Hello..i have been reading through forum posts for the past several hours..and didn't not find my exact issue.
My jetta (aka. Miss Scarlet) first overheated while returning on a 'long' hilly trip from the south side of the island...i was 4-5 miles from the nearest gas station when my coolant light came on. Since the car wasn't really acting hot and my needle was still in the middle (though now i'm slightly wondering if my temp-sensor is working even), i made it to the gas station...waited for 30min..then topped off the expansion tank and continued home.
Since then i have had continued overheating problems..it will even overheat idling. here's what i have done/checked thus far:
First, i removed the cap and attempted to massage all the coolant hoses to remove any possible air..let it idle for about 6min..then i revved the engine past 3k in case the thermostat was closed yet ..then i hopped out and it seemed to be clearing the last of the air out of the lines..nice bubbles i thought both fans are running... but hmm, it doesn't stabilize? -just keeps gurgling...
Second, shut off the car, both fans still running..but then liquid started gushing out of the exp. tank. I wait (thinking maybe an air bubble could still be the culprit)..then i ended up filling almost a half gallon..more massaging the hoses (almost feels like there is a bubble i can't get out of the largest of the hoses->the one from the top of the radiator leading to the engine)..tried running the car again..5 min later, same exact problem.
After reading around the forums, i decided to check my t-stat by feeling the upper and lower radiator hose temps...i notice that when the upper one is too hot to hold onto for more than a couple seconds, the lower is pretty warm..but not nearly as hot as the upper.
Does this sound like a a simple thermostat issue? or is it normal that the lower is just not quite as hot as the upper??
**i RREALLY hope i don't have to mess with the cooling system much..the last owner obviously had something he couldn't figure out..because the heater core was removed, and supposedly the radiator, water pump, t-stat, exp. tank/cap, radiator, and temp sensor were all replaced...and THEN he wired the fans for manual operation.
Well, after 6 months of faithful cruzn..I might have to take Miss Scarlet to the doctor's office (aka some local mechanic dude), but id appreciate any advice that could save me time or money/frustration. Thanks!