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Merry christmas everyone. I have just returned home to Adelaide after spending christmas day on Yorke Peninsula towed van over and back uneventful until about 50ks from Adelaide i noticed the temperature guage jump from its normal position at 90 up to 95 then back to its normal position it did this a number of times I moved gear down to m7 seemed to help I normally leave it in drive and let it sort itself out.. I was travelling at about 90kph at the time the outside temperature was 29° and a bit of a side wind the van weights about 2.8 tonne I have never seen this happen before the car has only done 53k and serviced 6k ago the fluid level is correct and looks clean it is blue. My question is this fluctuation normal? I have had the car since march this year and towed the same van to Darwin and return and never noticed the guage move in similar heat
 

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I did another search on here and goind some posts on the guage fluctuating when towing and the suggestion seems that it is normal to fluctuate it is a bit unnerving seeing it move so quickly up and down
 

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Merry christmas everyone. I have just returned home to Adelaide after spending christmas day on Yorke Peninsula towed van over and back uneventful until about 50ks from Adelaide i noticed the temperature guage jump from its normal position at 90 up to 95 then back to its normal position it did this a number of times I moved gear down to m7 seemed to help I normally leave it in drive and let it sort itself out.. I was travelling at about 90kph at the time the outside temperature was 29° and a bit of a side wind the van weights about 2.8 tonne I have never seen this happen before the car has only done 53k and serviced 6k ago the fluid level is correct and looks clean it is blue. My question is this fluctuation normal? I have had the car since march this year and towed the same van to Darwin and return and never noticed the guage move in similar heat
My question is unless your color blind why is the coolant blue ?

G12+,++ pink, G13 Violet ?

only G11 from VW in the 1990's was blue.

regards
Drag
 

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No I'm not colour blind it was serviced by VW in Alice Springs how would I know what colour it is supposed to be? I would expect VW to use the correct coolant but i will check it out thanks for pointing it out
 

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My question is unless your color blind why is the coolant blue ?

G12+,++ pink, G13 Violet ?

only G11 from VW in the 1990's was blue.

regards
Drag
My apologies I am colour blind in the sun it looked bluish but you are right it is pink thanks for
 

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Apologies for the not metric temps, but you will get the idea.

The water temp gauge lies. When I did research, I found out that it is a fairly common practice. Apparently people who had no idea how a thermostat open and closes complained under warranty that the car would not sit on 195 degrees but would move from around 200 to 190. Then they complained that the car would go slightly over 200 going up hills. Use your imagination. The complaints went on and on.

The water temp gauge now sits behind a computer nanny (software) that lies. I went thru a period when the engine was only running at 180. Thermostat was failing. I sensed something was wrong, but I trusted that lying gauge. I finally figured it out, months later. I no longer trust anything that is on the drivers display.

I knew that the gas gauge was adapted and gave you an average reading. The touareg manual tells you that the outside temp was adapted. It gives you the average reading and will only move up and down a degree every x seconds.

However, I expected that the water and oil temp were real time actual readings. Sigh, apparently sometimes I am an idiot.

I can tell you that my gauge will sit dead on "center normal" until the water temp goes below 175.

What works to get real readings?

VCDS always has the real numbers, but it is too cumbersome to keep a laptop running.

What works and is practical?

Those OBD readers that plug into the car and uses an app on your phone. Since water temp is a mandatory OBD parameter, you can just use your phone and watch the real water temp in real time. It will go up and down as the thermostat works. It will go up when towing. It will be higher going up a long hill compared to going down a long hill. It will be the real number.

I move my OBD reader between vehicles. It is pretty handy since I always have the phone on me.

Many truck people that tow buy a display that is permanent. ScanGauge is one example.

I did another search on here and goind some posts on the guage fluctuating when towing and the suggestion seems that it is normal to fluctuate it is a bit unnerving seeing it move so quickly up and down
To answer your question, there is a point where the software decides to move your gauge to the next level. So you are in the temp zone that centers the gauge on normal. You go up a degree or two, but it moves you into the next zone. The gauge moves quickly form zone1 to zone2.

If you are towing, get a cheap car to phone OBD adapter and a cell phone app. You will be glad that you did.

Hope something in this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well an update I had to go and collect an empty car trailer today the outside temperature 41° and a very steep hill for 2 kilometres on the way there. Temperature guage remained on 90 slight movement near the top but appeared normal. The return trip was uneventful with a few smaller hills the trailer weighed about 500 kilos temperature guage remained on 90 still 41°. And if there was a problem it would have showed up. I am assuming yesterday was normal but I will get a radiator pressure test
 

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All you know for sure from the above test is that the water temp stayed in the range where the computer software pegs the needle in the middle of the normal range. It would indicate that everything is fine with the system, but you still have zero idea what the actual real time reading is.

If you have questions about what the cooling system is doing, the best way is to read the sensors in real time and see what is happening. You can see if you have a partially open thermostat, a partially closed thermostat, or a weak water pump by watching what the temps do in real time.

Search for elm327 bluetooth obd if you want to see what the little phone adapters are and what they cost in your area. I can purchase them delivered from amazon for about $10 in the US for android only versions. iPhone compatible versions cost a little bit more.

You can also get custom versions that come with their own software for more. There is Blue Driver and FixD brands being sold.

Or perhaps you would like the VW Carnista app. https://caristaapp.com/vehicles/vw
 

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Once my Touareg is warmed up, I never notice the temperature gauge move off the 90C even towing 1500kg - my Scangauge does show the variation although I've never seen that go above 97C
 

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Once my Touareg is warmed up, I never notice the temperature gauge move off the 90C even towing 1500kg - my Scangauge does show the variation although I've never seen that go above 97C
Scanguage, your best friend when towing. :D

That is the way it works.

When my thermostat stuck partially open and refuse to close fully, I saw temps of 90 C (195F) on the dash the entire time, even though the real engine temp was 82 C (180 F).

MPG down, car running rich, long time trim off, carbon around tailpipe. Told VCDS to log the O2 sensors, thinking those were dying. Decided to log some other things. Took a long drive. Looking at pretty dash guage, perfectly stuck dead on 90C.

Stopped and started looking at logged data. Water temp never went up to normal. Did my Yosemite Sam impersonation.

 

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Merry christmas everyone. I have just returned home to Adelaide after spending christmas day on Yorke Peninsula towed van over and back uneventful until about 50ks from Adelaide i noticed the temperature guage jump from its normal position at 90 up to 95 then back to its normal position it did this a number of times I moved gear down to m7 seemed to help I normally leave it in drive and let it sort itself out.. I was travelling at about 90kph at the time the outside temperature was 29° and a bit of a side wind the van weights about 2.8 tonne I have never seen this happen before the car has only done 53k and serviced 6k ago the fluid level is correct and looks clean it is blue. My question is this fluctuation normal? I have had the car since march this year and towed the same van to Darwin and return and never noticed the guage move in similar heat
Had the same experience with my 2015 Tourareg, towing from Geelong to Adelaide (17’ van at 100kph). It was very disconcerting watching the gauge go up and down, specifically when it was under load, but sometimes just on the long straight flat stretches of road. Contacted VW Aust, service advisors, and local VW service centre dealerships, and they couldn’t offer any advice apart from saying the new technology in the new vehicles such as the Tourareg more accurately reflected vehicle operating temperatures. After having it noted at my local dealership that I had reported this concern, while the vehicle was still under warranty, I lived with it and like yourself it only occurred when towing. I later met another Touareg driving caravaner and asked if they had ever experience what I have described, which he had and he said when he raised it he was told to tow in ‘Sports’ mode and not ‘Drive’ which I had been doing, diesels he had been told worked more efficiently when they were under load ( I’ll let the auto engineers/mechanics debate that!) Having since done All my towing in Sports mode I have had no issues, the gauge just sits at normal, and have now done multiple trips to SA, NSW, and Qld, without any issues, fuel consumption did increase a little, but it really wasn’t worth worrying about, given the peace of mind I had watching the fuel gauge remain stable!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the reply I did take it out of drive for awhile and it did seem to be steady. Then we hit the 60kph zone and speed and temp remained steady on 90. What seemed odd is that not long prior to that we had completed a trip to Darwin and return and guage remained steady we were towing about 2.7 tonne. I did have a normal service at Alice Springs. I will get a radiator pressure test for peace of mind car still has low ks I think just 52k and service books show regular services
 

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Merry christmas everyone. I have just returned home to Adelaide after spending christmas day on Yorke Peninsula towed van over and back uneventful until about 50ks from Adelaide i noticed the temperature guage jump from its normal position at 90 up to 95 then back to its normal position it did this a number of times I moved gear down to m7 seemed to help I normally leave it in drive and let it sort itself out.. I was travelling at about 90kph at the time the outside temperature was 29° and a bit of a side wind the van weights about 2.8 tonne I have never seen this happen before the car has only done 53k and serviced 6k ago the fluid level is correct and looks clean it is blue. My question is this fluctuation normal? I have had the car since march this year and towed the same van to Darwin and return and never noticed the guage move in similar heat
Merry christmas everyone. I have just returned home to Adelaide after spending christmas day on Yorke Peninsula towed van over and back uneventful until about 50ks from Adelaide i noticed the temperature guage jump from its normal position at 90 up to 95 then back to its normal position it did this a number of times I moved gear down to m7 seemed to help I normally leave it in drive and let it sort itself out.. I was travelling at about 90kph at the time the outside temperature was 29° and a bit of a side wind the van weights about 2.8 tonne I have never seen this happen before the car has only done 53k and serviced 6k ago the fluid level is correct and looks clean it is blue. My question is this fluctuation normal? I have had the car since march this year and towed the same van to Darwin and return and never noticed the guage move in similar heat
Thanks for the reply I did take it out of drive for awhile and it did seem to be steady. Then we hit the 60kph zone and speed and temp remained steady on 90. What seemed odd is that not long prior to that we had completed a trip to Darwin and return and guage remained steady we were towing about 2.7 tonne. I did have a normal service at Alice Springs. I will get a radiator pressure test for peace of mind car still has low ks I think just 52k and service books show regular services
Both my old 2015 and current 2018 7P Touareg temperature gauges did and do the same fluctuations when I am towing my 3100 kg van. Not all the time but sometimes once every couple of days on a long trip. But when it does the heart rate goes up a bit , then it goes back to 90. I have been assured by VW that it is normal.
 

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This is just a stab in the dark but it may be the DPF burn that's causing the temperature fluctuations. I'm a Diesel mechanic but in heavy industry so doesn't really give me any more right to an opinion then anybody else but a 5 deg variation in temp is not normally something I would be concerned about, no doubt something is causing it and the DPF system would be the obvious one? I'm not sure if the burn history is available to download but it may be worth noting the time, RPM and vehicle speed and duration of the increase in temp and then talking to a specialist who may then be able to verify if its possibly the DPF system or not.
 

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For what it's worth, in my 150 TDI I towed my 2.7 t van for 25k Kms and I never saw my temp gauge move from 90c. Even when towing in South Australia in 46 degrees it said 90!. I thought (possibly mistakenly) that the cooling system was very efficient, and very rarely did the fan continue on after stopping the engine. Hopefully the reading would have changed before something serious happened.
 

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This is just a stab in the dark but it may be the DPF burn that's causing the temperature fluctuations. I'm a Diesel mechanic but in heavy industry so doesn't really give me any more right to an opinion then anybody else but a 5 deg variation in temp is not normally something I would be concerned about, no doubt something is causing it and the DPF system would be the obvious one? I'm not sure if the burn history is available to download but it may be worth noting the time, RPM and vehicle speed and duration of the increase in temp and then talking to a specialist who may then be able to verify if its possibly the DPF system or not.
For what it's worth, in my 150 TDI I towed my 2.7 t van for 25k Kms and I never saw my temp gauge move from 90c. Even when towing in South Australia in 46 degrees it said 90!. I thought (possibly mistakenly) that the cooling system was very efficient, and very rarely did the fan continue on after stopping the engine. Hopefully the reading would have changed before something serious happened.
I have no doubt that the coolant temps move according to load, ambient temps, speed/airflow thru the radiator etc there is no question about that.
If you hook up VCDS and see what the actual temps are being displayed by the degree increments during these times you will see what actual fluctuations/ swing of the coolant temp is actually happening.
How much it move, i bet it will vary slightly between cars but keep in mind the thermostat should keep the temp at min 85-90 deg c so the only way for the coolant to go is up when you generate more power.
More power means more heat to dissipate so the coolant system has to get rid of it. Most likely the thermostat is already mostly if not already fully open and the coolant is flowing as much as it can already.
So up goes the temps while all that extra heat is being generated.
Keep in mind the oil cooler will be doing its bit also but somewhat slower.
I would say coolant temp rise of up to 105 deg c maybe 110 deg c would be not abnormal in actual VCDS readings when under heavy loads on a hot day.
Also remember the coolant is under pressure and at 10 psi water wont boil till about 115 deg c and add in the chemicals in the coolant and 110 deg c is not an issue.
Just the coolant anti boil chemicals without any system applied pressure would increase boil to around 108 to 110 deg c.

Any way i have rambled enough this is my thought on what you are seeing with the cluster temp gauge.
Most manufacturers i believe build into the coolant gauges what i call a dithering factor that is setup around the operating temp of the engine.
This stops the gauge going any higher until the coolant reached a predetermined temp above operating so only then will it go up. (maybe i am dreaming :rolleyes:)
This may be say at 96-97 deg c then it will read some what directly what the coolant temp is. Keep in mind the temp wont just jump from 90 to 97 deg it will still climb up but somewhat quickly.
And the reverse happens when the cool temp drops down it comes back to normal 90 deg c.
This is to stop the customer seeing an erratic temp gauge moving all over the place and complaining to the dealers / service departments and giving the manufacturer a bad name.
If one has a VCDS or another unit that can read the coolant temp directly from the ECU data it might be clearer showing the coolant temp movements that the gauge doesn't show.
I would try that and if i had my doubts i would first replace the coolant sensor to see if it was maybe not quite on the money with the signals / electrical resistance.
Then as a lot of others don't seem to be having this issue as those that do are in the minority maybe your temp gauge is not quite right.

or other possibilities.
your radiator assuming it is original maybe it has a manufacturing defect
or your coolant pump impeller has an issue

regards
Drag
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I started this post sometime ago with an erratic temperature guage which has now changed to the dreaded coolant loss its now in repair shop waiting for an erg cooler to be delivered from sydney to Adelaide. I have found a good vw mechanic who knew exactly what was wrong also showed me a slight oil leak also which will be sorted he is dismantling it ready for the parts looks like $3000 barring other problems. Disappointed with what has happened as its only done 20k since i bought it now showing 56k and log book has been maintained most of the driving since purchased have been long trips and still on original brakes and battery. Its a great car to drive and serves the purpose i bought it for to tow a 3 tonne van. The only thing I'm happy about is by now we would have been on our annual trip with the van to the Northern Territory but due to lockdown its only been driven locally and would have been a disaster. I maybe shoud have added this info to another thread on here dedicated to the coolant loss which which alerted me to what the problem is. I'm thankful that this is such a great forum with people putting their experience on.
Cheers Steve
 

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Finally got treg back but not happy during the cooler replacement the water pump failed when up to normal operating pressure/temperature the parts cost a bomb and the guys labour was wasnt excessive next problem there is an oil leak at the top of the timing cover. After a discussion he suggested to leave it for now and reassess it at next service in about 2000 ks. Says removing the timing cover is time consuming job and is labour intensive rather than part costs he says it will gradually get worse. I cant believe the failures on this car at such low kilometers and service book was up to date and all recalls had been done general condition of car is good and reliability is one of the priorities when towing and is now in doubt. Unfortunately for me on a limited budget and this car is looking like a money pit. I like the car it fits my purpose way it drives and tows etc but for me will have to make a decision on when to pull the pin.
 

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Finally got treg back but not happy during the cooler replacement the water pump failed when up to normal operating pressure/temperature the parts cost a bomb and the guys labour was wasnt excessive next problem there is an oil leak at the top of the timing cover. After a discussion he suggested to leave it for now and reassess it at next service in about 2000 ks. Says removing the timing cover is time consuming job and is labour intensive rather than part costs he says it will gradually get worse. I cant believe the failures on this car at such low kilometers and service book was up to date and all recalls had been done general condition of car is good and reliability is one of the priorities when towing and is now in doubt. Unfortunately for me on a limited budget and this car is looking like a money pit. I like the car it fits my purpose way it drives and tows etc but for me will have to make a decision on when to pull the pin.
With the oil leak just be sure that its from the timing cover. There was a problem in the factory with the application of the sealant on the sump before attaching to motor on the T3. Evidently the settings were askew a bit and it could develop a leak at the top rear of the sump. There was no recall issued. My old T2 had a slight oil leak from the timing cover and I actually started using thicker oil 5W-40 rather than 5w-30 and it stopped or slowed enough to no longer be a problem.
By the way to fix the sump leak is an engine out job. VW take 2 weeks and $15000+ so hopefully not that for your sake. Good luck
 

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Timing cover leaks on T2 are ofter misdiagnosed as the leak if from back of engine could come from an 'O' ring under a cover (circled)
InkedEngine rear_LI.jpg


TonyB
 
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