VW Jetta 2.0L P2181 Code! Help!
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This is a discussion on VW Jetta 2.0L P2181 Code! Help! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Subaru Owners.... I've found a lot of you cats have VW's... And some of you are smart thinkers... So assist ...

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    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    VW Jetta 2.0L P2181 Code! Help!

    Subaru Owners.... I've found a lot of you cats have VW's... And some of you are smart thinkers... So assist me!

    GF Has a 2005 Jetta GLS
    P2181 is a Cooling System Failure code.

    It indicates one of a few things: Radiator Failure, Water Pump Failure, T-Stat failure, Engine Coolant Temp Sensor, or Fan Failure.

    Here's my objective data:
    Inside the car, the water temperature slowly goes up when I warm up the car, and sits at the 190 degree temp it's supposed to.

    At idle, the fans do not turn on.
    The Fans do turn on after a highway drive. And the t-stat is a 195* t-stat, so it tells me that the sensor, t-stat, and fans should be working.

    The engine doesn't take an abnormally long time to warm up, which to me means that the t-stat is not stuck open.

    The temp gauge doesn't go above the 195 level with a decent highway drive, which to me means that the t-stat isn't stuck closed.

    The coolant reservoir is filled, and the coolant surface is slightly moving which indicates to me that the water pump is moving water in and out.

    There isn't any visible leak in the radiator, and the coolant level is normal.


    I feel like I've covered all of my bases. First thing I'll probably replace is the temp sensor, because from my research it sounds like there is two parts in the same sensor, and I might be getting a good dashboard reading because the sensor is able to tell me that, but maybe the other part of the sensor has failed.

    Anyone? Ideas?
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Is there a secondary water pump on that motor?
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    "The guys over at the Audi A4 forum have a TSB from Audi that their problem is an auxillary radiator hose that has a faulty check (non-return) valve. They have a hose from the radiator to what they call an auxillary radiator. The check valve stays open preventing the coolant from reaching operating temperature which throws the CEL code 2181."

    Check the coolant temp sensor and see if the fans are working properly...
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    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    there is some pretty common sensors that goes out on those that operates the fan and the gauge. Id personally replace the sensors and clips first... If you want to shotgun it.. To be honest, the hour diag at a VW dealership usually is cheaper than shotguning parts kev..


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    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    one hour diag fee is 100 bucks. The thermostat is 30 bucks. The sensor 20 bucks. I'll shotgun her first
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    Administrator Trainrex's Avatar
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    In the spirit of normal ClubWRX diagnostics, here are the possibilities:

    1: Timing belt tensioner. I once had a friend who timing belt tensioner went bad.
    2: Change the ECU. My cousins car needed and ECU once, so it could be that.
    3: Change your trans fluid. My brother says the stock fluid sucks so you should put in some weird cocktail.
    4: Revert back to stock. That should solve it.
    5: Your headlamps have the incorrect bulbs. They are blinding other drivers and making the light come on.
    6: Could be a rod knock.
    7: Take it to the dealer.































    Oh, and on the Jetta, 9 times out of 10 the sensor is out of range, especially if it isn't overheating.

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    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    got the sensor for 13 bucks today. We'll see how that goes. Looks like I should have bought some coolant too.. lol.

    The 2005 jetta is a pain in the ass because there were 2 2005 jettas... Hers is the earlier one, but the sensor appears to have been the later one (just looking from the outside without taking it apart. I guess we'll find out in a few hours after she gets home.
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