Question about 1985 Volkswagen Golf

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Steam & Water leaking through the heating system

My reservior doesn't hold the coolant that I put in it. When this problem started, steam that smelt of anti-freeze shot through the vents. I have almost completely disassembled the inside of the car. The main dash is still attached. The coolant was found to be leaking through the air vents. When I removed the air distributor, I found a puddle of water sitting in the inisde bottom of the heater box. I have yet to remove the heater box because this requires the dash to be removed completely. I also don't know what is on the other side of the heater box and am concerned that I still wouldn't know what to do once it is removed. Can anyone help me with what the problem may be, and how to disconnect the dash for complete removal.

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  • email1819 Jan 03, 2009

    My 1993 Grand Jeep Cherokee seems to have the same problem. Just a couple of weeks before I noticed that the water overflow bottle was leaking, there was a terrible burning smell when I turned on the heater. Also, the heater blows damp air that fogs up the windshield. Could the problem be from a blown fuse? What are my choices to fix the problem. It is making the car stink.



    Thank you.

  • Anonymous Mar 10, 2009

    1999 2.5 diesel td only done 64000 miles with exactly the same smelly wet problem..

    Oh dear...

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Heater matrix common fault

Posted on Oct 03, 2008

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I have like a rust colored dirt coming from the radiator and radiator hoses. I've replaced the radiator, thermostat, coolant temperature sensor and water pump. I have no heat. Car registers hot but no...


Have you backflushed the heater core? Check to see if both heater hoses are getting hot and if not flush it if possible. NOTE: most modern cars run hot water through the core at all times, but direct the inlet air through the core to supply heat by use of flapper doors usually operated by vacuum actuated devices. Vacuum leak, bad check valve to vacuum reservior, or bad actuator can prevent any heat.

Jan 30, 2015 | 2001 Mitsubishi Galant

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Steam rises from the radiator after car idles for 10 minutes. Replaced thermostat. No improvement. Could this be one of the radiator fans as I noted it does not turn on. The water guage remains wh


If the steam is rising from the radiator and not from the overflow tank or hose then you do have a leak.. in the radiator. check for a cracked tank or fitting where the hoses connect. If it is making steam the guage is probably defective. Find out where that steam is coming from ! If the car is making steam the rad fan should probably be running.. I do not know about your particular car but some times the secon fan only comes on with A/C use or extream heat.

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Got a 2001 bmw 316 e46 just put a new expanshon tank on an coolant and its over heating the fan doesn't come on and it boils the coolant and steam comes from under bonnet ?? Any idea where to start (


If your losing coolant water pump may be leaking, not enough coolant will make it overheat. If not that, thermostat may be bad stuck open or shut. Hope this helps

Mar 19, 2013 | 2001 BMW 316

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Steam from rad


Steam is super heated water

Water or Engine Coolant heated beyond 212 degress & not under pressure to raise that boiling point

You should not be using any car with that issue

Your low on coolant,could have lost pressure from a leak

You can only have steam from a coolant system that has
failed & is not under pressure & now overheats,you will
ruin the engine next

Rather than be here, you should have it at a shop being repaired

Feb 02, 2013 | Dodge Cars & Trucks

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My 1990 subaru legacy was running fine-I went to the store less than a mile away and when I got home something was leaking from underneath the car and there was steam coming from under the hood..i don't...


Just because it was not hot to the touch, does not mean it is not a coolant loss problem----if the coolant is so low, there may not be enough to make the radiator hot (though usually the steam in the system will).
...a stuck thermostat can also let the engine overheat while the radiator remains cool (the fluid only circulates within the engine and is stopped from getting to the radiator.
...likewise a hose could have burst below and let the coolant out, over heating the engine, and the steam going out the ruptured/popped off hose; would look underneath..
...when cool, check the level in the radiator (likely empty),
...and less than a mile away, may not have ever heated the radiator, though usually only a mile to heat up the coolant
...of course there is always sabotage
...and water pump failure, (so no water circulated) causing overheating and no radiator heat, and possibly enough pressure to blow off a hose, but usually the radiator cap relief spring would allow pressure to escape (and that steam would heat up the radiator on the way---but if only steam in the radiator, it would cool off quickly after venting, because no more water in the radiator to hold the heat. all depending on climate,temp and further details , symptoms..
hope helps..

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2 Answers

Overheating


First, is the overflow bottle filled to the line where it is supposed to be???

Second, need to check that the thermostat isn't stuck shut... follow the big hose from the radiator to the thermostat housing, it should look like this..

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-318-323-325-328-M3-Z3-Thermostat-Housing-1991-1999-_W0QQitemZ170216855929QQcmdZViewItem

remove the hoses, loosen the bolts on the bottom of the housing...remove it and you should see the thermostat.. it will look like this


http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/mmp/bmw~318i~thermostat~parts.html

Take it inside you house, put it in a pan with water covering it, put it on the stove over medium heat...add salt and pepper to taste... errrr I mean... just watch it as the water heats up, and see if it opens, if not replace it with a new one.

even if it opens, try putting the thermostat housing back on the car without the thermostat...hook the hoses up and and start the car, let it run and see if it still over heats, if so...maybe buy some radiator flush and use it per instructions on the bottle.

Also, make sure you are using coolant and not water... most people think coolant is so it won't freeze...and thats wrong, coolant will not freeze...however, it also won't get as hot as water does or as fast.

If none of that works... could be the water pump, most have a seep hole so they start leaking when they are going bad...notice any water dripping under the car anywhere?

Othyer than that, could be a blown head gasket, or a number of other things making the car run hot.... check everything in the order I showed.. it starts at the cheapest fix.

Good Luck!!

Jul 10, 2009 | 1999 BMW 318 ti

2 Answers

Steaming from back of the engine. no heat. windshield fogs in the inside


If you are loosing coolant and you see water under the car after sitting you have a leak. The most likely area is the heater core as you are getting steam inside the car. If you smell anti freeze that is another confirming item. Check all the hoses and connections first before replacing the core. Good luck.

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1 Answer

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1)yes steam will come out of the resevoir,especially with a bad rad'cap.
2)thermostats are cheap.
does your cooling fan come on?,it may be a bad sensor or relay (for fan)
3)no heat in car!?,the water pump may be bad.or the heater core is plugged,or if you have:a bad coolant valve for cab heat.(but this wont cause motor-over heating issues!)
4)you have a plugged radiator!

--sounds like a bad waterpump to me.
even if it doesnt leak,the impellers still come loose from the shaft!!

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The blowing of air into the coolant resevour is caused by a leaking head gasket. What's happening is the cylinder is blowing air into the cooling system causing this to happen.

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