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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been a tough week for me and the Passat.
A slow coolant leak that required some coolant once every couple of weeks turned into a gusher over the weekend.
Cost $850 to replace the thermo housing, thermo and coolant after pump.
Then, come Wednesday...no clutch. Cost...$625 to replace the clutch master and slave.
This morning, coolant light is flickering and the reservoir is empty. So, I figured maybe they had to pull the reservoir when they did the clutch work and did not get the thing topped off all the way. Fill it up. Take a highway ride and an hour later it is flashing again. Fill it up again, make the return trip and I get the same flashing light and empty reservoir.
Now, I am not a VW mechanic. However, I am a competent shade tree mechanic more accustomed to domestics. I don't SEE a leak. I don't hear a leak. The oil is clean, no milkshake. The exhaust is clean...no steam cloud. So, I am not thinking a HG.
Where is the coolant going????????????

I guess it is call to the dealer who did the leak fix on Monday...but is there anytihing I could look into prior? I feel very vulnerable since I don't know the problem areas with these cars..I am just trying to hold this one together so I can have a ride for my kids and I.
Any ideas are VERY welcome.
Mike
 

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Re: OK, where is the COOLANT going? Pulling my hair out........:-( (Mike95GLX)

I would say HG... i guess its a common thing!
There was a post a while ago explaining where the HG is faulty..
Thats where i would put my money!
 

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Re: OK, where is the COOLANT going? Pulling my hair out........:-( (Mike95GLX)

Heater core? Check the carpet. I don't know what else.
Jeff
 

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Re: (Hindenburg)

1- leak down test.
2- fill with fluid, then tighten cap, ride around. Now when the level drops, is it wet by the reseviour? It could be a bad cap just unable to hold the pressure.(this was my problem: cap aplusparts.com ~5$ + 6$ ship). This is where I put my money.
3- could be a cracked reseviour, got to look in this area each time you run car
4- you need to have an "AARON Bend-a-Light" this allows you to get into really tight areas to look for any leaks. Try looking at the water pipe between the therm housing and water pump. This is a black rigid pipe that has o-rings on both ends. If you replaced the them housing, then more than likely the heater pipe was "disturbed". THis would be a constant leak, not the ""gussher"

I'm convinced that at about 8 years all the plastic crap starts to go bad. I have my heater core out now, but have replaced all the plastics in the lst 6-months except the radiator!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: OK, where is the COOLANT going? Pulling my hair out........:-( (Mike95GLX)

Well, I think it is a HG.
I started it cold this morning after releasing all pressure from the system.
Fired right up, one quick rev to 4k and it died, cold.
Would barely start back up.
When it did, it was not happy.
Removed the cap...pfffftttt...pressure, and I smelled exhaust in the coolant.
OK, what is the average HG job in terms of dollars? I am not doing this myself.
I am really pissed since I spent $1450 this week on this car and that money could have gone to another car...and now I am faced with THIS. All in a week's time.
Mike
 

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Re: OK, where is the COOLANT going? Pulling my hair out........:-( (Mike95GLX)

You should stick a blow gun into each of the spark plug holes. If the coolant starts bubling it's the HG. If not put the car on some jack stands. Start the car and carefully check for the source of the coolant. It might take a little bit for the coolant to start leaking. Be patient.
 

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Re: OK, where is the COOLANT going? Pulling my hair out........:-( (VR6_MAN)

Sounds exactly like my blown head gasket. The coolant is excaping in the form of steam from your exhaust. My oil also did not get the "milkshake" consistency but it was indeed the head gasket.
I paid $759 to have it replaced along with having the head tested for cracks and then machined flat (recommended!). Also got new spark plugs put in.
I was THRILLED to get it done for this cheap. 5 other shops said minimum 1000, more for resurfacing. My mechanic charged $65/hour by 8 hours. Other local shops charge about $85-90 (Bay Area, CA). Go to http://www.cartalk.com and find the mechan-x-files, search for mechanics by your zip code, they are usually pretty good if they are recommended on that site (you can read reviews of the shops there too!). Shop around then find someone you are comfortable with. Usually they will charge you for a diagnostic (to make sure that this really is the head gasket that needs replacing) then if they end up working on your car they will waive the diagnostic fee.
I'm really sorry about this bud, I hope you make out okay. Seems like you've had the majority of the problems that this car is prone to (except tranny issues and electrical problems).
One thing you can try if the leak is slow enough is some of that Radiator "stop leak" . . . if it is a VERY small crack this aluminum stuff will get in there and seal it same as in your radiator. This helped slow mine, but the hole was far too large and the gasket was gone

I'll post a link to the topic which had a more detailed description of this problem later (got to pick my car up from the mechanic's now, replaced half shaft and brakes, $74 for brakes, $30 labor; $85 for half shaft, $85 for labor = almost $300
)
The stop leak stuff is like $3 so give it a try, you might get lucky. But I wouldn't get my hopes up. Also, this is not a shade tree mechanic job from what I understand. You need the bentley and about 15 hours if you've never done it before. One guy said it took him over 30 hours (there are a lot of other things that ought to be replaced and checked and the head should be resurfaced while the head is off . . . things that a mechanic knows and which I was blown away had not been made clear in my research on this topic . . . I had to confirm some of the extra stuff with other mechanics in other shops, but it was important that all that stuff was done, $50 might save you $1500 later).
Sorry for the bummer news,
Abe
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: OK, where is the COOLANT going? Pulling my hair out........:-( (Mike95GLX)

Well, water started POURING out of the front of the engine yesterday....right around one of the parts that was replaced by the dealer last Monday.
It was still a difficult leak to spot and my mechanic had to find it with a mirror...it was also aimed at the block.
I am hoping that it is only this, yeah..its a $450 job for a $40 part but I am sure the HG is over a grand from these guys.
My thoughts and prayers are that it was small, and only opened under load....spraying the block and evaporating immediately and thus I was unable to spot it or detect it while it was parked. Then, it tore the rest of the way and started to spew. I am still insisting that they do a leak down test before they tear into it....just to make sure. I am also pretty certain that the dealership distrurbed this part on the prior repair and set it up for failure. Unfortunately, I can't get the car over there at this point.
Life goes on.
p.s. mine also has plenty of electrical gremlins...my favorite is the "all or nothing" HVAC fan.
 

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Re: OK, where is the COOLANT going? Pulling my hair out........:-( (Mike95GLX)

Mike, the "All or nothing" HVAC problem is the fan resistance in the A/C box behind your dash!
 
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