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Old August 11th, 2007, 16:51   #1
jmaziarz
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Default How NOT to remove a coolant temp sensor plug

This afternoon I was trying to diagnose a glow plug problem (code P0673) following the instructions in the excellent Glow plugs 101 thread. I struggled to remove the coolant temp sensor (CTS) plug for several minutes. Not making any progress I turned to practicing on the MAF plug. For the life of me I could not get the CTS plug unplugged so I used a screw driver to gently pry the little tab while simultaneously wiggling and pulling.

That was a huge mistake. The little tab broke completely off of the CTS plug and it now fit loosely when plugged in. My temporary fix was to wrap a few layers of black electrical tape around the sensor socket and plug it back in. It is tight enough to not wiggle off easily but now I need to figure out how I can fix my idiot move.

Oh, and to top it off I lost one of the engine shroud washer/nuts down in the engine somewhere. What a day.

Last edited by jmaziarz; August 11th, 2007 at 16:56.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 18:03   #2
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For a minute I thought you were changing the coolant temperature sensor, and thought maybe you did what I did which was yank the bad sensor and have "all" the coolant flow out before I could get the new one back in.

Those plugs are a PITA. I still don't know how to disconnect correctly, I've just gotten lucky.

Guess you weren't so. Sorry man
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Old August 12th, 2007, 06:24   #3
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When removing those plugs, make sure that you depress the tab, push the plug TOWARD the sensor, them pull it off. Oftentimes the tab won't release until you do. MAF is the same way.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 12:30   #4
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Unhappy Confounding connectors!

I'm glad others have trouble with these connectors, too. I feel like a doofus trying to get them off. It's the same with the connector going into the fuel tank probe. I just gave up. When you say "depress the tab" are you talking about the area in the center of one side of the plug with the small square hole?
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Old August 19th, 2007, 13:03   #5
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I found that paramedics method works. Pushing in on the plug and bit fist separates the ovelapping tabs. Then with a little flatheadrock the locking tab back.
I broke one once....not again.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 14:20   #6
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you can buy the connector with a pig tail from VW, and splice it in
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Old September 14th, 2007, 14:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmaziarz
This afternoon I was trying to diagnose a glow plug problem (code P0673) following the instructions in the excellent Glow plugs 101 thread. I struggled to remove the coolant temp sensor (CTS) plug for several minutes. Not making any progress I turned to practicing on the MAF plug. For the life of me I could not get the CTS plug unplugged so I used a screw driver to gently pry the little tab while simultaneously wiggling and pulling.

That was a huge mistake. The little tab broke completely off of the CTS plug and it now fit loosely when plugged in. My temporary fix was to wrap a few layers of black electrical tape around the sensor socket and plug it back in. It is tight enough to not wiggle off easily but now I need to figure out how I can fix my idiot move.

Oh, and to top it off I lost one of the engine shroud washer/nuts down in the engine somewhere. What a day.
you think you had a bad day doing that?....3 days ago, I went to replace my coolant temp sensor which has been in that housing for 7 years, and broken for the past 4 months. Well i got it unplugged but the damn sensor did not wanna come out! I pryed at it with a screw driver until I heard a piece of metal break off and land on the belly pan.

I then realized I broke the stupid housing where the sensor plugs into! I ended up zap strapping the new one in there until I could go and buy a new housing for it. I think its official name is the side coolant flange. When I got home, I took the whole thing apart just to realize that the new housing I bought did not have those stupid glow plug heaters for the coolant which was fine by me, but because of that, it needed a longer bolt. I had to put everything back together (including zap straps) and drive down to the hardware store to buy those longer bolts, then went home and took everything apart again, put the new side coolant flange on including new bolts and all....

anyways, that was a crappy day. its all good now though.

Steve
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Old September 14th, 2007, 14:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmaziarz
The little tab broke completely off of the CTS plug and it now fit loosely when plugged in. My temporary fix was to wrap a few layers of black electrical tape around the sensor socket and plug it back in. It is tight enough to not wiggle off easily but now I need to figure out how I can fix my idiot move.

Oh, and to top it off I lost one of the engine shroud washer/nuts down in the engine somewhere. What a day.
Don't feel bad, Volkswagen dealers do stuff like that all the time. I could show you some stuff under my hood; electrical tape, broken things, etc. Their shop labour rate is $106.95/hour. I guess they don't have time to do things like being careful or giving a damn about a car that isn't their own.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 15:50   #9
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You'd think for that rate they'd take their freakin' time....
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Old September 15th, 2007, 07:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weedeater
You'd think for that rate they'd take their freakin' time....
Ahhh that would be correct if they actually charged you for the time it really took to fix a problem. They often charge the generous time alloted in "the book" so the actual shop rate is considerably higher and they make more money if they can do the job faster than the book. This is one of the reasons they don't like you to watch them as they work.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 15:53   #11
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A handy tip for removing those type of plugs. Stick a flat head screw driver inbtween the tab and the plug and twist the screwdriver. The edges of the flat blade push the tab open to unlatch it so you can remove it. Doing it this way, im able to remove that plug in under a minute with very minimal struggle
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Old September 16th, 2007, 16:28   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian_Grizzly
Ahhh that would be correct if they actually charged you for the time it really took to fix a problem.
Almost all shops charge per job not by the hour. The hourly rate only exists to figure the cost of a job. It seems that everyone wants to pay actually time when it takes less time but not when it takes longer.

If shops charged per hour the slow and/or inexperienced techs would cost a customer more and the fast and/or experienced techs would be cost the customer less. Clearly you wouldn't want to pay more because the tech doesn't know what they are doing. Crappy work is not acceptable regardless of the hourly rate.

The auto repair industry has done a terrible job of explaining the flat rate system to customers. In just about any other business the customers are happy when the job gets done quickly, in the auto repair business they just complain they got ripped off.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 07:09   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.L.T
A handy tip for removing those type of plugs. Stick a flat head screw driver inbtween the tab and the plug and twist the screwdriver. The edges of the flat blade push the tab open to unlatch it so you can remove it. Doing it this way, im able to remove that plug in under a minute with very minimal struggle
Holy cow! This is far and away the best way to remove these plugs. After stuggling for an hour I almost gave up, then stumbled across this post. Literally 10 seconds later the plug came off with almost zero effort. Bravo!
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Old October 31st, 2007, 08:47   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmaziarz
Oh, and to top it off I lost one of the engine shroud washer/nuts down in the engine somewhere.
If anyone on this forum tells you that they didn't spend an extra 30mins crawling under the car, removing the belly pan or skidplate to retrieve that last nut/screw or the small screwdriver that fell, is a big fat liar! For me, I generally do it when I am completely done and am collecting the tools propped somewhere on the engine. Oops! ...NO NO...DAMNIT!
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Old October 31st, 2007, 08:49   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paramedick
When removing those plugs, make sure that you depress the tab, push the plug TOWARD the sensor, them pull it off.
Ditto, I had a hell of a time with these until I learned that little trick, now it's cake.
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