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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys/girls,

I have had this problem since I purchased my Golf, every 4 to 6 weeks the coolant level drops and the check coolant light flashes up. So far it's happened consistently within that timeframe

It goes down by about 500ml each time, strange thing is I can't locate where it is leaking to!

I've had a pressure test carried out, but the mechanic couldn't find any leaks and recommended I try using a little Radweld to try and see if it helps.

I thought about changing the cap on the expansion tank, but it seems like a perfect fit and doesn't seem to be the problem.

The car is a Golf 1.6 16V SE, 51 plate. Any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The same thing happened to mine and it was the head gasket
I searched the forum and found your post, so are you sure it was definitely the head gasket? As you say, 2 months after fixing it gave you the same problems. How did you eventually stop the coolant loss? (if you did).

Oh and thanks for replying!
 

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Similar thing happened to me when I first got my car a couple of weeks ago, turned out to be a small crack in the rad which only leaked when the car was cold as it closed up when the metal warmed up, had the rad changed under warranty though!!
 

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The same thing happened to mine and it was the head gasket
I searched the forum and found your post, so are you sure it was definitely the head gasket? As you say, 2 months after fixing it gave you the same problems. How did you eventually stop the coolant loss? (if you did).

Oh and thanks for replying!
It could be a number of things... but if it has been pressure tested then it sounds like the same problem as mine. Yes, mine was definitely the head gasket and cost around ?400 to fix at a non-VW garage. I now have no coolant loss at all.
 

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Sorry I did not intend to worry you quite so much.  I was just telling you what it *could* be and the head gasket really is the worst case scenario. A good thing to change would be the cap as this is not checked with the pressure test as the  test is carried out with the cap off and pressure is applied through the header tank (so the garage told me). Also look for signs of coolant leak. Is your leak mileage related? Further you go, more lost? Also if you drive you car hard (over 100), does the coolant go quicker? What engine is it? 8v 1.6?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for setting me straight, but mentally it's always best to prepare for the worst! It's a 16v and I'm not sure if it increases with mileage. I do about 300-400 miles a month, but notice that it takes about 6 weeks for the coolant to drop enough to bring on the warning light.

I'm going to try replacing the cap, even though it looks fine to me (but hey, what do I know!). I have never driven my car above 80mph and so can't comment on the 'going over 100 mph' question :)

Yes I remember when the mechanic carried out the pressure test the pump gauge goes in place of the expansion tank cap, although there was slight pressure loss over a period of 5 minutes or so (is that normal?).

Another thing, there is no sign off the head gasket failing, as there is no 'mayonnaise' type residue either in the oil or coolant, so should I just take it to VW to check out?
 

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I'm going to try replacing the cap, even though it looks fine to me (but hey, what do I know!). I have never driven my car above 80mph and so can't comment on the 'going over 100 mph' question :)
I take it you haven't been on a private track then? [;)]

Yes I remember when the mechanic carried out the pressure test the pump gauge goes in place of the expansion tank cap, although there was slight pressure loss over a period of 5 minutes or so (is that normal?).

Another thing, there is no sign off the head gasket failing, as there is no 'mayonnaise' type residue either in the oil or coolant, so should I just take it to VW to check out?
I'm not sure if the pressure loss over 5 mins is normal but I guess the mechanic thought so?

I didn't have any of the classic signs of head gasket failure... No loss in performance either. Has your car ever overheated? My car overheated which caused my head to fail. I would take it to a VW specialist or just any garage unless you can afford the VW labour rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My car has never overheated, sticks to 90 on the temperature gauge. 40,000 mile service is due in a months time, so you reckon I'd be ok waiting until then before I get it checked out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi blazedoobie, thanks for asking...

Checked it this morning and the coolant loss seems to be at the same rate, just below the 'MIN' mark (was halfway between 'MIN' and 'MAX' two weeks ago after topping up).

I have a 40,000 mile service coming up (end of October) so will leave any investigation off until then, hopefully VW will spot it.

I'm also in west London, out of interest do you know who the best stealer would be to take my car to for servicing around here? I was thinking Chiswick as my Brother-in-law uses them, but I also have the choice of Heathrow (heard bad things about them) and Twickenham as well.

Do you have any suggestions?
 

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tbh i am able to do all servicing myself. Had two bad experiences with servicing at what used to be citygate when it was in Hayes and vowed never to go back! I tend to keep my cars for a while so i am not bothered about FVAGSH, it means nothing to me. There is a recommended stealer thread somewhere on here that might point you in the right direction and is probably your best bet. sorry i cant be of more help. i would be interested to hear how you get on with your leak though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
tbh i am able to do all servicing myself. Had two bad experiences with servicing at what used to be citygate when it was in Hayes and vowed never to go back! I tend to keep my cars for a while so i am not bothered about FVAGSH, it means nothing to me. There is a recommended stealer thread somewhere on here that might point you in the right direction and is probably your best bet. sorry i cant be of more help. i would be interested to hear how you get on with your leak though.
Thanks for your reply, seeing as it's a major service and I want to sell the car on before the next one (in less than a years time) I'd like to service it at a VW stealer.

The leak seems to point at a crack in the radiator, which I will investigate further. I came to this conclusion after a process of elimination, and this is the last thing to check before I am officially flummoxed as to where this leak is.

Very tempted to use a radiator welding solution like Radweld, but I have been warned that this may not be a great idea.
 

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dude, seriously do not use the rad weld.  Pointless keeping up a flawless service record to have brown sludge in the header tank greeting a prospective new owner!  I have a similar problem and i am sure i smell the odd bit of coolant coming from under the cam belt cover, but nothing on the scale of yours!  Mine is probably due to the last mistrusted mechanic putting the water pump on poorly...!  there are soooo many pipes you would need to get the car really hot and have a decent mirror on a stick and light and spend some time getting burnt tracing all the coolant pipes!  I hope it is something as simple as a radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
dude, seriously do not use the rad weld. Pointless keeping up a flawless service record to have brown sludge in the header tank greeting a prospective new owner! I have a similar problem and i am sure i smell the odd bit of coolant coming from under the cam belt cover, but nothing on the scale of yours! Mine is probably due to the last mistrusted mechanic putting the water pump on poorly...! there are soooo many pipes you would need to get the car really hot and have a decent mirror on a stick and light and spend some time getting burnt tracing all the coolant pipes! I hope it is something as simple as a radiator.
#

Will give the Radweld a miss then!

Seriously don't know what to do about this, will ask the mechanics when I take it for service at the end of the month.
 
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