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beatmania IIDX
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short, mom borrowed my '99 GLS Auto bug and left it running because the chime didn't sound when the key was left in the ignition. I go to jump the car, thinking it was just a dead battery, and I see a ton of fluids coming from underneath. Smelled like antifreeze/coolant, definitely not gas or oil.

Wouldn't jump, keyless remote didn't work, no nothing when turning the key in ignition. Checked coolant, it was bone dry. Oil was low or empty. Went down the road and bought some of each and filled up. Waited a few minutes and gave it another jump. The 3rd one worked and the car started.

On the way home I noticed there was no heat, after driving for 10 minutes, with the heat all the way up. There was also an insanely huge cloud of white smoke/steam coming out from the bottom/rear of the car. I didn't smell anything from the vents. After getting home I open the hood and notice a LOT of condensation on the hood and in the engine bay... Haven't started it since then.

So, blown head gasket? Or something else? Anyone have an idea on how much I should be looking at for repairs? :(
 

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I would have thought that the noise coming from under the hood would have informed your mom she had left the keys in, but there you go.

Sounds to me as you do not mention putting in fuel that the engine may have seized, lucky it was on tick-over and not high revs. My guess is that somewhere, somehow it lost it's engine coolant, engine ran hot then cooked the oil (presuming it had oil to start).

1, Worst case scenario:
Engine seized and it's ruined.

2, Medium Case Scenario:
Cylinder head has warped and will need replacing.
Head Gasket blown.

3, Best Scenario:
Just a split pipe.

An educated guess would be the minimum you are looking at is a warped head, engine oil would have cooked and has now carbonized and is stuck all over the inside of the engine.

Step one is to locate the source of the steam from under the hood, check around the dipstick, oil filler, if the head has gone it could be getting into the oil system.

Step two would be a compression test.

Heaters were not working because of air in the system, if steam is coming from under the car, you need to locate the source, if from the exhaust .. It's the head.

If the engine is cooked as I suspect I would be hoping for the best and planning for the worst, as I would be doing the work myself the cost would be labour only to trace the problem. If you can not do this yourself you have to look at cost just to find the problem.

Again an educated guess would be a upwards of £1,000, (Cylinder head, gaskets, labour) if the engine is shot forget it, break it for spares and buy another Beetle :(
 

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beatmania IIDX
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The fuel was just above half in the morning and slightly under half after we jumped it, and by that time every station nearby was closed. I wasn't able to see if the smoke was from the muffler or it was just spilling out from the engine bay because I have no skid plate left...hopefully it's just a pipe/tube/hose...Thanks so much!
 

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Ok, so you still had half a tank of fuel, the motor was running for ten hours and it stopped on it's own .. Without water and oil .. As sure as eggs is eggs the reason it stopped is the engine seized up causing it to stall. The engine stopped leaving all the electrics on and drained the battery, this is why you had to jump it.

If things went as you say, I would bet my last penny on the head being warped, minimum :(

Steve

P.S Just to clarify, was the engine left running or just the keys in the ign ???
 

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Long story short, mom borrowed my '99 GLS Auto bug and left it running because the chime didn't sound when the key was left in the ignition. I go to jump the car, thinking it was just a dead battery, and I see a ton of fluids coming from underneath. Smelled like antifreeze/coolant, definitely not gas or oil.

Wouldn't jump, keyless remote didn't work, no nothing when turning the key in ignition. Checked coolant, it was bone dry. Oil was low or empty. Went down the road and bought some of each and filled up. Waited a few minutes and gave it another jump. The 3rd one worked and the car started.

On the way home I noticed there was no heat, after driving for 10 minutes, with the heat all the way up. There was also an insanely huge cloud of white smoke/steam coming out from the bottom/rear of the car. I didn't smell anything from the vents. After getting home I open the hood and notice a LOT of condensation on the hood and in the engine bay... Haven't started it since then.

So, blown head gasket? Or something else? Anyone have an idea on how much I should be looking at for repairs? :(
So your mom doesn't turn off the ignition after she puts the car in Park? And if she didn't hear the engine running I doubt she would've heard the chime of the door opening with the key in the ignition.
Why did the coolant leak? There has to be a leak somewhere. Just letting the car idle would not necessarily overheat the engine as long as the coolant circulated. So you will need to find where this leak is coming from. Since you mentioned a cloud of smoke from underneath the hood then I believe there must be a leak in one of your coolant hoses/lines. Make sure all the fluids are up to where they need to be. Turn on the engine, open the hood and put a flashlight on the engine and look for any signs of leakage. Also you mentioned it didn't have hardly any oil when you checked in the morning?? When is the last time you checked the Oil prior to that morning? It must have been low prior to this incident. If all the coolant somehow leaked out the engine would have stopped way before it could burn off all the oil in the crankcase. This whole situation sounds a bit fishy to me. Where was the car parked? Nobody even noticed it running? And I doubt it ran for 10 hours. Once the coolant has leaked out it may have ran for another 10-15 minutes before the engine would have stopped.

Hard to say what type of damage has been done to the engine without further diagnosis. First, check for coolant leaks. There has to be one. Find it and fix it. Then change the Oil.
Put in some cheap 5W30 Motoroil and pour in a can of SEAFOAM solvent/treatment. Take the car for a drive and let the stuff circulate. After about an hour, drain the oil and change it with some 0W30 Mobil One Synthetic or similar quality oil. See how it runs after that. Also pull your spark plugs and take a look at them. They may give you more of an indication what is going on in those cylinders. Change the sparkplugs and hope for the best.

Good LUCK!
 

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@ IndyTom

Am I missing something here, is the Beetle fitted with a cut out if it reaches high temp ? Why would the engine cut out after 10 to 15 mins ?

Always willing to learn but unless it cut out, with no coolant it would have burned off the oil in less than 10 hours, then seized.

As you say, it smells fishy but who are we to dispute what happened? We can only answer to the things we have been told :)

100% correct on flushing out the oil system, as I would do and hope for the best :)

With Deepest respect
 

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@ IndyTom

Am I missing something here, is the Beetle fitted with a cut out if it reaches high temp ? Why would the engine cut out after 10 to 15 mins ?

Always willing to learn but unless it cut out, with no coolant it would have burned off the oil in less than 10 hours, then seized.

As you say, it smells fishy but who are we to dispute what happened? We can only answer to the things we have been told :)

100% correct on flushing out the oil system, as I would do and hope for the best :)

With Deepest respect
In my experience a car without coolant will not run for several hours burning up the oil in the crankcase. It will seize long before that. Point in time. A girl friend of mine had a major Coolant leak when her radiator hose blew. She didn't want to stop so she drove it about 15 minutes to my house. I could see her a mile away with the steam coming from under her hood. The car stopped about 2 blocks from my house and didn't go any further. There was still plenty of oil in the crankcase but the engine seized long before the oil burned up. So I seriously doubt that a beetle's engine could run for 10 hours after the coolant has leaked out.
But again, I don't know all the circumstances. They must really live in a secluded area where no one sees a steaming car idleing in the streets. If that would happen in this neighborhood people would call the fire department. ;)
 

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... On the way home I noticed there was no heat, after driving for 10 minutes, with the heat all the way up. There was also an insanely huge cloud of white smoke/steam coming out from the bottom/rear of the car. ... After getting home I open the hood and notice a LOT of condensation on the hood and in the engine bay...
Perhaps what was on the underside of the hood is coolant spray from a bad coolant hose and not condensation? :confused:

So, when you went down the road and acquired coolant, did you mix different brands?
 

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@ Indy Tom

We are presuming here that the car was running for 10 hours and the cooling loss was at the start, could be that the coolant loss was at 9.30 hours into the tick over marathon and the engine stopped at 9.45 hours.

All strange to me as I can understand maybe leaving the lights on because you don't hear the chime but leaving the engine running is alien to me :) Maybe she could not hear the warning over the sound of the engine :)
 

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@ Indy Tom

We are presuming here that the car was running for 10 hours and the cooling loss was at the start, could be that the coolant loss was at 9.30 hours into the tick over marathon and the engine stopped at 9.45 hours.

All strange to me as I can understand maybe leaving the lights on because you don't hear the chime but leaving the engine running is alien to me :) Maybe she could not hear the warning over the sound of the engine :)
LOL, that could've been it. :p
 

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beatmania IIDX
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I dunno if it was actually running for that long. It was parked in a gated employee lot and maybe it wasn't running for that long. But that's how long it was unattended.

So, someone gave me a lead on a great VW mechanic, and they looked at the car this morning. Supposedly it seems like the Radiator fans "...weren't working properly, which caused overheating, which caused the cooling flange to melt. Water escaped and shorted the ignition coil, stalling the car."

He said he fixed the fan, cooling flange, and ignition coil. $800! And supposedly it's now good as new, and he's been driving it around all day.

Bubba: The car was running. The heat may or may not have been on.
Tom: I think she was on her cell phone. She's a bit forgetful :v
D2: Not sure, someone else took it to Jiffy Lube last for fluids. That was something like 3k miles ago, and last I checked oil was a week before, where it was approaching low but still ok.
 

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remember this cars have an oil sprayer on each cylinder that sprays the bottom of the piston skirt with oil each stroke. So some of the oil could have 'vaporized' as the engine heated up with bad fans and running. I can't belive it got hot enough to melt the cololent flange with out warping the head.


Seems maybe you dodged a big bullet.
 

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I dunno if it was actually running for that long. It was parked in a gated employee lot and maybe it wasn't running for that long. But that's how long it was unattended.

So, someone gave me a lead on a great VW mechanic, and they looked at the car this morning. Supposedly it seems like the Radiator fans "...weren't working properly, which caused overheating, which caused the cooling flange to melt. Water escaped and shorted the ignition coil, stalling the car."

He said he fixed the fan, cooling flange, and ignition coil. $800! And supposedly it's now good as new, and he's been driving it around all day.

Bubba: The car was running. The heat may or may not have been on.
Tom: I think she was on her cell phone. She's a bit forgetful :v
D2: Not sure, someone else took it to Jiffy Lube last for fluids. That was something like 3k miles ago, and last I checked oil was a week before, where it was approaching low but still ok.
Glad it all worked out. $800 is a bit steep but I guess you can't expect a mechanic to work for nothing. ;)
I am happy for you that it wasn't anything more serious! :bigthumb:
 

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Nice :):):):):)

Had that been me, the lump would have been a melted wreck and I would be on the way to the psycho ward. Somebody up there like you that's for sure.

Steve
 

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beatmania IIDX
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nothing surprises me any more when I read posts on this forum.
Leaving the lights on? Nah, we go HARD in Jersey.

Codes I had: P0118 Coolant Temp Circuit High Input, 01276 ABS Pump V64 Implausible signal (lol), 00532 Voltage Supply

Things replaced:
New Ignition Coil, Heat Hose Flange, Thermostat, Temp Sensor, both Rad fans.

Drives as usual now, yay!
 
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