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Chihuahua Whisperer
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Discussion Starter #1
My CEL came on the other night driving on the freeway in the snow. This was the first time I have driven in snow and wonder if the cold wetness and the higher speed could have triggered this?

Had AutoZone check and got a 2181 code, indicating a coolant issue. Research tells me to change the coolant temp sensor first. My question is how long is safe to drive this way? I will be visiting my parents in a couple of weeks for Christmas and I think I can get my dad to replace the coolant temp sensor for me. The bad part is that's a 2 and half hour drive. Am I ok to make the trip?

I'm at my wits end with this car. Only had it since August and have already replaced the valve body ($1700), the brake light switch, and tailight bulbs. :soapbox:
 

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5/23/10 <3
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10,918 Posts
You should be fine. I'd get it changed when you can. Have you noticed any coolant leaks or anything?
 

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Sorry to hear about your problems, just some information incase you didn't know;

The older black temperature sensors were known to be faulty and have been replaced with a newer green sensor, they are easy to change and cost about $20.00 I would buy a new retaining clip with it also as they can break some times. Small chance that it could be your thermostat also?

The brake light switch could have been covered by a recall as I know some years were.
Did you have the repair work done at a dealer or a independent shop?
You can check for recall status by going to this link and entering in your VIN number
Recalls/Campaigns < Protection < Service, Parts, and Accessories < Owners < Volkswagen of America

Do you know the status of your timing belt and water pump?
How many miles are on your car and do you have any documentation of them being changed? If not I would look into getting them changed ASAP, if the belt breaks while the motor is running you will have a major repair bill.


18613/P2181/008577 - Performance Malfunction in Cooling System

Possible Solutions
Check Engine Coolant Temperature Sender (G62)
Check Coolant Thermostat
Check Engine Cooling System
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.
Put the key on and fan speed on 1 with temperature set to hot. Does heat come out readily from the vents?
No. Probably the water pump is gone.
Yes. Probably the thermostat is gone.
Special Notes
Check the stored Freeze Frame data with this fault code. Freeze Frame information will be found in the fault code description (if the module supports it) or in Generic OBD-II if the vehicle complies with those regulations.
Freeze Frame data stored at -40*C is generally an indication of a faulty ECT or wiring.
Freeze Frame data stored at +140*C is generally an indication of a faulty ECT or wiring.
Freeze Frame data stored with in the 68*C ~ 80*C range is an indication that the vehicle was close to, but not within, the cooling systems normal operation range. The Thermostat itself or Cooling system components may be at fault.
 

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Chihuahua Whisperer
Joined
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Sorry to hear about your problems, just some information incase you didn't know;

The older black temperature sensors were known to be faulty and have been replaced with a newer green sensor, they are easy to change and cost about $20.00 I would buy a new retaining clip with it also as they can break some times. Small chance that it could be your thermostat also?

The brake light switch could have been covered by a recall as I know some years were.
Did you have the repair work done at a dealer or a independent shop?
You can check for recall status by going to this link and entering in your VIN number
Recalls/Campaigns < Protection < Service, Parts, and Accessories < Owners < Volkswagen of America

Do you know the status of your timing belt and water pump?
How many miles are on your car and do you have any documentation of them being changed? If not I would look into getting them changed ASAP, if the belt breaks while the motor is running you will have a major repair bill.


18613/P2181/008577 - Performance Malfunction in Cooling System

Possible Solutions
Check Engine Coolant Temperature Sender (G62)
Check Coolant Thermostat
Check Engine Cooling System
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.
Put the key on and fan speed on 1 with temperature set to hot. Does heat come out readily from the vents?
No. Probably the water pump is gone.
Yes. Probably the thermostat is gone.
Special Notes
Check the stored Freeze Frame data with this fault code. Freeze Frame information will be found in the fault code description (if the module supports it) or in Generic OBD-II if the vehicle complies with those regulations.
Freeze Frame data stored at -40*C is generally an indication of a faulty ECT or wiring.
Freeze Frame data stored at +140*C is generally an indication of a faulty ECT or wiring.
Freeze Frame data stored with in the 68*C ~ 80*C range is an indication that the vehicle was close to, but not within, the cooling systems normal operation range. The Thermostat itself or Cooling system components may be at fault.
Thanks for the info. I checked with VW right after I bought the car about any recalls. There were none on my car. Also, there was warranty extension on the valve body. I called VW about that one...I was 22 days too late. 22! They wouldn't do a thing for me. The independant shop that fixed it said he has seen many Beetles come in with valve body issues and even those under warranty are nearly impossible to get VW to pay for. One of his customers had to go to court to get VW to pay for it, even though it was completely under warranty!

All VW could do for me was offer me $750 toward the purchase of a new VW. :rolleyes: What a joke! Like I am going to buy ANOTHER car.

The brake light switch...the guy at Auto Zone did that for me. Cost $14.

I don't know if the water pump was replaced recently. My car has 58,000 miles.
 

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Chihuahua Whisperer
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You should be fine. I'd get it changed when you can. Have you noticed any coolant leaks or anything?
No leaks. I check my driveway daily for any fluid leaks (I watch it as I park). The level of my coolant was good, too.
 
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