97 VW Citi Golf, popping like a water balloon

Subways81

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Not sure if it will. More likely it will just show up any leaks in the system.

Where are you based?

Port Shepstone on the Lower South Coast. Things are generally more expensive here, ill get a quote and post the prices, maybe just get a quote to fix, well, everything.
 

Gnome

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Wouldn't it just be cheaper to get a replacement engine from an engine store.

One that hasn't been opened salvaged from a crashed car or something in that order. VW Citi Golf is everywhere, it can't be that hard to find one.
 

spiderz

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Port Shepstone on the Lower South Coast. Things are generally more expensive here, ill get a quote and post the prices, maybe just get a quote to fix, well, everything.

Remove the thermostat.
undo the 2x 10mm bolts at the bottom of the water-pump and remove it. (Remember to use gasket sealer when you put it back together.)

With the thermostat removed you should be able to fill the system completely with water.
Let the motor idle and keep topping up the water till the fan came on a few times.
This can be done with the water bottle open.

With a 80deg fan switch, the fan should switch on before the gauge gets to 1/2 way.
The other fan switch turns on at 103deg. That is the only two temp ratings you get on the golf.
 

Sinbad

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Remove the thermostat.
undo the 2x 10mm bolts at the bottom of the water-pump and remove it. (Remember to use gasket sealer when you put it back together.)

With the thermostat removed you should be able to fill the system completely with water.
Let the motor idle and keep topping up the water till the fan came on a few times.
This can be done with the water bottle open.

With a 80deg fan switch, the fan should switch on before the gauge gets to 1/2 way.
The other fan switch turns on at 103deg. That is the only two temp ratings you get on the golf.

Running without the thermostat is a Bad Thing(tm).
Without the thermostat, water will not flow correctly through the radiator and you'll end up overheating anyway.

This is what a VW mechanic has to say about it:
I GUESS YOU HAVE NEVER READ ANY OF THE THOUSANDS OF OVERHEATING POSTS. DO NOT !!!!!!!!!! REMOVE THE THERMOSTAT. That is exactly why I asked if it is there. They overheat if they ain't there.

Water is NOT circulating through the radiator with the thermostat removed and the Block will NOT be running cooler - as a matter of fact it will be running HOTTER.
 

Gnome

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You can run without a thermostat. Car will not overheat but fuel efficiency drops rapidly. Saying that removing a thermostat will make a car overheat is like saying removing a restrictive pipe from your cooling system will make it overheat.

A thermostat is an orifice that shrinks or expands depending on how hot it is. Its purpose is to restrict the flow of water when the car is cold so that it may heat up faster (better efficiency). Removing the thermostat removes any restriction and there is no way your car can overheat as it would be the even less restrictive than that of the thermostat in it's fully expanded position.
 

xumwun

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I GUESS YOU HAVE NEVER READ ANY OF THE THOUSANDS OF OVERHEATING POSTS. DO NOT !!!!!!!!!! REMOVE THE THERMOSTAT. That is exactly why I asked if it is there. They overheat if they ain't there.

Water is NOT circulating through the radiator with the thermostat removed and the Block will NOT be running cooler - as a matter of fact it will be running HOTTER.

Don't take your car to this mechanic.
He is partially right that the thermostat is there for a good reason though.
 

spiderz

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You can run without a thermostat. Car will not overheat but fuel efficiency drops rapidly. Saying that removing a thermostat will make a car overheat is like saying removing a restrictive pipe from your cooling system will make it overheat.

A thermostat is an orifice that shrinks or expands depending on how hot it is. Its purpose is to restrict the flow of water when the car is cold so that it may heat up faster (better efficiency). Removing the thermostat removes any restriction and there is no way your car can overheat as it would be the even less restrictive than that of the thermostat in it's fully expanded position.

+1
Car takes much longer to heat up.
Have to drive with the choke out till car is warm.
I am currently driving my Golf without a thermostat since last week :D
It has not overheated once yet.
It makes it much easier to fill the system with water once the thermostat is removed.
 

BLIXEMPIE

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I am currently driving my Golf without a thermostat since last week :D
It has not overheated once yet.

A miracle. See that is the mistake they made with the Citi Golf, they put a thermostat in.
 

Sinbad

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You can run without a thermostat. Car will not overheat but fuel efficiency drops rapidly. Saying that removing a thermostat will make a car overheat is like saying removing a restrictive pipe from your cooling system will make it overheat.

A thermostat is an orifice that shrinks or expands depending on how hot it is. Its purpose is to restrict the flow of water when the car is cold so that it may heat up faster (better efficiency). Removing the thermostat removes any restriction and there is no way your car can overheat as it would be the even less restrictive than that of the thermostat in it's fully expanded position.

My understanding is that the thermostat doesn't just block the duct to the radiator, it actively channels water down that duct when it's open...

*shrug* just repeating what I've been told by pretty reputable sources.
 

Subways81

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Turns out the water pump and thermostat are new(ish) so I doubt that the problems there, the mechanic down here (and my all knowing father) reckon I should get the head skimmed, checked for cracks and pressure tested and have all the valves and gaskets checked and what not. Its a good chance it is the cylinder head causing kak as I did seize the engine the first time a water pipe broke.
So, im gonna blow my money there first and get the temp gauge fixed proper like and see how things go.
PS, as I took the car to the mechanic for a quote the radiator fan started to work again, so I think the fan is fine, will just have to test the thermoswitch a bunch of times.
I have noticed that fuel consumption has gone up as well, but its just speculation, i have not been tracking mileage and litres.
 

Sinbad

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Feel the hoses when the engine has warmed up. Check that both are hot. It's cheap, takes 2 minutes and eliminates a few problems.
 

DsBalsak

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It can also be a cracked sleeve that is causing it had a few cars that had just a hair line crack in the sleeve that caused the problems u are experiencing
 

Sinbad

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It can also be a cracked sleeve that is causing it had a few cars that had just a hair line crack in the sleeve that caused the problems u are experiencing

The fact that it's pushing all the water out the expansion tank pressure relief when he stops the engine tells me that it's not a head gasket or sleeve crack issue. These would surely manifest when the engine is running and generating pressure pushing gases from the cylinder into the cooling system? It'd vent pressure as that happens, not when the engine is stopped. I think as soon as the pump stops circulating the water, sections of the cooling system are superheated and boil, resulting in the excess pressure. My money is still on either a clogged radiator, broken thermostat or broken water pump...
 

spiderz

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Turns out the water pump and thermostat are new(ish) so I doubt that the problems there, the mechanic down here (and my all knowing father) reckon I should get the head skimmed, checked for cracks and pressure tested and have all the valves and gaskets checked and what not. Its a good chance it is the cylinder head causing kak as I did seize the engine the first time a water pipe broke.
So, im gonna blow my money there first and get the temp gauge fixed proper like and see how things go.
PS, as I took the car to the mechanic for a quote the radiator fan started to work again, so I think the fan is fine, will just have to test the thermoswitch a bunch of times.
I have noticed that fuel consumption has gone up as well, but its just speculation, i have not been tracking mileage and litres.

You have a better change of one of the pipes being the issue.
Get the car hot and check for leaks. Especially around the expansion bottle.
Oh, and that plastic fitting on the right side of the head. Mine was leaking there too.
 

Subways81

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You have a better change of one of the pipes being the issue.
Get the car hot and check for leaks. Especially around the expansion bottle.
Oh, and that plastic fitting on the right side of the head. Mine was leaking there too.

Thats the thing, it only leaks water when I switch the car off. When its hot and running all seems fine.
 

Gnome

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My understanding is that the thermostat doesn't just block the duct to the radiator, it actively channels water down that duct when it's open...

*shrug* just repeating what I've been told by pretty reputable sources.

There are 2 types of thermostats, the inexpensive kind used in 99% of cars and the really expensive electronic kind used on 7 series BMWs.

No real mechanic would have said otherwise, read more here: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question248.htm
 

TheGuy

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Wow there's some really bad advice in this thread. How do you know if someone is a terrible back yard mechanic? He tells you to remove the thermostat.

Fix the initial problem your car overheated and blew a head gasket. The only way a car can blow a head gasket is to bend the head, It's aluminium and the first thing that bends. So get that skimmed and then when you replace the head with new head bolts make sure they are torqued to the manufacturers specification. Bleed the cooling system by filling it up with G3 and water. You then start the car without the radiator cap and let it run warm until the air bubbles start coming out.

Fix the heat gauge and give the car a good service while you are at it. Then you'll have another few thousand kilometers of good service from the Golf.



Removing the thermostat on a Land Rover will bypass the radiator I don't know about other cars.
 
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AntiThesis

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I had very similar problems with my Golf and it turned out the head was broked so good luck to you man. You'll have to strip it down and have it checked.

While you've got it all open and clear, take the time to do a couple of the little tasks that are so much easier now. Any belts you've been putting off replacing, check hoses etc etc.

Won't kill you to whip out the thermostat and pump either - you can test the thermostat in a jug of boiling water but if they're both new, should be fine. I do know the water pump's impeller is known to break so check that there are no chunks of plastic missing while you're down there.
 

Gnome

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I've been through this numerous times, fixing a broken cylinder head is very expensive and specialized.

There are so many things to consider, compression increases when you skim, surface has to be perfect, head MUST have been to engineering.

Hence why I tell you, from personal experience, getting a 2nd hand engine that hasn't been opened and is working is 100% better.
 

InternetSwag

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I've been through this numerous times, fixing a broken cylinder head is very expensive and specialized.

There are so many things to consider, compression increases when you skim, surface has to be perfect, head MUST have been to engineering.

Hence why I tell you, from personal experience, getting a 2nd hand engine that hasn't been opened and is working is 100% better.

That sounds risky eh, scouring gumtree for an engine? Or can a dealer provide one? Would it be expensive though, I heard you can put Polo and Passat engines in a VW Golf no problem.
 
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