Question about 1986 Volkswagen Jetta

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Overheats and won't start

We have an 86 VW Jetta, automatic, 4 dr. sedan with 95k miles. We just had it tuned up with new spark plugs, wires, etc. It runs a bit hot consistently. If you run it for under 15 minutes or so, there are no noticable problems, but if you run it a bit longer, it refuses to re-start for a while. (the length of the while varies but seems to be getting longer) It will not even attempt to turn over. For example, my son took it to work yesterday, and stopped after 25 ;minutes at Walmart to pick something up. It ran about 2 lines below overheating, as it seems to do consistently. When he went out to start it and continue to work, it would not do anything. He waited for a hour, then called me. I went to rescue him and took him to work. I picked him up again 4.5 hrs. later, we went to the car and it started up with no problem. It is full of antifreeze, and runs well, when it runs. We are thinking of changing out the radiator, to attempt to avoid the overheating problem in the first place, but are thinking that there must be a sensor or something that is not allowing it to attempt to start. Any ideas?

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You could change the thermostat and the fan temperature sensor which should be on the radiator. Then top up with a mixture of antifreeze and water pertaining to your location and VW guide lines. If nothing else, this advice will ensure that the thermostat will open and close and that the assuming the radiator fan motor is working, will come on and cool down the radiator.

Regards

Ray

Posted on Nov 30, 2008

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