Question about 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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CEL is ON. OBD code P2181. I already replaced the ECT 3 mo ago due to OBD code P0118.

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  • Anonymous Feb 01, 2009

    I have the same problem on my 2003 jetta 1.8T but the fans work when the A/C is running. Should I change the the Coolent Temp sensor first or the thermostat.

  • kellyjean Feb 08, 2009

    I have an 03 Jetta and I have already replaced the coolant sensor and now I have code P2181. What should be my next step?

  • Anonymous Mar 15, 2014

    what is the P2181 dec code for?


1 Answer

P2181 is a overheating engine.  
Can be:
Bad fan themoswitch, temp sensor themostat water pump impeller fan motor or fuse on battery
check to see if fans work by turning on Air Conditioner (fans should run with A/C on). Turn A/C off, warm engine, check to see if fans come on, if they do NOT it may be thermo switch on radiator on lower left side, has 3 wire plug, takes 1-1/8" wrench/socket to remove.  This thermo switch controls fans when temp reaches 195F, if fans do not come on at engine temp 190-195F try  replace switch VW part number: 1J0-959--481-A  You can verify if the switch is bad by shorting wire 1 and 2 (fans should come on when jumpered).

Posted on Oct 26, 2008

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1 Answer

No Not finding what I need for this code

Hi David
P0118 ECT means Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor.
you have to provide details about your vehicle make and model, engine size or engine code in term of helping you locate it.

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1 Answer

How to fix p2181 code

you did not say what car so I will give the obd-2 code reference It refers to cooling system performance===causes---radiator---coolant thermostat---engine coolant blower motor ( fan)ECT sensor.. If you have a heating problem then these causes will be close enough to give you some idea of where to look for the problem

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I have code P0118.wont i may start in just a min,the engine hesitate and going to stop

What does that mean?

The engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor is a thermistor screwed into a coolant passage in the cylinder head. Sensor resistance is high when coolant temperature is low and resistance drops when coolant temperature increases. The powertrain control module (PCM) provides a 5 volt reference and a ground to the sensor. The PCM monitors voltage drop to determine coolant temperature. If the ECT reads less than freezing temp. when engine has been running for more than a few minutes, the PCM determines a circuit fault and sets this code. Or if the PCM determines the sensor resistance is out of specs, this code is set.
Potential Symptoms

Symptoms of a P0118 could include:

  • Very poor fuel economy
  • A no start condition
  • Vehicle may start, but run very poorly, blowing black smoke, running very rough and misfiring
  • Illumination of MIL

A code P0118 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:

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  • A short in the voltage feed between the sensor and the PCM
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1 Answer

Need obd trouble codes & meanings

here r your trouble code meanings:
1) p0123-throttle position sensor circuit, high input.
2)p0117-engine coolant temperature circuit, low input.
3)p0118-engine coolant temperature ciurcuit , high input.

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Ok it seems to me like you may have to do some electrical checks, perhaps some voltage checks/drops in order to find out. For the P0118 you could use your scanner provided it can read live data. Look at the coolant temp snsr (cts or ect) and read its value it should read close to intake air temp snsr (IAT) value. The unplug the sensor value should change drastically and go negative. The jump the Two terminals and temperature should go high. If it does you've you've eliminated the circuit and the sensor it faulty. Make sure you have 5v reference as I said before you may have to voltage drop the circuit to make sure you're not loosing any voltage and that the circuit is intact. Good luck! Here are some links with more info and possible causes.

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1 Answer

I have a 2002 3-litre v6 a4 cab engine management

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A code P0118 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
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  • An open in the ground circuit between the ECT sensor and the PCM
  • A short in the voltage feed between the sensor and the PCM
  • A bad PCM (less likely)
  • A bad temperature sensor (shorted internally)
info taken from

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