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Have you determined the source of the leak? If not, a cooling system pressure tester; is a good way; to pinpoint the problem. A water pump leak, typically leaks; from the bottom of the crank pulley.


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This is just one kit available; there are many other types and brands being sold these days. Getting one, is a very good idea; as you will continue to have coolant leaks with these era vw’s; because, of the failure prone plastic parts, used all over the cooling system.

I just went through my whole cooling system and bought all new hoses, cooling flanges, quick connectors, etc;, as they kept leaking and i was able to upgrade some parts, from plastic to metal.

Cooling system problems, on a 15-20+ VW can seem; like a game of “whack a mole”, with leaks, that keeping popping up randomly and that is why i replaced so many old original parts. I still, have the original heater core and radiator, things have been ok so far; however, i feel like, i am waiting for the next ”shoe to drop”.


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What is the history of the cooling system; any work done, parts replaced?

If the return line, has no coolant going back into the bottle; it is clogged or the pump isn’t working.

If coolant drained out and you attempted to refill; you may have a air pocket in the block, not allowing the thermostat to open. VW recommend s a vacuum fill tool and this eliminates the air in the system. If the return line is clogged; burping, the system, will make it hard to do so. If you find it clogged; there is a hard piece of plastic with a small hole and this limits flow volume. This can easily get clogged, a small piece of wire; can be used, to clear the obstruction.



Refill and burping; the cooling system:




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2003, new beetle, 2.0 avh,5speed
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Got a few questions. Is it posssible to have a worn water pump or is it pretty much all or nothing. Also would the timing belt be lose if the tensioner was worn. Could a bad tensioner cause the water pump not to work at full capacity?
 

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How are things currently; what are the coolant temps, are the fans working and is the engine overheating? Actually, overheating; can result in the coolant bubbling, overflowing when the cap is removed and the temp red light coming on, then beeping, flashing.

There could be restrictions somewhere (return line, radiator, etc), mixed vw spec coolant, green coolant will create a thick mess, clogging up things or the plastic impeller pumps, they can crack, the impeller, will start spinning on the shaft, reducing pumping flow or eventually, break into pieces, stop coolant flow.

The above videos, show various checks you can do; confirming, things and see of the system is operating correctly.


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The 2.0L has a mechanical tensioner and has a built in spring, to keep it tight, it does move, when the engine is running. Good video, going over correct adjustment and how to install correctly, etc.



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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Okay had a slight problem with the fuse box atop the battery. Ended up dropping a nut between fans and radiator when I retrieved the nut a hole was poked in my radiator leaking all the coolant out. I was 13 miles from the house so I attempted to make it home to exchange radiators with a spare one from another beetle. Only made it about 9 miles where I then retopped the coolant off with water To make it home. Changed radiators and filled with green coolant (bad mistake didn’t know what I know now just assumed green was better then just water). Had air in the system burped it out and drove about 50 miles where I then slowly creeped over a curb due to missing Sonic’s turn in. (hit pretty hard on engine/transmission). Had a problem after ordering sonic decided to pull my thermostat to see if it would drive continued to have problems. At this point I have changed the thermostat and housing and the coolant tank itself. The y flange was replaced back in January. I know the return hose isn’t clogged cause I can blow through it. The last time I drove it the fans didn’t work unless I hard wired them to the battery and the oil light was flashing red. It doesn’t look like my oil and coolant are mixing in either direction. If I could just get it to stop over heating and to my house instead of being stuck at my work. I would do a compression check. I just need to take the hoses off clean them and then flush the system the best of my ability and then take my time filling and burbing the coolant system and go from there. I’m not sure why the fans aren’t working or the oil light was flashing. Is the oil light known to flash when the motor is running hot or could it be the pick up tube on the oil pump I remember seeing a forum about that. Running wise my car sounds decent doesn’t sound like metal on metal or any different then it did before this incident. I did run it hot (no coolant) for a while trying to make it to my works shop.
 

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Well, you have been through; allot of issues here. Each aspect, of the cooling system; needs to be checked.

You definitely need to fix the fan problem and get that working correctly. If you mixed green and pink vw spec coolant; you need to check for any thick reddish junk that occurs when they mix.

That gooey stuff, tends to gather at the upper levels of the cooling system; so, i removed the hoses, coolant bottle, used dawn dish washing soap, to scrub it out, washed everything with water. Then, blew out all the hoses, flushed the system as best i could.

The oil pressure light; can be electrical, related to the coolant temp sensor or a actual low oil pressure issue. I had a similar issue: oil pressure tested in spec but found the coolant light acting weird (light stayed blue, wouldn’t”t go off, blinked blue) , had a trouble code, for the coolant temp sensor. Found terminal to the sensor, had terminals broken off; got new terminal repair wires, plug and sensor. That solved the sensor issues and the oil pressure light/beeping noise, went away, stayed away.


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2003, new beetle, 2.0 avh,5speed
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Where can one found the plugs for sensors for these cars without going through the dealership.

And on a unrelated note do you know anything about the supercharger kits for the 2.0s im looking at buying a parts car and it has one on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I also don’t think the two coolants actually mixed. For it was pretty much bone dry when the green went in and same when readding red. I will still look over it all. Would it be bad to run water intell i know i have figured this issue out cause seems like I’m just pouring $23 gallons of coolant on the ground.
 

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If you look at the plug housing; it will have a vw part # on it and you can google that #. There are sellers online for oem parts or ebay, amazon have fully assembled pigtails for sale.

There have been a couple of types; over the years and so, the part #, will help you find the correct one.



Having said that, i would test the oil pressure and that way, you can rule that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Do you have to have a scan tool to view the oil pressure or is there a cap like on the fuel lines.
 

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You hook up a oil pressure gauge/test kit; review the service manual link above.

Hook up the hose to the oil pressure sending unit threaded port:



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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Okay Thanks for all your help I’ll get back with you later this week. It is what is I’ve had the car since January and it hasn’t been legal in over 4 years dont even know if it was being driven. Then it met me and ive just been driving it as much as I can. It was broke for a month or more when the clutch went out but I’ve put almost 17,000 miles on it since the 1st of April. So I can only expect to find every weak link in a car that went from sitting to being used way more then the average person would use it. I like the car and don’t mind sinking some money into it maybe there will be a time when I have gone through and replaced everything and know it in and out. She’s my little go kart and that’s pretty much how I drive it.
 

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Well, these VW’s will force you to be your to own mechanic; which can be a painful way to learn but a experience, knowledge, you will use in the future.

14k miles of driving (!); it sounds like, your clutch replacement was good and that aspect if the car is solid, reliable now!

The cooling system, is typically neglected after 20 + years and all aspects, need to be gone though. I just went through mine and replaced a ton of stuff (hoses, water-pump, thermostat, timing belt, upgraded to metal cooling flanges, metal heater connectors, etc). Now, i need to replace, the other cooling fan; which has a noisy, failing bearing! :)

Once, you get the fans working correctly, temp sensor fixed, flushed, refilled, etc; the engine will run and cool much better.


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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I don’t think it’s the engine coolant temp sensor i am more worried about the thermal switch sensor or the fan relays I have 3 temp sensors two green and one black
 
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