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Array of issues

850 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  drowe29
My daughter has a 2000 1.8 turbo vw- 5 spd. This is a new car to her. Car ran great, but a hose got caught in the fan which cause the anti-freeze to leak. She overheated the car. It still had antifreeze in it by the time I got to it. Took car to mechanic; next door. He doesn't work on vw's but was willing to fix the hose and refill the antifreeze. He did those things and told me to take it down the road to open up the thermostat so the antifreeze would drop and he could top it off. I got about half a mile down the road; third gear and lost power, down shifted and the car was fine for a few more minutes but eventually died out. When I tried to start it, it clicked like a batter issue. It eventually started again; I was able to back up to a driveway about 100 ft and it died again. Mechanic came to me; started it up and got it to go about another 100 ft and it died again. He decided he wasn't able give me any advice being a vw; but his guess was head gasket. We got it home(towed) and head gasket just didn't seem right. Car started and eventually putter out a few times but eventually lost battery charge. Now, it will only start when hooked up to a boost but dies out immediately upon disconnecting cables. This seems like an alternator/battery problem but before sinking her empty pocket change into this car, it seems strange that both issues would happen at the same time. Is it possible she did something else to the car; messed up the alternator during overheating or does this all sound like typical head gasket for a vv beetle? I have blown head gaskets before and could still run the car, it just overheated quickly. This doesn't seem to be the issue.
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If the car starts. Put a multimeter onto the battery terminals. You'll want to charge the battery a bit to do this test. Reason being: If the alternator is dead? The car will be running off the reserve from the battery.

Once the car starts, remove the jumpers and measure voltage. You should see about 14.5 volts dc. IF the alternator is doing it's job. (The battery and/or warning lights in the cluster should also be lit up like a christmas tree if the alternator fails.)

I honestly do not think Head Gasket at this time. Head gaskets tend to blow a lot of white smoke and most of the time the car can run (okay...run but badly)

I think what might have happened? Hose gets damaged and drains coolant on the alternator. (I hope the friend used G13 coolant..) The alternator might have been already on the way 'out' and the spill was the death blow. It could very well be internally shorted out causing quick drain of the battery. I would also urge having the battery checked for charge/load tested.

I'm still new at VW's myself, but that's my gut feeling. Others here have more understanding of these little 'buggers'. So we're all learning.

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What you describe is defacto low power on a gas car. I had the battery and alternator give out on my 92 Cabriolet, on a winding road, at 11pm... everything died ... nothing, a click when you tried to start it.

Replace the alternator, charge the battery. Should be good to go.

If he mixed green with pink coolant -- flush the system entirely and pick a coolant to run with. I use the G12 (pink) stuff but others have ran the green stuff.
He got the car running by hooking it up to a battery charger; however it still won't stay running. It starts up great, then sputters out and eventually stalls unless you keep the gas down. We are definitely replacing the alternator because that's done. But is the running issue related to alternator? I read somewhere else air in the hose/radiator and to prime it. He also found a hose that looked like it was held by a bolt and snapped. Tried putting another hose on it but that didn't work. Perhaps it needs a special hose? No idea what it went to.
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