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  View original topic: Intermittent flashing red temp light - but running fine???
Vespagetti Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:47 am

Hi folks,

'88 GL here with intermittent flashing red temp light. The temp gauge does not indicate overheating but it's showing cooler then normal temps. Hardly goes over 1/5 way up, even in city traffic. Thermostat issue?

The van is running super apart from the random flashing light. I'd turn off, turn on again and it would run fine until the light comes back again (no difference in how it runs). It happens randomly, freeway or traffic and it goes away after a quick restart. Sometimes it doesn't come back for days.
No coolant or oil leaks anywhere.

I know there's a similar topic on the first page of the forum at the moment but my van starts and idles fine, even when cold.

Thank you kind people!

tencentlife Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:23 pm

This has been covered to death, so it's always best to start with a search, but even so the search results are sometimes unsatisfactory. Going straight to the stickies is always a good idea, though. If you had you might have found this, which I think will address your problem:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=184096

Vespagetti Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:34 pm

tencentlife wrote: This has been covered to death, so it's always best to start with a search, but even so the search results are sometimes unsatisfactory. Going straight to the stickies is always a good idea, though. If you had you might have found this, which I think will address your problem:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=184096

Thank you.

See, my problem with things like this is that I don't know what keywords to search for. If I knew that "Coolant Level Sensor" is it, it would have been easy to perform the search. Now I know. :wink:

The article above may be it, though as I said, I think my temp gauge is not working properly i.e. showing cooler then normal running temps. We'll see.

Cheers!

BigDog Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:48 pm

This is on my list of things to attend to, but with a twist. I notice that whenever the coolant level sensor light starts blinking, the temperature gauge starts swinging to indicate that the engine is boiling over.

Thankfully, the first time this happened I had driven about a block. The engine was stone cold and I had recently checked the coolant level. Everything went back to normal in less than a minute. So I knew the reading was bogus.

tencentlife Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:09 pm

That sounds like possibly an intermittent short to ground on the temp gauge sender circuit.

Johnagon Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:42 pm

Mine does the same thing. Well it just flashes contantly. It never stops, warm or cold. My bet is it's a sensor. Anyone ??

tortuga Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:22 pm

Mine flashes constantly also. Well, almost contsantly. I recently got the oil light to work (new sensor - easy fix) and occasionally now the light will stay off at start-up until I use the turn signals, headlights, anything dashboard related. In this scenario it doesn't even do the blinking test. It's just dead until I make a turn. Then it starts blinking again and stays blinking. Other times it blinks as usual. It's very random.

I hate working on wiring.

tencentlife Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:08 am

Sounds like you may have some cross-shorting in the instrument cluster circuit foil, or somewhere else.

All of you should just run thru the diagnostic checks in the link above for starters. There is another link about this in the stickies that is very long and detailed, mostly concerning the gauge itself but also dealing with the wiring and sensors and how the warning system is supposed to operate. It's so long I didn't read it all, but skimming it I could see that Rob had learned a lot about it. Check that out, too, but the post linked above runs thru the basic checks more succinctly.

BigDog Fri May 18, 2007 9:44 am

I have good news to report on the flashing coolant warning light. When it first happened, the van had been parked for hours, I had driven only about a block, and I knew the coolant tank was full so it must be a fault in the system. It had to be an electrical problem, right?

I've been fussing over this fool thing for about a month now and try as I might, I just couldn't find anything wrong in the wiring. Everything was checking out but I had only worked on the van with the engine off. I decided to check things with the engine running.

So there I am, sticking my head under the hood when I notice the coolant tank is flat empty! Whoa! Maybe this isn't a fault, after all. Bad leak? I turned the engine off. When I came back, the coolant tank was full again.

Time to hit the Samba. Search and Ye Shall Find. I hit on bleeding.

By bleeding according to Samba Collective Knowledge, I added almost a gallon to the system. The light had been doing its job all along.

Lesson learned: don't assume a faulty system when it could be a faulty owner.

tencentlife Fri May 18, 2007 10:09 am

I'll try to remember that.



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