Coolant warning light but coolant levels at max & car "running" hot


Asked by Nov 26, 2014 at 10:21 PM about the 2004 Volkswagen Golf

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Can someone help.... I have a 2004 VW Golf MKV.  I bought it a year ago and it had done 55913.  I replaced the timing belt and water pump not long after I bought it (on recommendation from a vehicle inspection.  Car had run great, got an oil change done earlier this year and had warning light come on STOP check coolant levels.  Checked the levels and they were at max and no obvious leaks under car at any time.  Got VW garage to check they said could find no fault may be the sensor, and to monitor.  This warning light came on intermittently but car temp showing normal and coolant level always at max.  Few months later I felt the car motor seemed really hot under the bonnet even after really short trips (engine smelt really hot)  Took to garage, ran diagnostic scan, nothing, seemed to think I was paranoid.  Still had concerns about how hot it seemed despite temp gauge normal.  Few weeks later engine fault light came on, back to garage, fault = thermostat.  Replaced thermostat and few other things.  Day I got car back STOP! coolant warning light came on and every day since (a week ago).  Today got home after short drive and the entire contents of the coolant tank poured out underneath the car.  It has now been picked up by tow truck to a garage.  2 x garages have told me now problem with coolant warning, and fobbed me off re my car seeming to run hot.  I have spent a few grand on this car in less than a year, and don't have confidence in what I am being told. Any help appreciated. (Mileage now 65249km)  Deb

4 Answers

Tom Harmon

Common problem .... The sensor probes get coated with crap buildup inside the radiator. Locate where the enter the radiator ,,, remove the probes and do a good job cleaning them Google "how do you clean coolant sensor probes" I have no idea how they come out but on a GM they use a retainer clip on some models


Hi Tom and thanks so much for your reply. I would feel comfortable with that (combined with some online research that this seems common with VW). But combined with the car "running hot", temp gauge normal, having to replace the thermostat (unsure if that was required!!) and yesterday having the entire contents of the radiator empty itself after a 5km run. I can't help feeling there is something else going on (maybe with the radiator?? or coolant blockage??) and my car was correctly trying to tell me something? I will be ringing the garage today, I feel they are just going through a process of elimination (and an expensive one at that). I have been in there 2 or 3 times last month, because of concerns at how "hot" the car smelt after short run (5kms) you could have cooked your dinner on the bonnet, side panels, lights etc. Wasn't like this when I first had car. Anyways, thanks again for your advice. Deb

Tom Harmon

This is a post at ~ Same problem as you and the new pump had composition (plastic) parts that failed ... Make sure the replacement pump is all metal ... no composition impeller. Below is the persons story regarding his overeheating. "The old water pump had a plastic / composite impeller which appeared to have worked itself loose from the impeller. The new pump is made by Graf and has a metallic impeller. " Good luck

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you I will check that post out. Appreciate your time. So much information on the internet, gets a bit overwhelming sometimes. Deb

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