Bleeding the Vanagon 2.1L engine
2005 new notes:...
after bleeding more than 50 vans...here is some new stuff, not that the
lower portion of that page is not good, but this is a different and.....
NO real need to raise the 2.1 for bleeding...
To remove coolant:
open front rad and
thermostat bleeder, remove
exp. tank cap.
to get to those
2 drain plugs under the engine, you need to remove the lower
protective tins under the engine, but that is sometime impossible due to
rusted bolt... (drain plug location)
That will get rid of about 6-8 liters.., unplug the heater line that
connect to that big "bypass" metal coolant tube on the left, in front of
this one... another 2 liters shoul comme out... now, most of the rear
section of the van is empty.... remove the spare tire and disconnect the 2
main coolant line... this will empty the front rad and the 2 main line...
Most of the coolant is out....
To bleed, your choice:
Raise (or not) REAR of van for a faster result... (NOT THE FRONT!!!!!!!)
open all bleeder, including front rad, rear heater under the rear seat and
Note:REMOVE the rear thermostat bleeder... pass the 2 small tabs and make
sure it's not coroded!!!!! clean this one.. put it back.
pour coolant in the exp. thank, the rear heater will be the fist to drip...
close this one after, the front one (if van is high enough) will be the
second one, close it. fill the tank, squeese most line to get some air
out, start engine at idle... let it run, you can give some rpm but it's
not a must... wait until thermostat open up and look for some steady
coolant flow at rear bleeder...
close all bleeder, put tank cap... bring a 13mm ratchet and go ride the
van...once in a wile, open front rad bleeder...
You can also do the same for the rear bleeder... but that is only for
peace of mind, the 2.1L will self bleed...
Remember that the rear portion of the Vanaon is
self-bleeding (2.1L only) due to the ring around the rear engine hatch. The 2 bleeding
screw are for bleeding the front radiator & 2 main line that goes to this
one. (see my chart). The reason for revving the engine at 2000RPM is to
force the coolant / pressure to the front. The vanagon as a lot more
coolant & coolant line than a normal car. (with
the other bleeding solution explain above, there is no need the raise RPM)
- Get a friend or two, period.
- Get plenty of phosphate free coolant ready (mix this
one in advance at 50/50), no need for the expensive VW one. I use Prestone
PF. Have more than needed ready.
- have some old rag & plenty of towel paper just in
case you need some.
- have a 13mm key (for the front radiator bleeder
- have a funnel to put the coolant in the expansion
- Have 2 oil pan ready, one in the front and one in
the rear near the thermostat.
- You need 2 car ramp or a big jack to lift the
front (and rear in my case)
- If you replace Thermostat, test this one in
boiling water before (mine was defective and NEW)
|Step 2: (engine cold and
Set both heater control to maximum heating
Open expansion cap (remove)
Unscrew front radiator bleeding screw , rear heater
bleeding screw & rear thermostat bleeding screw (mine was partially block,
I had to remove this one completely for proper bleeding.
Have a friend at the rear heater core, itís the only
one that can overflow when the van is not working.
Fill all you can until the expansion tank is almost
Close rear heater bleeding screw (if nothing came
out!!! It will very soon)
Close rear thermostat bleeding screw (that will help
push the air pocket to the front rad)
Some of you may not agree on different point but this
is how I did my bleeding and it work fine. I would have skipped some step
but I prefer to do every possible thing so I donít have to do it again and
againÖ(O yes, I forgot, I did that alone!!!! Very messyÖ). If you think that I forgot some steps or something
important just e-mail me.
(Always monitor the engine temperature.)
Get the 2 ramps ready or jack the front of the van
Start van with expansion tank cap on and quickly and
climb the ramp, shut down engine. (RAISE REAR OF
VAN AS OPPOSE TO THE PICTURE BELOW)
Secure rear wheel with something.
Have one friend in the front near the bleeding screw,
one inside at the rear heater.
Slowly remove the expansion tank cap (no danger if you just started the car for a few second)
Start van at idle for now, let it heat for a few
minutes (if expansion tank overflow, rev the engine
Open the rear heater bleeding screw and be ready to
Closely monitor the expansion tank, fill with
coolant when needed. (if rear heater is flowing constantly for more than 5
sec close this one, this can be messy and itís not a must!!!)
Have youíre rear heater friend in the front seat and be
ready to get the engine to 2000/2500RPM. Expansion tank will now empty
faster, be ready. (WARNING: NEVER LET GO OF THE GAZ PEDAL WITHOUT CLOSING
THE EXPANSION CAP, IT WILL BLOW COOLANT IN YOUR FACE, IT HAPPENED TO ME!!!
THE COOLANT IS NOW HOT SO BE CAREFULL)
When the front bleeder is flowing constantly and you
feel that the liquid is warmer, close this one. (i know, you will loose
a lot...just put it back in the tank later)
Fill the expansion tank up to the neck and put the
expansion tank cap back.
Drive the van to raise the rear (climb on ramp if
When the rear is raise open the thermostat bleeding
screw slowly, pressure will come out with many bubble, there is you air
pocket going out!!!!, always have an eye on the expansion tank. If she is
getting to low shut the engine and wait until itís cold again before
opening this one.
When the rear bleeder is bubble free, close the screw and
watch the engine temperature.
Look if the front rad is hot and / or the front rad
fan is going on (good sign)
go for a ride with the 13mm key in hand. Try to find
a road with hill or overpass and drive the van a few times on it.
From time to time open the front rad bleeder screw
and let some air go out, if there is not, youíre in business.
Do the same for the rear bleeding screw a few time.