Question about 1999 Volkswagen Beetle

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Flashing red light mean

What does it mean when your overheating indicator comes on and starts flashing

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A flashing red temperature indicator means your fluid level is low. The 99 beetle takes VW-specific antifreeze; do NOT buy standard green antifreeze for it! Fluid should be added to the round overflow bottle located on the passenger side corner of the engine compartment. Fill the container to the MAX line indicated on the bottle. I use Pentosin Pentofrost SF in mine, available at O'Reilly Auto Parts. As with most antifreeze products, mix it 1:1 with water before adding.

Cars do not normally "use" antifreeze, so if you keep having to add antifreeze, you should check for leaks. Heater hoses or radiator hoses are the most common places for leaks to occur, but the plastic thermostat housing is susceptible to cracking, so check that as well. Otherwise, you could be looking at a leaking radiator or heater core. Worst case scenario would be a leaking head gasket allowing fluid to escape into the cylinders, but that should be suspected only after everything else has been checked. The only other place you would ever see a fluid leak would be a bad freeze plug on the block, but those are very uncommon.

Posted on Feb 16, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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