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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just opened up the hood and noticed the coolant level is below the "Min" mark. No lights on the dashboard have come up, and the engine temps are in the normal range. The car is at 58,000 miles, and I will be bringing it into the dealership for the 60k servicing when I get there, but that still may take 2 months for me to get there since I am not commuting regularly with the car. Should I do anything in the meantime or just keep an eye on the temps?

The attached picture is when the car hasn't been running for 45 minutes and the temps outside are 40° F.

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Add coolant ASAP and drive. If it goes down again 90% chance your water pump is bad.

Same happened to my wife's.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I found a picture from January of this year (almost 11 months ago) where the coolant was directly on the "Min" line. Does that mean I have a leak or is it normal to go down ?
 

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I found a picture from January of this year (almost 11 months ago) where the coolant was directly on the "Min" line. Does that mean I have a leak or is it normal to go down ?
It is very normal for coolant to go down slowly over time. Generally 6 months = around 1/4 to 1/2 of a liter (depending on driving style of the person). For now, top it up when the car is cold/sitting over night is best for less accidents to happen. You can go a little over the mid section of the reservoir. Just check the level in a month or so, if it looks about where you topped it off to, then you are likely okay and just the normal coolant drop is happening over time (it does have water in it. Coolant levels often reach water boiling temps and you get some loss through that process. Yes coolant itself is resistant to heat, but as I said, it DOES have water in it. No your temp guage does NOT show you the real temp of your coolant, if you check it out with scan tool such as VCDS, you will often see, higher than boiling temp readings).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is very normal for coolant to go down slowly over time. Generally 6 months = around 1/4 to 1/2 of a liter (depending on driving style of the person). For now, top it up when the car is cold/sitting over night is best for less accidents to happen. You can go a little over the mid section of the reservoir. Just check the level in a month or so, if it looks about where you topped it off to, then you are likely okay and just the normal coolant drop is happening over time (it does have water in it. Coolant levels often reach water boiling temps and you get some loss through that process. Yes coolant itself is resistant to heat, but as I said, it DOES have water in it. No your temp guage does NOT show you the real temp of your coolant, if you check it out with scan tool such as VCDS, you will often see, higher than boiling temp readings).
Thanks for the info, two follow ups:
1. The manual says the car is filled with a 40% G13 / 60% distilled water from the factory, but the container on the picture says G12. Any idea why the numbers are different?
2. Can I buy G13 (or whatever I need) at a normal auto store or is a dealership best to go to for this?
 

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Thanks for the info, two follow ups:
1. The manual says the car is filled with a 40% G13 / 60% distilled water from the factory, but the container on the picture says G12. Any idea why the numbers are different?
2. Can I buy G13 (or whatever I need) at a normal auto store or is a dealership best to go to for this?
1.G12 in your Tiguan is compatible with G13.
2. If it says G12 on the bottle, I would assume that would be a correct spec, but you can also fill with G13 which is a more environmentally friendly coolant. A lot of the book stuff is generalized for many models into one book. You can get G12 or G13 at any general parts store. Some come premixed, some you have to mix (50/50water). Locally, I can even get 50/50 mix from the dealer directly, not sure if it is the same for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all - I went to the dealer and they gave me some G12 evo. They said it's the same as G13, but when I googled after, it seems like it's the next version of G13 (but the number decremented for some reason). Anyway I'm all topped off now
 

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Look at every coolant line for some white or pink crusty stuff and that's the leak indicator. Favorite spots are near the bracket on the two nylon lines leaking between the aux coolant pump and the reservoir, and the mail water pump gasket at the block.
 

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It is very normal for coolant to go down slowly over time. Generally 6 months = around 1/4 to 1/2 of a liter (depending on driving style of the person).
I've never had that issue on my new vehicles since they went with a pressurized system.
Is this just a VW specific issue?
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EDIT.
Some coolant does eventually go away.
But nowhere near the rate you describe.
 

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My experience with four VW products since late 1999 has been that coolant always shrinks and grows with seasonal temperature change. This was the case with all four! After a while I just figured it was normal. It would "grow" a little in summer (i.e., on or near the MAX line) and "shrink" a little in winter (on/near MIN). Always looked at with cold engine.

I don't remember any coolant in any of these vehicles ever going much beyond either line but, the image in the original post there looks to me to be within Seasonal Shrink tolerances.

My anal-retentive self keeps a clean container of 50/50 G-whichever-applies + distilled water and a designated turkey baster in the Car Stuff box, to remove or add a little as the seasons change to keep (cold) level about in the middle. This might be excessive of me. Or it might not be, dunno.
 

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My experience with four VW products since late 1999 has been that coolant always shrinks and grows with seasonal temperature change. This was the case with all four! After a while I just figured it was normal. It would "grow" a little in summer (i.e., on or near the MAX line) and "shrink" a little in winter (on/near MIN). Always looked at with cold engine.

I don't remember any coolant in any of these vehicles ever going much beyond either line but, the image in the original post there looks to me to be within Seasonal Shrink tolerances.

My anal-retentive self keeps a clean container of 50/50 G-whichever-applies + distilled water and a designated turkey baster in the Car Stuff box, to remove or add a little as the seasons change to keep (cold) level about in the middle. This might be excessive of me. Or it might not be, dunno.
Agreed
 

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Keep in mind the rubber hoses holding the coolant expand and contract. So when the engine is hot it might appear to be a bit lower at the coolant level indicator on the tank than when cold. I like to keep the level exactly in the middle, as I've overheated a few cars in my lifetime and several were from slow leaks I failed to keep track of.
 
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