Overheating after long periods of idling.
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  1. #1
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    Overheating after long periods of idling.

    First of all it is a 1999 B5 1.8T tip with 128500 miles. It has happened 3 times when crossing the international bridge from Mexico within the last year and a half. The 3 times it was 100 to 108 F outside temp and I was in the bridge line idling for more than 1 hour 30 minutes.

    What happens is that if I have the outside temperature display showing, it will reach 136 F and then turn into ---. Then after a while the A/C will stop blowing cold air. After the A/C stops blowing cold air, the temp gauge will rise to about 3/4. I turn off the A/C, and the Temp gauge will slowly return to 1/2. However, if I turn the A/C on again it won't blow cold air.

    It seems that the engine bay is heating up bad.

    When I finish crossing the bridge and get upto speed, the outside temp display will go down gradually to the correct outside temp, and the A/C will blow cold air again.

    Is this normal at all? The fluids are at the correct level and the fans are working. It has never overheated with regular city or highway driving.

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  3. #2
    B-5
    B-5 is offline
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    My outside air temp goes up on idle too. Had a flat the other day with car pool people there. Had to wait for AAA to come (bad time to find out that my OEM lug wrench doesn't fit aftermartket wheels) and it got to 131 degrees. But my engine temp gauge does not work.

  4. #3
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    my first thought was the fan not working but since you said it was then nevermind. If its really that hot outside there is a good chance that there is nothing you can do. remember all of those systems, be it ac or coolant all rely on a substantial difference in air temp to work. if your coolant is trying to cool from 190 to 130, a 60 degree difference is not a lot for a couple of fans circulating air. same goes for the ac condenser. hope that helps, and others please correct me if im wrong

  5. #4
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    pressure test? A cooling system that cannot hold pressure may not function properly.

  6. #5
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    If it couldn't hold pressure, he'd be losing coolant as steam.

    Has your water pump ever been replaced? The original water pumps have plastic turbines that crack and get loose when they get old. Also, there should be a very loud fan that turns on when the engine gets hot, not just the quieter fan that turns on when the A/C is running.; if you don't hear that, something is wrong with the fan or the relay or the temperature sensor. Lastly, try removing the rubber seal at the back of the engine bay, to allow hot air to escape from under the hood -- but make sure to turn on the recirculator or the cabin fan will pull in hot air from the engine bay.

  7. #6
    needs more cowbell
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    what about the actual age of the coolant in the system? we dont' get the intense heat up here, as frequently but we do get it. i've never had an issue with overheating. though, i've never idled for 90 min in that heat.

  8. #7
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    I haven't changed the water pump since I bought it at 100k it is now 128k and I do not know the age of the pump. I might do the timing belt soon and change it. The coolant is fresh since I recently replaced the turbo recently and I haven't lost any coolant since. The 'loud' fan works as well. I will try removing the seal from the back of the engine bay to see if that helps, however it is hard to test. I also believe it might be normal since this last time that happened, a truck besides me blew the coolant off.

  9. #8
    B-5
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    There is a better question...do you know if the TB was ever done???

  10. #9
    I'm just itching to be Banned NEWMAN'SOWN's Avatar
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    If you aren't moving, and just idling the car with the A/C on, of course it is going to overheat.

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