Question about 2003 Volkswagen Passat

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It has 70,000 miles on it and the check engine

I just bought my daughter a 2003 volkswagon bug, it has 70,000 miles on it, and the check engine light just came on, however it doesn't seem to have a problem, drives the same, no vibration or anything. What should I do on low budget.

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  • deborah_davi Nov 20, 2009

    I had it checked and the codes are P0420, c.converter, and P2181, engine cooling system performance, but it still runs fine.

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  • Master
  • 560 Answers

It sounds like it will be a Lambda, the problem is if ignored you will burn the monolith out of the cat. Bite the bullet buddy and get the codes read.
Let me know the codes and then we'll go from there.
:o)

Posted on Nov 19, 2009

  • Lloyd Deakin
    Lloyd Deakin Nov 21, 2009

    Ok, P0420 is the catalyst threshold fault picked up with an unsteady waveform in the rear lamda. This usually means the catalyst has had it BUT cats never die of there own accord, it is normally due to unburnt fuel in the exhaust.



    You have a low budget so lets try the cheapest part first, the coolant sensor, on a Beetle it will be in the top hose near to the engine, it will have 4 wires going to it and held in with a horse-shoe clip. Easy to replace DiY, then get same place to clear the codes.

    This coolant sensor plays a big part in the correct fuelling, it works like a choke but can cause the car to run rich, this will make the rear lambda unhappy and possibly give P0420, it can also give fault codes relating to coolant issues, you also have a code come up for that so hopefully this switch will be the answer.



    Here in the UK they are less than £10 so I guess about $12 over there.

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  • Volkswagen Master
  • 1,149 Answers

Hi:
You can go to a local autoparts store, and most will scan your codes for free, and tell you what caused the light to come on. Sometimes the light is tripped by a loose or damaged gas cap, but usually it is a sensor of some sort. Anyway, having an idea what caused the light will let you know for free if there is a problem that needs attention.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009

Testimonial: "I took your advice and had the codes checked, they are P0420, c. converter and P2181, engine cooling system performance, input on low cost appreciated"

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