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Discussion Starter #1
Is this a gasket change, or is the usual route a complete replacement assembly? I have an oil leak and slight coolant loss which I think is coming from the same area. Any advice on this is welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After thoroughly cleaning everything off I stuffed kitchen roll around where I suspected the coolant leak may have been leaking. After a run there was no sign of any drips under the car and the paper was bone dry. so I left it overnight. This morning there were coolant drips on the sump and coolant dripping from behind the aircon compressor. I can see it looks wet around the thermostat housing where it bolts onto the block, so I may have a cracked housing or leaking O ring. I've relocated the kitchen roll beneath that to see if it leaves a tell-tail mark. The oil leak is a red herring - it's where the previous owner had spilled oil and the dripping coolant had picked this up to give a rainbow pattern on my wet yard.

It looks to be a time-consuming job to remove enough stuff to get to the stat. Certainly a lot more involved than previous cars I've owned - my 1.9tdi took about 1/2 hour to do from start to finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's pink coolant and I can't think it would be from the aircon and maybe I need to get the alternator out of the way to take a proper look. Apart from the hoses, the thermostat housing is the only other source of a possible leak I can see and it does look wet below it unless I'm getting a reflection of my torch - it's very difficult to see. Apart from the sump there's a drip that's run down the large diameter pipe that runs to the intercooler. I took the intercooler hose off to be sure and there's no coolant in there.

I ran the car up to temperature over the pit and kept coming back to it and there was no sign. Maybe the hot engine was evaporating it off. From the maximum mark the coolant drops around 3mm for every 30 miles (read from cold). Right now that's about all I'm doing in a week so it isn't too bad while I try to fathom out what's going on. The main thing i don't want is a catastrophic failure that dumps all my hot coolant out. From searching it looks as though a housing leak is an uncommon fault with the 1.6tdi. Actually, I didn't find anything and this makes me wonder if its something else.
 

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As it doesn't leak when hot that suggests to me that heat expansion is closing the leak, which then reappears as engine cools and contracts.
 

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Monitoring this conversation in order to learn something. I have little to add though at the moment.
Other than:
The only coolant leak I had in our Yeti, was from the main radiator. When the car was about 5 years old. The plastic frame on the back of the rad that supports the cooling fans, has a channel moulded into one of the spokes, where the cabling runs to the fan motor. The cabling is held in place by three / four metal clips. One of those clips had been insufficiently pushed into the plastic channel during initial assembly. It had taken 5 years to rub through one of the radiator’s horizontal coolant cross-tubes. Allowing that to spring a leak. For the sake of a £65 new rad from ECP, fitted myself, it wasn’t worth the hassle of trying to claim any form of goodwill warranty. There is an account of the fitting story somewhere. Not much help to Mickeyluv’s current detective problem. But I’ve said it now :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just retrieved the kitchen roll I'd stuffed around the thermostat housing and it's pink. None of the hoses that plumb into it are wet and there's nothing above it other than the head joint, which thankfully is dry. Since cleaning everything off late yesterday its dripping again. It looks like the alternator, dipstick tube and throttle body need to be removed - has anyone replaced a 'stat on one of these? Also, can the coolant be drained from the block?

3582
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mine is different to that and a lot more involved in that many more inaccessible parts need to be removed. I'm 7 hours in and just wrapped it up for today. Hopefully it won't leak when I refill with coolant tomorrow. Anyhow, it had been leaking for a good while until it became a visible drip - the main O ring was compressed and hardened where it fits into the block. It's certainly a taxing, involved and frustrating job.

You have to remove or disconnect;
Engine cover
Lower under tray
Battery negative terminal
Throttle body
Fuel Filter housing
Main air intake rigid pipe to throttle body
Dipstick tube
Auxilliary belt
Drain coolant
swing alternator out of the way
Numerous electrical connectors
Hoses, clamps, clips.

Even then you have to remove the ridiculously positioned thermostat housing which took over an hour to extract and a lot of juggling to re-fit. Remember - this is a thermostat. A common failure item. I think back to my old fiesta where it had two screws right in front of you on the top hose connection. No need to drain the coolant and took about 5 minutes to swap. I'm totally bemused why a car would be designed to be so difficult to replace such a simple part that cost £23.

So, along the way I found the source of an annoying but infrequent noise - the serpentine belt tensioner, which looks like another buried and inaccessible bolt to get to.
 

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Thanks for that, however I would disagree about thermostat failure being common nowadays. Modern ones seem much more resilient, and the ten years I've been involved with Yetis I think you could count the number of problems with them on one hand.
Even in the classic car world you don't hear about problems with them very much now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is my first Yeti and it's probably been the most unreliable car I've had of the VW group, even though most cars I buy are high mileage and 8 years+ old. I do take your point about modern thermostats and thinking about it I have had a lot fewer failures in recent years than I experienced in the 80s and 90s. I used to carry around a spare thermostat when I had a Ford Orion - I had three fail in as many years, despite them being Motocraft.
 
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