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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.

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Old April 28th, 2012, 07:42   #16
Yblocker
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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.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 09:37   #17
herbigp
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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?
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Old April 28th, 2012, 10:46   #18
Abacus
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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.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 12:12   #19
herbigp
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Thanks.

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?
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Old April 28th, 2012, 15:40   #20
herbigp
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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.

Thanks
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Old April 28th, 2012, 16:01   #21
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Working AC is no good if the engine doesn't run!

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Old April 28th, 2012, 16:23   #22
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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.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 08:03   #23
herbigp
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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?
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