Leak in the head gasket? Low coolant warnings.

Melensdad

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My VW Touareg had the "Coolant Level Low" light up on Monday.

The coolant temperature gauge never moved above 200 degrees (F).

I added 1 gallon of 50/50 anti-freeze/coolant - water which brought it up to the "full" line.

Yesterday exact same thing happened.

I see no coolant leaks under the vehicle. I see no evidence of a coolant leak that is hitting the outside of the engine and steaming off. So is there coolant going into the engine? If so where?

This engine has been 100% reliable for the 137,000 miles I've put on it. Just looking for some direction of where to look.
 

Doc

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I'm afraid if you drained your oil you'd find antifreeze in the oil. Where would be the hard part to tell until the engine was tore down.
 

OhioTC18

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Bob
Have your mechanic test the system by using a pressure tester. If it's an internal leak you probably won't see anything. External leak you may be able to see. Either way the system won't hold pressure.
 

Melensdad

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Well I'm trying to get in to one with the vehicle today.
 

BigAl

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Sounds like a head gasket is bad . Is the car running rough ? Also check your cap . Water in oil will turn the oil a milky gray color . Is your oil dip stick showing over full ? If not, you could be leaking coolant into the piston and burning it right out the exhaust pipe .
 

Melensdad

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The vehicle is parked at home right now so I can't pull the dipstick to check. I made arrangements to drop it off at the shop tomorrow but I wanted to give the mechanic some basis to go on so he doesn't waste much time.

I'll pull the dipstick and check the oil when I get back home this afternoon.
 

300 H and H

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With that much anti freeze loss, you should be able to tell at the tail pipe. If it is wet looking it is probably the head gasket.

Regards, Kirk
 

Snowtrac Nome

member formerly known as dds
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first if you are leaking coolant in to a combustion chamber you should also see bubbles in the antifreeze when the car is running. this is a newer engine I'm guessing it has an egr valve, which on a diesel needs to be cooled. the oem has been having a lot of problems with these thingies cracking and letting coolant into the exhaust, funny it doesn't create a lot of white smoke like one would think. if you have a vgt turbo or dpf these two items will likely have to be replaced from the coolant in the exhaust.
 

Melensdad

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I see no water/coolant in the oil.

The engine runs fine.

No white smoke. No nothing out of the normal. I'm wondering if there is a pinhole leak that only causes the fluid to leak under the pressure of a hot engine? Maybe its not a head gasket?

But there is ZERO fluid on the ground.
 

Snowtrac Nome

member formerly known as dds
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take a good look at the egr cooler as I said I have seen this before you will see no smoke with a small leak, and you will not be able to find it with a leak tester the only way to find out is pull the egr and cooler it will be white inside. had a cummins 8.3 do this a couple of years ago.
 

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
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take a good look at the egr cooler as I said I have seen this before you will see no smoke with a small leak, and you will not be able to find it with a leak tester the only way to find out is pull the egr and cooler it will be white inside. had a cummins 8.3 do this a couple of years ago.

Well that will be for the shop to mess with tomorrow. I don't know jack about modern gas engines with all their computer controls, pollution systems, etc. I can still find my way around a Diesel engine, and I know old gas engines well enough to muddle through, but I don't have the testers, etc for anything new(er).
 

Snowtrac Nome

member formerly known as dds
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I thought you were dealing with a tdi if its gas one place I didn't think about would be a heater core.
 

Melensdad

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Well it turns out that I have a simple radiator leak.

It was a tiny hole, only presented itself under working load. I say was. Because today I dropped it off a the shot and shortly thereafter it spilled its guts onto the floor.

Much easier to fix than a head gasket.
 
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