Temperature gauge replaced 3 times and temp sensor, but check engine light still on
The car runs great. The temperature does not appear to be over heating - it is right in the middle or just to the left of center. The check engine light did not come on for a couple of days and now it is back on again (the 5th time now and I am tired...). I don't think the water pump is going as I don't hear any unusual noises or anything...the VW shop check it out and thought it was OK. I think it is the Wiring Housing for the temperature gauge.
Is that something I typically need to bring to a VW dealer or can other shops fix this? I just spent $500 to get a piddly little Temp Gauge installed, which I thought was highway robbery.
Any help or recommendations or ideas would be invaluable. Thank you,
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I would buy a new thermostat and flush the radiator coolant. Dexcool (The orange coolant) is known to clog up the internals including the temperature sensor in cars of your age.
While you are at it, I would strongly consider changing radiator hoses and clamps unless that was done recently.
If you are referring to the dashboard temperature gauge not moving...It means that your temperature sending unit may be faulty (or it's not plugged in). Dexcool is known to clog up the internals including the temperature sensor in cars of your age. Inspect the connector to the temp gauge for damage and replace the temp gauge.
A replacement temp sensor is about $15 at any auto parts store.
use a termo laser to check temp of coolant at filler cap ,with cap off run vehicle till you have hot heat coming out of your heater then check with laser. if it reads above 140 then you know 2 things . either the therm sensor is going bad or the temp gauge is bad , make sure the radiator fans come on ,if they do and you have good heat then you have bad gauge.
My name is Steve. I can tell you that the barometric pressure sensor can, in no way, effect the temperature gauge operation. The gauge gets a signal from the engine computer which, in turn, gets a reading from the coolant temperature sensor. Your first step should be to have the check engine light diagnosed properly...starting with checking for codes. You likely have a code(s) relating to engine temperature or the temperature sensor circuit. Most common problems are erratic sensor operation and corrosion or oil contamination in the coolant temperature sensor connector. You will be time and money ahead by having a professional diagnose the problem correctly before deciding to buy any parts.
I would suspect either the temp guage or the coolant temperature sensor being inaccurate. The new thermostat is probably working good, or else you wouldn't have a very warm heater. If you have electric radiator fans, you might check to see if they are running all th time. Electric cooling fans should only come on when the temperature sensor reaches a predetermined coolant temp, or when the a/c or defroster is turned on. If the fan runs all the time, the engine would not reach normal operating temperature.
The first step is to determine whether the engine is actually running cold or if the engine computer just "thinks" it is. Your temperature gauge is controlled by the engine computer. I use an infrared thermometer directed at the base of the Engine Coolant Temp (ECT) sensor while watching the ECT sensor data on the computer to see if they match. This should be done before replacing ANY parts. You need to make sure that the ECT is not "lying" to your engine computer. Your vehicle is also equipped with a Cylinder Head Temperature (CHT) sensor to measure the the temperature at the cylinder head. (The ECT is located in the intake manifold.) These should read within 5 or 6 degrees from each other at all times. If it is determined that the sensors are all functioning properly, and the engine actually is running cold, then I would recommend getting a thermostat from the dealer. (I have had a few problems with aftermarket thermostats.)
If the temp gauge is reading normal, the lights are flashing, and the coolant level is full, the level sensor in the coolant bottle is the problem. I'm a service consultant for a Saturn dealer and I've run across this many times.
Good chance it is temp sensor, but have the codes scanned and that will tell you for sure. Another sensor I have run across could be oxygen sensor, sometimes they will make the vehicle run bad and sometimes they dont but in either case is does affect fuel mileage. Dont think either way you need to avoid driving your car unless maybe temp sensor showed overheating problem. But dont wait too long to get code scanned.