All of the coolant poured out

I was running my 98 Volkswagen Beetle in my driveway after doing some small repairs and all of a sudden I see coolant running down my driveway and the vapor coming up from the hood. I checked the radiator hoses and they seem fine, the vapor was coming from the top right part of the engine not near the radiator so I don’t know what the coolant is pouring out of.

Are you sure? That amount of coolant is probably due to a burst hose.

It’s kinda hard to tell from here but this is a case where you crawl under the car with a flashlight looking at all the hoses, radiator, and tubes that carry coolant. Should be fairly obvious where the leak is.


If you were idling the engine for some time in the driveway while testing, diagnosing, etc, the coolant may have overheated b/c the radiator fan didn’t come on like it should have. When the coolant severely overheats something plastic or rubber usually bursts in the cooling system, often the radiator, or a hose. When you get the leak solved make sure the radiator fan turns on when idling for more than 5-10 minutes from a cold start, or when the dash coolant temp gauge moves higher than its normal fully-warm engine operating range.

motor has coolant surge tank or overflow tank. check that and any hoses leading to it. check the heater hoses into the firewall area. any rubber/steel heater bypass hose assy’s in the area? you have a leak but cant find it and none on the net can tell you where your car is really leaking from.

You could throw parts at it hoping to stumble upon the cause of the problem, but I recommend you have the cooling system pressure tested to isolate the leak or cause for overheating.

My guess is either the heater core or a hose you can’t see.


It sounds like a heater hose let go. People usually replace their heater hoses about every 8-10 years but generally neglect the heater hoses. All hoses should be done at the same time unless the hoses are fairly new and a leaking hose has a defined cause, I.e. rubbed against something and wore through.

Another item you might consider is a leaking water pump. You don’t mention replacing the timing belt. Usually at that time the water pump is replaced prophylactically because it such a pain to replace later. Hopefully, it is a broken pipe or hose which is lot more inexpensive to fix.


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That is sort of a medical term for doing something that is not necessary but can be done at the same time you are in there. Like doing an appendectomy while in the abdomen for a bowel resection. Such as replacing the water pump, idlers, and tensioner while replacing the timing belt.

prophylactically == preventively

What repairs had you just completed?