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Leaking Coolant After 2 New Water Pumps

2060 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jfoj
So I have searched and there are a lot of threads similar to this but nothing quite answers my question.

I have a 2006 1.8T although this is the 2004- model I think it was registered late.

My water pump started leaking in June (or so I was told) and I took it to be repaired. New water pump.

6 months later, the drama continues. Coolant low flashing blue temperature light came on again. I topped up the coolant, which again leaked out and retuned it to the garage who took a look, and advised me the water pump had failed again and once again did a replacement.

I drive my car 30 miles and the dreaded blue low coolant light has started flashing again. The garage said it looks like my water pump is leaking .....grrrr.

Now I am slightly dubious and have a couple of questions.

Firstly, is there anything else it could be? and is it likely to be expensive eek! (water pump would be covered by the warranty from the previous repair but not sure what else would). I have looked at the symptoms of a blown head gasket but other than the coolant leaking there are no other signs of this, nothing in the oil, no smoke, the car is not overheating and the blower is kicking out hot air. (Sorry for the non techincal terms, beyond changing a light bulb my knowledge of cars is very little!)

The garage it is at now has advised me I need to drive it 30 miles to another garage who will honour the warranty as they have too many jobs booked in to look at it.

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If the light is flashing blue, that's not overheating. It would be solid red. Flashing blue is likely a failed coolant temp sensor.

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Also, I wonder if it wasn't leaking the second time. Getting the flashing red means low coolant. That can happen after a water pump job when air pockets get in the system. Air burps out and the level drops. Doesn't mean there is a leak.

You need to find a better mechanic.

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On an unrelated note, your VIN determines the year of the car. VIN says 2004, it's a 2004, even if it sat on a lot for 2 (or 4 or ten) years unsold.
Yeah, the garage said that it was still leaking out somehow. I just don't trust them after 2 failed repairs and one that lasted only a few months. They checked there was no air in after the last repair apparently, as that was their initial thoughts this time but the confirmed that was not the issue. I do need a new mechanic, although it has been looked at 4 times in 3 different places now. I thought about the thermostat thing being screwed after reading some posts on here. That is possible but there is another problem with the leakage in addition to that.

I topped up when it started flashing blue and it emptied out again. I get about 30 miles driving for the coolant to empty from max to nothing :(
Is there a puddle under the car after it sits overnight?

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No puddles, when it is parked the coolant remains at the same level.
Somehing else is probably going on. Any mechanic worth his salt, can find this problem with a cooling system pressure test.
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Get it up on stands or ramps, get under it, take the belly pan off, start it up, and watch for leaks. If it's not coming out the bottom, it's getting burned in the engine...
So much wrong here.

The year of the car has nothing to do when it was sold, it has to do with the the manufacturing date. Listed on the label in the door jam.

Now on to other issues.

Flashing blue light has nothing to do with low coolant, it usually means either a bad coolant sensor and/or a problem with the level sensor in the expansion tank.

You need to do a few things.

1. Figure out what the build date of the car is, then update your profile to include the year of your car and your location.

2. Get the coolant temperature sensor replaced. You want the green top sensor. Part is like $15, Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8T Engine Cooling Temperature Sensor ES#1484 Coolant Temperature Sensor With O-Ring & Clip - 4 Pin - 059919501AKT Just replace the sensor regardless as to what is going on. It is a VERY easy replacement, maybe a 10 minute job with VERY little loss of coolant if you are quick with swapping the sensor.

3. Then you need to verify the engine coolant temperature. Thermostats fail soft ALL the time. On the 1.8t it is IMPERATIVE that the engine runs at the proper temperature otherwise the oil pickup could get restricted. Really should just replace the thermostat and the plastic housing, about $25 in parts. I can almost guarantee the thermostat is soft and the engine is running too cool.

4. You need your OWN OBDII scan tool that can read and display Live/Real Time data. You can get one for $35 or less for your smart phone or Windows laptop.

5. You need to inspect the metal coolant pipe that runs along inside of the passenger frame rail. These pipes rust start and start to have pinhole leaks. If there is ANY rust visible on this pipe, suggest replacing it. They last at most 10 year depending on what area of the country the car is operated on.

6. There is also a plastic splitter on the upper radiator hose that has a small 3/8" hose nipple on it. This plastic collar can crack/break and cause coolant leaks. There is an aftermarket aluminum and stainless replacement that it a good option.

See links below in my signature for info about OBD tools and thermostat/cooling temp issues.
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Thank you for your advice.

As a total useless novice will I be able to change the thermostat myself?

When the car is running there is water leaking out somewhere as the garage said it made a pool on the floor. So I don't think the engine is using it.

I will ask the mechanic if they have checked the other things.
You might want to find another shop if they cannot find a simple water leak and cannot determine if the the problem is the water pump or something else.

Where are you located?

As for changing the thermostat. It is not easy, but not overly difficult if you have the proper tools.

It is located behind the alternator, I was able to remove the thermostat without removing the alternator, but I have a few years of working on cars and figuring out tricky things.

Another member did it without removing the alternator after some of my suggestions and "she" even surprised the shop that works on her car because "she" was able to do something they had never thought possible!

Read the thermostat link below in my signature for more info.
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