Question about 1996 Volkswagen Jetta
If your temp seems to come down when idle or at a stop, it is most likely the water pump.
VW has a known problem with the water pumps breaking. The plastic impeller on the water pump fails cracks.
Do not let your car overheat to the red line, once it beeps, turn it off. Other wise it can damage your engine. In fact watch the temp gauge, as you drive when it gets near the red line turn it off.
Turning your Heater on full will help to cool your engine.
My water pump made it to 84000 miles. I have a 2003 Jetta 1.8T Wolfsburg
At which time my timing belt, thermostat and water pump was all replaced. This saves on labor.
The water pump is driven off the timing belt. So while they are in there get that done.
Your owner’s manual has a Maintenance schedule list, your timing belt should be replaced at something like 60000 miles or so, I am not exactly sure of service schedule as I do not have it in front of me. If your getting your timing belt done, get your water pump replaced to. It will fail eventually.
As for over heating?
When is it over heating?
If you read the Owners manual it clearly states in there these cars run hot, do not let it idle for a long period of time. In the middle of summer in Fl, while sitting idle for long periods of time in traffic with the air conditioning on, my car will over heat a bit. This is normal.
Most people like to start their cars and let them warm up, this car you don’t let it warm up, and again the owner’s manual has this in it.
As for coolant, do not use water or green anti freeze, use G12 (it is red, pinkish) which you can find at Napa, or a Mercedes, VW dealership, in a pinch to top off the coolant you can use Dex Cool, not ideal but it works as G12 is not easily found at wal mart or AutoZone type places, I couldn’t find it there? The people at AutoZone told me Dex Cool is the same as G12, my mechanic says it is not the same. Close but not the same. It will do to top off the coolant.
Posted on Dec 22, 2008
First thing to do. make sure that you are only running G12 coolant. Being that vw's run kind of hot they need a special coolant. They sell it in a mix or pre mixed. Running just regular coolant will last for a while but it will be used up much quicker.
Also check to make sure the fans kick on. Some jettas have problems with them depending on the year
With my 1998 some of the coolant lines were slightly cracked because of the way they were bent. Try checking all your coolant lines.
Posted on Nov 19, 2008
Try adding some water and coolant first and see what happens
Posted on Sep 25, 2008
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