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Auto diagnostic code p2181

Code p2181 came up, check engine light came on, running hot, fan does not work unless air conditioner is on, whats wrong with it?

Posted by Anonymous on


6 Suggested Answers

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 69 Answers

SOURCE: 1995 Cherokee Country engine getting hot

Sounds as though you may have an air pocket trapped in the engine block. Try this - after the engine is cooled down take the radiator cap off and jack the front end of the jeep up in the air and support with jack stands. Allow the vehicle to sit like this over night and when you come out in the morning inspect the fluid level and fill as necessary to proper level. You may have to do this twice to get all of the air pocket out of the system. There are other ways but this is the easiest to do without causing allot of frustration. Hope this helps.


Posted on Apr 06, 2009

  • 232 Answers

SOURCE: 94 jeep cherokee: check engine light code 35

No its not true,the cooling fan comes on when the coolant temp reaches a certain point it closes the switch in the temp sensor wich in turn closes the relay and powers the cooling fan,the reason it comes on with the A/C is that it's wired to bypass the temp sensor and associated relay because the A/C compressor forces the motor to work harder and the coolant temp to rise significantly faster,the relay needs to be replaced or you will overheat the motor and possibly cause serious damage.

Posted on May 30, 2009

  • 6982 Answers

SOURCE: coolant fan not turning and air conditioner blows out hot air.

Re-check the relay to make sure it's still good, then check the fan by hot wiring it to the battery. Also check the temp sensor on the engine. If the check light is on, don't drive it 'till you find out why or you can damage the engine.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009

  • 986 Answers


you need to replace your blower resister,it is located at your blower box and will have 4 or 5 wires going to it

Posted on Dec 01, 2009

  • 17 Answers

SOURCE: cooling fan not working

This is a thermo fan and is temperature controlled it will only start up when the vehicle gets hot. Take the vehicle for a drive and when the thermostat opens up and the temp guage on your dash gets up half way that is when the fan should start aprox.. get out of your car and leave running and check to see if its working..

If not check all wires going to plug at the fan,
although the aircon one should come on when the aircon is switched on. If you have a bit of electrical wire handy you could make 2 lengths atach to the neg and pos of battery disconnect the fan plug and attach the other ends of the wire it doesn't matter about polarity as it will just run backwards, if the fan runs then there will be a problem with the sensor or wires see an auto elec,, ******Keep hands clear of fan when ever key is in the ignition as it can start at any time******

Posted on Jun 21, 2010

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I have a 2004 Sedona. A/C quit working and the temp gauge is all the way to hot. What's wrong?

Is the engine really running that hot ? If the coolant sensor fails, the computer will kill the ac to try to prevent the engine from running hot.
The radiator fan could also be the problem.

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The radiator fans stopped working on my 1993 colt vista. what is the problem?

Unless you are in a very hot climate, with no air con working the radiator fan does not normally come on.

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Have a 04 golf 2.0 with a CEL on; code: P2181. Engine doesn't run hot, plenty of fluids, suspect either a temp sensor or a thermostat. Is it safe to drive if it runs well otherwise?

P2181 - Performance Malfunction in Cooling System
Possible Solutions
* Check Engine Coolant Temperature Sender (G62)
* Check Coolant Thermostat
* Check Engine Cooling System
o Put the key on, fan speed on 1, and push the a/c switch. Are both fans kicking on? If not, you found the problem.
o Put the key on and fan speed on 1. Does heat come out readily from the vents?
+ No. Probably the water pump is gone.
+ Yes. Probably the thermostat is gone. good- luck!!

Aug 01, 2010 | 2004 Volkswagen Golf

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What does the diagnostic code P2181 mean on a Subaru Impreza WRX?

this is a coolant performance code. Usuallly sets this code if the connector was left unhooked to the coolant sensor or the thremostat is stuck open. By any chance do you have a gauge that seems to be on the cold side ??

Nov 30, 2009 | 2002 Subaru Impreza

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The car runs hot when the air conditoner is not running. fans do not come on unless the air conditioner is on

You will need to check the coolant fan switch located on the engine most likely at or near the thermostat housing. It is solely for the computer to monitor engine temps and to either operate the fan it self or to inform the computer that the engine needs to be cooled down thereby turning on the fan by means of commanding a relay. The A/C is able to independantly operate the fans based on refrigerant pressures.

Aug 14, 2009 | 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix

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1998 Pontiac Grand Prix fans only work when air conditioner is on

The fan clutch is probably worn out. With the engine warmed up but NOT RUNNING...see if you can sin the fan. Grab a blade and try to spin it.
If it freewheels, it's shot. Should be a slight resistance.....
Replace if nec.

Aug 14, 2009 | 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix

1 Answer

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

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).

Oct 15, 2008 | 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

2 Answers


If the fuse is blowing there is too much resistance in the cooling fan moter. Replace JUST the cooling fan motor and the fuse. The A/C always turns the cooling fan ON when turned on. That is why the A/C messes up when the fan motor is bad. Replace the fan motor and the A/C problem will be fixed too. :)

Aug 07, 2008 | 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier

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