2003 vw jetta overheating
July 23, 2006 11:07 AM   Subscribe

favorite girls 2003 volkwagon jetta is over heating - low miles (30k) - she's semi-stranded in rapid city south dakota... anyone have any experience with similar problems with their late model vws?

apparently started getting hot under load entering the black hills but now is getting a little worse (getting hot faster).
posted by specialk420 to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
could be a blown fuse on the fan. Used to happen reguraly on my Golf.
posted by funboytree at 11:16 AM on July 23, 2006

Response by poster: thanks for the suggestion - fan seems to be coming on fine. my suspicion is the water pump which apparently is an issue with the jettas of that area
posted by specialk420 at 11:38 AM on July 23, 2006

Try replacing the radiator cap, but only with a factory spec. cap from a VW dealer.

I once was driving through Utah in mid-summer in a Toyota which kept overheating even though everything seemed to be in perfect condition. The problem, disclosed to me by an extremely clever and well-trained service tech actually wearing a spotless white lab coat, turned out to be a weak spring on my radiator cap. Because that spring was too weak, whenever the radiator pressure approached two-thirds of the design value the cap blew, causing everything to overheat. I went on to drive the rest of the way to NYC without seeing the gauge touch the hot region.
posted by jamjam at 12:16 PM on July 23, 2006

Thermostat would be my first line of inquiry. Not an uncommon problem, but not all that pricey or difficult to replace.
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:22 PM on July 23, 2006

If the thermostat is the problem, the car will be fine without it while the weather is warm.
posted by wryly at 3:27 PM on July 23, 2006

If she has to drive without getting it fixed, running the heater may help.
posted by donpardo at 4:42 PM on July 23, 2006

i had a mid-90s jetta that overheated constantly when i was sitting in traffic for anywhere over 5 minutes. it happened relentlessly. i f**king hated that car, and will never, ever buy a vw again...because everytime i took it to the vw dealer, there was someone else there who was taking their vw in for the same exact problem.

i remember my model i checked online did indeed have some sort of recall that was culprit of the overheating, but my vw dealer wouldnt recognize it or something, and it was way too much $$$ to replace on my own so i never did it. i ended-up selling the car after like 6 months because it was just too stressful driving a car that was so unpredictable.

The only short-term solution to your problem is BLASTING the heat the second you hit traffic (you have to do this regardless of the temperature outside, and i would even do this sitting in 95 degree weather with the sun beating down). and try to drive in the highway lane that is closest to the emergency pull-over.
posted by naxosaxur at 6:48 PM on July 23, 2006

A dumb suggestion, that I, er, have made before is to check the radiator fluid level under the cap. Sometimes the overflow tank can appear fine but the actual radiator level has dropped.
posted by bystander at 3:20 AM on July 24, 2006

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