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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow forum users,

Last night on my way home the coolant warning light came on. Luckily I managed to get home and the temp was maintained at 90. When I got home the coolant in the reservoir was near empty.

Upon quick inspection of the engine bay, I noticed a leak (drip a second) from the offside (driver side) of the radiator, midway up the actual radiator. I couldn't spot exactly where the leak is as it seems to come from behind the plastic housing for the fans. I checked the parts catalogue for AVC engine, but I can't seem to locate anything on the offside of the radiator that could cause a leak. The pipes are all on the nearside edge of the radiator:


engine | Volkswagen Transporter 1998, air guide fan ring 4-cylinder: AAC,ABL 5-cylinder: AJA,ACV, AET "CN.","GUS": AEN,AEU 6-cylinder: AES




engine | Volkswagen Transporter 1998, cooler for coolant reservoir flange 5-cylinder: AET "CN ","GUS": diesel eng.: AEU 4-cylinder: ACV,AJA, AAC,ABL




engine | Volkswagen Transporter 1998, coolant hoses and pipes 2.5ltr. diesel eng.: ACV



Am I in the right direction to suspect that the radiator is likely to be replaced? 211,000miles done and I doubt it's been replaced since new. I'm going to see if I can find the time to put the radiator into the service position this weekend. I'd like to find a bit more about what's causing the leak before I seek professional help from a garage.

I consider myself lucky that I managed to get home safely. Close call and the coolant level was between max & min level this morning!

Has anyone experienced a coolant leak from offside of the radiator?

Happy motoring!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Took a photo of the leak:



It's definitely not from the temp sensor nor the edge of the radiator. It's hidden somewhere behind the plastic housing for the fans.

I'm suspecting the radiator needs replacing... but anyone else had similar problem before and what was the outcome?

Happy motoring!
 

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slightly o/t, but noticed a leak y'day from our temp sensor, ABL
where's the best/easiest place to drain the coolant from to inspect it, can't see any drain taps on the rad bottom
tia
GL with yours
 

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Discussion Starter #4
slightly o/t, but noticed a leak y'day from our temp sensor, ABL
where's the best/easiest place to drain the coolant from to inspect it, can't see any drain taps on the rad bottom
tia
GL with yours
Poor quality photo below, but there is a drain plug on the lowest part of the metal pipe that's underneath the coolant reservoir (the drain point is in front of the starter motor):



However, that drain point might still be higher than the lowest point of the radiator. In that case, I think you might need to remove the bottom radiator hose on the nearside, assuming that ACV and ABL engine layout for the radiator and coolant hoses are the same?

Good luck with yours, too!
 

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Took a photo of the leak:



It's definitely not from the temp sensor nor the edge of the radiator. It's hidden somewhere behind the plastic housing for the fans.

I'm suspecting the radiator needs replacing... but anyone else had similar problem before and what was the outcome?

Happy motoring!
There is nothing behind there apart from the rad so unless its running down from above somewhere its the rad.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks very much alan.

Ive looked at ECP and there seems to be two sizes length are both 720mm but the height of the ratiator is either 414mm or 359mm.
Prices for 414mm are £85 (JP Group / Nissens? I've heard of Nissens as the "go to choice") and out of stock £177 Hella.
359mm price is £95 EIS (Never heard).

The current radiator has Valeo sticker on offside and another sticker on the enarside with parts number and Audi VW logo but I can't read the part number covered by the fan housing... I'm assuming this is genuine VW from factory. ECP brings up Valeo radiator (720x414mm) for £215 if I enter the van detail manually but doesn't come up if I enter my registration number.

The parts catalogue states either 701121253 722x416mm (PR-AC1) or 701121253K 720x388mm (PR-AC0).

What do PR-AC1 and PR-AC0 mean? Is it related to with/out AC system?


What makes difference to whether van has 416mm or 388mm radiator? Or are all ACV engine have same radiator size?
 

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PR AC1 and PR AC0 are the option codes for "long nose" and "short nose" vans respectively. So what it's saying is that the radiator is a different size for the two different front ends.

In my van I would always go for genuine VW or a recognised OEM manufacturer (in this case it looks like Valeo make the radiator for VW). Having said that I just fitted a cheap EIS radiator from Eurocarparts to my mk1 Caddy but it doesn't do many miles and it was the only one available.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks very much Alan,

You're right, PR-AC0 refers to short nose and AC1 is long nose. Just double checked on VW code list.

That means my van takes the smaller radiator (701121253K 720 x 388mm).

ECP only stocks EIS radiator for that size. Quick Google seach gave me this: Radiator Leak near bottom pipe?. The OP mentions he went with Nissens radiator instead of EIS as the reviews were rubbish for EIS. That doesn't give me confidence.

VWHeritage has Topran radiator for £97. Radiator > T4 1991-2003 (Part Code: 701121253K)

JustKampers has Klokkerholm for £97. Radiator VW T4 All Models (Excluding 1800 PD & 2000 AAC engines) 1991–2001 (JK Part Number: J13631 OEM Part Number: 701-121-253/K)

I may have to call TPS to ask how much the genuine radiator is...

But this is all assuming that radiator is the cause of leak. I left the van at a local garage just now for them to have an inspection.

I'm a bit stressed about this for some reason. Thanks everyone for helping out on this.

Happy motoring!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Local garage confirmed that it's radiator leak. He's phoning around to see what he can get and will give me a final quote. Currently at £280 for coolant, new radiator and labour, but he thinks he can get it down. I was expecting a quote of around £300 so that's okay.

In the meantime, I've got the van back as his car park is full (and I only live down the road). I put the radiator in service position (wasn't that complicated) and this is the state of the radiator:

Offside bottom corner of the radiator:


Inside of the radiator (offside bottom corner is where the corrosion is seen), behind the plastic housing for the fans:


And I also confirmed that this radiator was genuine vw from original, based on the sticker and VW Audi engraving on the side (and of course, it's 701121253K).

The input and output hoses look fine and dry. The temp sensor looks fine and dry. Power steering pipe and hose are also looking in good health. Another thing I noticed was the metal coolant pipe is showing some corrosion beneath the reservoir...

I think we'll have to ask the garage to do this for us. I'm in a DIY fatigue phase at the moment (I'm not in the mood, nor have the time) and looking at some corroded screws, few rivets and potentially crewing up / damaging hoses, I prefer to get it done properly...

Brucelona, have you found a leak on yours?
 

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Local garage confirmed that it's radiator leak. He's phoning around to see what he can get and will give me a final quote. Currently at £280 for coolant, new radiator and labour, but he thinks he can get it down. I was expecting a quote of around £300 so that's okay.

In the meantime, I've got the van back as his car park is full (and I only live down the road). I put the radiator in service position (wasn't that complicated) and this is the state of the radiator:

Offside bottom corner of the radiator:


Inside of the radiator (offside bottom corner is where the corrosion is seen), behind the plastic housing for the fans:


And I also confirmed that this radiator was genuine vw from original, based on the sticker and VW Audi engraving on the side (and of course, it's 701121253K).

The input and output hoses look fine and dry. The temp sensor looks fine and dry. Power steering pipe and hose are also looking in good health. Another thing I noticed was the metal coolant pipe is showing some corrosion beneath the reservoir...

I think we'll have to ask the garage to do this for us. I'm in a DIY fatigue phase at the moment (I'm not in the mood, nor have the time) and looking at some corroded screws, few rivets and potentially crewing up / damaging hoses, I prefer to get it done properly...

Brucelona, have you found a leak on yours?
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Radiator-For-Volkswagen-Caravelle-Multivan-Transporter-T4-Eurovan-Petrol-Diesel/152701954486?hash=item238dbee9b6:g:rIsAAOSwM6NZuNWT ................... only 10% of the genuine price :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
£25 radiator... I saw that yesterday, it's crazy!

Even the side door plastic step costs more than that!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update:

So the local garage happily replaced the radiator for £260 all in today and they appreciated that I supplied G13 coolant (I had a bottle and half at home) and few spare new bolts just in case the bolts were rusted out (they only replaced one of the bolts). They are nice bunch, and I felt like we built a good rapport. Will use them again if something non-specific or unique to T4 goes wrong. Our other car (little 1.3L hatchback...) goes there for annual service + MOT and they've done the clutch without any complication.

I looked at the invoice and the radiator was priced at £128. Part No was ADV NS65273A. Quick Google search reveals that it's a Nissens radiator. So I'm happy with that, based on what I read online about Nissens.

The radiator is proper shiny and all the fins are straight! It turned out that the radiator bottom was so rusted out it was actually leaking from the nearside and dribbling across the bumper and down on the offside. Nearly 20yrs of service, I'm not surprised...

I will be doing a long journey tomorrow so lets see if there's any leak. I'll be carrying a bottle of G13 and de-ionised water for the journey!

Thanks everyone for the information.

Happy motoring!
 
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