Potentially stupid coolant level question

alFR

Registered User
I have a 3L TDI V6. Car is running fine with normal temps, no warning lights on the DIS etc. related to the coolant, but as I have a couple of long journeys coming up I thought I'd check it manually. Leaving aside the fact that the coolant reservoir isn't particularly easy to see, in the manual it says:

"Vehicles with 6-cylinder engine: There is a float inside the coolant expansion tank. Read off the coolant level using the float. When the engine is cold, the float should be between the MIN mark and the edge of the filler opening on the coolant expansion tank."

On mine, the float is well down inside the bore of the filler (definitely well below the min mark). However, the manual only refers to topping the coolant up if you see the warning light. Never checked it before so I don't know if it's dropping or has always been at this level. So, should I top it up? Can I do any harm putting more in if it doesn't need it?

The other thing that's a bit worrying is that there are various dire warnings in the manual about topping up the coolant if the reservoir is empty, because apparently that means there may be air in the system and the engine might die. I can't see the bottom of the reservoir from either the outside of the tank (because of where it is) or down the bore to see if it is empty or not...
 

cuke2u

Registered User
Can you not see any coolant through the tank sides, it is coloured...
 

ub7rm

Registered User
On the V6 models the coolant tank is 'hidden' in the plenum chamber. All you can see is the top. Its not a very clever design...
 

alFR

Registered User
With the aid of a torch (and a bit of swearing) I have established that there is some coolant in there by looking through the grille on the drivers' side of the chamber housing the tank, just inboard of the brake fluid reservoir (which is similarly hard to access). It looks about half full so it should be safe to top it up from an air lock point of view. Think I'll pick up some G13 coolant and top it up to be on the safe side, then keep an eye on it through the grille... As ub7rm says it's not the most user-friendly design in the world.
 

cuke2u

Registered User
On the V6 models the coolant tank is 'hidden' in the plenum chamber. All you can see is the top. Its not a very clever design...
I see...
 
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