14th Sep 2008, 15:39

I've just purchase a 2002 jetta 2.0L with 88k miles a week and three days ago, and everything was fine. Then I took it on the freeway, and it began to overheat, took it in, only to be told that it was a thermostat and to fix it, it would be 250.00. So I went and bought the 10.00 thermostat and seal and replaced them. Good thing I did't pay the 250.00, because that wasn't the problem. Now I can't even drive it to the corner of my driveway! The thermostat has been changed twice in two days, the fans come on, so that can't be the issue, my check engine light doesn't come on, only the temp. gauge does, and my radiators been flushed. None of it has worked!!! I've been assured that it's not my water pump, because as long as you take the thermosat out, it runs cool, put it in, and it overheats. So the techs. advice to me: maybe you got 2 defective thermostats.

This is my first and last VW!! I can only hope that I can sell this crap at little or no out of pocket expense to me.

5th Nov 2008, 12:54

Our 2001 Jetta 1.8 Turbo just started "overheating" on a trip from Denver to Santa Fe, NM. The temp. gauge zooms to 190 in a few seconds, even after sitting overnight, and then begins to creep up slowly (got to maybe 220 max and seems to fluctuate a little going up and down hills. For the first 122,000 miles this never happened! The temp. gauge needle would stay rock-steady at 190 even while driving in hot temperatures in the mountains or in heavy traffic. The water pump was replaced a couple of years ago. A/C & heater work fine. Is there a resistor in the sending unit that keeps the gauge steady, and perhaps the sender has failed? Or maybe I have a "real" overheating problem?

8th Nov 2008, 09:10

I too am having overheating problems with my 2003 Jetta.

I replaced the water pump about 5 months ago, which is the second one I have done since my other Jetta had the same problem.

So now, I am losing coolant, but I can't locate the leak?

I can smell the "sweet coolant" smell on the passenger side of the engine compartment, but I have no leaks on the ground nor any evidence of a leak.

Any idea where I might be losing the coolant?

What typically breaks in the cooling system aside from the pump and thermostat.


12th Nov 2008, 00:54

I guess I'm the only one with the exact opposite problem. I have a 2001 Jetta 1.8t. My car heats up to 190, but as soon as I get on the highway the car cools off completely, then maybe 15min later (going 65mph the whole time) the needle shoots back up to 190, then slowly cools off again. I have just had my thermostat changed. Has anyone else had this problem? Any advice?

18th Nov 2008, 08:05

I have a 2000 Jetta 1.8 Turbo, and am having problems with the fan; as soon as I turn the key, the fan comes on and stays on the entire time while the car is running, and once I shut the car off, the fan keeps running for approximately 15 minutes. The car is not overheating, the coolant level is good. I replaced water pump, timing belt and thermostat about 30,000 km ago.

I think it might have something to do with a relay sticking open... Any suggestions?

Also to answer most of your questions about overheating, VW's are known to have problems with the water pump. If your car is overheating, 90% of the time it is the water pump. I spent about a week trying to figure out what was up when I had to change the water pump, the car acts really weird, one day it would over heat and the next it wouldn't. This is caused by the water pump, because it has a plastic impeller pressed on a knurled shaft, and once the plastic becomes brittle, the shaft will just spin inside the impeller and only catch at times. VW knows this is a problem and just offers suggestions to replace the water pump every time the timing belt needs to be changed, every 100,000 km.

Also it is a good idea to replace the shock tensioner on the timing belt, had to go back in after about a month to replace this as well... I found the timing belt really easy to change and anyone with a bit of mechanical back round can handle this, just be sure to mark everything.

6th Jan 2009, 11:44

I recently bought a '01 Jetta 2.0L (standard) and it's got just under 200k on it.

This is my first winter with it, and I have found out very quickly that my car cannot produce heat. After cold nights, -10C and below, it starts up very slowly. The temperature gauge moves after over an hour of driving, and finally goes up to just under normal running temp. and the climate control does not give off any heat at any time, makes defrosting the windshield a real pain in the ass. Any advice on what I should do?

10th Feb 2009, 19:19

To the the guy that posted @ 12th Nov 2008, 00:54.

I have the same problem as you. I always loved this car because it has good bottom end power, but recently it's been a PITA, temperature builds up, and about 20 minutes later, it goes down to 0, sometimes it will go back up slowly, sometimes it stays down all the way home. ALSO the upper hose is hot, bottom is COLD!!! This is an 01 GLS 1.8t.

22nd Feb 2009, 22:57

I too have an 02 Jetta GLS 1.8T...after having just avoided another mechanic bill for a blown ignition coil by doing it myself, I thought I was clear for a few months. Today the Temp Gauge hit MAX and the Red Light Came on steady on the dash... this has never happened before... I happened to be on the Highway, so just continued home, no power loss, no smell, smoke etc... Got home, popped the hood, all seemed fine but the fans weren't working, which I assumed they would have been. Started the car up, temp was normal and light was off...Haven't looked at it since, but will attack it tomorrow, going through this site and trying to find something similiar, but I can find is that it could be the water pump... This car has cost me far too much money in repairs than it's worth. I may just let it sit out front for a month and get something else. Car has been a headache since 6 months into ownership...I'd actually consider driving it to the Dealership and just leaving it in their showroom... they can have it back... has been too much of a headache.

23rd Feb 2009, 23:32

I have an 04 1.8t Jetta and about 6 months ago the check engine light came on. I got online and researched typical problems, but never took it in since there was no loss in power or any other signs. It would go off every now and then, and then come back on a few days later.

I have also noticed that the temp gauge would stay at zero, and then come back up to operating temp sometimes, but usually be at absolute zero no matter how much you drove. Still no loss in power or anything else until tonight!

I drove home (about 5 or 6 minutes), and about 2 blocks from home I watched the gauge come up to temp, and then quickly rise to max and the light flashed and beeped at me until I turned it off. I'll be going to the shop in the morning to see how much I'll be out.

No other problems in the last 3 years I've owned it though.