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Old 02-19-2010, 02:18 AM
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Default Temp light comes on but not overheating

I have a 2000 VW Beetle and the temp gauge recently started coming on, flashing red and beeping, but it is not overheating. Sometimes it comes on right after I start my car, and sometimes after I have been driving it for 10 min or so. I took it to the shop and they flushed out the whole cooling system and said that everything was fine; no leaks or anything and fans running properly. They simply said they didn't know the problem and I should take it to the dealer. Does anyone know what the problem might be? I don't want to be stuck with a huge bill from the vw dealership... help!
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:28 AM
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1st: did you check your coolant level?
2nd: if your coolant levels are fine, you likely have a bad coolant temperature sensor. Cheap and easy to fix.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:29 AM
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I think it means your coolant level is low. Or, if the coolant level is NOT low, the sensor erroneously thinks it is too low.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:08 AM
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Oh, and for the record when you add coolant, only add pink to pink OR green to green. Do not mix!! If its pink, go to your dealer and ask for G12 Coolant. If its green, add any generic green and have it flushed and changed to G12 when you have your timing belt and water pump changed
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkperez View Post
I have a 2000 VW Beetle and the temp gauge recently started coming on, flashing red and beeping, but it is not overheating. Sometimes it comes on right after I start my car, and sometimes after I have been driving it for 10 min or so. I took it to the shop and they flushed out the whole cooling system and said that everything was fine; no leaks or anything and fans running properly. They simply said they didn't know the problem and I should take it to the dealer. Does anyone know what the problem might be? I don't want to be stuck with a huge bill from the vw dealership... help!
Your coolant is most likely low so top it up and if the problem continues replace your coolant level sensor...cheap and easy....
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:39 AM
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I had this problem - and it turned out it was an early warning sign of a water pump failure.. one of the plastic pieces had broken off inside and the WP was pumping but just not enough. The car actually WAS overheating outside the limits of the sensor, although just not to the point of boiling. Might want to check that after the temp sensor!
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:46 PM
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Default coolant sensor

I want to ask : can the sensor cause these symptoms alone, becwuse I changed the coolant flang which was leaking but not the sensor and nowni have all these same problems flashinh red light bubbling reserve tank not blowing top hose hot water moving ect... so can that sensor be the cause because I didn't change it.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timdee View Post
I want to ask : can the sensor cause these symptoms alone, becwuse I changed the coolant flang which was leaking but not the sensor and nowni have all these same problems flashinh red light bubbling reserve tank not blowing top hose hot water moving ect... so can that sensor be the cause because I didn't change it.
The flashing red light indicates low coolant level in the reserve tank. There is a float sensor built into the tank. When my temperature sensor failed the symptom was intermittent steady blue light even when the engine was warm. The original sensors are a known common failure item.

Let me see if I understand your current symptoms. You had a coolant leak at the coolant flange above the transmission. Did you have any other cooling system problems prior to replacing the flange?
Currently you have the flashing red light. How is the coolant level when the engine is off? Is it close to the center of the reserve tank?
Is there also bubbling in the reserve tank when the engine is running? Under what conditions?
Does your heater work normally?
Have you ever experienced any engine overheating?

Oh, and please confirm the model year, mileage and engine type you have.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:21 PM
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Also, since it's a 2000, I'm surprised that no one has asked:

Has the timing belt, tensioner, and water pump ever been replaced? If so, how long ago was that done (years and mileage)?
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timdee View Post
I want to ask : can the sensor cause these symptoms alone, becwuse I changed the coolant flang which was leaking but not the sensor and nowni have all these same problems flashinh red light bubbling reserve tank not blowing top hose hot water moving ect... so can that sensor be the cause because I didn't change it.
The above is a bit run on, hard to follow.

Bubbling in the reservoir??

I say either a failed water pump and/or possible head gasket issue.

I would start with the water pump hypothesis as it is cheaper and easier to address, BUT before I tore into the engine, find a scan tool that can read real time data and find out what the coolant temp is running. 205F/96C is the expected temp at idle in usually below 70F outside temps.

If you think the water pump may be an issue, I would pull the thermostat and inspect the back of the water pump to see if it is broken and/or if the vanes spin on the shaft.

You really should replace the thermostat anyway if you change the water pump/timing belt and/or have to pull the head.

Check the engine temp as it will give you an idea of the next move. Below 210 and bubbles, this is not good, may mean a head gasket, above 215-220 at idle, your fans should be on and you likely have a bad water pump?
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:59 PM
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Exclamation I have a very similar problem!!

I have a 2004 VW Beetle with 66000 miles on it. The red temperature light comes on when I first start the car then goes off after a couple minutes. Few minutes later, it comes on again, flashes for couple minutes then goes off again. It is 32 degrees outside and this only happens when I first start to drive the car. I recently had code P2181 and had the engine thermostat and temperature sensor replaced. This problem started almost immediately after that work was done. The coolant level is right at (or just below the MAX) level. Any ideas/suggestions? Thanks!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:25 PM
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Flashing red with a cold engine means that the coolant level sensor is detecting a low level. Look at the expansion tank while the light is flashing and confirm that the level is indeed OK. If so, the sensor in the expansion tank could the problem.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:14 PM
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I found it hard to see the level lines on the expansion tank, so I took a black permanent marker and made them more visible. This helps a lot when checking the fluid levels while filling up the car with gas (a good habit to get into with any car, so you have a better chance of noticing problems before they damage the engine).
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