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Once again my girlfriend has a 98 vw beetle 2.0. Its overheating badly. So far I know the water pump is bad, hose clamps need to be replaced and probably the coolant flange. But I've also noticed the radiator fans never come on. Is this a simple wiring issue or are they toasted? If so how do I test for these??

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The fans themselves and the fan control module are common issues. See this for how to diagnose:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/questio...3260-summers-coming-here-check-your-fans.html

Another cause can be a plugged return hose that goes from the cylinder head, through the throttle body and on to the coolant bottle. Remove the radiator cap, start the engine and check for flow into the bottle. Without this being open any air that enters the cooling system will get trapped and cause a blockage of the radiator, especially if the coolant pump is weak.
 

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First thing I had to do upon getting my beetle was have the fans replaced. Air conditioner didn't run cold while sitting still upon test driving. The lot had it checked and payed the repair. Turned out it was the sensor, not the fans; but they left the new fans since they already had them in. Seems these are a common issue from what I've read.


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Check the fuse box on top of the battery. There are 3 green 30 amp fuses in there. If the AC isn't working either, I can almost guarantee one of those 30 amps is fried. In my case, it was fried so bad I had to replace the whole fuse box. I got a replacement at Autozone for about $50. This is a common thing apparently, but VW refused to recall it.
 

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fuse box

You can also buy the fuse box that go's on top of the battery on ebay for around 20-30 bucks. When green fuse #180 melts the fans stop working and the engine runs hotter than normal and your A/C system will stop working also because there is a thermal switch and ambient temperature switch inline with the A/C system. Plus those get fed by the coolant fan control module which is also fed from fuse #180. It can get pretty tricky to troubleshoot if you're not familiar with electronics. Good luck man
 

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180 fuse

If its blown what will it appear to be damaged?

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That's the problem it usually doesn't blow just melts the socket. POOR designe by VW to put a fuse right on top of the battery the fuse contacts get real corroted or oxidized and looses continuity and acts like a resistor and gets hot. The 180 fuse feeds the fan control module and also go's directly to the thermal switch mounted on the radiator bottom left, for the fans. good luck and happy troublshooting.
 
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