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VW Eurovan cooling system leak

A friend noticed first signs of a cooling system leak on her 1997 Eurovan, but hadn’t yet located the source. I advised her to borrow the pressure tester kit from a local parts store from their loaner program so we could look for the leak. We opened the hood and couldn’t find the radiator cap, so into the owners manual we went. According to The Book, it’s a “closed system”. Nowhere did The Book reveal how to add coolant, but it did say something about magical VW fluid flowing in the Eurovan’s veins from birth. That was a long time ago. What now?

Seems to me that if there’s a leak, then it’s no longer closed, and we need to find the opening before we can fix it.

Is this absolutely a dealer repair, or can a couple of smart people with tools search for a leak and maybe fix it if it’s not actually inside the engine?

I don’t have all the data on the symptoms, didn’t witness the leak myself, and it might not actually be a leak since the evidence is scant at this point. But besides some drips on the ground, there was some change in the overflow reservoir, and a warning light on the dash.

How to we proceed?

There’s a white tank to the right of the engine with a blue cap-that’s the radiator cap. The overflow tank is pressurized.

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Thanks @texases

A little more detail from a discussion on VW Vortex

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Thanks @wlyrobb. We’ve been a little confused on the coolant types, your link helped on that (after I added the missing letter at the beginning…at first the link didn’t work, then I recognized that “orums” needed some editing.)

You’re welcome for the information, I should have noticed the missing letter but it’s fixed now. I know about these vans more through a relative who has one of the later VR6 vans.