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Discussion Starter #1
OK I was curious if anyone blocks the lower valance in the winter time to help both heat up and possible mileage. And if you have blocked it to help the car heat up, how did you do it, it isn't like we have a ton of room up there.

thanks for any input
 

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Go Blue!
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I will not be blocking the lower valance.
A good option to help the engine warm up faster in the winter is to hook up an oil pan heater or engine block heater (I think they even make ones for the battery and possibly even for the coolant??).

I haven't purchased one yet, I will wait to see how the TDI does this winter and if I'm having issues starting or it is taking a while for the engine to heat up then I'll get one.
 

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Worry less, drive more
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I've never tried to "help" my car start because it's never had a problem, even sitting outside in -20F. It did take awhile to warm up though! If your battery is strong you should be fine.
 

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I will not be blocking the lower valance.
A good option to help the engine warm up faster in the winter is to hook up an oil pan heater or engine block heater (I think they even make ones for the battery and possibly even for the coolant??).

I haven't purchased one yet, I will wait to see how the TDI does this winter and if I'm having issues starting or it is taking a while for the engine to heat up then I'll get one.
I have a battery warming blanket around the battery, an oil pan heater, and I tried to install a coolant heater recently to get even more warmth into the system. That last part was overkill surely. Unfortunately as I've found in other places my 98 with the strange AGR engine doesn't always have things in the same place. So the place where the instructions for the heater say to put the unit has a power steering line and the radiator fan housing (which appears to be larger than in later models). I know I'll be OK with just the oil pan heater so not a big deal.

FYI if your TDI Beetle is in good running condition with a strong battery you can start it from cold with no warmer at all from about -25 Celsius. Below that as long as the battery hasn't frozen solid you can usually get it to go down to about -30 if you leave it unplugged over night (10 hours).

-40 weather is completely out, even in just a few hours at -40 it can become very hard to start. Even with a strong battery, oil pan warmer, and battery blanket that cold of temperature outside is a hard start. You will stink of black diesel smoke the rest of the day.

I've never blocked my front valiance but I was thinking about trying it this winter to see how much of a difference in terms of heating the engine enough to bring hot air into the cabin. At those -40 temperatures it takes close to 30 minutes to warm the cabin enough to be comfortable. Then you start having to turn the heat down because once it gets hot the TDI stays hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why would you do that?

Your car will have been tested to extremes before it went into production.
yes it has, however the tdi runs much better at warmer temps. Just thinking about it right now but was curious if anyone had tried it yet.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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Blocking the grille is very popular with the members on the TDI Club forum. I plan to do it with my newly acquired 2000 Jetta TDI.
 

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Bug Less
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yes it has, however the tdi runs much better at warmer temps. Just thinking about it right now but was curious if anyone had tried it yet.
makes sense on a Tdi, heck semi drivers even school buses have rad covers on in the winter
 

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slow car fast
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Yes, blocking is popular at tdiclub, lostjeeps CRD, and with over the road truckers.

I'm looking for the pipe insulation instructions and possibly pics of some on the NB. Anybody got a link??? I'm starting with 1/2 in pipe insulation to find out how it fits if I don't hear otherwise.
I'd ask at tdiclub, but they seem unaware the TDI NB exists.
Found it.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/index.php
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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Get an OBDII scan tool that can read Live/Real Time data and make sure the thermostat is good. More often that not the problem is with a soft thermostat.

If the thermostat is doing its job, it will hold the minimum temperature for the engine except in VERY extreme situations.

Read this http://newbeetle.org/forums/1-9-liter-tdi/71481-heat-not-hot-inside-car.html and see the 2 links below in my signature.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
its not the thermostat. If you go over to tdiclub and even myself included you can find that below 20deg F i have seen before that if i stop somewhere for an extended period of time while idling the engine will cool to the point of actually turning the heat cool. These engines were meant to run warm there is absolutely nothing wrong if you are in a northern climate blocking the radiator.
 

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I hear what you are saying, BUT, I find all the time the OBVIOUS is overlooked, especially when it comes to VAG cars. Just look at all the hype and Koolaid driking of the faulty temperature senors and how EVEYONE was brainwashed into replacing the temperature sensors and never addressing the thermostat.

VW's ECU algorithm for a faulty thermostat is a MILE wide.

My car, 1.8t, did not trigger a cooling system performance DTC until the engine temps were running at 167F, almost 40F lower than the expected temperature operation point of the engine!!!

So save all your forum speak and ideas, just check and monitor the engine temperature. Bet you will find a problem and it may be as simple as changing the thermostat.

Again, I do not have a VW Diesel, but I have spoken to friends that have other Diesel's and they do not have these types of problems.

Until someone can show me temperature graphs from at least half a dozen 1.9 Diesels, I call BS on all the no heat cases.

Again, the thermostat is designed to keep the engine at a minimum temperature, if the temps drop when stopped, blocking the radiator has no effect unless you are in the Arctic with constant 50+ MPH winds blowing.

Might be more of a water circulation problem than an engine temperature problem, if this was the case, assuming it is a design issue, I would be installing a 1.8t electric water circulation pump in the heater water path.

How about posting a graph of the engine coolant temperature including engine RPM and vehicle speed?

Something like this, I think the good and bad thermostat is pretty obvious.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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I'll +1 that. Wife's 01 NB 1.8T had a stat soft fail. Coolant temps were 150F. My new 2000 Jetta TDI puts out great heat. When monitoring coolant temps, the hottest it ever gets is 165F! Time for a stat.
 

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It kind of cracks me up that the simplest thing to check on anything is the temperature, whether it be outside, in the house, refrigerator, oven, your own body or even the car/truck engine.

With the proper tool(s), a temperature check is very simple, easy and accurate. If you show up to the Hospital Emergency Room or the local Immediate Care, the very first thing they do is take your body temperature.

Temperature can indicate a lot of things and quickly rule in or out potential problems.

And it just amazes me how everyone seems to convince themselves the engine temperature/thermostat is fine without every checking the engine temperature. Just see ALL the posts on VAG forums about ONLY changing the coolant sensors when a trouble code for engine temperature pops up. Not addressing the root cause of the problem. I fell victim to this foolishness and it almost cost me an engine in my 1.8t.

VW 1.8t oil pick up screen.jpg

Freeze Frame Data for when the 1.8t finally triggered a DTC

DTC for which Freeze Frame was Stored P2181
Fuel System 1 Status Closed Loop
Fuel System 2 Status Not Supported
Calculated LOAD Value 60.00 %
Engine Coolant Temp 167.00 °F
Short Term Fuel Trim - Bank 1 1.56 %
Long Term Fuel Trim - Bank 1 -1.56 %
Engine RPM 2,000.00 rpm
Vehicle Speed Sensor 52.82 mph

My unscientific data that I have been gathering over the past few years indicates that probably over 30% of the cars and trunks on the road have soft thermostats and the engines are running too cool. This in turns increases emissions, fuel consumption, crankcase contamination and will reduce engine performance and possibly accelerate engine wear.

Do your car a favor, check the temperature often and know where the benchmark temperature operates. Do not get fooled and think the thermostat is good then find out in the middle of the Winter that you have a bad thermostat. Keep a close eye on the engine temperature when the weather starts to cool off and/or use a garden hose to super cool the radiator and see if the engine temp is maintained or if it drops.

Nothing worse than having a bad thermostat in the middle of Winter and trying to change it when the weather is close to freezing and you are dealing with antifreeze on your tools and hands.
 

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Go Blue!
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My TDI engine consistently runs between 190F and 195F (mostly at 190F), I monitor it with a ScanGuage. I rarely ever see it get up to 200F

A few months back, when it was still summer, the blue temp light would flash for a while and then switch to staying on, all the while the temp readings were at or around 190F. The TDI guru that looks after my car changed out the ECU sensor and I have had no blue light 'issues' since then.

Would it be advisable for me to change the thermostat or are things running normal with my engine with it's main operating temp of 190F?
Thanks!!
 

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My TDI engine consistently runs between 190F and 195F (mostly at 190F), I monitor it with a ScanGuage. I rarely ever see it get up to 200F

A few months back, when it was still summer, the blue temp light would flash for a while and then switch to staying on, all the while the temp readings were at or around 190F. The TDI guru that looks after my car changed out the ECU sensor and I have had no blue light 'issues' since then.
I would be surprised that the Diesels would run 190-195F, but the only way to confirm is to get a group of Diesel owners to monitor and post their engine coolant temps. Here is where EVERYONE gets derailed, if you check the thermostat operating temperature, this is not the engine operation temperature.

It has to do where the engine coolant temperature sensor is located that determines how much higher than the thermostat operating temperature the the engine temperature will display. So for example, most engine temperature senors are located in the coolant path as it leave the cylinder head and heads back to the radiator. So on average, most cars and trucks will have a nominal displayed engine operating temperature of between 10-20F higher than the thermostat rate temperature.

So looking at the Stant application guide, it appears that the 1.9 Beetle Diesel thermostat is either a 190F or 195F thermostat. Given where the temperature sensor is located in the coolant path, I would expect the nominal/normal 1.9 Diesel temperature to be 200-205F, just like about 90%+ of most cars and trucks over the past 15+ years.

Very few exceptions to this rule of thumb and it mostly has to do with cars/trucks with the coolant sensor located directly on the thermostat housing and/or running a much cooler thermostat. I have a car that runs a 79C thermostat with the sensor mounted directly on top of the thermostat housing. In this car, the thermostat spring gets weak and drops just 5C and the engine runs crazy rich, performs very poorly and the fuel economy goes down the toilet. Give this VERY narrow window for a weak thermostat, I have to replace this thermostat no more than every 2 years.

Thermostat springs are JUNK and thermostat rarely last more than 3-4 years.

As for the coolant sensor causing the blue light to come on, this is the case, but again, I bet your car needs a thermostat based on the figures you are quoting.
 

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Go Blue!
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I would be surprised that the Diesels would run 190-195F, but the only way to confirm is to get a group of Diesel owners to monitor and post their engine coolant temps. Here is where EVERYONE gets derailed, if you check the thermostat operating temperature, this is not the engine operation temperature.

It has to do where the engine coolant temperature sensor is located that determines how much higher than the thermostat operating temperature the the engine temperature will display. So for example, most engine temperature senors are located in the coolant path as it leave the cylinder head and heads back to the radiator. So on average, most cars and trucks will have a nominal displayed engine operating temperature of between 10-20F higher than the thermostat rate temperature.

So looking at the Stant application guide, it appears that the 1.9 Beetle Diesel thermostat is either a 190F or 195F thermostat. Given where the temperature sensor is located in the coolant path, I would expect the nominal/normal 1.9 Diesel temperature to be 200-205F, just like about 90%+ of most cars and trucks over the past 15+ years.

Very few exceptions to this rule of thumb and it mostly has to do with cars/trucks with the coolant sensor located directly on the thermostat housing and/or running a much cooler thermostat. I have a car that runs a 79C thermostat with the sensor mounted directly on top of the thermostat housing. In this car, the thermostat spring gets weak and drops just 5C and the engine runs crazy rich, performs very poorly and the fuel economy goes down the toilet. Give this VERY narrow window for a weak thermostat, I have to replace this thermostat no more than every 2 years.

Thermostat springs are JUNK and thermostat rarely last more than 3-4 years.

As for the coolant sensor causing the blue light to come on, this is the case, but again, I bet your car needs a thermostat based on the figures you are quoting.
Thank you so much jfol for such valuable information!

I will add a new thermostat to the repair list :). My current fuel economy is good, averaging 47mph per tank and driving normally (not eco driving style).
 

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Thank you so much jfol for such valuable information!

I will add a new thermostat to the repair list :). My current fuel economy is good, averaging 47mph per tank and driving normally (not eco driving style).
Not sure the Diesel fuel economy will suffer as quick as the gasoline engine because the gasoline engines?

Although you have Scan Gauge which is a good thing, it cannot record and graph data. For $35 or less a smart phone with an App and OBD interface is all that is needed to be able to graph and record data.

The 2 graphs I attached earlier were from smart phone apps.

As you can see there is no disputing if the temp takes a dive when cruising or rises when stopped.

You can see FAR more in detail with the graphs.

The silly thing is these thermostats are only around $10-$15 but nobody wants to deal with them due to all the coolant (I do not blame them) but address the issue before it gets too cold outside, the indicators are there, you just need to be able to understand the clues and act.

Good luck, I hope some of the Diesel crowd can start reporting in their engine temps and include where they are physically located and what the ambient temps were when they reported their temps.

I usually find warm idle is the most consistent, have seen funny things happen even with good thermostats while cruising on the highway with and without the heat running and outside temps below 70F.

Stay warm!
 

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I'll look into a smart phone app and try to figure out the graphs. I find all the information that you have posted confusing, but that is only because I know next to nothing about it.. your information is excellent and you explain things very well (I'm the problem here lol).

I do find this very interesting though and am keen to understand and learn more. Most importantly, I do want my car to be taken care of and running at it's best. I know how the seemingly 'small' things can have a huge impact on the larger things and lead to many misdiagnosed issues.

For the interim I will take note of outside temps etc. All I know at this point is that my main engine temp is 190F no matter what the outside temp is, it fluctuates very little. Only difference with colder outside is that it takes a few extra minutes to warm up. I have no issues with cabin temp, in fact the hot air is too hot at times, I prefer to have the car interior cool when driving... keeps me awake and alert :)
 
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