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hi guys. thanks in advance for any help. 99 new beetle with 2l engine. been searching and reading threads on overheating and feel that i have chased this pretty thoroughly except for the waterpump issue.
a broken radiator started all of this so that's new. also new thermostat, fans test good but have to be jumped to run (bad thermo switch or air pocket), no heat in cabin (but that was true before the rad failure), timing belt/water pump about 1.5 years old, no visible leaks. bought block tester from napa and solution turned blue-green instead of yellow, no oil in coolant and oil itself looks normal. bought G12 for installation but coolant at time of failure was green and fairly clean-looking. only tap water in system right now. have repeatedly started, observed, let cool and topped off the coolant. upper hose hotter than lower one by a bit. heater hoses hot. coolant tank hoses hot. no smoke/steam/sputter on startup but overheats after about 15 minutes with fans running constantly. at this time, red flashing light comes up on dash which my bentley says means either low coolant or overheat. percolating was happening near right side of engine when adventure started but not now.
i bring up the water pump issue because having read some threads where it was said that the water pump could be partially assessed by feel thru the thermostat opening, i felt it and the impeller seemed intact and could not be turned. i pushed on thinking that it should be ok but i realized that i have not seen the stream of water coming into the expansion tank that others have mentioned. i watched this tank previously looking for signs of the thermostat opening and it was a calm pool of coolant until i saw minor movement. i thought it to be normal but shortly thereafter the coolant level moves up and overflows the tank.
how much coolant should i see on startup coming from that tube ? strong stream ? if no stream, bad pump ?
 

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I would check the water pump, first. Drain it out and then turn the crank pulley slowly and then see if the impeller turns on the WP. Make sure the tranny is in neutral.

If OK, then see if the thermostat is put in the right direction. I have see this done on other cars, and causes them to overheat.

Also, check the radiator hose that comes out of the radiator. When they get old, they get weak and collapse. In which, it will starve the WP and overheat.

With running the wrong coolant (green), make sure you flush out the system. It may have sludged up.

In my expansion tank, the water trickles at idle and flows faster as in warms up and flows faster if you rev the engine.
 
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