Boom! [Archive] - VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum


07-06-09, 18:37
Hey all, I desperately need some help.

I have a T4 LWB that the misses and I have been slowly working on for 3 years now and have done some awesome trips.

She had a full major service and the turbo changed March 09 and was MOT'd, serviced and had a CAM belt change end of May 09. A few miles after I picked her up last week I pulled up and heard a 'chinking' sound coming from under the engine. I thought it was part of the exhaust shield come loose and didn't think too much about it.

I drove back home at less than 3000 revs as I wanted the new part to bed in. Less than an hour through my trip back to Bristol and the whole engine blew. First there was a 'clunk' from the engine, then the temp gauge went sky high and then the power went. I quickly took it out of gear and turned the engine off before coasting to safety. That's less than 50 miles out of the garage!

I've had an independent engineer have a look at it and he says that the engine had been totally cooked, which destroyed the head gasket and cam belt plus the usual damage arising from each. This really confuses me as there was only seconds between the temp alarm going off and the engine being turned off. She doesn't smoke or use any oil or coolant.

The only thing I can think of was that the cooling system wasn't working when I left the garage, the engine cooked and that the temp gauge wasn't letting me know. The question I need some help with is what could cause the cooling system to fail with such catastrophic results?

I'm wondering if there was some blockage in the cooling system or something that stopped the coolant from circulating but when the temp became critical the head gasket blew and that unblocked the system.

I'm totally screwed here with no come back against the garage or insurers. It's totally frustrating as I take so much care of the van and always do what works I can to keep her rolling in first class order.

Any thoughts or help appreciated.


08-06-09, 20:12
only a guess but perhpas the bottom pulley has come off, not an expert on this type of engine is the water pump and cam belt all of the crank pulley? perhaps that has come off?

i don't see how an over heating problem has caused a cam belt failure, sounds like it turns over?

the clunk could have been the water pump belt, no circulation it would over heat quickly.

if all off the same shaft, cam belt goes too??? just a guess?

08-06-09, 20:18
If its a 5cylinder then i suggest that the impeller has come off the back of the water pump,they are plastic composite and commonly fail if not changed when the timing belt is replaced.

08-06-09, 20:41

From what the independent engineer has told me, the engine was cooked and the head gasket blew and the cam melted as a result. The temp fail was the cause and the cam belt & head gasket failing was the result.

The crux of the mystery is that something has caused the engine to over heat. The only thing I can think of is that the cooling system wasn't working in some capacity. I've been wondering about a missing fuse to the fan, water pump not working or a blockage in the coolant system (I've just had the screen wash cleaned out of the car as it had gunked up and blocked the system).


I think it's a 5 cylinder. A belt on the driverís side of the engine runs the alternator and power steering pump and the timing belt is underneath on the same side within a shield. I think the water pump is on the passenger side, which is where the steam was coming from when I pulled over. Does that make any sense to you?

Do you think that the pump failed which could be the clunk, then the temp going sky high and finally the cam belt failing?

Any help or advice is greatly received.