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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So on my way back from H2Oi, i got stuck in traffic. All of a sudden white smoke came out (as it was smoking, coolant temp gauge read normal temps). I pulled over and opened the hood. My coolant in the reservoir was boiling. I was like holy crap. I waited for about 5 to 10 minutes and the coolant stopped boiling. Then I drove to my friend's place (with heat on full blast) which was 30 min away and we added some coolant and everything seem ok.

The next weekend the coolant gauge started fluctuating between too cold (2 ticks left from normal) and normal temp. Driving on the highway it would stay at the 2 ticks to the left (from normal), and it would move (warmer) if i pressed the gas pedal. It would not go pass the middle tick though. So I went to a friend's place with dice and no codes for the cooling system was present. There were other codes and we decided to clear all the codes. temp sensor gauge went back to normal for a week. i think we both thought it was the t stat getting stuck open.

so fast forward to today, changed out the t stat, added new coolant and now the coolant gauge is fluctuating again from 2 ticks left to normal. now SS, what do I check for next? btw, engine has 82,6xx miles. i hope it's not the head gasket.
 

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If it was the head gasket there would be mixing somewhere. Pull up the dipstick to check oil. Have someone watch your tail pipe while you do a hard pull (for instance highway on ramp) to check for smoke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
oil is there, and i don't think there's mixing. i don't think there's smoke when i do a pull.
 

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You said you changed the fluid today? So I doubt there has been much chance to watch it "disappear". See about filling it to an exact point so you can track if it is disappearing from the system. Unfortunately that is all that I have to offer. Best of luck :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I changed the fluid with the t stat, but before that fluid was not missing.


Sent from my iPhone4S using Tapatalk while on the toilet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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it works.
you said your reservoir was boiling, now you have to go back and check if your reservoir is bubbling (which can seem as if it was boiling) or if its so hot to the point of actually boiling.
if its not really hot and it appears to be boiling that means your head-gasket is blown, and/or you might have a cracked head(less likely)

also because you have low miles, i doubt its a headgasket but you never know...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It doesn't bubble at all. The boiling only happened once


Sent from my iPhone4S using Tapatalk while on the toilet.
 

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May be totally off base, but I had sort of a similar issue with my A4. Temp gauge would fluctuate between cold and normal. Turned out to be a faulty coolant temp sensor. I assume we have these on our cars?
 

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Would sensor or stat in turn cause his white smoke?
Good question. Maybe it freaked out when he first had issues, causing the boiling/white smoke and now is simply being finicky...perhaps it could cause another heat spike, especially if it's reading false lows...? I'm no real tech, so disregard if I'm way off base.
 

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The coolant temp sensor does not regulate the coolant temperature. Also, all cars have them. The thermostat regulates the temperature.
I would start by replacing the sensor (aka temp sender) to see if you get better readings.
Also, I would HIGHLY doubt the coolant in the reservoir was actually above like 240* (whatever it is that antifreeze+water changes from a liquid to a gas), but I expect that some air was bubbling out. Was the reservoir actually scorching to the touch?
If it was actually boiling, I would guess you have a leak somewhere. Maybe not one that leaks liquid, but that at least one that keeps the system from building pressure. The coolant system on all water-cooled cars build between 14-18 psi, in order to keep the boiling point up. Is your cap on tight? Is the reservoir bottle in good shape? Cracked?
Also, do you have a 50/50 mix of coolant/water in the system?
Just some ideas.
 

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Also, white "smoke" from the engine bay, in general, is not smoke but coolant steam. This comes from a loss in pressure which allows the fluid to boil.
And I should clarify, the coolant sensor does HELP regulate temperature by controlling the electric fan. But the op stated his fan worked normally.
 

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going with the simple and easiest one lol, cracked coolant reservoir....its common in this cars... ;)
when my coolant reservoir when bad it looked like it was boiling but it was actually pressure getting out of the reservoir.

but again im no mechanic
 

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It doesn't bubble at all. The boiling only happened once , while / sent from On the Toilet.
lol

Failing Stat : Usually a Stat will Stick , then work - OK, then Stick some or function to slow - Good Sign Stat - was on the way out !

Are You still having Issues ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
lol

Failing Stat : Usually a Stat will Stick , then work - OK, then Stick some or function to slow - Good Sign Stat - was on the way out !

Are You still having Issues ?
Just changed it out yesterday.

After driving all day today, ctg did not fluctuate at all. I guess it was just an air bubble. I will update if it fluctuates again.


Sent from my iPhone4S using Tapatalk while on the toilet.
 
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