My car was losing radiator fluid has been for about two years. it seems to be getting worse from needing to put in fluid every week or two to now every day. can I keep driving like this or is it going to blow out completely? its a 2003 vw passat wagon 4wd
You risk ruining your very expensive engine, it could happen without warning. Have you looked for a replacement radiator on, say, rockauto.com? It might not be too expensive.
Are you sure it’s a hole in the radiator? How?
Radiators are cheap. You don’t need to buy a VW brand part
Why risk disaster?
You’ve already been pushing your luck for 2 years
from the title of this posting, you seem to be certain that your radiator has failed . . . correct?
There comes a time when you will lose ALL your fluid at once and the engine will cease up. End of car. When that happens we hope you won’t be in the left had lane of a 6 lane expressway without a shoulder to pull up on. When the rad really blows it will likely block your visibility with fluid and steam; believe me, it happened to me once when a hose blew. I had engough fluid left to be able to pull off the road to the nearest service center before the engine started overheating.
Any major engine repair on a 2003 Passat will total the car.
Please get this fixed properly; radiators are not that expensive.
NO ONE on this panel will advise you keep drivng like this, especially with passengers on board.
yes VW confirmed it after a year of asking. I stop when stop warning lights up and add fluid immediately.
yes but vw said $3,000 to fix because its hard to get to and independent guy said 1,800
Repairing/replacing the radiator is going to cost the same amount whether you do it tomorrow or whether you do it next month. What is variable however, is the cost of needing to replace your engine vs not having to replace the engine.
If you continue to flirt with danger as a result of a known (but worsening) radiator leak, it will inevitably get to the point where you fry the engine as a result of overheating it.
I cannot fathom why you would continue to delay this repair, unless you relish the prospect of vastly increasing your repair costs.
well is the car worth the cost?
Only you can answer that question, as we don’t know the overall condition of the car.
Have you maintained it flawlessly?
(Probably not, if you have allowed two years to elapse with a known radiator leak, but I am asking the question in an honest manner.)
IF the car has been very well maintained (at least as well as the factory maintenance schedule specifies), and if the body is in good condition, then it is probably worth spending the money to have an indy mechanic fix it.
On the other hand, if your approach to maintenance has been similar to your approach to fixing this problem, then…no…the car is probably not worth the cost of repairs.
Just for future reference, the cost of excellent maintenance and timely repairs is inevitably less than the cost of having to replace a car as a result of lax maintenance and ignoring the need for repairs.
I haven’t been lax at all about repairs and brought the car to three different mechanics over the course of those two years before they found the leak. then one of them said it needed a hose replacement which I did but it continued to leak. and got to leaking more frequently. I’ve recently replace the catalytic converters a second time a considerable cost so feel a bit burned. the car has 115,000 miles on it and is in decent shape.
“I’ve recently replace(d) the catalytic converters a second time a(t) considerable cost so feel a bit burned.”
If you have replaced the catalytic converters on 115k vehicle, that suggests two scenarios:
a mechanic who is not competent, and is doing repairs that are not necessary
a vehicle with underlying (unresolved) mechanical issues that are destroying the catalytic converters
Most cars can go for well more than 115k miles w/o any cat converter replacement, so if this has been done twice on your car, there is more here than you are aware of…
I concur w/the others, this is something that needs to be addressed straight away. One thing the OP could consider is having the existing radiator repaired rather than replaced. Many leaks in modern radiators occur at the junction between the plastic tank on top and where it meets up with the metal part. That can usually be fixed by the OP’s local radiator shop. Best to ask your mechanic to recommend a radiator shop, then take the car there and ask them for an opinion.
The radiator is about $200 from Rockauto, maybe double that for the mechanic’s part price, so $1400 labor? wow.
A 2003 Passat pretty much is the definition of “money pit”. Any way to replace it with a more-reliable new(er) car?
4 hrs of labor and $250 for the radiator, don’t equal $1800.
Part OEM Part Price
1 - Manual Trans 8D0121251N $236.25
1 - Auto Trans 8D0121251BB $249.00
Replace B 0.0 3.7
With Automatic Trans, Add C 0.0 0.3