Question about 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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I have a 2003 Jetta 2.0L. My temp gauge light came on yesterday and so added water to the reserve tank, which was below the min. Several hours later, It came on again, and kept comming on and then shutting off. I temp gauge held study @ 190 ( it always has). This AM I added water to the reserve tank and noticed a steady drip of redish liquid drip out. The dip seemed to coming from back of the engine,but cannot tell with the plastic cover. I was told to check to make sure there is water in the radiator? How to I Get to it????????? Someone also suggested the reseve tank itself might have a hole?

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  • kmclampitt Oct 01, 2009

    SUPER GREAT & helpful!!!!!!! WOW! great job and very detailed!

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The radiator can not be 'checked' like a traditional car as your vehicle has a constant loop cooling system. For this reason the radiator does not have any service point except the drain.
The bottle is not like other vehicles "recovery bottles", if your bottle has fluid in it, the radiator has fluid in it, as the bottle is constantly in circulation with the radiator. This is why you can see activity in the bottle while the engine is running.

The most common leaks on the 2.0L engine are from the coolant flange and the water pump.

The coolant flange is located on the driver side of the cylinder head, visible just in front of and below the throttle body. It has several coolant hoses and 1 or 2 coolant sensors coming out of it. A leak from the flange will run down the back side of the head and leave a spot on the ground from the back center of the engine bay.

The water pump is located at exactly the opposite end of the engine, and a leak from it will be visible on the ground on the passenger side edge of the engine bay. You will also see a pink/red trail of hardened coolant down the front edge of the oil pan if this is your leak.

The flange is notorious for leaking, and is likely your cause if your drip is from the back center of the engine area.

It is something you can change yourself with some patience and dexterity. To take it to a shop, the cost of the flange is approximately $24 and requires 1.5 hours labor to replace by book time.

If you need clarification or have further questions, please let me know.
If you've found this information useful, please remember to rate my answer when we are done :)

Posted on Oct 01, 2009

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