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Mrs Golf losing coolant. 1.9 tdi


Luke
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Warning light came on a couple of weeks ago, saying coolant level was low. Checked it and topped it up a bit, not a large amount. Then earlier today its flashed up again. I've noticed the fan being on a lot lately too when she gets home and turns off the engine, its always going for a few minutes. Oil is ok, not milky. Haven't had a proper check for leaks yet but will do tomorrow. Any ideas?

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Found some coolant under the engine this am.

That's preferable to finding it inside the engine (in the bits where it shoudn't be).

It will hopefully just be a lose clamp or perished hose.

Generally it should be easy enough to find, modern coolant leaves obvious trace marks where it's leaked out, you might need to remove some covers though, first thing to check is the radiator as they are susceptible to being punctured by stones etc.

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Easiest things to check, in order, are level sensor in the expansion tank (already done) and then the rad. The rads on the Mk5 are sh*t, because they have a metal core (as you'd expect) and plastic end caps, which sprout leaks. The rad on my Mk5 been weeping for about six months, but I've not replaced it yet - yes, I know it'll go one day, exactly when I don't need it to!

Next after that is rubber pipes.

And thirdly, don't panic - it'll be something simple +++

Edited by Mook
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We got it new in 2005, 98k miles now. Reluctant to change as the kids treat it like its a playbarn. The coolant leak is drivers side, about 8'' in. What about the fan coming on regularly?

The fan will be coming on, because if there's a leak, the water pressure won't be high enough, so the boiling point will be lower, so the water will heat up quicker, and the temp sensor will kick the fan in automatically.

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I wish I was more mechanically minded, like you guys. Would you sort this yourselves?

I would, yes, but you need to be able to put the car back together again, so you might want to get someone else to look at it for you :)

Book it into your local specialist and get them to check it out +++

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Don't rely on the position of the puddle to tell you where it's leaking from in the engine bay, the under tray will have collected a nice puddle and try and fool you as to where it's coming out!

Depending upon what you find, it could be as simple as tweaking up a clamp, which anyone could easily do, to replacing the radiator, which you could do with very basic spannering skills, or replacing a water pump/thermostat which probably is best left to someone who knows what they are doing, despite not being particularly complicated jobs.

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We had the same issue in our Bora TDi 1.9 115bhp model. Ours started with a very small loss of coolant when travelling on the Mways over a long distance. Would loose about a 1/4 of the coolant bottle. Locally it would not loose any so suggested it was while the car was at high revs for prolonged periods.

It got worse over the course of a year to the point where a 20min mways trip would empty it and loads of steam would be coming from the coolant bottle area.

Also found that no hot air would come from the fans unless you gave it some revs to get the coolant circulating...

This to check, coolant bottle pressure cap, thermostat, radiator, water pump propeller (standard ones are made of plastic and break easy) then if all that fails... could be HG. That list is compiled in cheap > expensive things to check/replace.

Tell us how you get on.

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A little back street garage. The owners wife is a friend of my wife. They're a bit, er rough and ready. I wouldn't take a decent or pride and joy car to them but for the van and the Mrs Golf they are fine and fairly cheap. Father and son, old school mechanics.

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