VW mk7 coolant leak caused by the melting of plastic housing


Asked by Nov 10, 2019 at 05:43 PM about the 2013 Volkswagen Golf

Question type: General

My 2013 VW Golf begun leaking coolant in April 2019. Coolant light came on,
so I bought some G13 coolant and topped it up but within a short time the
coolant light had come back on and I took it to the car repairers for a fix. At
first, the water pump was found to be the culprit and I got the water pump,
thermostat and thermostat housing replaced with genuine VW parts. I had to
wait for a few weeks until all the parts arrived because they were sourced
from VW and the toothed belt housing (which seems to be the issue causing
all these coolant leaks) was replaced also. From what I understand, VW is
still replacing the defective housing with the original, plastic designs. I
strongly urge you to ensure that this housing is not repaired by VW.

It only took a month and the light was back on. On second inspection, the
repairers were unable to find a cause of the coolant leak and were aware that
there were other VW customers who were confused about their own heat
exchangers leaking internally. Since my coolant was leaking at such a rapid
pace, it would only hold a full tank for about 12 hours. Consequently, the
engine light came on and it repeatedly overheated. Throughout this whole
repair process, I was unable to find any comprehensive explanation online to
gain a better understanding of what I should do about my problem. I have
written this post in goodwill to assist with any future concerns that VW mk7
vehicle owners might have regarding their coolant leaking.

I took the car to the manufacturer later in the year and paid $250 for a
diagnosis which read “low compression/defective water pump” as the cause.
As mentioned above, I had this replaced earlier in the year. I came in to
collect the vehicle and I asked to see the mechanics. When I came into the
workshop, I was immediately handed a piece of plastic and told “this is your
problem” by one of the guys. Consequentially, the internal damage due to
overheating of the engine would make further repairs somewhat futile for me
if engine failure was an inevitable likelihood.

That melted plastic (pictured) was left out of the diagnosis report but handed
to me as the first finding by the mechanic. I kindly asked the VW service
centre to include this as a finding on the report provided to me. I waited over
two weeks whilst they told me they were amending the diagnosis report – but
in the end I was told that they were unable to include the finding. Screenshots
of their emails admitting about it are linked below. The discrepancy between
my diagnosis report and email correspondence suggests that VW is not being
honest about this design flaw and seems to be purposely misleading their
mk7 owners about the melting plastic casing.

As you may not already know, the new mk7.5 range has now used steel
casing rather than plastic to avoid this issue. If I had known about the melting
plastic sooner than I would have been able to identify the problem and have it
replaced with a suitable material (i.e. steel casing rather than plastic). I hope I
can show the online community concerned about coolant leaks that there is
most likely an issue with melting plastic around the coolant tank, specifically
encasing the “toothed belt”.

Diagnosis report: https://pasteboard.co/IFZp5jk.jpg
Email correspondence: https://pasteboard.co/IFZsEtI.png
Melted plastic casing top-side: https://pasteboard.co/IG6hvbG.jpg
Melted plastic casing bottom-side: https://pasteboard.co/IG6hQnj.jpg

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