Nice job on the DIY
Vortex has really helped me with my 2003 Jetta brakes, so I thought I would add something I couldn't find. I'm a nOOb so I hope this helps someone out there.
As all the posts say, if you have a BLACK Coolant Temp Sensor, it WILL fail. This was a 1.5 hour job, so it was worth the time. NEVER NEVER perform this maintenance while the engine is hot. Coolant WILL leak and can cause severe burns. I waited overnight and did mine in the morning. I also removed my negative battery terminal just in case.
1) I went to the stealership and bought the following parts:
Green Coolant Temperature Sensor (CTS) (part #: 059 919 501A) = $27
O-Ring = $1.25
2X Clips (I didn't break mine, but people have) = $.75
Total w. Tax = $30
2) I had some extra paint, so I highlighted the CTS cap with it. It's a tight squeeze!
3) This is just a zoomed in view so you can see how the clip is oriented. There are two of them, one for the CTS and the one to the outside of that.
4) I couldn't fit my hands in there, so I removed a couple brackets that were in the way. (allen wrench and 10mm wrench)
5) With a little bit more room now, I could get a LONG flat head under the CTS clip. A gentle upward pull worked for mine.
6) All I had was a regular set of 8" pliers. A LONG needle-nose would have been better. Just wiggle and pull.
7) The other posts said there would be some coolant leaking, but I didn't expect the volume that bled from the line!
8) Once the leaking stopped, I removed the old CTS and had to pull the o-ring from inside the housing.
9) Put the new o-ring on the GREEN sensor, and slide it back into the hose.
10) Slide the clip back in, put the wire harness back on the sensor, and re-attach the brackets.
When finished, I added about 3/4 of a gallon of coolant (mix of 50% coolant / 50% water). One bottle cost me $15. It was the pink stuff so it's more expensive. Part of the reason I took the neg. battery terminal off was to allow the computer to reset and recognize the new sensor. I have read others had problems with check engine lights (CEL).
My next project is a new Autotech.com exhaust kit!
this is for sure getting added to the DIY/FAQs
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I went on a small trip last night, about 250mi. I usually get about 26.5 mpg w/ air on at 75 mph. After replacing the sensor I got about 29.0 mpg. Not sure if it was definitely the sensor that caused the increase, but that's the only thing that changed
What coolant did I buy? I couldn't find the official VW/Audi coolant, so the guy at CarQuest told me to buy some Prestone in a silver bottle with a orange cap. I wanted to make sure it was pink (so the dealership couldn't say anything). We'll see in a couple hundred miles if that was a mistake
Nice writeup - I did the same a few weeks ago. The one thing I have to add is that there is no need to wait for it to stop draining to pull the o-ring and replace the sensor. The quicker you do it, the less fluid you lose. We had mine ready to go (it helped to have a second set of hands), so it can be done pretty quick with minimal fluid loss.
BTW - we were dumb and forget to make sure we got the original o-ring out, so we lost a lot more fluid than we should have Lesson learned though
Quote, originally posted by orange1218 » What coolant did I buy? I couldn't find the official VW/Audi coolant, so the guy at CarQuest told me to buy some Prestone in a silver bottle with a orange cap. I wanted to make sure it was pink (so the dealership couldn't say anything). We'll see in a couple hundred miles if that was a mistake
Watch your round coolant expansion tank. If it turns brown or gets ANY kind of residue on the sides you need a flush right away. Greater temperature changes, such as in the winter, will make mixed coolant gell faster. You really need to keep an eye on it. FYI before I learned from my mistakes, this is my first VW, I used prestone just like you did and got brown residue in the expansion tank. I had to flush it twice to get all the coolant out of the entire system and stop the brown residue from forming. I didn't even add that much either, I couldn't believe it.
If you didn't buy the phosphate and silicate free coolant be prepared to flush it out. Our engines are so expensive I wouldn't trust ANYTHING except manufacturer aproved coolant and lubrication.
Modified by kungfoojesus at 6:10 PM 8-12-2007
Thanks for the heads up on the expansion tank and residue. I'll keep an eye on it. I was a little worried, but I checked. The back of the Prestone DEX-COOL says "Phospate and silicate free." I hope there's not something else in it.
FWIW I have added some preston coolant that says 'can be added to any car' a good year and a half to 2 years ago -- no brown residue or gelling here.
I have a new temp sensor sitting in my garage, I gotta throw it in there sometime.
nice write up.
i gotta do the coolant sensor on my girls car this week.
i'll have to get some coolant from the dealership or something.
and question. my buddy in his jetta always says screw the vw coolant and just puts in whatever. sometimes green sometimes water. but im always like dude you should put the oem stuff that it calls for or somethings gonna get messed up. but thats all i can usually say. why is it again that we NEED to use oem coolant and cant just use any other stuff?
so someone help me explain
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Quote, originally posted by Skoon21 » how would the coolant temp sensor affect how the car runs? my temp gauge has gone screwy a few times... is that from the black sensor?
i don't know how it works in the VR6's but in my LT1 if the sensor is going bad it will tell the motor that it is not up to temp and dump extra fuel like it would in open loop mode, hence wasted gas, i replaced my caprice's the other day and jumped from 17 to 21 MPG. but mine looks a wee bit easier to replace then that one
1 month this i own my vee dub!
02.5 GLI VR6 - TT DP/Hi-Flow Cat, Autotech Cat-Back, Eurosport Cool-Flo, C2 Software, Raxles, Grounding Kit, Diesel Geek Sigma Shifter, Verdict Shift Bracket Bushings, ECS Bleeder Block, USP Braided Clutch Line, ECS/Gruven LW pulleys, Raceland Ultimo Coilovers, ECS Endlinks, 034 Strut Bushings, Motor and Dogbone Mounts, R32/Poly Control Arm Bushings, Poly Rear Spring Isolators, TSW Nur wheels, Yarrowsport Rear Bar, Euro Sport Cluster
Thank you very much for creating this posting, I used your info this weekend and the job went very well. You did a very fine job documenting all the info and I figure you saved me at least $100 or so.
I wanted to give you a laugh, the only thing that went wrong was that I dropped the sensor retaining clip and looked for it for an hour or so and never found it. I removed all the plastic shielding from under the car and still could not find it. I had to go to the dealer and buy a new clip ($.40) and while I was there the dealer recommended I only use VW coolant so I was bought a gallon of coolant ($23.00) too.
By the way, my gauge works perfectly now. Thanks again, I really appreciate your time documenting this fix.
Modified by says_wick at 6:12 AM 2-18-2008
I found this post and I too just picked up that pesky P3081 Code that keeps coming back. I have a 1.8T, would this sensor part be the same no#? and were can it be located on my engine? Would appreciate the help guys. Thx
Quote, originally posted by 518boravr6 » thanks. i have no friends
Quote, originally posted by 518boravr6 » also it's a sunday and i can't find the part
dang...sorry dude. Try to rig up a zip tie for something. You'll have to do something to hold it in snug b/c when the water heats up behind it the sensor can get pushed out by the pressure.
Quote, originally posted by mjc9885 » Nice write up. I just started getting the 3081 code. I was surprised by how much the dealerships wants for the sensor. Auto Zone sells is for $7.
I'm going to guess that part is nothing like the one that VW sells?
you'd be suprised...its definitly hit or miss on local big chain stores having the right parts...at a good price.
the other day i bought a new oxy sensor..the wideband one at checkers, 55$ it wasnt a generic it had a VW part number on it and everything...and the kicker was it was in stock i thought for sure they would have to order one.
i have also had experiences where you buy a part that they swear up and down is the proper part and its either a 12v part or something just completely wrong. so its always good to double check parts that you buy from big name stores...trust me they dont generally cater it forgien/european cars let alone a small niche market like the VR6
I just did mine I kept clearing the code until the good weather came around like today.Awsome write up thanks .It took me about 1 hr the large dental hemostat really works well to get the clip out because you can clip the clip between the beaks in any awckward position to pull it out thet to put it back in.Lots of coolant came out though .One thing I did wrong though, I cleared the code before the change this way I guess the computer has no idea that it was replaced I wonder what will happen will it come on again possibly?Thanks again
I just realized I never came back to this thread. Again, there were no visual differences between the old sensor and the new one from Auto Zone, except the obvious change of color. I haven't had any problems since installing the green sensor.
Like the OP, I didn't do a good job of catching the old coolant and ended up with most of it all over the garage floor. Other than that, no issues. Thanks again for this DIY!
I'm haveing all kinds of problems with my cooling system right now. I think it is much easier to just pull the battery out of the car so you can see better. If you are going to take off one of the wires you might as well take the whole thing out anyway right?(it takes 2 seconds) You don't want to know how many times in the last week i've had to remove stuff in my car to fix a coolant problem when you take out your crak pipe, just remeber to tighten ALL of the hose clamps you take off....
Everything around the VR6 = bad