Question about 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Overheating problem my 2000 VW Beetle 2.0 engine is overheating. changed thermostat. Water is not pumped from reservoir but after car sits reservoir empties but not on ground so its going into engine. Changing water pump is next. What else could this be? temp light blinks and beeps hot. Sat overnight at work and when leaving, started car and temp light registed red immediatly. 8 hours it Sat. after changing thermostat light went out but after driving short distance light came back on. checked under hood and water in reservoir was boiling. The temp light has only came on two other times. That was when I had turned my air conditioner on this summer. After turning air conditioner off the light went off shortly after. I had no other problems untill car over heated on the way to work. Changed thermostat and looked at hoses and radiator but found no leaks by sight. after driving car 70 miles on the highway going uphill the car overheated: not in the red zone! but close! towed it back to home! now.... coolant slowly steams/ boils away in the coolant reservoir while driving around town or on the highway, it takes a while 30 to 40 mins. then the red chiming light comes on, telling me i need more coolant. i open the hood and you can smell coolant evaporating from the reservoir, usually about a liter gone? i dont want the car to over heat so i drive her home, i scared to take her on the road very far outta town, but i need to drive it to TX soon from AZ and back? not sure what to do next? what i have done 1st changed timing belt and water pump w/ metal impellar, 2nd changed out the themostat checked both new and old in boiling water both good!, 3rd checked fans both fans come on when the the car gets over the mid way 90, both fans run when the A/C is on? 4th checked hoses no cracks and both top and bottom hoses get hot! 5th replaced the temp sensor, 6th replaced the cap, I DONT KNOW WHAT TO NO NEXT? i think the car will over heat quickly if i the coolant boil and steam out?

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  • halesya Apr 23, 2009

    i should have mentioned that i have been checking my oil, to see if there was signs of coolant or h2o but there is not! its still blk and at the same level., no foam, froth, or brown in color!

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Looks like you have done everything but the problem with your car is that the cylider head gasket has gone have a look at the dipstick or remove the oil filler cap if it looks like mayo then 100% head gasket has failed you said no water on the floor so it must have gone into engine only way this can happen is head gasket failing, if you have put lot of water in to the cooling system then your sump will be full of oil water mix.

let us know your findings so we can help you more if you need it

Posted on Apr 22, 2009

  • ron93 May 04, 2009

    Hi again have you sorted it yet if not only other thing it may be is the heater matrix is leaking you may find the carpets inside the car wet or damp if you have sorted the problem please let us knoe as it may help someone else,

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Water pump its time for a timing belt change it comes in package!!!!!!

Posted on Apr 08, 2010

  • johhnyka Apr 08, 2010

    water pump impeller had been broken!!

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Location of thermostat and replacement

Finding the thermostat is easy. Just follow the top radiator hose back to the engine.
The question I have is how to get to the bottom screw of the thermostat housing.

Any Sugustions anyone?

Posted on Aug 08, 2008

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1 Answer

Where is the the thermostat on a 2.0 , 2000 vw beetle ? Thank you


First time you might check the thermostat operating.

Heed of antifreeze coolant temperature!!!


The thermostat location for 2000 VW Beetle 2.0L is on back of the alternator at the bottom side of the bracket.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is NOT necessary to replace the alternator if you want to change the thermostat !!!

Thermostat checking:
1. Cold engine. Start up the engine and watch of the water temp indicator. After first value 60 Celsius Degree you still warm up the engine until the lifter (pointer) reach 80 C deg. (second mark after 60 C deg.). At this time you let engine running at idle speed and check with your hand the thermostat plastic housing and hose temperature in bottom left side of the engine. Heed of alternator driving belt and ventilator fan !!!
2. If the thermostat is good the hose must be cold until the water temp indicator reach almost 90 C deg.
3. The thermostat opening temperature is 87 C deg.
4. If the hose is already warm the thermostat is out of order.

Thermostat location, Part number: 050 121 113 C, in german - "Kuehlregle".

Remark: 87 ... 102 Celsius deg.
Price around $35:

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Important note: Always replace the thermostat seal, position 7 in the above picture.

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Could be brake fluid, so look at the brake fluid resevoir.
Could also be water from the evaporator, from the air conditioner.
Is it oily to the touch?

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that will the next thing.
make sure the water is restricted at any point, from the lower hose to the engine back to the upper hose and back to the radiator.
the best way to check that out is to flash the radiator. you can see the water change color and feel the engine temperture.

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ok, its time for a radiator flush. there is major sludge in the internals of this radiator. Make sure the thermostat is in the correct position as well. I've seen many cars come into my shop with the thermostat inserted backwards.

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water pump. water pump. water pump. i am a vw dealer tech and on 2.0 and 1.8t beetles the water pump impeller is plastic, and what happens is usually another component, fans, fan control module (under battery tray), thermostat, fails and because the impeller is plastic with just one overheat the plastic becomes brittle and shatters, pull the water pump out and you will see the impeller in 3 or 4 pieces. replace water pump and make sure t stat opens, fans come on (a/c off) and proper water pump flow.

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