Question about 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible

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Low coolant Yes, the level goes down below the lower mark and the buzzer sounds. there is a tarry orange gunk on the filler cap real gooey. Should I try adding the stop leak in the overflow anyway to see if it takes care of the problem?

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Hi, I would get other opinions, but it sounds to me like the water is getting into the oil system. This could be via a small leak in the head gasket, in the oil cooler (do you have one?) or somewhere else I can't think of. My best guess is that it is happening in the return side of the oil circulation system where the pressure is lower than that in the cooling system.

I would either read the label on the "stop leak" or speak with an experienced mechanic, or both, before using it. They might suggest running the engine with the coolant cap slack for a while to avoid pressure build up which might blow the stop leak into your oil system, with unpredicatable results.

When you have fixed the leak you might think about changing the oil or at least the oil filter. Hope this helps you a bit more.

Good Luck, D

Posted on Jun 30, 2008

  • Richard Raynor Jun 30, 2008

    Hi again.

    "Should I try adding the stop leak in the overflow anyway to see if it takes care of the problem?"

    If it were my own car, I would just do it, following the instructions on the can carefully. If the leak stopped I would then probably drain out the oil to see if there was much water in the sump.



    Bear in mind that oil floats on water, so the "oil" level on your dipstick might look fine, but that oil might just be floating on top of a whole lot of water. If there is water in the sump you'll need to change the filter too and ask your VW service people if there is anything else you need to check.

    The Stop Leak should only be regarded as a temporary fix.



    Good Luck, D.

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"I assume the chocolate color is an indication of maybe not water leaking into the oil?"
I'll lay $5 on it's being coolant :-)

As for the "overflow cap" or expansion tank filler cap as I would call it, in the absence of a VW engineer telling you different, I would leave it loose while the Stop Leak was taking effect, just to avoid forcing the Stop Leak into the oil system as the coolant system pressurised. If the can says "...works in ten minutes" then you could tighten it after that time.

Be sure to check the coolant level soon afterwards to find out if it has worked.

If the Stop Leak doesn't... I'd recommend getting a mechanic to find the leak and fix it. Left to themselves, things go from bad to worse.

Good Luck, D.

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