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VW B5 Passat TDIs This is a general discussion about B5 Passat(>98 (2004-2005 in North America)). Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old July 19th, 2007, 11:36   #1
mopractice
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Default Smellin anti freeze

I have been lurking for months and finally found a Passat wagon that I purchased a few day ago. I have read posts about heater cores having to be replaced.

I smell coolant after getting out of the car, not in the car and not when I turn the heater on. Only when I leave the car running and I walk behind the vehicle. Another thing that may or may not be related: I swear that I sometimes hear water running behind the glovebox.

Any suggestions? I have an extended warranty, I haven't checked to see if that will cover changing the heater core.

Mike in Minnesota
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Old July 19th, 2007, 13:34   #2
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Early on there were quite a few of these with bad heater cores
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Old July 20th, 2007, 05:16   #3
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Yeah, I had the same noises and smells until one day I started noticing fluid in my passenger floor area. Leaking Heater core that was leaking inside my cabin. You can also check the fluid level of your anti-freeze, after I refilled mine is when the real bad leaks started. What finally did it for me though was that it would fog up the interior of my windshield so bad I couldn't drive - and the defogger wouldn't do anything to remove it.

Hopefully it will be covered by your extended warrantee as the dealer wants an arm and a leg to replace it. I ended up having a buddy replace mine for a couple of ice cold 6 packs.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 08:28   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDI_Jeffster
Hopefully it will be covered by your extended warrantee as the dealer wants an arm and a leg to replace it. I ended up having a buddy replace mine for a couple of ice cold 6 packs.
You have a great friend. Treat him well! That is one huge job.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:00   #5
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Well, my radio and a/c haven't worked the same since - but the heater core is fixed. So, yes he is a friend, but I got what I payed for too. LOL

I think the radio is a busted antenae clip 'cause sometimes I get reception and sometimes I don't. The a/c had to be discharged to remove some lines and I don't think he recharged it properly. I just haven't had the time or money to have the a/c looked at since it does work, but it certainly doesn't cool as well as it used to.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 13:51   #6
mopractice
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Default Still have coolant issues

I'm smelling coolant because it is being pushed out the overflow. Took it to the dealer and they diagnosed a bad cap (day and half later). I'm still adding a quart every 150 miles.

Something is causing the system to be over pressurized and allowing coolant out the drain when the cap reaches pressure. Maybe there is a large air bubble in the system that is not getting out - just expands when hot causing coolant overflow??

Another symptom is a gurgling sound from behind the dash when you start moving - like water running.

Is there a specific way to bleed air from the system?? Do you really have to use G12 or can the system be flushed and then use dex cool etc.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 14:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopractice
Another symptom is a gurgling sound from behind the dash when you start moving - like water running.
The gurgling sound is a red herring. I've got that and no coolant leak. Others have talked about that as well and it appears to normal.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 17:28   #8
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Default Narrowing the cause

After reading other threads (with no conclusions) I installed a pressure guage on the coolant return line to the plastic tank. After driving a short distance I hit the accelerator hard and watched the cooling system pressure jump to 25 psi. Anytime the turbo kicked in the pressure in the cooling system jumped immediately. Now I see why the coolant is getting pushed out the overflow even though the system temperature never goes above 190.

Somehow the turbo is pressurizing the cooling system
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Old July 27th, 2007, 18:52   #9
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The way to bleed air out of the system is to loosen the clamp on the hose going to the heater core connecting piece (the hose on the left as you stand in front of the car looking at it) and pull it back away from installed position. You'll see a bleed hole in the hose. Now pull the hose off the core connecting piece so that the hole is off the connecting piece, but don't pull the entire hose off the connecting piece. Fill the system with coolant until the coolant comes out of the hole. Push the hose back on and install the clamp.

Unlikely that the turbo is pressurizing the system unless you've got a bad head gasket. Your coolant would not remain pink if that happened. Pressure build up could just be caused by the faster turning water pump.

Have you got a collapsing hose some where (to/from the radiator?) when the engine is revved up? It seems a bit young for a clogged radiator.

I recommend that you use only G12 or G12plus.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 11:47   #10
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Default high pressures

There is an oily or soot looking particles that has started to show up in the coolant. There is no coolant in the oil.

My experience with head gaskets and cracked head is a slow build up of pressure in the system - a stream of tiny bubbles. With the pressure gauge installed and the car going down the road I can make the pressure jump to 25 psi almost instantly when I hit the accelerator.

With car up to temp, in drive, and foot on the brake, I can run the rpms up to 2500 - 3000 but the pressure holds steady at about 15 psi.

I haven't studied how the coolant system is interconnected with the turbo but there sure seems to be a correlation. If I drive like grandma my coolant level stays within range.

I drove the car over 1000 miles this weekend with temperatures above 100F. The car does not overheat and it only uses coolant when I put my foot in it.
MIKE
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Old July 31st, 2007, 19:31   #11
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There is no connection between the turbo and cooling system. Only pressure in the cylinders could blow into the cooling system via a bad head gasket seal.

To illustrate the bleed hole I mentioned above, below is a picture of the bleed hole in the hose. It is outlined in white on the hose to the left in the picture. The hoses are between the battery and brake fluid reservoir under the plenum cover. Pull the hose back (towards engine) so that this hole is open through to the coolant.


To make it easy to know if the air is out (as out as you're going to get it), I unscrew the expansion tank, disconnect the level sensor electrical connector on the bottom, prop the tank up so that the level of coolant is above the level of the hose and loosen the tank cap. The normal installed position actually has the fluid level below the hose. The result is that the coolant will come out of the bleed hole when the air is out.


Do this on a cold engine. Put towels/rags under the hose to absorb coolant that comes out of the hole.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 07:41   #12
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Excellent posting and photos! This would make a great "HOW-TO INSTRUCTIONS" posting if we had such a category....

The light (white?) color of this vehicle allow easy identification of the work to be performed. Thank you!
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Old August 1st, 2007, 10:28   #13
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Thanks for the pictures!

I guess that I will be getting a new head gasket. I have an appointment this afternoon. We'll see if the extended warranty is any good.

If the gasket is not covered ... Is this a project that an adept DIY can do? Are there special tools needed -beyond standard things like torx etc.

Thanks Again MIKE
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Old August 24th, 2007, 14:44   #14
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Default Bad head gasket causes damage



Removed the head and found that the leaking head gasket apparently caused damage to the piston.

I know the right way is to replace the piston. What are the ramifications if I just put a new gasket in and drive? Once there is damage will it continue?

Can I buy just one piston and rings?

If you are loosing coolant - continuing to drive may damage the piston and head.

Mike in Minnesota
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Old August 24th, 2007, 14:58   #15
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You DO NOT want to leave that piston in there. Once you get it out and see the ring lands you will see why.
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