was, where as I think it is noisy (maybe I just go used to it).

We borrowed the mother-in-laws VW Lupo - let's just say an interesting experience, not one to be repeated too soon I hope.

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Excellent news. Let me know where you get to the coolant thing. You (and I) are not the first to have a curious issue. I'm wondering if a water pump seal on mine was not done properly when it was changed (with the timing belt).

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That is a relief it was nothing major! How did he get it going and you could not? Flooded engine used to be sorted by pressing the accelerator pedal fully down and turning the engine? Is this still the case? As the last time I did this was on a Ford Cortina!

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i know once i moved my car so i could get the wheelie bins out ,i only started it for a minute,next morning it turned over really fast,without starter engaging,massive smell of petrol,left it for a while,then it started.afterwards a mechanic friend of mine reckoned the system was purging itself,cos i had not let it run long enough the night before

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That is a relief it was nothing major! How did he get it going and you could not? Flooded engine used to be sorted by pressing the accelerator pedal fully down and turning the engine? Is this still the case? As the last time I did this was on a Ford Cortina!

That is exactly what he did, but he just did it for longer than I had. I think it was the low coolant that made me panic that something else was awry.

The RAC chap did ask if I had merely moved it a few yards up and down the drive (as t his is where wheelie bins were) as this is a classic case of flooding the cylinders without knowing it.

Now that I have more or less finished a major gutting and rebuild of my lounge I hope to have some time to give the LS some attention and some new tyres.

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The accelerator should never be pressed when starting your LS. This goes for all year round, hot or cold engine. If you do, you may have starting/flooding problems. Mine always starts first time, hot or cold, by staying off the throttle.

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