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    Thread: coolant reservoir bubbling

    1. 09-12-2010 02:01 PM #1
      pulled up to a red light yesterday evening and saw some smoke near the right side of the hood. I immediately checked out the temperature gauge and it was fine. Car didn't appear to be overheating. I make it home--2 more blocks--pull into the garage, leave the engine running and pop open the hood.

      THE COOLANT IN THE RESERVOIR TANK IS BUBBLING LIKE HOT SOUP AND A NICE PUDDLE HAS ACCUMULATED NEAR MY FRONT RIGHT TIRE--NOT TO MENTION THE TRAIL OF COOLANT LEFT DOWN THE STREET AND UP MY DRIVEWAY.

      After some minor research it appears that it can be a few factors (ie, thermostat, fans????) Need some help here guys. I assumed it was a cracked reservoir (which would explain the leak) but the bubbling it the real issue.

      Thanks in advance for any input.

      R32D2

    2. Former Advertiser
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      09-12-2010 02:16 PM #2
      check if your coolant fans work first.

      The gauge in the cluster really isn't all that accurate...its made it sit in the middle until there is major overheating. So say your around 103 celcius..it will still stay in the center while you might have slight overheating.

      Bubbling is start of overheating and that is why you are overflowing coolant also.

      If you have access to vag-com you can read your coolant temp more accurately then the gauge in the cluster.

    3. Member The Sage's Avatar
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      09-12-2010 08:31 PM #3
      this can also happen if you have exhaust running into you coolant.

    4. Member graeme86's Avatar
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      09-12-2010 09:30 PM #4
      It would start boiling at a lower temp too if the system was not pressurised, such as a faulty cap on coolant tank.
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      09-13-2010 01:14 AM #5
      did you get your coolant flushed recently? air in the system will be super hot in there and make your car do crazy things

    6. Member vwgeorge2's Avatar
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      09-13-2010 08:15 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by graeme86 View Post
      It would start boiling at a lower temp too if the system was not pressurised, such as a faulty cap on coolant tank.



      X2

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    7. Semi-n00b mkIIIgls's Avatar
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      09-14-2010 05:43 PM #7
      sounds like a bad head gasket.. exhaust flows in to the coolant. im havin the same problem now.. fans wont come on either gauge stays in the middle, but its def overheating.. i even pulled the thermostat
      plz lemme kno if u found the fix to ure problem

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      09-14-2010 07:42 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by mkIIIgls View Post
      sounds like a bad head gasket.. exhaust flows in to the coolant. im havin the same problem now.. fans wont come on either gauge stays in the middle, but its def overheating.. i even pulled the thermostat
      plz lemme kno if u found the fix to ure problem



      If your fans aren't coming on then check the system.

      You guys do realize that our head gaskets are metal and have a very very very low failure rate.

      Start with the basics, when your car overheats it will BOIL...thats where you are seeing the bubbles.

      If your fans aren't turning on then start diagnosing why... don't just assume its the head gasket because its bubbling

      So your fans aren't kicking on...so you pulled the thermostat???? What does the thermostat have to do with your fans kicking on?

    9. 09-14-2010 08:58 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Patryk@DouglasVW View Post



      If your fans aren't coming on then check the system.

      You guys do realize that our head gaskets are metal and have a very very very low failure rate.

      Start with the basics, when your car overheats it will BOIL...thats where you are seeing the bubbles.

      If your fans aren't turning on then start diagnosing why... don't just assume its the head gasket because its bubbling

      So your fans aren't kicking on...so you pulled the thermostat???? What does the thermostat have to do with your fans kicking on?
      If he drives the car on the highway and it prevents the car from overheating, does that also say that the fans ARE the problem as well? I'm not sure if my logic is right....

    10. Member schmuck's Avatar
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      09-14-2010 09:07 PM #10
      as well as looking at the cap to the coolant reservoir to see if it might have a faulty seal, also check the nipples on it where the coolant line comes in on the top (I believe from the throttle body?). Mine developed cracks on that nipple and it broke in a few spots forcing replacement. I don't remember much bubbling, but a little bit of steam and a big surprise to me when I wiggled the line and had a steam sprayer try to get me.

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      09-15-2010 07:50 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by The Sage
      this can also happen if you have exhaust running into you coolant.
      Quote Originally Posted by mkIIIgls
      sounds like a bad head gasket...
      Lets not jump to conclusions.

      Start with the simple diagnostics.
      1. Vag-Com!!!!!
      2. check fans
      3. pressure test coolant tank cap
      4. pressure test cooling system
      5. check thermostat
      6. check temp sensor

      Those simple, cheap, diagnostics will help you pinpoint the problem.

      Report back when you find the problem.

      --Chuck--

    12. Member AaronD's Avatar
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      09-15-2010 08:36 AM #12
      had this with my old 2.8 gti and it turned out to be the thermostat. we did pressure tests, changed the cap and tank etc etc...the tstat was gunked up causing the coolant to get too hot and boil over basically. theres a blowout on the tank so itll shoot out if its too high in pressure.

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      09-15-2010 08:43 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by VWaddikt View Post
      If he drives the car on the highway and it prevents the car from overheating, does that also say that the fans ARE the problem as well? I'm not sure if my logic is right....

      Absolutely, generally your coolant system stays cool enough while at a constant roll and you do not use your fans at all.

      CHECK YOUR FANS GUYS THEY ARE A KNOWN BAD DESIGN AND FAIL OFTEN !!!

    14. 09-15-2010 09:08 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by vwtechr32 View Post
      Absolutely, generally your coolant system stays cool enough while at a constant roll and you do not use your fans at all.

      CHECK YOUR FANS GUYS THEY ARE A KNOWN BAD DESIGN AND FAIL OFTEN !!!
      That's what I thought. I had this issue recently where at a dead stop the AC would turn hot and the car would start to heat up a bit. But rolling or highway everything is fine from the car getting cooling air as I was driving.

      I replaced the front fans (about $200 bucks) and it fixed the problem. Never had coolant boiling though...

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      09-15-2010 10:42 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by VWaddikt View Post
      ...I replaced the front fans (about $200 bucks)...
      You need top post where you sourced those fans for ~$200.
      That's a great price!

      --Chuck--

    16. 09-15-2010 10:50 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by speedbump2 View Post
      You need top post where you sourced those fans for ~$200.
      That's a great price!

      --Chuck--
      Let me be more specific...

      My larger fan was out, and that was about 200 bucks. The smaller one was not replaced, and I'm not sure how much the total would cost for replacing both. Does that sound more believable? lol

    17. Junior Member farooked r32's Avatar
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      09-15-2010 03:04 PM #17
      Or any type of leak or crack in the coolant system hoses...

    18. Semi-n00b mkIIIgls's Avatar
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      09-23-2011 11:53 AM #18
      I fixed this problem a long time ago, it was the fans..
      for some reason i have some kind of "glitch" whatever gives the fans signal to switch on wasnt doing so. I kno youre prollay sayin check the sensors.. that was all changed with new parts and the fans still wouldnt come on.. also my gauge would stay in the middle when the car was overheating..
      basically i ran a hotwire to the fans and hooked it up to a switch, also installed a temp gauge and said the hell with VDUB.

    19. Member DarkSideGTI's Avatar
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      09-23-2011 12:04 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by mkIIIgls View Post
      I fixed this problem a long time ago, it was the fans..
      for some reason i have some kind of "glitch" whatever gives the fans signal to switch on wasnt doing so. I kno youre prollay sayin check the sensors.. that was all changed with new parts and the fans still wouldnt come on.. also my gauge would stay in the middle when the car was overheating..
      basically i ran a hotwire to the fans and hooked it up to a switch, also installed a temp gauge and said the hell with VDUB.
      I almost did the same when I couldn't get my fans figured out. If the relay ever flakes out again I will be installing a switch and basically running the fans all the time and also install a real coolant temp gauge.

    20. Member Cortexiphan's Avatar
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      09-23-2011 12:21 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by mkIIIgls View Post
      I fixed this problem a long time ago, it was the fans..
      for some reason i have some kind of "glitch" whatever gives the fans signal to switch on wasnt doing so. I kno youre prollay sayin check the sensors.. that was all changed with new parts and the fans still wouldnt come on.. also my gauge would stay in the middle when the car was overheating..
      basically i ran a hotwire to the fans and hooked it up to a switch, also installed a temp gauge and said the hell with VDUB.
      Do our cars have a fan control module you could replace?

      I know the 2.8L GTI's do. not sure about the R

      Also how did you install the external temp gauge?

    21. Member M00NEY's Avatar
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      09-23-2011 01:36 PM #21
      signatures do not show up in tapatalk

    22. 09-23-2011 10:57 PM #22
      If your lucky it was just the fans and there is no damage. I had to do fans on both my R32's.

      If you ran it more then you needed to then you may have blown a head gasket as well. Coolant bubbling is usually a drop dead sign of a blown head gasket.

      Hopefully, your lucky!

    23. Member GLI_DRIVER's Avatar
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      09-23-2011 11:36 PM #23
      If you ran it more then you needed to then you may have blown a head gasket as well. Coolant bubbling is usually a drop dead sign of a blown head gasket.
      No its not. Boiling coolant inside the coolant bottle is a sign of no coolant FLOW. If the t-stat is CLOSED where do you thing the boiling coolant is going to? The bottle is the only spot in the system thats high enough for the pressure to release. The bottle is on the BLOCK side for the cooling system BTW.

      Check the fans,they are known to go bad.
      Check the t stat they are known to go bad.
      Check for coolant flow to see if the water pump is working.

      A compression leak into the cooing system is instantaneous the car would not get 10 feet before blowing a coolant leak or smoking out of the exhaust.

      Stop posting misinformation please.
      .:R

      Build your car for yourself, not what an internet forum tells you.

    24. 12-22-2011 11:04 PM #24
      For those who have experienced this first hand, did you hear squelching sounds from the engine bay when it was oveheating? Sounded like a clarinet gone wild.
      I'm experiencing all the listed symptoms right now. 2 days before Xmas, not the best time for this...

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      12-22-2011 11:53 PM #25
      waterpump

    26. 12-23-2011 04:43 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by ThatVdub View Post
      waterpump


      the plastic blades on the pump fracture and fall apart with age.

      low speed resistor in the fans goes meaning they only come on a max...no high speed fan then you know its either the thermostat thats gone stopping the radiator/fan switch from working or the fan switch its self. Could also be the fan controller.
      MK4 R36 x Precision 6776 Turbo = Large Grin

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      12-23-2011 10:33 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by vwtechr32 View Post
      CHECK YOUR FANS GUYS THEY ARE A KNOWN BAD DESIGN AND FAIL OFTEN !!!


      Mine is out currently and only in the summer with the A/C on and in traffic will my temps go up (verified with VAG-COM) to an "overheat" level. I simply turned the air off, turned the heat on for a few mins to cool off the temps and then ran with no A/C until we started moving above a stop and go pace.

      I plan to replace the fan and the the control module this winter as I know both are notorious for failing so while i'm in there i'll go ahead and do both.

      Quote Originally Posted by ThatVdub View Post
      waterpump
      If the water pump is leaking you should be able to notice a lot of white residue forming up all over the left side of the engine. Mine did exactly this when the bearing in the pump started to fail and sent fluid out out the sift hole. Since it was a slow failure I didn't get a tremendous amount of water on the belt causing a squeal but you're most likely getting that sound due to fluid on the belt system.

      Water pump replacement isn't really that bad. I did it with the help of a friend in less than 3 hours start to finish. Just make sure to have an extra jack handy when you loosen up the motor mount(s) to support the motor.
      Last edited by TXR32; 12-23-2011 at 10:40 AM.

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