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Water temp gauge not working

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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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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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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, 04:44 AM   #11
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This bulletin should answer that question.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:41 AM   #12
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I purchased a new switch with the three posts and still nothing. I guess it is in the gauge.
Only had the car a week so I am still working my way around it. Figuring how it remove the gauge panel is going to be fun. Is there a tried and true factory shop manual that I should be aware of that has all the electrical wiring and locations?
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:11 AM   #13
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OK, in trying to replace the temp sensor, I broke off the brittle cambox breather tube. Parts store has one, but its $110! I searched the forum and found a repair for that part. But they tell you to use radiator hose. Gas hose is better cause it can stand up to the gases better that a radiator hose can. The radiator hose will flatten out cause of the petroleum distillates in the vapors.
Gates hose #CS032510 is the correct hose to use.

Get an exacto knife and slowly score the covering on the end pieces, to remove the heat sealed tubing that is on the end pieces. In the third pic, you can see the covering that comes off. Attack the new hose end to one of the plastic ends and use a zip tie to hold in on. Pull tight and clip the end. install the hose into the hard to reach place first. Do the hose cutting on the cam box last as it is easiest to work there last.

Total cost, $3
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:47 AM   #14
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Default Bentleys Manual

Try here. http://www.bentleypublishers.com/aud...998-ebahn.html Also there is one on ebay. The instrument panel is not that tough to get out. A couple of screws to remove the fairing around the steering column, then a couple of screws are exposed that hold in the instrument panel. Then the instrument panel can come foreward, but it may take a bit of maneuvering. A set of connectors make all the electrical attachments and can be separated.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:12 AM   #15
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Default Further info

Here is the first part of the test for your problem. Hope Bentley's doesn't mind since I've advised you to buy the manual. Basically, you are going to perform a test at the connector that goes to the sensor. A Fluke 83 is a high quality digital multimeter. The high quality part is accuracy and the 10 Meg ohm impedence, which means you won't fry any computers by adding voltage to the circuit during the test. The voltage stabilizer is a similar test and I'll send that if you need it. The gauge test requires a specialty tool and my guess is it is cheaper to replace the gauge unless someone know where to get a VW 1301 cheap.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:16 AM   #16
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I do think it is in the gauge. Might be a loose wire. My radiator fan does turn on when it is needed so that is the important thing.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:16 AM
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1998, 2006, a3, a4, audi, cabriolet, gauge, gauges, reading, signal, temp, temperature, v6, water, working


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