Question about 1996 Audi A4

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No wiring to be found for coolant temp sensor on '98 2.8 v6 Audi

My gauge cluster shows the water temp maxxed out and the overheating warning light is always on, but the car is not overheating. Found the sensor in the lower radiator hose on the pass side has nothing plugged into it and I cannot find the wire with plug to hook it up anywhere. I've been looking for hours at every inch of the engine bay and there are no unplugged wires hanging anywhere. At this point I have no idea what to do next. Any advice would be great.

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What i would guess it that the person before you had the car, left the plugs off from the sensot, and they melted onto something that got very hot. That would explain why it would read overheating. Check everywhere near the sensor for places it could have melted onto and then either buy a new plug for it, or just soder the wires straight onto the sensor.(Not reccomended )

Posted on Jan 08, 2009

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First, we will check the temp sensor 1. Pull the temp sensor out and let it hang. 2. Boil water -- it will be at 212* at its boiling point but cooling rapidly, so speed is key. Or better yet, if you have a thermometer and vegetable oil and steady hands, heat that up to 250* 3. Take the water or oil to the sensor and pop the sensor in it. Watch the gauge to see if it reads accurately (should show around 200 if you moved quickly with the water, oil will still be ~240ish and will work better, but is more dangerous). If the gauge is off, then we've found the problem. For better measure, if you have a thermometer you can place that next to the temp sensor to compare results.
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the more i think about it, the more a faulty wiring feels like it could be the problem. if the temperature is reading accurately, i'd take a serious look at the flow of coolant through the system. if it isn't heating up then it must not be contacting enough heat. there may be blockage somewhere; crimped hose or maybe just mystery gunk.
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The gauge indication troubles me.

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