VW R32: Disappearing Coolant

A couple years ago my R's coolant warning light went off. I had it checked and the dealership couldn't find any leaks. Huh. I topped it off and everything was fine... until this weekend.

Click below the fold for more.

I'd just come back from an 830+ mile round-trip drive to Canada and back. After reaching home I popped the hood and to my shock the engine coolant level was 2 inches or so lower than normal, right at the "min level" mark. The engine was warm, too, which is when I always check the coolant.

No one could check my R that day, so the coolant was topped up to 1-2 inches above the "max level" mark. The next morning, with the engine cold, the coolant level had dropped back to the "min level" mark, where it stayed until I took it to the dealer the following morning.

The dealership put the coolant system under pressure (15 psi) for 40 minutes and couldn't find any leaks. Eh?

What the heck? Anywhoo, the coolant has been topped off -- again -- and I'll keep an eye on it. I can sort of figure that my long trip might has used/evaporated some coolant, but then why did it drop even more after I got back?



  1. Somone needs to check for head gasket leakage. Several methods are available. Coolant can enter cylinder(s) and eventually cause damage. Smoke may not always be present from tailpipes.

  2. Thanks, I didn't know that. I thought it might be a leaky cap, but this sounds much more serious.

  3. You may want to check your harness at the coolant res. There have been more than enough cases where the coolant starts to 'migrate' to the rest of the car through the harness.


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