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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was taking Gratiot down to the Detroit auto show and at about 9 mile road, my coolant light came on. Just did a timing belt job replaced all hoses and flanges connecting the upper radiator to the head, reservoir bottle, the hard metal coolant pipe and installed a stage 3 spec clutch. Well anyways I wasn't going to stop in that part of Detroit because it's a bad area and limped the car to the parking garage and opened the hood the coolant was still in the reservoir. I decided to leave it came back after a full tour of the auto show. I looked again and the coolant level had gone down so I opened the reservoir to fill it and there was pressure and the reservoir and it refilled. Got home and went to drop my wife off at work and checked the reservoir before even starting the car, it sat for about eight hours and did the same thing it did at the auto show. Has anyone had this happen? I'm thinking heater core issue because heating was spotty last night and this morning or some blockage in the radiator.
 

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Gustav
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A sealed system should hold pressure so I would not be alarmed by that.
Regarding for the coolant light did it come back on after it sat for 8 hours?
Did you flush the system after you replaced parts and did you install a new thermostat?
Clogged Heater cores happen and are easy to check just unhook the outlet with the engine running see if fluid is circulating out.
Heater cores are a pain to replace!
 

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I'd bet you just have an air pocket in the system since you just did work on the cooling system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did bleed it, but I did not change the thermostat well another project when I get paid next week I guess it's supposed to be in the 40's. But I just got my wife from her work and got home the reservoir was bone dry until I opened it then it filled again so I decided to massage the hoses on the radiator and the lower one that runs into the engine was cold but all the upper ones were warm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Left the cap off the reservoir for a few hours and just checked it and the level sank. Looked all around the car and no coolant on the ground or the engine, there is a ton of salt in my apartment parking lot so it would be easy to tell. Started the car and filled it and saw slight air bubbles coming into the reservoir. So must have rushed the bleeding to get the car back on the road. When I go to work in thirty minutes I'll just take the cap off again and check it at lunch to see if it dropped any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There was air in the system still. Heating is still hit or miss in the cabin, but that's what molten lava seat warmers are for I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So after a few days of refilling the coolant and bleeding the system over and over again with no visible leaks on the engine I went to oriellys and they suggested the heater core was blocked and building up enough pressure to push it out the overflow on the reservoir tank. Only reason I think they are right is because when the coolant is on the ground it is running out the frame on the passengers side. If I replace the heater core and it still happens I'm just going to replace every line that I haven't replaced yet.
 

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Before tearing, your whole dashboard and interior apart...... do some diagnostic testing! Again, the first time; I serviced my cooling system and had leaks, I couldn't find the source of the leaks and fully bleed the system. The intermittent cool/warm from the heater; is a classic sign of a air pocket in the system. It was driving me nuts; trying to find the problem. It wasn't until; I used a pressure test kit, I found my leaks and with a vacuum pressure coolant fill tool, eliminated the air pockets successfully.

I bought the harbor freight kit; it has the adapter for our VW's and there maybe even cheaper ones, on the market now. Some people; have even made their own, using a extra coolant tank cap and a air pump, if you want to get creative.

https://www.google.com/webhp?source...#q=homemade vw cooling system pressure tester

Harbor Freight

Radiator Pressure Tester Kit

Pittsburgh Automotive - Item#69258 (check online for a extra 20% off coupon):

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=hf pressure tester

I bought the Uview Airlift vacuum filter tool but there are cheaper ones out there as well.

https://www.google.com/webhp?source...=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=coolant vacuum fill tool

While, tools like this are a investment; the fact of the matter is, you WILL be doing these tests again, again, and again, on these cars, as the plastic parts degrade and leak. Having a shop; professionally diagnose the system or do a pressure test/fill, could be close if not more than investing in the tools to do it yourself. Having total control; over your diagnostic process, is powerful!

The main thing; about having the two tools, is there was no more guessing about leaks or air pockets, they brought the leaks to the surface and eliminated the air pockets, so that issue was not something I had to concern myself with anymore. Test and fill, BOOM, done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did see a video where some guy took one of those brake bleeder vacuum pumps and sucked everything right out of the return line on the top of the reservoir. I'll pick all those up this week though. I'm working on this in 20 degree weather and I just go nuts and think I have to tear everything apart. I guess I just don't want my projects to end, but have to have it ready for track season in April. Still needs tires and probably brakes before then. Also possibly a drivers side electrical loom too. Window, locks and keyless entry don't work on that side but trunk and gas lid buttons do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well burped the system about ten times with the help of a radiator vacuum kit and brake bleed kit. Still no heat and temp light blinking but no bubbles in the reservoir and fluid is holding at a steady level. Hopefully it stays there while at work tonight and after I get home and sleep. So I'm thinking the temp sensor is bad. I bought the cheap $9 one from ecs in July instead of the genuine VW one. T-stat opened and closed as it should. My wife is trying to get me to take it to a radiator place. But I'm not willing to pay them my hard earned money.
 

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Please let us know; which tools you purchased, brand/model, so we can identify them.

Have you scanned the car for trouble codes?

Here are the temp light modes:

Blue coolant light = engine cold
Flashing blue coolant light = fault in the coolant monitoring system
Flashing red coolant light = low on coolant
Steady red coolant light = engine overheating, pull over and stop engine IMMEDIATELY and do not run until the problem has been identified.

Have you checked; the return line to the coolant tank? Is it clogged and does it have a good stream of coolant, when the car is running?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln4grYe3WnE

Also, did you replace the thermostat; when you did the water pump replacement?

I would be curious; if you removed the hoses to/from the heat corer and inject compressed air in the ports, if air or junk came out of when you did this (it to see if it is clogged). The heater hoses; could be checked this way as well.

Lastly, did this car; ever have a issue with incorrect mixing of incompatible coolant with factory vw and normal "green" stuff? That can cause clogging of the system and require, cleaning, flushing of the system. I worked on a Jetta; that had this problem and allot coagulated junk, was in the system (especially the rubber hoses in the high areas of the system). In that scenario; I had to flush the system multiple times and remove hoses, used dishwashing liquid and nylon pipe brushes, to scrub out all the junk from the contaminated coolant mixing.

9 Pc Tube/Pipe Nylon Brush Set Item#90631

http://www.harborfreight.com/9-piece-tube-pipe-nylon-brush-set-90631.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I purchased the Pittsburg radiator vacuum set from your post I was there Monday looking at it. I used it before at the auto hobby shop when I was stationed at camp Lejeune. The coolant light was flashing red and when I had the computer read on Saturday one of the trouble codes that was listed was coolant temp sensor malfunction. I took the return line off and tried to blow and suck air from both ends with no luck so I already ordered one of those. I don't have access to compressed air at the garage I'm using but I could probably go to a diy garage that just opened up here now that the car is able to move again.
 

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Good that you purchased the HF Pittsburgh kit; has worked well for me. What are you using; to vacuum fill the system?

If the return hose is clogged; that can cause problems, trying to get air out of the system. It sounds like you already ordered a new one but you could probably clean out the old one. They have a plastic restricter inside, that gets clogged, it looks like a bulge in the hose near the bottle connection. The plastic restricter; has a small hole in it; that is easily clogged with debris or junk.

Also, post the trouble codes you are getting. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was thinking of just pushing the restricter out of the hose and putting it back on. The bleeder I'm using is the Mityvac, it was $41 with tax at harbor freight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
So at work we cut the restricter out, tested it with the brake bleeder kit and it pulled straight coolant out of the line, and I cleaned the resrticter so probably going to jam it back in the return line tomorrow. But after all that still had the red coolant light came on again. But the car has heat at 5000 rpms. I don't really want to sustain since I still have 102 miles to go on the break in process on the clutch.
 
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