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Discussion Starter #1
So yesterday my car flashes the red temperature warning to show my car is overheating, as I come to a stop it just dies. I checked my coolant (as this has been a previous problem) and it was bone dry. I go get coolant, let my car cool off for a few hours and fill it up... it starts up right away just fine. About 15 miles up the freeway I come to a stop in traffic and my car just starts smoking (white smoke), and I notice the coolant is gone again. ALSO the smoke was coming from my oil spot. I took off the oi cap and all the smoke comes spilling right out. I let it cool and add more coolant, then I notice it's all just spilling out the bottom right of my car. What's broken? PLEASE help...
 

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Two words: Head gasket. :(


You should not have driven it when the red light is flashing. Your engine might be toast now. :(
 

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I see this is your first post so - Welcome to the great and wonderful ORG! Many fantastic cars, people and answers lurk in this great land. If you haven't done so already, take time to fill in your profile and post a few photos so we can ORGle them!

I think you've got a big problem there and agree with Denyed! Ouch!



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DO NOT drive the car any more with this issue.

You may have already damaged the engine, but hopefully not.

As the prior poster stated, you may have a head gasket failure at this point, but this was not likely the cause of your overheating, likely an effect of the engine over heating?

So where is your coolant going??? You obviously have a coolant leak somewhere. At this point, fill the cooling system up with water and see if you can find a leak without the engine running. There are a lot of hoses on these engines, could be a water pump as well. The 2 most common problem areas are the metal water pipe along the inside passenger side frame rails that runs from front to rear of the engine bay. This pipe is connected to the Aux water pump and the turbo. It rusts out and after 8-10 years will leak.

The other common problem is the plastic T fitting on the drivers side of the engine above the transmission. There is a small 3/8" nipple on the T that breaks easily.

Suggest you get a cooling system pressure tester from the auto parts store. Many loan them out, like Advance and AutoZone. If the kit has the proper adapter, you screw it on where you fill the coolant, pump up the cooling system to about 15 PSI with it full and the water will leak out the failure point.

If you have no idea how to do any of this, find a decent VW/Import Indy shop in your area, likely you will need to have the car towed to avoid any further engine damage, but it may be too late.

If you cannot replace a head gasket yourself, likely the repair will be too costly and it may be better to sell the car for what you can get for it?? Headgasket likely $2500-$3000 with timing belt, water pump and other associated parts and repairs.
 

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Engine overheating

My friends bug had quite a similar symptom. Check your water pump. On his, the plastic impeller cracked off the steel water pump shaft and sat in pieces inside the housing. He noticed his coolant was missing from the reservoir after the engine overheat light came on, so he just filled up the reservoir again and started driving. What happened was no circulation of coolant and it just "blew out" of the reservoir again, all over the engine on the passenger side. A WAY BETTER fix is to get a NAPA water pump for the VW'S. It is made with a steel shaft AND a steel impeller and only costs around a $100 dollars V/S $200 plus from the dealer. I hope this helps! Good Luck!
 

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water pump

It sounds like the water pump is gone bad. There is an easy way to check that pump; Drain the coolant from the radiator, disconnect the lower radiator hose at the engine side, remove the thermostat and you should feel the water pump impellar fins with your finger. inspect impellar fins or try to turn the inmpellar with your fingers. If it turns than the impellar is no good and has come off the metal shaft. or it could be broken off in pieces. Good luck
 

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I had the same thing happen to me last year with my '03 turbo S and they were designed with no temperature gauge and so when the red light comes on its much too late. I fried the head gasket and ended up rebuilding the entire engine and ported the heads and replaced the water pump,timing belt,radiator,and put in a new stage 2 racing clutch with a single mass flywheel instead of the stock dual mass. If you choose to repair the car's engine and get it back to run I really recommend getting a temp gauge. I found a cool website that solved that problem for me for good. Go to BULLYDOG.COM They have a small display panel LCD type which connects straight to your OBD port and will show you your speed,RPM,Temperature,and lots of other options you can program it to show. Up to 7 different things showing at once. Lesson learned for me as I had about 30 seconds to react but it was way too late. I will never drive the car without the gauge again. Now I have full control. Hope it helps lots of people to avoid going through the same!
 

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name of gauge

I had the same thing happen to me last year with my '03 turbo S and they were designed with no temperature gauge and so when the red light comes on its much too late. I fried the head gasket and ended up rebuilding the entire engine and ported the heads and replaced the water pump,timing belt,radiator,and put in a new stage 2 racing clutch with a single mass flywheel instead of the stock dual mass. If you choose to repair the car's engine and get it back to run I really recommend getting a temp gauge. I found a cool website that solved that problem for me for good. Go to BULLYDOG.COM They have a small display panel LCD type which connects straight to your OBD port and will show you your speed,RPM,Temperature,and lots of other options you can program it to show. Up to 7 different things showing at once. Lesson learned for me as I had about 30 seconds to react but it was way too late. I will never drive the car without the gauge again. Now I have full control. Hope it helps lots of people to avoid going through the same!
So what's the name of this display LCD panel in the bullydog.com site???
 

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You can get an elm 327 wireless dongle and the torque application for your telephone for a total of about $25. With it, you can set up your virtual dashboard with about 15 different readouts.
:)
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Bully Dog

Hey guys,
Yeah just go to bullydog.com and type in your year and make of your car and itll show you the options of what they have. Its easy to install and set up. I no longer worry about driving and guessing the temp.
 

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okay

hey okay thanks for your help man. The price kinda scared me off the other direction towards the Torque program that's only $5 bucks.
 

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Scangauge is another option as well.
 
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