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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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The Ghostly Coolant Leak

This is my first post. I've been reading this site for sometime but never joined. Today I actually joined looking for answers. I will enlighten any of you I can on any issues that you are having.

I recently bought an 03 passat with 1.8t. I put it into the shop to get the notorious cts installed along with a thermostat because I had the MIL come on with a coolant problem and this was the culprit. Everything for a month or two was all good until I was on my morning commute of 20 miles and the low coolant warning come on. I got to work and added just a touch of water to the fill line. At first thought, I figured it was due to the burp or cough the coolant system needed to do since they had to replace those components. The shop said it would do that eventually and to just add a little coolant/water.

Later that day I was leaving work and I noticed that there was a puddle of fluid under my car. I examined and noticed that it looked green and felt and tasted just like coolant. We all know that these engines take G12 and that color is pinkish. I thought, this couldn't be coolant and that it may've been my ac leaking although ac was working fine.

I brought car home and parked in drive for 2 weeks without a single drop. I decided to drive it to work one day and it started leaking the same fluid once again. It was again a greenish color. The first leak was dripping from the center of the skid plate under the car. The second time it started leaking it was running from the back of the oil pan and dripping off the front of it.

I decided to take it to the shop and put it on a rack to examine closer. Long story short, the techs put a pressure tester on it to test for leaks in the coolant the next day after the engine has cooled and found no leaks in the coolant system.

Does anyone have any clue what this may be? Is it possible that it could be a coolant leak? If so, is it possible that it would be green and for the reservoir to still show pinkish red and not be brown or gelled?

I am clueless. Any help or suggestions would be awesome. Thanks for your time on reading this and hopefully I can help some of you guys out as well.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 11:15 PM
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Well well here are the basic tips that i can provide you in my own experience.. I maybe too late but just wanna add some helpful tips.

1 - Leaky Radiator Cap

If you have a leaky or a weak radiator cap, you may experience loss of coolant from the overflow tube every time the coolant heats up. The radiator is a pressurized system so if there is a loss of pressure from the cap not fitting property or if the cap is the incorrect cap for the radiator, the pressure will be lost and a leak could occur. This can be diagnosed with a pressure test of the radiator cap. Refer to the car’s manual for the proper cap and pressure.

2 - Internal Leak

Although this might not be a leak as we tend to think of a traditional leak, for example the puddle of coolant under the car, an internal leak would be noticeable when the coolant level does not stay constant and you find that you need to constantly refill the tank or your engine overheats. An internal leak could be caused by a leak in the head or block or perhaps a leaky head gasket which lets the coolant escape its system.

3 - External Leak

An external leak is the type of leak which is most easily diagnosed. More often than not, when you have an external leak, the coolant escapes and your car quickly overheats. Most likely you can easily spot where the leak is coming from by simply looking at it: a split or broken hose or a hole in the radiator are two good examples. Often times leaks in the water pump, heater core or engine freeze plugs can allow coolant to escape. These too are easy to diagnose by a visual inspection. I hope it help others to avoid going to your dealer just because of your simple vw passat coolant problem.

Last edited by masterjohnson; 01-30-2011 at 08:59 PM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 02:10 AM
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its possible that its power steering fluid, i would check that out. thats the only other green fluid i know that exists. if it were a coolant leak, it would def be pink. sometime dries up white on parts that gets hot. and a purplish pink color on the skidplate is from leaking motor mounts, which is common on the passats. really easy to replaced, but really expensive at the shop. i used to love doing them. good money makers. haha.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 12:53 PM
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Power Steering Fluid, Brake Fluid and Transmission Fluid are greenish.
Take a look at them
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