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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first post so please bare with me...

My wife has a 2003 vw beetle gls convertible. She recently had it overheat on her while 200 miles from the house. I met up with her and found that the coolant flange on the side of the engine was melted... I replaced that, it held water, but had an oil pressure issue. We had it towed to a shop where the cleaned the sluge out of the oil pan and the oil pump pickup and it was good to go. We picked it up and we were on our way back home (200 mile drive) when it overheated again (about 50 miles down the road). We got it off the highway and had it towed the rest of the way home. I have since replaced:

- the thermostat. I figured if this was malfunctioning, the water wouldn't circulate, causing the overheat issue.

- the water pump which was definitely a huge problem... made of plastic and in about 100 pieces. (timing belt while at it)

- the radiator. found one cheap enough and although it required disassembling half the car, had it done in a few hours.

I also added an aftermarket temperature sensor to actually see if it was the temperature issue or just a level issue. I drove it on the highway and found that the temperature stayed at a good level and then all of the sudden shot up to 250+ F. I thought that this could be contributed to a stuck thermostat although new.

I put in a new thermostat and drove it. It's still fine around town, but another test drive proved the same issue was present, this time it overheated after 50 miles of driving on the highway instead of 20.

When I pull over, the water reservoir is bubbling and spilling over. It seems like there is too much pressure in the system, even when it's not overheated, it still has pressure.

The only things i can think of now is either the hoses are collapsing, the cap is causing too much pressure to build up, or there is a crack in the head / head gasket that is allowing loss of water without the reservoir level changing that is causing the engine to overheat.

Thanks for reading and i'll take any suggestions!
 

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Can you pressure test the cooling system? do you know how to run a cylinder leakdown test? start with these and let us know what you come up with. Is teh AC fan working?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank You

Jason M and Phil C55. Thank you both very much for a fast reply to my post. I was literally 2 hours away from trading it in for a new issue free Honda Civic when I decided to tackle the head gasket per your advice. It worked! I was apprehensive about logging on to quickly to thank you for helping, but the bug has now made it 3500+ miles with zero issues. I removed the head, had it planed down by a local machine shop for $68.00 and bought a new head gasket and bolts for maybe $40 total. After two evenings of work (disassembly and reassembly), it cranked right up and has been great ever since. I really appreciate the help and I hope if other people are having similar issues, they can find this forum and receive the help that I did. God Bless.

Christian
 
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