Since buying the damn thing in May, I knew it had a coolant leak. When I took it on the test drive the reservoir was bone dry and I have to add coolant about once a month. I also know the temperature gauge on a Disco is mostly for show and the head gasket is more fragile than a teenager’s self-esteem. I bought an OBDII gauge that alerts me when the temp goes into “goodbye head gasket” range, keep an eye on my coolant, and get regular oil tests.
Of course, when I was driving around rural Oklahoma none of these safegaurds helped. The Landy recently developed a minor evap leak which causes a check engine light to come on. This also causes my OBDII gauge to beep annoyingly every couple of minutes. You can silence the alarm, but only if you managed to push a button on the back of the display in the short time window you have available... and try not to hit anyone during.
Anyway, I say all this to say when I noticed my, noted useless, factory temp gauge was creeping into the red, my OBD2 gauge was unplugged to keep it quiet and I knew were were deep in code brown territory. I immediately put the heater to max and notified my passengers we were about to have a problem. Noticing the heater wasn’t... heating, I put 2 and 2 together pretty quickly, pulled over, and shut off the engine.
Yup, my dumb ass forgot to check the coolant and ran it dry. Opening the bleed screw revealed the scope of my idiocy: all the top hoses were dry.
This is why I can’t have nice things!
Long story short (too late) the nice man whose driveway I was blocking came out and gave us some water for the engine and I successfully refilled and bled the system. On the drive home everything seemed fine and the temperatures stayed in the green.
While I think I am in the clear (the temperature never actually got into the red, just above operating temperature) there is always a lingering doubt that I caused lasting damage. I will, obviously, keep an eye on the coolant and oil to look for any signs of contamination. It is also on my list to track down and eliminate the leak this week.