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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ive got a weird problem where my jetta wont heat up in the winter months if the ambient temp drops below 30 degrees. all summer my temp needle ran right in the middle no matter how hot it was it stayed in the middle. now it wont heat over 160*. ive got a piece of cardboard the size of a 12 pack on the upper part of the radiator blocking it and a piece of foam blocking the whole lower grill in the bumper and it still stays under 160*. has anyone else experienced this? is there a way to help it heat up? ive never had this problem with a gasoline engine before...

ps the coolant is at the full level in the overflow ball
 

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Had this same problem - (see WTF NOW!) - and took it in to get it checked and neither the garage or the VW dealership gave me a good answer other than remarking that "whoa, that shouldn't happen". If I didn't have pics of the temp gauge pegged to the left I don't think they would have believed me. When I get some cash I am going to change the thermostat anyway and have them check to see if the impellers (plastic of course) are broken off. If I ever get a straight answer and get it fixed I'll post the skinny. I'm going to Kanab, UT again this weekend and I'm not looking forward to the tepid heat while I'm up there!
 

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i have the same prob i got my jetta about 4 weeks ago when if was still in the mix temp time so i didnt need the heat or ac but its snowing now and i have been trying to use the heater an it takes about 20 minuts for it to get kinda warm it sucks i cant get the car hot inside at all i hope we all find a fix for this
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
no it blows about 60* air from the vents (guessing here) and i would like it to reach at least 70 in the car because the windows seem to keep frosting over while im driving and i also have a 6 month old in a rear facing carseat that i have to keep covered in blankets. im in iowa and its been into the single digits for the past couple of days now so no heater is a bummer
 

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Are your fans kicking in when they shouldnt be, or constantly running?
For my '96 Wolf both the dealer and shop said they were working as they should - but that was in Tucson, AZ with temps in the 60's. Mine only freaks out in cold temps. After driving six hours and stopping for gas in Page, AZ - outside temp at 38 - they weren't running. Drive home from work - just twelve miles, 62 degrees outside and when I stop they are running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
mines a 1999 wolf. if my car is idling i can hear my fans kicking on and off as they should. i just ordered a thermostat and enough g12 coolant to flush the system, there's 210k on the car and when i changed the trans fluid there was 1/4 inch of very fine metal grindings and sludge on the bottom of the pan (probably original fluid) so i can only guess that the cooling system has had the same life. parts should be here the first Friday of Jan so ill update after they are installed next weekend.
 

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My '98 Jetta K2 just started doing this a month ago. Temp gauge will read normal then drop off to nothing. Never does heat up though. Had this car for 6 years and never had this problem. I'm changing out the thermostat today. I'll post up the results.
 

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My Jetta did that, If it was ideling up to temp it would happily go to the middle, the fan would come on and it would drop a little. If I was moving it was barly a 1/4 up to temp. Made for a dreadful winter drive, and lots of foggy windows.

Mk3 temp guages dont move as much as mk 1 or 2 ones do. Their more of an "Oh **** its hot" guage. Start it and hold the revs at 2000 with a screw driver in the throttle body stopper to see if it comes up to temp and if you get hot air inside. Ideally youd use a propper engine temp guage.

My first place to check would be the thermo. It could be failing, prematurely opening, or its the wrong temp rating. Thats super common in VW's. The other thing to consider here is that unless the temp in the head is at least 90deg C you are not getting good fuel milage. That engine should have a 92c thermostat in it and pink G12 coolant.
 

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Got done changing out the thermostat, refilled the anti-freeze and still blowing cold air. Buddy said it probably had an air bubble. Couldn't get it out just idling in the driveway. Fluid still showed full. Drove 5 miles and the overheat light came on. Got home and saw no fluid. Let it cool, topped it off and got some heat. Drove it 2 miles and the heat kicked in. Checked the fluid level again and it's just below min. Going to let it cool off, top it off and I'm good to go. Not the easiest job changing that out, but it solved the problem. If anyone needs some tips to change it out, hit me up. Next time it won't be as hard. Heat is Sweet.
 

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Thermostats in those cars are a pain in the ass, Ill agree to that! And yes, and air pocket will keep you cold. A good tip tho when you do that is once its initially filled up to the line or just past is to hold the revs up at 2000 untill the fan has come on and off a couple times. Shut it off and top up when its cool. Then go for a drive with some steep up and down hills that you'll have some good rpm at the same time. Im fortunate that I live near the mountains. Works great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Got my thermostat and coolant changed out over the weekend and its back to normal. Took 3 top offs after the initial fill but it heats great now and comes up to operating temp quickly. I would definitely suggest doing this first if you are having the same problem
 
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