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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old July 11th, 2009, 19:09   #1
Wrong
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Default Replace ECT sensor in 10 minutes... Not !

I read in several posts that you could change the engine coolant temperature sensor in 10 minutes... I'm no mechanic, but not a total idiot either. Here is my experience with a 2003 Jetta TDI.

30 minutes to call and go to the dealer, get the part (sensor+seal+clip). So far so good, except they wanted $30+ and not the $10- I read about.

3 hours on the net to try to figure out where the sensor is. On my car it is _not_ easily accessible, I can get one hand in there, not two, and getting the hand together with some light so see what I am doing is a miracle that seldom happens.

1 hour to get the damn connector off while loosing a bit of forearm skin.

15 minutes to pry the clip off. I was mounted from underneath and the only way to get it out was to break it (some metal pipe was right underneath blocking it).

5 minutes to remove the old sensor, loose some coolant, put the new one in, see that it leaks, check for the old seal, remove it while the rest of the coolant flows away and stick in the sensor.

30 minutes to curse while trying to replace the clip from below (impossible), from above (nearly but not quite) and then drop the clip.

30 minutes to locate the clip somewhere dark in there.

5 minutes to test peanut butter, jam and black bean sauce as the best sticky stuff to use with a piece of wire and try to fish out the clip. Peanut butter it will be.

Well, now it's raining therefore I cannot continue. No car tonight...

Lesson : while installing the clip, tie it with some string until it is in.

Other lesson : if this really is a 10 minute job for a pro, go for it. At, say, $50/h, that should be less than $10. He might even save you the clip.

(to be continued)
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Old July 11th, 2009, 22:49   #2
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Try looking at
http://www.inmud.co.uk/page28.htm

If you have a small mirror, check for debris (like bits of old o-ring) on the sealing surface of the hole.

Hopefully some daylight and a belly full of that peanut butter and jelly will give you better luck.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 22:56   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gth
Hopefully some daylight and a belly full of that peanut butter and jelly will give you better luck.
Well...10 minutes maybe if you're lucky and if you're familiar and comfortable with the underhood surroundings of a TDI. Good luck...you'll get it.

Until then...
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:44   #4
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My sister replaced her's in less than 2 minutes...Trust me she isn't a mechanical genius BUT she did follow my directions.

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Old July 12th, 2009, 08:05   #5
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The clip, as it sits in the car does not make itself easy to remove. But since the sensor in the water flange is round, you can easily turn it over to access the release. Pushing the plug in helps relieve the pressure on retainer clip and you'll hear it click, when you GENTLY pry on the release.

As for the rest of your problems, a little rain must fall.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 13:45   #6
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Mine would have been a ten minute job if I had removed the air intake hose so I could use both hands. I left the wiring harness attached until I had the old sensor out. This gave me a better view for unlocking it.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 15:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDICADDGUY
Well...10 minutes maybe if you're lucky and if you're familiar and comfortable with the underhood surroundings of a TDI. Good luck...you'll get it.

Until then...


LMAO...I love this skit in family guy, even have a t-shirt with Brain in a banana costume.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 17:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drivbiwire
My sister replaced her's in less than 2 minutes...Trust me she isn't a mechanical genius BUT she did follow my directions.

DB
Way to kick the guy when he's down. Very helpful.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 17:38   #9
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... some people just shouldn't own tools
Quote:
30 minutes to call and go to the dealer, get the part (sensor+seal+clip). So far so good, except they wanted $30+ and not the $10- I read about.
which thread did you read about the $10 in? perhaps it is several years old. perhaps it is in USD and not canuck-dollars. it's not our fault it takes you 30 minutes to make a phone call. also not our fault it takes you 30 minutes to drive there, we didn't pick where you live. dealerships often mark-up their prices... surprise surprise
http://tdiparts.com/catalog/advanced...t+temp&x=0&y=0

http://www.worldimpex.com/search_by_...tegory_id=1257
Quote:
3 hours on the net to try to figure out where the sensor is.
again, not our fault: http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=thermostat+...%3Atdiclub.com

perhaps this would help you find things faster:
Quote:
1 hour to get the damn connector off while loosing a bit of forearm skin.
expect to bleed every time you work on your car

grand total: 5 hours 55 minutes... at least you were successful, some people would give up before they even diagnose this problem
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Old July 13th, 2009, 08:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sip'n Diesel
... some people just shouldn't own tools
Well I do, dunno about the "should" part. Anyway, the sole tool required is a flat screwdriver, not very many homes are without one. Just about all the web pages I saw that talked about the sensor replacement started with something like "all you need is 10 minutes and a screwdriver".
Quote:
which thread did you read about the $10 in? perhaps it is several years old. perhaps it is in USD and not canuck-dollars. it's not our fault it takes you 30 minutes to make a phone call. also not our fault it takes you 30 minutes to drive there, we didn't pick where you live. dealerships often mark-up their prices... surprise surprise
Did someone complain about something or blame someone here?
The first link gives me $15.95 + shipping, which is anywhere between $12.19 and $52.85 (!)
I was googling for "TDI coolant sensor location" among other things.
Quote:
expect to bleed every time you work on your car
I will. I might even expect to be talked down to if I write about it.
Quote:
grand total: 5 hours 55 minutes... at least you were successful, some people would give up before they even diagnose this problem
Add to that wait 24 hours for the dealer to reopen (could not find G12 coolant anywhere on a sunday), 45 minutes to go back to the dealer on my bike and get a $30 gallon of coolant, and then refill.
Now all is well, the coolant cools, the temp gage works and the little yellow light doesn't come on anymore.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 08:39   #11
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I just mail order most the parts for my car. It's getting the point where I'm serious thinking about a spare vehicle, just in case it decides to up and quit over some small part. [Closest auto parts store is 30miles, and the closest dealer is further.]

I found changing the coolant sensor to be a pain. I think the darn system puked all the fluid it could in the minute or two it took for me to get the new sensor on there (had to fish out the old seal, push in the new one). Took like a liter and a half to refill. It gushes out quite nicely.

FYI: keep the old G12 bottle around, at least one. That way, when you buy another bottle, you can pour half of it into that old bottle, then fill both with (purified? denatured? deionized? whatever the "pure" water is).
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Old July 13th, 2009, 09:02   #12
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No offense to anyone, but seriously if changing the coolant temp sensor on an ALH throws you a fit and takes longer than 5 minutes, you really should not attempt ANYTHING on the car save for checking the oil level and tire pressures.

Servicing cars is not for everyone, and there is no shame in that. I would never attempt to do a great many other things... like ballet or kayaking... because I know I would be a total Failtrain.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 09:57   #13
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I'm slowly starting to think that. But in order to do that means I must give up my TDI, so I stay armed with my tools!
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Old July 13th, 2009, 11:19   #14
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For those who will attempt this and, like me, have a hard time locating the sensor, here it is on my 2003 Jetta Wagon TDI.

Just follow the (yellow) hose a bit further towards the rear of the car, where the red arrow points (deeper down). You can get your hand in there, follow the blue arrow. You can also access it from the back by removing first the air intake (green).
The sensor''s wiring is pulled towards the back, then the sensor comes off towards the back as well.
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