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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my 1999 new beetle hot temp light came on. I pulled over and after about an hour checked the coolant level - it was down to about and inch or two above the very bottom of the globe/container it sits in. I added about 3 to 4 6-8 oz glasses of tap water as I had nothing else. drove home about 17 miles part city part highway (45 minute trip) and did not have trouble. but prior to this I've felt the heat in car VERY hot and once or twice felt that my car smelled hot. also car almost falters when idling lately. took it to mechanic a few days ago and they said nothing wrong but temp sensor which they changed. wondering what could be causing thing - maybe two different problems. also my heater core is cracked (have had a slow leak up until now). but was told when the crack goes I will feel a gush of coolant at my feet and heat will blow cold air - which didn't happen at all.

any thoughts? I'm going to try to drive about 20 highway miles to Tomas Sport Tuning tomorrow and am worried I won't make it. also worried water I added to coolant is not OK? too diluted? what happens next? btw don't know if my temp light was blinking or steady but it was read and made a sound. I freaked out/ pulled over and turned car off.

thanks-
 

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fuses

check the fuse box on top of the battery those tend to melt and causes electric fan problems and the car overheats especially at Idle. Common issue with these beetles, especially the three green 30Amp on the far right. 8 ounces of tap water will not hurt the system.
 

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The "HOT" light came on because you were low on coolant due to the leak in your heater core. You weren't really overheating... yet. Carry some water with you and try some cooling system sealer as a temporary fix.
 

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The "HOT" light came on because you were low on coolant due to the leak in your heater core. You weren't really overheating... yet. Carry some water with you and try some cooling system sealer as a temporary fix.
I personally would not put any sort of "cooling system sealer" into a car I cared about. That junk might seal the leak, but it might also gunk up the rest of the cooling system too.

Fix the car the right way by replacing the leaking heater core. Anything else is asking for trouble. Overheat the engine and you're asking for more trouble ($$$) than a "cheap" fix is worth.
 

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I personally would not put any sort of "cooling system sealer" into a car I cared about. That junk might seal the leak, but it might also gunk up the rest of the cooling system too.

Fix the car the right way by replacing the leaking heater core. Anything else is asking for trouble. Overheat the engine and you're asking for more trouble ($$$) than a "cheap" fix is worth.
This. Do NOT use that crap! Cooling systems are easy to fix.

Get some UV dye ($5 at any auto store) and put some in your coolant reservoir. Leave your car in the same parked spot. Run it for about 15 minutes varying in RPM fluctuation here and there to get things moving. You should be able to then see with a black light the spots on the ground and where they are accumulatin most in your engine, leading you to the cause of your leak.

My guess is if you haven't changed your radiator hoses, they could have hot/weak spots and need to be replaced. If you have/ check that the clamps are securely over the hoses and nipples.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
after coolant leak fixed now mass air flow problem or fuel too rich ....

thanks very much guys . I did have a hose leak somewhere - something flexible was cracked and it would only leak at certain rpms like kellyysssays suggested. mechanics now think I never had a heater core issue which would be great b/c the radiator is very expensive to fix - talking a thousand or so and only alternative is diverting so you have NO heat. being a woman I can't handle that! I actually drive with heat on full blast a lot of time - weird, I know but apparently have zero circulation as well.

problem is now after all of this is fixed a few weeks later I am coming up with codes fuel too rich and the other was mass airflow. just had my mass airflow fixed in January. I leak/burn oil pretty badly. am using marvel mystery oil which has helped bring down the burn or blow by whatever you call it a lot and am now at 1 quart every 900 or so miles--- which is still a lot. wondering if my oil issue is causing mass air flow problem to repeat or if the leak of coolant caused it. I understand the coolant was all over the place. thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
also thanks re: info on temperature lights - indeed it was just signaling low coolant and not that it was overheating -thnk god. with overheating is there flashing? versus steady for low coolant? or a different color light? or is it exactly the same?

also added 4 cups of water and that was fine mechanic said, but not good to leave in long term bc of corrosion, or if in freezing temps it would also freeze etc.. of course after they fixed the hoses they replaced all w/ G12 again. he did say car can run water as coolant if needed etc. it will not harm it. just answering these questions in case another amateur has the same concerns...
 

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There is a lot of confusion over the temperature light. It signals four different things:

steady blue = cold engine
flashing blue = sensor problem
steady red = hot engine
flashing red = low coolant level

I disagree about these engines running OK with water as coolant. Plain water can boil inside the block before the thermostat opens making it difficult or impossible to fill the cooling system properly.

On the oil usage, the MAF is upstream of any place in the airflow that blow-by oil can get to so engine oil usage won't affect the MAF. An oil-type air filter like K&N is another story. That will definitely coat the MAF with oil.

On my car I reduced the oil usage considerably by replacing the gasket between the block and the oil cooler. They get hard after a few years and don't seal well. I describe removing the oil cooler in this thread:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/2-0-liter-gas/60706-engine-speed-sensor-replacement.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Red - thanks for the reply. I just want to be sure - so flashing red means low coolant and steady red means hot engine? I thought flashing always meant more severe trouble - so expected it would be flashing if engine were hot?? that IS confusing LOL! honestly can't remember if mine was flashing or steady b/c as soon as I saw that I pulled over. I guess everything is OK with engine though or mechanic would have told me.

not sure if I have that oil type air filter. thanks for the tip on the gasket and oil usage. why don't mechanics know this stuff - I mean.. its weird to me that I've had this oil problem for so long and they don't really have anything up their sleeves. I go to Tomas Sport Tuning which is supposed to be very reputable too. just seems like they don't always try to fix problems unless you point them out yourself. kinda frustrating. I was also disappointed that they couldn't really hear my rough idle and I could hear it very well. still they are the best mechanic I've ever tried and do seem honest
 
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