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Looks like the common 2.0L, leak/failure; the plastic coolant flange off the head is the usual suspect. They warp, crack, the o-rings get hard and lose their ability to seal, causing a leak.

VW VOLKSWAGEN OEM 98-05 Beetle 2.0L-L4 Radiator-Flange 06A121132C

It is best to get a genuine vw part; we have seen the cheaper aftermarket versions leak. It is also a good time; to replace the failure prone coolant temp sensor. For some reason whever i try to remove and reuse them, they end up throwing a failure code.

Another option is a aftermarket cast aluminum coolant flange; that is more durable and not as prone to cracking or warping.

WhanAB cast aluminium coolant flange 06A121132C VW New Beetle All 2.0 1998-2005

https://www.google.com/search?q=Wha...2005&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input Billymade! It's my granddaughter's car and she is only driving to and from school and to work. No joyriding for now! It is less than 10 miles from home for either destination. I am having her check the coolant level every time she drives it. It has been holding coolant since we refilled reservoir, but I know it won't last! Just needed to make sure I had the correct part name before I ordered. I will order the flange, temp sensor and o-ring and let you know my results. Thanks also for the quick response!
 

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You will need an o-ring for the plug that fills the hole for the second sensor which is not used on your engine. From the looks of your picture that is where the leak is. The o-ring is the same as the one for the temperature sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Red99! Getting ready to order parts, glad I checked the thread one more time! I will let y'all know the outcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just a quick update! It was the flange. Got one for 9.00 and had a friend make the repair, seemed a bit intense for me. I helped, so maybe if it happens again, I will feel confident enough to do it myself! Betty is running great! Thanks again for the input! Merry Christmas y'all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
New Issue, still leaking coolant and now oil!

Sorry to say, I'm back with more troubles, still losing coolant and now have developed an oil leak. The two might not be related. I read a few other threads here on similar issues. Betty ran great for about 2-3 weeks then the coolant warning started up. We have been having to add coolant every few days, I am thinking water pump. With the new oil leak, from what I read, could be the housing for oil filter. We pulled the car onto an old shower curtain so I can check in the am for coolant and oil loss overnight. Any ideas from you folks out there? We need help!
 

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Oil and coolant leaks are not uncommon. For the coolant leaks; they can come from anywhere and be tough sometimes to pinpoint. For the water pump; the leak will come from the weep hole and is situated from the passenger side of the engine near the crank pulley. If you still have VW coolant; there tends to be crusy pink/red residue that forms, after a while and that is something to look for, from the source of the leak. Most of the time; the plastic cooling pipes/flanges are the source of common leaks but anything is possible. I have had some hard to detect leaks I cound not find; I finally broke down and purchased a cooling system pressure tester, which mad the leaks obvious. The tester is also great; because after you make cooling system repairs, you can confirm the whole system is airtight and be confident, all your leaks have been addressed (I always do this after major repairs; like when you replace your water pump). I bought one from Harbor Freight, it comes with the correct adapter for our VW's but there are many other brands for sale, on the internet that can work as well. While, it can seem like you're spending more money on tools; it pays for itself, rather than taking it to a shop and you can use it on your other cars. VW's have so many plastic cooling parts; they have allot of cooling leaks, so you will be using it again in the future! :)

Radiator Pressure Tester Kit

Pittsburgh® Automotive - Item#63862

https://www.google.com/search?q=coo...rome..69i57.6797j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

If you end up needing a new waterpump; check out the waterpump/timing belt kits from blauparts.com, they sell high quality oem kits with everything you need to do the job correctly, at a affordable price.

Oil leaks are common; from the o-ring seal at the oil cooler in front of the engine and valve cover gaskets as well. When I replaced my oil cooler seal; I found it to be compressed, hard and the oil cooler was loose. For tough to pinpoint oil leaks; you might get a uv dye kit from a auto parts store and that can make it easier to find.

oil cooler seal: 038117070A

seal info and replacement how to videos:

https://www.google.com/search?q=vw+...rome..69i57.5418j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

uv dye oil leak detection kits: (should be available at any auto parts store)

https://www.google.com/search?ei=JT...263i264k1j0i131i67k1j0i20i263k1.0.nj4TkeCdRZ4
 

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I've got a leak around the flange plug in my 2005 beetle. Do I need to drain the radiator before replacing that?
 
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