Coolant sensor retainer clips...am I the only one that struggles with these?

wyopel

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Location
WA
TDI
1996 B4V-270k, 1998 Jetta-140k
Ok...I own three TDI's and I have done nearly everything that can be done on these things over the last 8 years. One thing that has always been unusually difficult for me is the stupid retaining clips that hold various coolant hoses and sensors in place. It seems like they NEVER slide back in as easy as they should. Consequently, a 5 min job like replacing a coolant sensor seems to take 40 min trying to get the damn clip back in. It makes me wonder if I am missing something.

Anybody else have tips/tricks for getting these f***ing things in?
 

garciapiano

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Location
Southern California
TDI
1997 Jetta TDI (1Z)
Silicone spray or WD-40 usually helps. Older cars used metal clips, they can be a bit easier to install. As a rule I always use a new clip if possible. They have a tendency to dry out and get brittle over time.
 
Last edited:

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
In addition to the lubricant I recommend pushing in on the sensor a little. Try and push it away from the clip just a little if you can.

I also use spray lubricant to reinstall sensors or hose ends, if you don't you can rip the o-rings.

Steve
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
Northern MD (HAGERBUSH)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress)
Clamp on the sensor, a little coolant or drop of spit (any water based lube) and it should go right in. Avoid non water based anything on plastics and rubber hoses or clips that need to stay put!
Yes everytime for me as well it's a fight to get them in
 

wyopel

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Location
WA
TDI
1996 B4V-270k, 1998 Jetta-140k
Thanks for the tips. I have tried lubricating and pushing down the sensors. I have even tried bending them a bit in a vise. The ends seem to dig into the sides as you push in. It just seems like these things should just push in with out too much strain. Drives me crazy.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
Northern MD (HAGERBUSH)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress)
Digging into the sides? No. Something is wrong. The only thing stopping it should be he compression of the oring
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
If you have trouble with the metal clips you could also try some of the plastic ones. Aftermarket flanges often include some bungs and plastic clips so that they cover the different versions that use the same flange. Beck/Arnley tends to include these things in their flange packages.

Steve
 

wyopel

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Location
WA
TDI
1996 B4V-270k, 1998 Jetta-140k
Yeah, I have tried plastic clips too. The Beck/Arnley flange actually cracked when I tried to push the metal clip in. The plastic clip seems just as challenging. I am wonder if some how I have the wrong sensor and the diameter is too large for the clips. I just don't understand why something so simple is so stupidly difficult.
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
Yeah, I have tried plastic clips too. The Beck/Arnley flange actually cracked when I tried to push the metal clip in. The plastic clip seems just as challenging. I am wonder if some how I have the wrong sensor and the diameter is too large for the clips. I just don't understand why something so simple is so stupidly difficult.
I would check the sensor dimensions, and / or compare with another one. Honestly never had a problem with them or with the clips.

Do you have a pic of the sensor that's giving you the trouble?

Steve
 

wyopel

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Location
WA
TDI
1996 B4V-270k, 1998 Jetta-140k


The sensor measures 8mm in diameter. The tips of the clip clearly touch the sides. As you push in and the clips expand to go around the sensor and the tips of the clip start to dig into the sides before they can reach the opening on the other side of the flange. It seems to take A LOT of force and tools like pliers to get them to go in. Of course using too much force or pliers leads to breaking the flange or deforming it at least. The plastic clips don't dig into the sides in the same way, but still require what seems to me to be too much force for such a simple thing.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that it is the wrong sensor. Mind you...it plugs in and works fine. I don't remember if I put this one in or inherited it. Regardless, I have replaced this sensor on other cars and had similar issues. Maybe there is a slight difference in diameter of aftermarket sensors?...a millimeter would probably make all the difference. Even though the sensor works, I ordered another one to see. It seems like I am the only one that has this silly problem...I feel like I'm going crazy.
 

Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Location
Edmonton AB Canada
TDI
2001 ALH Jetta, 2005 BEW Wagon
OEM CTS were black originally... then recalled and the new ones were green. Have never seen a blue one personally... doesn't mean they don't exist.... but yup I'd be wondering if you didn't get a weird one by mistake, and I guess you're about to find out.

Reputable vendor, or someone from North Carolina?? :)
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
Brand and part number of the sensor that's giving you problems? Would like to see profile shot of the sensor too, you are lubricating the o-ring a little?

If the sensor is cracking the flange when you're installing it either the sensor is oversized for some reason or the flange is defective. There's also a lot of flanges out there too, it could be a flange issue as well, but I'd tend to side with the sensor problem first.

Steve
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Something is wrong, they are not that difficult. The only ones that are, are ones that are in a difficult to reach location (usually a VR6, but even the BHW's CTS is a bit of a challenge).

I always lube the new o-ring, then make sure it slides all the way in to its socket and "seats" squarely, before sliding the clip on. Plastic clips can warp, so I always make sure it is true before using it, or just grab a new one from the drawer.
 

wyopel

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Location
WA
TDI
1996 B4V-270k, 1998 Jetta-140k
I just got a new sensor. Its a rien and has a yellow ring on it. It measures 8.1 mm in diameter...and yes a reputable vendor that is a part of this forum. I too have been lubing everything. I have had URO, Viaco, and beck/arnley flanges. If anyone has a sensor not in their car, I would be curious to know the diameter.

Are you all able to get them in with your hands? I don't know what I am missing.
 
Top