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Old 05-10-2018, 05:58 PM   #1
Ready to race!
Drives: 2010 GTi
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Maynard, MA
Posts: 16
Bad engine wiring? Temp gauge not working and check engine light

Man, this has been a rough day. I noticed my temperature needle was bouncing around (between cool and mid) a few times. Then, soon after, I see a check engine light. I recognized this from my thermostat issues I've had in the past. I brought the car into the dealer and they said that there was an engine wiring problem and it would take 3 hours of labor just to identify the issue.

I got the car back and asked for the diagnostic report. On my way home, the check engine light came back as expected but now the temperature gauge shows only cool (it doesn't move at all). When I parked the car, I can hear fans blowing.

About 1.5 years ago, I replaced the thermostat and water pump. I think it cost me about 1k. To make matters worse, a few months ago the water pump failed due to a broken o-ring (I think they botched the job), so the water pump had to be removed so the o-ring could be replaced, another $600 or something. I was certain this was the thermostat again but the dealer said its engine wiring?

Here are the DTC memories entires:

- P0118 Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor 1 Circuit High Intermittent
- Frequency counter: 4
- P0088 Fuel Rail/System Pressure - Too High Intermittent
- Frequency counter: 1
- P0420 Catalyst System, Bank 1 Efficiency Below Threshold static
- Frequency counter: 1

I'm really clueless here. I really do not want to pay $300-$400 just to have the guy diagnose the wiring if it doesn't end up being that.

Anyone have any clue as to what could be wrong here?

Last edited by dominick; 05-10-2018 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:22 PM   #2
Passed Driver's Ed
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 10
Dont take it to the heart, but if i where you i would part the car, its money pit.

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Old 05-14-2018, 01:35 PM   #3
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Drives: 2010 GTi
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Maynard, MA
Posts: 16
I just got back from another dealer ($900 lighter). It was the water pump/thermostat as I suspected. Had it swapped out and the car runs great again.

I think the first dealer was too lazy/inexperienced to figure it out so they just decided to stick me with a few hours of diagnosing so they could actually figure out what was wrong.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:23 PM   #4
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Drives: 2011 gti stage 2 /stg2 sb daily
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Dallas
Posts: 111
You should have done the job yourself. Some troll above said its a money pit and to an extent i agree. If you plan on keeping and modifying any car you need to learn everything you can about it. You could likely have done the pump and put $900 towards some goodies. The temp gauge should not fluctuate. If it does you likely need a thermostat (getting stuck). The water pump on these cars are weird as they are belt driven by the balance shaft. Glad your fixed up
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