My car is a 2000 Beetle, 2.0 ltr gas engine.
About a week ago I suddenly got a blinking red temperature light while
driving. I had been driving about 20 minutes at the time. I checked
the coolant and oil, both were normal. The next two days I was fine
driving to work, which is about 10 minutes each way. The next day I
ran a few errands after work and I got the same blinking red light
after driving a little over 20 minutes. This is the light that looks
like a thermometer, not the check engine light - and doesn't turn red
and then start blinking later, it goes from off to blinking red right
away, accompanied by several beeps.
I made an appointment with VW to check it out, but they won't be able
to see me until next Wednesday.
Can anyone guess what this is, and whether it is safe to drive my car
for the next week until someone can fix it?
I wouldn't worry unless your car is overheating. Is the temperature
gauge in the normal postion? The cause of your blinking light is
likely an electronic component in your cooling system. You don't need
to stop driving the car unless it's overheating or malfunctioning
Some signs your car is overheating:
-steam seeping out from under the hood near the radiator or coolant
-A hot smell
-Sound of water boiling after a long drive.
Your blinking light may be caused by (in order of likelihood):
-Coolant temperature sensor
-Coolant level too low or too high
First and foremost a flashing light means stop now or risk serious and
expensive damage. Of course it is always possible that the computer is
reacting to a bad sensor not high heat or low oil etc. I would not drive
that car unless I could verify that it is indeed not overheating.
Second: Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics
for almost anything you might need done on your car. They will almost
always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies. They
also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent.
A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but
could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little
repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.
There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other
than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee.
During the warranty period be sure to have all required (as listed in the
owner's manual) maintenance done and to document all maintenance work.
I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good
independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.
Note: Never ever use a quick oil change place. They are fast cheap and
very very bad.
replying to Joseph Meehan, Conor Richards wrote:
Stop wasting your time hating on dealerships. I've worked as a technician at
both independent and dealership shops and there are HUGE differences. Dealership
shops use better parts and tend to have smarter mechanics.
Your anti-dealer ranting has nothing to do with actually fixing cars. Sorry.
take your pick...
1- it's blinking because engine is overheating. If so, you may do more
2- coolant level is low
3- fans not running see above #1
4- coolant pump impeller cracked and slipping see #1
5- coolant sensor going bad, but then again I never replaced one for falsely
6- do you have heat in the car? If no good sign of the coolant pump
Thanks for all the replies.
Problem turned out to be a broken water pump. Miraculously, it's still
under warranty even though my car is 9 years old - I guess it's part
of the powertrain. Dealer is fixing it for free right now. I guess
that's one good argument for going back to the dealer.
Question mark abuser:
Of course, many people buy their car used and often the manual does
not remain with the car. Furthermore, perusal of owner's manual's for
issues such as the original topic in this post you will generally
find that the manual directs them to the dealer (ugh). Be kind with
your posts. You may need this group some time.
but very first check that the heater core is not leaking in the car mostly on
the passenger side these carpets will hold a lot of water, feel the carpet, if
saturated heater is leaking (very common), just disconnect the heater hoses and
reconnect one in a loop back to the engine, refill water bottle and drive, if no
more blinking light then heater core needs to be replaced.
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