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Old 05-09-2011, 11:05 PM   #1
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Default Water temp gauge not working

Hello,
Have a 1996 Cabriolet and the water temp gauge is not working. Can I get ideas of where to look for it to function again.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:16 AM   #2
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You have 2 coolant temperature sensors in your vehicle. One sends its signal to the ECU for proper fuel trim. The other one (which is what you need) sends its reading to 2 places. One place is your gauge, the other place is your radiator fan.

Replace it quickly, since failure of one function typically signifies the impending failure of the other.

It is part # W0133-1619933

Any number of suppliers have it. Should be around $40 - $50 if memory serves correctly.

As for where the sensor is located in the vehicle... that's a bit of a challenge. Open your hood, and...

Screw it. I'm on lunch and it's a nice day. I'll go get a couple of pictures. Be right back.
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Last edited by Loudgoldwing; 05-10-2011 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:51 AM   #3
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OK, got 'em.

Start here... Open your hood, and stand on the passenger side leaning inward toward your engine. The sensor you need to replace is DIRECTLY below this arrow, about 6 inches down...

Click the image to open in full size.

It's hard to see, but your looking for a big brass nut. It's about an inch in diameter, and it's actually a plug that screws into a black pipe coming off the back of your engine.

Click the image to open in full size.

If you can do this yourself, you're looking at about $50. Pay somebody else to do it, you're looking at +/- $200.

The actual sensor is held in place by that nut (on my '98, it's all one piece, actually) The sensor you need sticks into that pipe and monitors the water temp. It looks like this:

Click the image to open in full size.
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This image will keep a running total for my gas mileage since installing a
Volo Performance VP-12 ECU Soft-Flash chip. I'm done talking about it.
When gas hits $6/gallon this summer,
I'll be saving $60/month off gas because of it. That's enough for me.


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Old 05-10-2011, 01:24 PM   #4
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I looked all over the Bentleys and could not find a test for this sensor. There's a test for the other Eng Coolant Temp sensor, but not this one, which is the Electronic Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) Thermal Switch, F-76. There is a test for the wiring and the voltage stabilizer, should replacing the switch not work. Loudgoldwing is most likely right about this as usual!
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:58 PM   #5
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there is a temp sensor in the Radiator as well IIRC... It tells the fan when to turn on.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:31 AM   #6
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Default Have you checked for codes.?

Could also be the gauge itself or loose wire on back of the cluster.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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OK, all great responses. Was gone over the weekend, so I got a look at it today. Found it, unplugged it and reinserted it, NO GO. I will get a new one sending unit tomorrow and insert it. While fiddling with it, the cam breather tube cracked off like a fragile glass straw. Will have to get one of those also. If the gauge doesnt work after the new sender, will have to pull the gauges.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:53 PM   #8
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Loudgoldwing,
Thanks for the extra work in showing me where its at.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:15 PM   #9
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Yeah, my office is over a gym. I always love it when I do stuff like this and guys leaving the gym come over and ask me if I'm having issues with the car. It makes kind of an odd sight, me in a shirt and tie, trying to keep from getting dirty while using a legal file binder strip with a pink post-it attached to it as a pointer. All the while snapping pictures.

I wish the firm was above a yoga studio instead...
Click the image to open in full size.
A yoga studio with really big windows. That would be really cool.


{...giggity...}
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This image will keep a running total for my gas mileage since installing a
Volo Performance VP-12 ECU Soft-Flash chip. I'm done talking about it.
When gas hits $6/gallon this summer,
I'll be saving $60/month off gas because of it. That's enough for me.



Last edited by Loudgoldwing; 05-16-2011 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:00 AM   #10
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this might be odd, but then it might be factory. The sensor that I unplugged has 4 female wire connects on it. There is a wire going to each of those contacts. The Sensor itself only has 3 male posts on it? One of the wires does not get used. No post is cracked off, looks like it is made that way. Wonder if the wrong sensor was installed?
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:00 AM
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1998, 2006, a3, a4, audi, cabriolet, gauge, gauges, reading, signal, temp, temperature, v6, water, working


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