Golf VR6 overheats constantly! Help! - gavvers
I have a 95M Golf vr6 which is high mileage (130,000 miles) but in excellent order, regulary serviced etc but at the moment I can drive it for about a mile and a half before the temperature needle is all the way across and I have steam pouring out from the header tank. It has been between four local vehicle technicians including a vw specialist and between them they cannot figure out the problem. My nearest VW dealership is miles away, Does anyone have any ideas? I'm at the end of my tether. So far I have a headgasket change, thermostat change, Several perished hoses the header tank and cap have all been changed and now the heater matrix which has got damaged because of the heat generated by the engine. Any ideas or problems heard of before?
Golf VR6 overheats constantly! Help! - Dave N
Did they check the water-pump impellor wasn't loose on the shaft and not moving the water around?
Golf VR6 overheats constantly! Help! - greaser pv
Agreed this too is a possibility although I've only known it once in 25yrs of fixing cars- sometimes diagnosing overheating problems is not all that easy.

Another pointer would be to remove the header cap when the engine is cold and start the engine- if the water is pulsed out i.e. as the stroke of a piston then you can be pretty sure that is where the problem lies, head / gasket. Also make sure the return pipe to the header tank isn't blocked. Good luck and let us know the outcome.
Golf VR6 overheats constantly! Help! - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
I'd err on the side of a possible blocked radiator although head problems seem to be common with this engine. I doubt if the block is at fault. Did any of the guys who have looked at it use a 'blockcheck' type chemical test on the cooling system to check for combustion gases in the coolant?

Simplicate and add lightness!
Golf VR6 overheats constantly! Help! - gavvers
Thanks guys, I will pass your suggestions back to the garage as the car is still there, I'll let you know what the result is
Golf VR6 overheats constantly! Help! - Aprilia

An almost guaranteed way to discriminate between cracked/blown head and other cooling system fault is to get the garage to start the engine with the header tank cap off. After a few minutes get them to 'waft' the pickup probe from their 'four gas analyser' (used to set/check emissions) over the header tank. If it picks up hydrocarbons (HC) then it is highly likely you have a fault with the head and/or gasket.
If the head has to come off again then get it skimmed and pressure tested. Most rebuilders now automatically do a pressure test.
If the head/gasket turns out OK then look for some major blockage in the cooling system. Pull the hoses off and run a hose through the rad. and the block. Water should flow freely through the system. If that seems OK then checkout that the water pump is still in one piece (although I think a w/pump fault is unlikely).
Golf VR6 overheats constantly! Help! - mmm-five
Has the auxilliary water pump been replaced?

I had a similar problem on my Corrado VR6 and after replacing the radiator, thermostat and water pump it was diagnosed as being a faulty AUXILLIARY water pump all along - got no refund from VW for the unecessary parts though!
Golf VR6 overheats constantly! Help! - DL
Little electric pump below the distributor/ignition pack, innit?

Early VR6's were notorious for cooling problems, weren't they?

Value my car