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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 November 23rd, 2017, 14:59   #16
AndyBees
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Default Sharing my experience with some suggestions

For what it is worth, I tapped the expansion tank on the ALH engine in my Vanagon for the use of a mechanical pressure gauge mounted at the dash. The system pressure very seldom reaches 10 psi (mostly between 8.5 and 9.5 psi).

Anyway, back in the summer of 2014, on the first day into a 33 day 11k mile road trip, the pressure hose split at the gauge (found the split after returned from the trip). This allowed the system pressure to drop to zero. So, rather trying to identify and repair, I just drove on for the next 32 days. The engine never over-heated, I never had to add coolant, and there were no leaks.

So, based on that experience, I suggest that you drive the car with the expansion tank cap loose. Drive it several days and observe the coolant level regularly. If the coolant level doesn't drop down, you can assume the leak you are experiencing is very small and requires system pressure to expel the coolant.

I seriously doubt the head gasket is the problem.

-Water pump
-Coolant flange below IP where the T-stat is located
-Coolant pipe that enters the Water Pump housing behind and below the IP (black metal pipe with O-ring)
-EGR cooler
-Oil cooler
-Heater core
-Coolant Temp Sensor O-ring
-Crack in radiator
-Coolant flange at the end of the head (below vacuum pump)

Combo of two or more of the above...
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 15:18   #17
joep1234
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Are you still running G12 or G13? Either one will glow under a UV light to help to detect them in leaks. Look at your small hoses on the back of the head. I recently had to replace the one that fed the egr cooler and didn't find it until we pressure tested it with a UV light. It was a pin hole that would let a drip every now and again.
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Old November 24th, 2017, 03:49   #18
PakProtector
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Just one more that has not been mentioned yet. I just did them on mine. The two o-ring sealed joints at the heater core; trans side of the firewall, and diagnose-able with a dry finger. Get it warm and feel the lower side of the joint. They are likely fixable with just an o-ring replacement, but I never discovered what the exact size is. Besides, if I replaced the O-rings, the hoses would have failed immediately after...and I would have had to be more careful pulling the clips to tear them apart anyway...LOL
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Old November 25th, 2017, 22:05   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joep1234 View Post
Are you still running G12 or G13? Either one will glow under a UV light to help to detect them in leaks. Look at your small hoses on the back of the head. I recently had to replace the one that fed the egr cooler and didn't find it until we pressure tested it with a UV light. It was a pin hole that would let a drip every now and again.
Hopefully it's the pink stuff..X2 you can get a bad ass 100 Led AA black light off amazon for 10$ and shine it on all your friends clothes and embarrass them too
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Old November 26th, 2017, 12:24   #20
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its the pink stuff - I will get alight, I did not know it would glow, that is awesome. As for friends and blacklights - my boys are 23 and 20, it will embarrass their mother when she asks questions - bonus points..
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Old December 6th, 2017, 20:03   #21
VChristian
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I am chasing a mystery leak which was an annoyance this summer, and only happened on cold days. Now it is a major river, and the outlet is on the oil pan, on the PAX side of the engine, just inboard of the timing belt area.

I thought water pump, so I added extra dye to the coolant, and watched. Sure enough, a river flows down the oil pan. So I pulled the top TB cover and looked with my UV light. Nothing. No where. Prybar on the water pump pulley, and it is solid. No dye splash in the TB area. None by the thermostat or the hard pipe near the injection pump.

Any other suggestions? The car is down, and I need to resolve this. The fortunate thing is that I cleaned the garage, so I am out of the snow and rain.
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Old December 6th, 2017, 20:05   #22
Genesis
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I've had one leaking from the water pump SHAFT seal. The bearing was fine, so prying on it disclosed NOTHING. But that's where it was leaking from......

And yeah, it started as a minor annoyance, and then turned into.... well, The River Nile.

At which point it's "fix it now, damnit", which means a timing belt kit.
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Old December 7th, 2017, 12:21   #23
VChristian
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Genesis, was there any sign of splattered antifreeze inside the timing belt cover?
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Old December 7th, 2017, 15:44   #24
VChristian
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I poked around more this late afternoon, and do not see any leakage from the hard coolant pipe. Poking a UV light into the timing belt area, I don't see any splattered dye, but the area smells like antifreeze. Sticking one of those small cameras down as best I can, I can see that the backing surface is wet below the water pump, and there is antifreeze dripping down the oil pan. My take is that there is a 60% or better chance it is the water pump. The one in there is a Geba, and was replaced about a year ago, or 22K miles. The timing belt looks good, so unless I see that a bearing was washed with coolant, or something like that, I will swap in another pump.

I have had VWs for over 40 years, and can only remember once when I had to replace a water pump, and it was a bearing failure on this car. So in January, with what I remember was 10F weather, I did it outside. Probably the weather was 20F, but I seem to remember 10F which was probably the overnight low.

With 22K on the TB and bearings, I will just do the pump, unless I see some other problem that needs attention. The good news is that I have a complete TB kit, if I need it.
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Old December 7th, 2017, 20:33   #25
Genesis
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Quote:
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Genesis, was there any sign of splattered antifreeze inside the timing belt cover?
Not visible to REASONABLE inspection until I got it all apart. Then, yeah, but nowhere near as prolific as I expected. But from the top, with the upper cover off? Nope.

If it smells like antifreeze that's almost-certainly it... Once I got the lower timing cover off it was definitely moist down there.....
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Old December 7th, 2017, 21:11   #26
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Daughter's car had seen a WP failure with the PO. I didn't trust that the guy did a proper job on replacing everything, in which case I committed to doing a complete TB job. Good thing, as the idiot didn't replace everything. You could see the rust on the rollers from what had to have been the degradation of the WP that eventually went. Wasn't cleaned up well either. So, I actually took out a perfectly fine WP (it was the rest of everything that was suspect!). Story is here.
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