Economy - Longevity - Performance
The #1 Source of TDI Information on the Web!
Forums Articles Links Meets
Orders TDI Club Cards TDIFest 2016 Gone, but not forgotten VAG-Com List Unit Conversions TDIClub Chat Thank You

Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs

VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

Thread Tools
Old April 28th, 2012, 06:42   #16
Veteran Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Oakland, CA
TDI(s): 1997 Passat

Hmm. My car uses no coolant and it maintains pressure like that. I think these cars do that. Your drop in coolant over 60 miles is significant though, and if you can confirm no external leaking, and if the system is fully bled, then it has to be burning it either via a head gasket leak or a crack in the head.
K03/04 hybrid turbo, RC II, Stage II Cam, Titan 502's, DC Stage I, TT LCA bushings
Yblocker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:37   #17
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Port Ludlow, WA
Fuel Economy: 42/47
Default Coolant leak

I see where the coolant is coming out of the reservior, not the cap, but the side vent. I am still seeing evidence of coolant down below the reservior. But I replaced the reservior and cap?

I do not want to pull the head, but that seems to be the answer at this point?
herbigp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2012, 09:46   #18
That helpful B4 guy
Abacus's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nobleboro, Maine
Fuel Economy: And the miles just keep ticking away

Sounds like you are building too much pressure, like Yblocker said. I am assuming you are seeing no black buildup in the coolant reservoir and no other indications of coolant or other migration?

It may also be from the EGR cooler, so you can bypass that and take it out of the loop. No need to get additional hoses, the ones for the heater core will work just fine. But, I'm thinking head gasket as well, since that is exactly what mine did for quite awhile.

I found that if I released the pressure slowly from the reservoir as soon as I shut it down, I could minimze the coolant loss.

Do this: after running it around at the end of the day, turn it off. Slowly release the pressure via the reservoir cap, trying not to lose coolant (wiggle the cap back and forth to get it to slowly release otherwise it can go all at once). YOu won't get burned since it'll just purge out the overflow, like you are seeing now (on the side). Then put the cap back on tight. In the morning, remove the cap again before you start it and if pressure has built back up overnight, then odds are very good it's your head gasket. Mine did this.

Some people have had good luck swapping to the ARP2000 head studs to 'cure' the head gasket leak, but it did nothing for me.
'97 B4: 453,000 miles Malone 3, K03/04 Hybrid Turbo, PP520's, Stage 2 cam, SBC3, ARP studs, Westach EGT/Boost, Koni Reds/Yellows, 2 1/4" exhaust, 2.5" Cat, no mufflers or EGR, Evo plate,
'96 B4V: 356,000 miles Malone 2+, PP520's, 6 speed, 02J short shifter, E-Codes, G60 brakes, Evo plate, DMF, stainless exhaust, heated leathers, cold weather package
BUG*PWR 2013 Award Winner
Abacus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2012, 11:12   #19
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Port Ludlow, WA
Fuel Economy: 42/47


I removed the EGR recently, so I think that can be ruled out. I have done what you described as far as bleeding the reservior. I will do that a few more times?
herbigp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2012, 14:40   #20
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Port Ludlow, WA
Fuel Economy: 42/47

Pretty sure it is Head Gasket. After examining old coolant bulb, I see lots of black above max fill line. I also just noticed black (probbbly oil) on the inside of new bulb.

Any suggestions on other things to do when changing head gasket? Timing belt, water pump, tensioner was replaced 4k ago and the injection pump was replace 8k ago. All this work was perfomed by PO at dealer.

I need to get my AC blowing cold, wondering if I should trouble shoot now or wait till HG replacement? Am also thinking of having head cleaned & rebuilt?

Any input would be great.

herbigp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2012, 15:01   #21
Veteran Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Tucson, Az
Fuel Economy: A5: 36mpg Avg / A6: 39

Working AC is no good if the engine doesn't run!

Diesel fleet: 2015 Jetta TDI SE DSG; 2006 Jetta, TDI, DSG-5sp Conversion; 2006 DC Cummins, CC/LB/DRW; 1996 Passat TDI, 5sp, Project car! Troubleshooting Links: Trusted TDI Mechanics IP Timing Timing Belt FAQ A3/B4 Low Power Cyl Head Repair Fault Codes What you have just read is an opinion...take it as you see fit!
TonyJetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2012, 15:23   #22
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sw Missouri

First, I can count the number of reservoir caps that needed to be replaced on one finger... it got lost by the owner.

Second, the level of your coolant should RISE when hot and FALL when cool; not the other way around. Something is very wrong there.

If you remove the reservoir lid and there is venting, you are pressurizing your coolant system from a blown head gasket. That is all...

If you are losing that much coolant, it should make itself apparent. If you are using the G-12 antifreeze, it will leave a tell-tale trail of pink foamy stuff or at very least a pink trail from the offending part, that is, unless it's going out the tail pipe.

If the coolant is disappearing 'without a trace', (which it never really does), then check tail pipe for steam, smell of antifreeze. If that's where it's coming from, then either you have a head gasket leak or you have a holed EGR cooler.

The EGR is easy to trouble shoot. Take it off and pull a vacuum on the water leads. If it's your head gasket, the most common leak is between the #2 and #3 pistons and the two center pistons will read low compression compared to the other two cylinders. The two center cylinders will compare in readings quite closely.

In summary, the head gasket will blow when there has been a severe enough loss of coolant to cause the overheat light to blink. Did that ever happen? They should call that light the 'you just blew your head gasket' light.

The warping that follows requires redecking the head gasket surface and usually, an align bore to straighten out the cam shaft. Unfortunately, when the head warps, it is not very likely that you'll get the head bounced back to perfect flat. Since the head warps completely through and the cam journals need to be within about .004", that requires a cam align bore.
Frank's VW TDI's, LLC
1007 Olive St.
Lockwood, MO 65682

'02 80k grey leather, 99.5 R.I.P 153k
'85A2 NA 375k, '91 A3 290k Always Silver, Always a Jetta
Franko6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 29th, 2012, 07:03   #23
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Port Ludlow, WA
Fuel Economy: 42/47

Thanks Frank.

Yes the blinking red light has come on. I stop then fill.

So I pull the head. I read you are the one to send a TDI head to to get it fixed properly (one time)? Can I get a general estimate? Also what do you recomend for shipping procedure? How long does this usually take?
herbigp is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
97 passat coolant leak overheadmw1 VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs 0 March 31st, 2011 19:16
99 passat brake reservior crack srmichi TDI 101 8 April 12th, 2010 18:39
Coolant Leak 97 Passat TDI bmixon TDI 101 2 August 27th, 2008 19:08
97 Passat B4 coolant leak at sensors Dean_S VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) 8 October 5th, 2002 16:36
Green lid fluid reservior by coolant tank davenkay TDI 101 3 November 12th, 2001 13:56

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:14.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright - TDIClub Online LTD - 2017
Contact Us | Privacy Statement | Forum Rules | Disclaimer
TDIClub Online Ltd (TDIClub.com) is not affiliated with the VWoA or VWAG and is supported by contributions from viewers like you.
1996 - 2017, All Rights Reserved
Page generated in 0.15551 seconds with 12 queries
[Output: 89.25 Kb. compressed to 77.61 Kb. by saving 11.63 Kb. (13.04%)]