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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was driving our 2003 1.8T this morning when all of a sudden the checdk engine light came on.

I stopped and had the code pulled and it was P2181 cooling system performance.

I tried looking up what this meant and I found its one of 3 things.

1-Engine running too cool
2-Heater output not working
3-bad connection

Im kinda at a loss right now because I have never ran into something like this before. If its too cold then thats easy I just need to replace the thermostat. But how would I know? The cold indicator turns off.

Any help or input is appreciated.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I reset the light and nothing has triggered it again.

I believe it was because the temp change and not allowing full and proper warm up.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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629 Posts
Until you plug in a scanner and actually monitor the operating temperature, you are simply guessing. Warm operating temp for your 1.8T should be around 195-205F. It is VERY common for these cars to have a failed stat, and that allows operating temps in the 160F or under range. It is also common for the temp sender to be defective, producing incorrect readings to the gauge or the computer.
 
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