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Old 12-01-2010, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Syracuse, NY,
Car: 2001 GL
Default Coolant leak :-(

Hi, remember me and my coolant saga last month? Well, I'm back. Apparently I have a slow leak in my coolant system, as I'm getting the low level light again (again, weather and darkness prevents me from checking the level just now, but the car is off the road). So it took a month for the coolant to leak from the "max" level to, I'm guessing, the low level it was at before.

How much is this gonna cost me? Any ballpark figure? (It is likely to be the final repair on this car.)
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:25 PM
DZLBUG's Avatar
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Car: 2000 New Beetle GLS TDI Silver Arrow
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Timing belt/water pump ever been changed? Other possible leak sources: coolant temp sensor seal, coolant flange...among others. Its impossible for me to pinpoint for you where the leak is coming from over teh intarwebz.

Either take it to a competent VW mechanic, or start looking around under the hood yourself. Look for pink/white crusties that indicate leaking G12. If you can't see anything up top (with the engine cover off, and pop the timing belt cover for a peek)...then get the car up on ramps, remove the plastic belly pan and have a look around.

If its the water pump, it should leave a trail down the passenger side of the engine, usually all the way down the oil pan. If this is the case, the water pump is failing and you should stop driving the car immediately before it fails completely and takes out your timing belt and valves with it.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:29 PM
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Car: 2004 NB Turbo S
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This is the most common place for coolant leaks. It's made out of plastic and will crack. I replaced my o-rings on the flanges and still leaked. Then I removed it and looked inside it and it was cracked on the inside. You couldn't see any cracks on the outside of the part.


Look here....GermanAutoParts.com
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:34 PM
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Supercharged, are you referring to the water pump? (it's unclear what part you are talking about)

I did a quick visual inspection last month when I was having trouble, but saw no visible signs of a leak. However, I realize I have been smelling a very faint syrupy smell lately so I assume that's leaking coolant being heated by something.

Well, I have to take it in to the shop so I can't stop driving it outright (it's got to be driven there), but it's off the road until that can be done.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:41 PM
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No, this is on the other end of the engine, from the water pump. It is located just above the transmission. It's a small plastic manifold, and has a few coolant hoses attached and also hold coolant temp sensors. My NB did the same as you described. No visual leaks, just smelled the coolant all the time. What happens is as the coolant get hotter the plastic expands and the crack opens up and lets a little pressurized coolant out, just enough to smell but not see.
And when the coolant loses pressure after you shut off the engine, the crack closes up.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:15 PM
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Check the condition of your radiator hoses. Have they ever been replaced? Are the flexiclamps bad? Is the hose over the lip of the nipple (bad terminology but eh) and sealed properly?
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:19 PM
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What year is your car? My bet is on the coolant flange attached to the drivers side of the block. It is ridiculously under-engineered. Supercharged is on the right track. Cracked or a failed o-ring that presses up against the block. You will know by shining a flashlight down onto the tranny below it, if there is ANY sign of crusty pinkish orange flakes there its the plastic coolant flange. If the car is older it could be the other stupidly engineered regular steel hose that rots over time and leaks coolant very slowly through the rusty gaps. This hose runs along the passenger side fender. You will have to get under the car to check if the seal around the coolant pump has failed. There will be pinkish residue under the timing belt cover, very obvious.
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