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Ask Chad Farhat Your Own Question
Chad Farhat
Chad Farhat, ASE Certified Technician A6 - Electrical / Electronic systems A7 Heating / Air conditioning systems
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2544
Experience:  Owner at Carolina Auto Service & Sales , 20 years Experience in Foreign & Domestic Vehicles
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My 2011 Passat 1.6TDI bluemotion keeps losing engine coolant

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My 2011 Passat 1.6TDI bluemotion keeps losing engine coolant (G12) - the warning light comes on 3 or 4 times a year. I cannot see any leaks (cold engine inspection from under the bonnet) and when I had it pressure tested in a garage, no issues were detected. It is still losing coolant and I am worried it may cause serious damage to the engine. What else can I do to check for leaks and how reliable are the pressure tests (ie, is it worth paying another garage to undertake a second test?). Thanks.

Hi, I'm Chad. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question and I will be posting your reply ASAP.

hey how are you

1- check the oil , is milky looking is coolant mixing with oil

2- when it is running go back to tail pipe and get your hands close to the exhaust smoke coming out let it blow on your hand , do you see any evidence of coolant on your hand

3- if there is no leak in the car and you are still losing coolant and can find it that means you are evaporating thru the exhaust and have a blown head gaskette

another place you can see it will be heater core , how is your heat in the car

4- i hate to tell you but they do have a problem with head gaskette issue if the car ever got hot in it life time the heads are easy to warp,

you could have a beginning of a head gaskette and you can drive long time if you keep adding coolant to it

the only way to check 100 % is to pull the head off and inspect the gaskette and send out head to machine shop and check it for warpage

Please let me know if you need anything else on it, just reply back and we will continue
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Chad Farhat
ASE Certified Technician

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks.
Oil is not milky.
Heat in the car is operating as expected but coolant does seem to drop more in the winter when the heater is turned up more than the summer months.
I will check the exhaust tomorrow for leakage.
I keep a close eye on the coolant levels (checking at least fortnightly and top up when necessary).
I have a warranty package so may get head gasket checked and hopefully fixed under warranty. Thanks.

if covered under warranty is good , be expensive job out of pocket , the coolant use more in winter , take a look under glove box for we spots

you welcome

let me know what you find out

please don't forget to rate me before you exit since that us how we get compensated :)

Please keep in mind that when you rate me , it does not end our conversation.

you can always come back to this conversation and ask me any follow up question you may have on this issue

(you can copy this link page & paste it in your browser when ready and it will open up our conversation again)

Thank You
Chad Farhat
ASE Certfied Technician

Chad Farhat and 2 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi. Checked today after an hour of driving and no wet patches beneath the glovebox. No sign of any splattering from the exhaust either. I did check for leaks under the bonnet through the pipes with a hot engine - but no signs. All i could see was some small moisture beneath the underneath plastic skid pan through a deliberabe drain hole in the middle of the car below the engine (see photos). I will rate you......you have been really helpful. Thank you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Just another thought......could it be the water pump as the car has done 110k miles and i think i recall being advised it needs replacing at 120k miles. Might eliminate one possible cause. Also, is it possible to 'sniff test' the header tank for exhaust fumes as a cheaper way to gauge leakage into the engine. I estimate needing to put in 0.5 litres 4 or 5 times a year, which I've never had to do with any other car i've owned.

hey

on the first question yes on the water pump, so do replace if original for sure

the 2nd question not sure on