New Atlas problems - Volkswagen Atlas Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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New Atlas problems

I have a 2018 SEL premium 4 motion Atlas.. have had nothing but problems at just 5000 miles. Loosing antifreeze and had in the service dept four times to be fixed. The second time it was in there almost 2 weeks. Had to cylinder head and head gasket. Still loosing antifreeze. Had in in the service dept the 4th time yesterday and they said it was normal and didn't do one thing to it! I don't understand how? We have nothing leaking out on the ground, so where is it going? That's not normal and Volkswagen headquarters which I have talked to numerous times is no help whatsoever. I am afraid to drive the car because I am afraid it will just quit on me. On the tank that holds the antifreeze they marked where it was yesterday for us to keep track of and have checked it 4 times and it is down past the mark where they marked with a permanent marker which is very close to the minimum line. This is the second Atlas I have had. The first had AC problems and it was in the shop around 6 times for thatnans it started at 3000 miles Volkswagen offered me 10 percent off of another vehicle but it had to be a Volkswagen. Not going to work with me this time. I have tried it there way the first time this time I am going with the lemon law. Good luck if you own an Altas. I hope you don't have the problems in have had.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 07:23 PM
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Sorry to hear about your experience.

I have noticed a number of members who have experienced coolant loss on here...saw a thread earlier today. I hope VW figures out what this is. I will also be watching my coolant closely.

In the past life (other VW's not Atlas, but the 3.6) I have heard of a few new motors having a casting defects that resulted in water being burned (obviously this was a new engine on VW's bill). Have they found coolant in your oil? Is the underside of your oil cap frothy?

The 3.6 is a very good motor, but obviously defects can happen to all motors in some percentage.

Good luck, and again sorry to hear the news. Do keep us posted.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 12:39 PM
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Okay, here's what you do.

Just drive it.

Seriously..

They know of your issue and if it blows the engine then it's their fault for not fixing it.

Take off the engine oil cap and if there's a bunch of brownish milky stuff on the underside of the cap then it's going into your oil (unless it's really cold out and then that's just condensation from the engine cooling off inside). If there's nothing or just a smidge of a trace there then it's fine. Coolant in the oil lowers the lubrication properties of the oil and can do bad things, so if it's not going into the oil then it's getting burned or discharged from an overflow somewhere.

Also, some vehicles self level the antifreeze and you can keep topping it off and it will keep going down, BUUUT if there's no issue it will settle down and stay at the lower level. First encountered at skidoo snowmobile dealer I worked at. I also own one and if I fill it up full it will leak out after heating up and when it cools down again it's nearer to the minimum mark. Once there it's happy as a clam as the coolant has room to expand without going out the overflow now.

I know that's a snowmobile.

My 2012 jetta tdi is the same. It WILL NOT stay anywhere near the max, in fact it's happy right at the minimum line or a hair under and has been that way for around 90,000 miles. The only time I noticed was when it was around zero and I started it, the coolant was slightly low (dash light came on) as it was so cold out but after running it for a few minutes and then doing a restart the light went out. I did add a splash after a few days of that weather as I keep a little premix in the trunk spare tire area just in case.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Where would the antifreeze go if it isn't on the ground? The Corporate person that has been talking to me told me if I drive it knowing it has a problem I will void the warranty? I didn't drive the car for about 9 days and after it was in the shop 2 days ago and didn't do anything but put a marker where the antifreeze was when we left the shop. The the man at corporate told me he didn't tell me not to drive it. That's when I got upset. He DID tell me that and I am so glad a neighbor was hear and heard him tell me NOT TO DRIVE IT. I can't stand to be lied to! The picture below is about 30 miles of driving with the engine warm!
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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If you blow the picture up you can see the mark and then you can see how much it has dropped?! I am afraid to drive car. I sure don't want to be in an accident because of their stupidity. Sad that I can't get passed 5000 miles on a new car. And the 1st Atlas was only 3000 miles
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 02:39 PM
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Sounds like you need to start recording your conversations with your phone if it is legal in your state.. amazing how they don't take your word for the problem. I would clearly put all in writing and send a certified letter to the dealer placing them on notice. Better to be safe than sorry like oh we didn't know etc. Certified letters to all concerned work wonders .. good luck!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 07:14 PM
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As stated above, antifreeze can be burned, mixed with you oil, or evaporate from the overflow tank cap pressure regulator. There are also hose leaks that are pinpoint and just enough for a vapor to escape. All said, I would drive it and watch to see if it continues down to the point you see it at the bottom of the overflow... if it makes it down there take it back in, however chances are also that it could even out and stop dropping as stated above, this "self regulating" is due to the overfill cap, which does allow vapor of a certain pressure to escape. Sometimes these caps either go bad or I suppose, could be factory defective.

I own two other VW's (Touaregs) that always read low coolant...a few days after topping off or a year after topping off (same level). For whatever reason, the "minimum" mark on them is too high and if I fill to there it just evaporates. I have no idea why they were designed this way, but I have over 200k miles between them, and they have never overheated. Not even towing our travel trailer in 100 degree heat.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:12 AM
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Don't listen to your neighbor.

Drive it and see if it goes way below the minimum or if it stops dropping at a certain point.

Like I said, you're not going to cause an accident, even if the vehicle starts to sound really bad, you're going to have time to pull over. Then as vw said there's nothing wrong with it, it's their fault.

There is a warning chime and light if your coolant gets a bit below the minimum mark.

If there's nothing under the oil cap then it's getting pissed out somewhere as you drive and you won't see a puddle as it's spread all along the road in little drips.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 03:35 PM
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3 months ago I checked the reservoir and it was at min. When I was close by the dealer I passed by them and they filled it up. They did say they are coming lower from the factory and by the time things settle and driving a while it ends up showing lower. They filled it up and has been on that same level. My test time is always the next day before any use so at least I make sure I am doing the same exact procedure to check the level. So for now I will check but a lot less may be once a month or even 2. Regardless, in every car I had, I always used to check the levels around the 1 month or 2 month time periods. it is a good habit as one never knows.

2018 Atlas SEL Premium - Deep Black Pearl with with Titan Black Leather - Sep 2018 Build
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Can someone tell me if it is normal, then why didn't he do all that work to my motor when I took it in for the same thing? The antifreeze level was exactly as it is now and they did almost 10000.00 worth of work and now that it's doing the same thing and it's normal.? To me it has the same problem because it's doing the exact same thing!
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