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Thread: Coolant Silica Bag Issues

  1. #1
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    Coolant Silica Bag Issues

    Hey guys,

    Just wondering if anyone here has heard about the silica bags inside the coolant tanks causing issues?

    I'm on a couple B8 Passat groups on Facebook and it seems a few people have had issues with the silica bags bursting and the crystals causing all sorts of issues with the coolant and heating system.

    People are saying VW should of recalled them but are refusing to take responsibility. A quick google brings up a heap of threads about issues that seem to affect VW, Skoda, Cupra, Audi, etc. The general consensus is to remove the bag or replace the tank to the new design that doesn't use the silica bag.

    I had a quick look at mine and it seems to have the bag in there, the only downside I can find is that it will require you to flush your coolant more regularly (approx every 2 years) as the silica adds life to the coolant so it requires less flushing.

    Just wondering what people on here think, as I couldn't find on the site.





    MY18 Passat 206tsi R-Line | Harvard Blue | Wagon

  2. #2
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    Yes. Remove the bag if you can access it. I had one leak in my Audi SQ5 and the coolant went a dark red/brown colour in a very short space of time. I had no idea at the time that they had silica bags in the coolant overflow bottles so I was trying to research why my coolant had so quickly changed colour - and found out about the silica bags. Supposedly the silica is supposed to make the coolant last longer? Took me so many flushes (like 12-15 full flushes with water and radiator flush products) of the coolant system to get it back to an acceptable level and I had to buy a new coolant overflow tank because I just couldnt get the brown stains out of it. Unfortunately due to the coolant overflow tank design on the SQ5 I cannot access the silica bag, so my plan is to just buy a new coolant overflow tank every few years to hopefully avoid the issue again.

    With my Mk7 Golf GTI I was fortunately able to access the silica bag with a pair of long needle nose pliers and carefully remove it.

    I believe the coolant overflow tank in your Passat 206 will be the same/similar to the one I had in my Golf GTI, so you should be able to access it with some long needle nose pliers and remove it.

    The coolant in your car should be fine for 4-5 years even without the silica. But given how regularly these engines go through waterpumps, you will more than likely be replacing a good portion of your coolant more often than 4-5 years anyway.
    Last edited by Lucas_R; 17-11-2023 at 01:10 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas_R View Post
    But given how regularly these engines go through waterpumps, your will more than likely be replacing a good portion of your coolant more often than 4-5 years anyway.
    Quoted for truth!!!!

    (currently holding my breath for when that day arrives for my B

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply @Lucas_R, took me a fiddly 5min but I've pulled it out. I'd much rather flush coolant every two years, than drive around with this thing in the coolant tank.

    Coolant Silica Bag Issues-pxl_20231117_012522556-jpg
    Last edited by green_comet; 17-11-2023 at 11:34 AM.
    MY18 Passat 206tsi R-Line | Harvard Blue | Wagon

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by green_comet View Post
    Thanks for the reply @Lucas_R, took me a fiddly 5min but I've pulled it out. I'd much rather flush coolant every two years, than drive around with this thing in the coolant tank.
    Nicely done. I may need to follow your lead on this one!

  6. #6
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    I just found out about this issue via a random YouTube recommendation.

    I keep forgetting to check if I have one and if I can get to it.
    MY20 MK7.5 Golf GTI - Tornado Red - LP/S&SP
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  7. #7
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    I had a look, mine doesn't have the image for the bag so it seems like nothing to do!
    MY20 MK7.5 Golf GTI - Tornado Red - LP/S&SP
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by green_comet View Post
    Thanks for the reply @Lucas_R, took me a fiddly 5min but I've pulled it out. I'd much rather flush coolant every two years, than drive around with this thing in the coolant tank.

    Coolant Silica Bag Issues-pxl_20231117_012522556-jpg
    Its hard to believe VW would just plonk something like that in the coolant reservoir. I wonder who came up with that idea. Maybe its the same engineer who designed the water pump. I had a quick look at mine. It has mit silikat printed on it but i think mine might have the dual wall. The inside of the tank looks smaller than the outside. I will check it out some more and might replace the reservoir if its the dual wall.
    @Lucas_R .. Just wondering where you buy your VW parts such as the coolant reservoir ? Do you buy from VW dealer or do you have another source ? By the way thanks for all your input on this forum. Very helpful for a VW newbie like myself.
    Passat Alltrack MY16

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by curly747 View Post
    Just wondering where you buy your VW parts such as the coolant reservoir ? Do you buy from VW dealer or do you have another source ?
    I buy from various places depending on what Im looking for. But VAGParts in Sydney is good for genuine parts such as the coolant overflow tanks. Run Auto Parts in Melbourne is great for filters, suspension parts etc. Otherwise get the part number off the failed part and Google it and you will usually find somewhere in UK/Europe selling it on ebay. Ive bought a lot of VW/Audi parts from Latvia over the years because I couldnt get it locally.
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  10. #10
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    Just found and removed one from my 2018 Arteon.

    I manoeuvred it around with my finger and then used needle-nose pliers like Lucas_R - very carefully, was worried about tearing the bag, but it seemed in good condition and relatively tough. The hardest part was getting the bottom corners out, moved some of the silica towards the top and then pushed one corner in while gently pulling.

    My reservoir also had Mit Silikat printed on the side also.
    Last edited by nermal; 20-11-2023 at 11:44 AM.
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