I have a 2001 Jetta GLS automatic SOHC, and the engine overheated pretty bad. Inside the head, the cam cover was plastic and melted and went through all the coolant hoses.

I am replacing the whole coolant system. I was able to clean the head out and I think I can salvage it, but when looking at the block I noticed in the holes for the coolant there is goo and probably melted plastic in them.

I was wondering if there is a way to clean them out or is the block shot. There doesn't appear to have anything wrong with the pistons, just clogged coolant holes.

  • 3
    If you had thermonuclear meltdown which caused the covers to melt, you need to look further than just if you can clean stuff out. You need to see if there any warpage using a straightedge and a feeler gauge. You'd do this to both the head and block. On the VW engine you are talking about, I'd bet both the block and head are aluminum, which makes both highly susceptible to overheating. With the amount of money which may be required to refurbish the parts in question, it may be easier/cheaper to get a known good used engine. Also, don't forget to fix what caused the issue in the first place. Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 19:12
  • i checked head and block not warped had some one else look at it too but not sure on how to clean out these coolant holes and the origonal problem was a bad coolant leak wich i have replaced. Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 21:14
  • Make sure you use a real straight edge - a metal ruler isn't as flat as you would think. You need to use a machinist's or mechanic's straight edge.
    – 3Dave
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


I am fairly confident the plastic cover you are talking about is the oil deflector that sits above the camshaft under the valve cover (not sure if you have the 1.8l or 2.0l engine, but I believe they both use this item).

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There should be no feasible way for that cover to get into the cooling system since there are no open coolant passages in the head. My guess is you are looking at are the oil return passages.

I would venture to say if this deflector melted, the pieces have gotten into your lubrication system and could cause blockages in the oil pump and other small oil passages throughout the engine. Not removing all of the debris can cause bearing failure and severe engine damage.

If your engine got hot enough to melt this deflector, there is likely more damage than you can see visually. It is advisable to go thru the entire engine and replace damaged or worn items (essentially a rebuild).


I would agree and venture to say that replacing the engine with a refurbished engine would probably be your safest bet. Something is truly guaranteed to have warped. The aluminum wasn't meantf to handle extreme high temps.

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