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Dan, Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 23473
Experience:  Independent Shop Experience, 2 Year Automotive Diploma, & Access to Information Database
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1999 VW beetle: water pump, radiator..thermostat..heater core

Resolved Question:

1999 VW Beetle 2.0

My windows are steaming up and a smell of anti-freeze when the heater or defroster are turned on. I have recently replaced the water pump, radiator, and thermostat for other reasons. I am thinking a small leak in the heater core. I understand this is a complicated process to replace. Is there a sealant that is effective to use or a trick to replacement?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to help get your problem resolved. Ask follow up questions, thanks.


It is definitly a heater core leak....You can try some different stop leaks but they are usually temporary and can clog up radiator and heater core.....If you live in a warm area you can disconnect heater core hoses going into firewall adn bypass it....But if you need the heater you need to have it replaced. The part is around $150 and its about a 9 hour job.....If you do add stop leak you might want to disconnect a heater core hose and poor stop leak directly into heater core hose. let me know if you have questions, thanks.

Dan and 3 other VW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is this a job for a shade tree mechanic or should I leave it to the professionals? Also, I have been reading several posts that recommend using only VW G-12 anti-freeze. What is your take on it? The car has 135,000 miles on it.
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.

From what I've done and seen in the past.......ONLY VW fluid isnt needed as long as replacement fluid says its compatible....I also wouldnt mix fluids.


I think its something you can do.......But if you decide to I'd buy a repair manual from which will provide step by step instructions. Let me know if you have questions, thanks.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
When I replaced the water pump and thermostat I flushed the system completely including the heater core and used Prestone AF that said it was compatible with all systems.

I have the Haynes manual. Is the alldatadiy manual a better resource?
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
alldata is better......but if you have a haynes manual and it covers heater core/dash removal then that is fine. Prestone AF is fine, as long as its compatible...What I've been told is non compatible coolant can gell.....Even though I've seen regular coolant in them with no problems, I wouldnt do it. Let me know if you run into questions, thanks.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Your the man, Dan!

Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX you!

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