Archive for February, 2009

Vw’s, Coolant, Inginition Locks…

February 9, 2009

It’s the first post for the year and I’m not going to talk about linux. Instead I am going to tell about my experience with VW Golf’s and replacing parts, specifically the thermostat, coolant pump (water pump), ignition lock and steering column. That’s a mouthful for me. Had you asked me what any of these automotive parts were last year, I would have stared at you blankly. Lately I’ve taken an interest in what goes on in my car and how the engine works which I am ashamed to say I have not in the past.

For those who don’t know I own a 1990(it might actually be older) Citi Golf that requires alot of body work. Nonetheless, my car got stolen and recovered just down our road, but was in a bad condition. The ignition lock was broken off, the indicator/light/wiper switch was broken the dash as pretty damaged. Usually I would have just taked this sorta thing in and have it fixed by someone. My brother and I decided to DIO(Do It Ourselves). It was a fairly easy process and everything worked as did before, only with newer parts. Disconneted the battery cables, removed the Steering wheel, broken indicator with weird mechanism thing. The tricky bit was getting the little top of the sterring which had a spring just below it. We got it out the way successfully though. I was suprised to find how easy it was.

I’ve had an overheating problem for sometime and each time I take my car in a week later the problem surfaces again. So I did some research, and figure there’s a my car appears to either have blockage in the water system caused by a water pump whose impeller’s blades might be damaged, a thermostat which is stuck close or there’s something wrong with the head. I opted for the thermostat issues over head. So I removed the thermostat which was located within the bracket of my water pump and started testing, cars in this climate don’t really need thermostats. My girlfriends brother was kind enough to lend a hand as he previously worked for a Golf Mechanic/Repair Shop. We noticed water was still not flowing effeciently and replaced the water pump ( the braket is located just under the alternator, you have to remove the belt first and shift the alternator upwards to make it easier for yourself ) flushed the radiator to make sure no air is in the block, and started testing further. It made a substantial difference only it didn’t solve the problem( and no it was not my radiator or my radiator fan nor the 2 speed switch for it they had previously been replaced by the mechanic and are brand new ). So it looks like my head gasket might actually be blown or the is a problem with the head of my engine. No, my car is not puffing out white smoke which is a comman symtom , but that would depend on where it blew. It’s unfortunate that the head is the hardest problem to debug as there are only so few things you can do to test for it, either a leak down test or compression test(which usually gets done by engineers). These jobs are generally passed on to engineers that have the tools available to do such testing. So if the head is warped(because of heat), or needs scheming, they would be able to tell.

New Water Pump In Car

New Water Pump In Car

Though the experience in debugging the car was interesting, I found myself saving quite the buck replacing the coolant pump myself, with some guidence and help from a professional.