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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old February 13th, 2018, 12:49   #1
johnboy00
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Unhappy I put a Do Not Resuscitate order on my Golf

After 7 years and 100,000 miles with me (278,000 total miles), I think I have to put a Do Not Resuscitate order on my 99.5 Golf.

With, a bypassed, leaky heater core, very severe rear fender rust, and as of today, a head gasket leak, I don't see an economic reason to continue. I was doing some spirited driving yesterday but nothing insane (didn't get much over 80mph) when I noticed a small drop in power. Last night I got a low coolant light and this morning I confirmed that exhaust gasses are pressuring the coolant. Current head was rebuilt by a guru just after I bought it 100k miles ago.

Hopefully I'll get a month or 2 out of it, while I look for replacement vehicle.

Long live the Jetta and Passat! They both have about 260K miles. Hopefully I'll make 300K miles with boh of them.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 13:03   #2
IndigoBlueWagon
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Sad, but you're probably right. It's the rust that's the killer, although the heater core is no day at the beach, either. Their failures are probably related.

Sorry to see another one go. A friend is buying an '11 Golf this week to replace his '99.5 2-door. He said he'll enjoy a newer car but be sad to see the MKIV go, because "they just fit." I agree.

Our family MKIVs have 228, 257, 353, and 360K on them. All doing fine, at this moment.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 13:04   #3
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Yeah, would have to agree with you on this decision. That's TWO big things. Head gasket might be only a gasket (though would only be able to find out for sure after it's pulled). Any idea on how this happened? Heater core, yuk! A bit of a cost (maybe $175 in parts), labor is the BIG issue with this (and would NOT want to be without a functional heater core in your location).
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Old February 13th, 2018, 13:49   #4
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Do you have an EGR cooler? It could be that.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 14:08   #5
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Yeah, I still have the '03 in the family here, and was just under it due to what looked originally like the DMF dying (which means a clutch job, which is no big deal other than it's a pain in the butt!)

The dogbone looked questionable. It's cheap and original, so I ordered one and installed it. Bingo -- the shudder on start in 1st gear disappeared and I was unable to make it happen after trying quite earnestly to do so. And while the dogbone didn't look "bad", per-se, comparing the compliance of the bushings on the old and new was *shocking*; the old one was a LOT looser in that regard.

A dancing engine doesn't do anything good 'yanno..... :-) Pax side mount was off six months ago when I did the timing belt, and it felt and looked fine. What continues to surprise me is that the suspension bushings look ok too -- including the rear beam ones! They're ORIGINAL.

Next time I have reason to pull struts I'll do the entire front bushing set, and next time I have reason to pull the shocks I'll do the beam bushings too, but until then the kid is just gonna drive it unless I have some reason to believe something is going wrong. The car still LOOKS good, especially for a 15 year old car on the outside. The interior does need some help tho......
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Old February 13th, 2018, 14:28   #6
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I thought I had a dying DMF too, in the wife's car, but it turned out to be a failing SMF! Did not expect to open things up and find an SMF in it! (explains, though, why her car handled the performance mods while mine didn't)

I highly recommend Cupra R rear axle bushings. It's amazing what difference they make in handling (steering).

burn_your_money, good suggestion in taking a closer look at the EGR cooler. I suspect, however, that after a while the heater core issue would have me still considering walking away from this car.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 14:40   #7
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Yeah, I'm putting the Cupra bushings in when I do it. I had the rear wheels off today to address some rear brake chatter that the kid was complaining about (I'd drive more and get 'em good, hot, and nicely broken in first but that's me -- the rotors and pads are new enough that you can still see the machining marks on the rotors!) and doing the usual "look at what's easily visible" thing the bushings looked just fine -- but I bet after all those years they're nowhere near as nice and firm as they once were.

Changing a heater core in these things is a beast of a job simply due to having to pull the entire dash out, and the easiest way to do *that* is to pull the seats first. I did the blend doors without pulling said dash but if I had an evap or heater core fail, I dunno..... I think I'd rather do the clutch.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 15:20   #8
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I've done ONE heater core and ONE clutch and I can say that I'd also rather do a clutch. Of course, I don't really want to do another clutch! (have an issue right now and I'm not sure if it's really a clutch or not; and this with a NEW clutch install)

And now a moment of silence for the (almost) fallen 99.5 Golf...
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Old February 13th, 2018, 16:39   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UhOh View Post
Yeah, would have to agree with you on this decision. That's TWO big things. Head gasket might be only a gasket (though would only be able to find out for sure after it's pulled). Any idea on how this happened? Heater core, yuk! A bit of a cost (maybe $175 in parts), labor is the BIG issue with this (and would NOT want to be without a functional heater core in your location).
No I was just driving down the highway and noticed a small power drop. Thought I might have gone into limp mode. shut off and restarted, seemed a little better.

The strange thing is that this is eerily similar to what happened to the original head gasket just after I got it. Same time of year too! I'm sure its all just a coincidence though.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 16:41   #10
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Originally Posted by burn_your_money View Post
Do you have an EGR cooler? It could be that.

I have to look. I know its off the car, but I can't remember if I kept it. When the original head was replaced, it was removed.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 18:07   #11
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My '01 (the original "jettawreck") now has 178K miles on the chassis, engine unknown. Mechanically it needs some work (suspension, rear brakes, rear axle bushing, etc) that I've been neglecting because the writing is on the wall. This car was only about a year old when the original owner rolled it prior to me buying from a salvage yard. Various body work all over, including the roof (although the sunroof still works and has never leaked) rocker panels, cheap aftermarket front fenders and hood. MNDOT's appetite for salt and various chemicals to de-ice the roads has taken their toll and it's getting to look pretty rough all over, except the interior is still very nice. It's probably going to join the rear ended '03 as a parts donor for another gas to TDI swap car unless I find a nice TDI chassis in need of an engine transplant, which isn't likely, all those that turn up in these parts are very high miles and also rusted hulks. So, maybe parts of it will live on in another skin or just help keep the other current converted Jetta running as long as practical. I think the poor thing has seen its last winter.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 19:42   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UhOh View Post
I've done ONE heater core and ONE clutch and I can say that I'd also rather do a clutch. Of course, I don't really want to do another clutch! (have an issue right now and I'm not sure if it's really a clutch or not; and this with a NEW clutch install)

And now a moment of silence for the (almost) fallen 99.5 Golf...
I think I'd rather have a root canal than change a heater core.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 08:51   #13
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Originally Posted by johnboy00 View Post
The strange thing is that this is eerily similar to what happened to the original head gasket just after I got it. Same time of year too! I'm sure its all just a coincidence though.
Hmm... I wonder if the head (or block) mating surface was still warped?
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Old February 15th, 2018, 21:13   #14
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Check o-ring heater hose connectors going to and from the heater core. They are located on the firewall. I had the same symptoms. O-ring cost less than $2.
With regards to vibration, check your serpentine belt harmonic balancer.
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Old February 16th, 2018, 10:07   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnboy00 View Post
this morning I confirmed that exhaust gasses are pressuring the coolant.
If you are truly done put some of this in it. It has prolonged my Jetta headgasket at least a year.

https://www.kseal.com/

That said, it will probably destroy the rest of the cooling system, but at this point you really don't care.
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