Cold Jetta

I lost heat in my 2001 Jetta 2.0. The vents blow only cool air and it’s a snowy winter in New England. The EPC light switched on (it always does in times of trouble - what a pain), the engine temp reads normal and the coolant level checks out ok. A “mechanic” looked at it quickly and said it is not the thermostat- maybe it’s a problem with the water pump. There is a squeeking sound somewhere along the belt assembly as it runs. He said take it to a VW dealer shop. Question: Is it safe to drive the car while I wait five days to bring to the shop and what might be the problem? Thanks for any advise!

The very first thing to do is check your antifreeze to insure its ok for the temperatures you are seeing right now. If your antifreeze has become diluted, it could be freezing up in the most exposed areas, like the heater hoses.

How will I know if it is diluted? I look at the tank full of orange liquid and it appears to be normal. Side question: Can you mix the blue and the orange types of antifreeze? (Is it obvious I know very little about cars)?

That CEL is like the kid in school waving their hand to answer your question. The answer can likely be found by taking it to one of he auto parts stores that will read codes for free. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Post the results here. They may or may not answer the problem.

Likely your mechanic was referring you to VW because they have a VAGCOM reader that reads more than the standard readers at the parts stores, but many people don’t know that most of the more likely error codes can be read by the standard readers.

Don’t mix coolant types. You really should use nothing other than G-12 which is easiest to get from VW. It is that orange/pink color.

You may think you know little about cars, but you know enough to ask the questions, which is far better.

Thanks for the tips. I managed to squeeze a little time out of the VW garage this morning (letting them know I would be stranded without this car). The water pump is shot. At 77k miles it’s time to replace the belt anyway, so they will replace both parts at the regular hefty fee for this type of upkeep. They gave me a car off the lot for a couple of days no charge - I like that. I’m glad the cold winter air kept the engine cool while I drove it for three hours with a dead water pump.

I’ll pick up a gallon of the G-12 while I’m at the dealer. Thanks again.