I am working on a variety of issues with a 89 1.6 Jetta Turbo diesel. (It is not a TDI) The temp gauge stays pegged at the lowest point with car off or on, hot or cold. I have tried jumping the sender connecter and grounding it but no movement of the gauge needle. As you probably know, replacing the gauge, or just getting to it is a huge task. Is there any other thing that it could be? Other gauges and functions of the vehicle seem fine.
Update on this problem. I took enough of the dash apart so I could get my hand behind the instrument cluster and the temp gauge. With ignition on (not running) and sender wire jumped to ground I was feeling around for loose connections, when I put pressure on the area behind the temp gauge, suddenly it started working. When I released the pressure, the gauge went back to zero. I was able to get the instrument cluster out of the dash. There is a printed circuit on flexible plastic wrapped on the top and back of the cluster. I cleaned the lugs and contact points on the circuit, and examined the circuit for cracks, but got the same results after it was re-installed. So, to me, it looks like there is some sort of problem with the gauge. I am reluctant to open up this cluster because it means removing the wrapped plastic printed circuit, which is likely less flexible than it used to be. The car runs fine, cooling fan cycles properly, but I would like to have a way to monitor engine temp. Any thoughts on rigging up some sort of separate, add on gauge, possibly using the original sender? Or use a new sender with a new gauge?
Chris, Why not just use a mechanical temp gauge and be done with it? A catalog like Summit Racing or Jegs has these. The only electrical connection you'd need is for illumination- the probe is mechanical and foolproof. I'm fairly sure there's a problem in your circuit board- I've seen symptoms like you describe before. The car you have is a little gem. I have a 1.6 turbodiesel engine in my 86 Golf: the fuel is cranked up, and with 10 lbs of boost it's way faster than my 98 TDI Jetta. It loves B100, too. Good luck with the gauge thing... Steve
Thank you for the suggestions, I think that would be the way to go as well. Although the car was a lot of fun, I sold it a few weeks ago. Now if I could just figure out a way to get a turbo on my 85 626 diesel, then it would be the perfect car!
VW's dash circuity is infamous for intermittant connections. My Tach works for a few minutes after going over a bump, for example. I've taken it apart as far as I can without breaking a glue joint, cleaned connections, and it is still intermittant. I can reach through the radio opening and touch the flat wire connector, which always makes the tach work perfectly. I tried taping the wire in place to constantly keep a little pressure on it, but can't get the tape to stick for long. I'm afraid to glue it, or any other "permanent" solution because it may quit again and then be impossible to remedy. The Tach isn't a critical instrument, anyway, so I can live without it. A temperature gage on the other hand could be an (engine) life-saver. Any idea if the overtemp-warning light and buzzer work?
Once you understand how to wiggle-out the Instrument Panel, it becomes easier to take one out of a junk-yard doaner, if you can find one. I haven't done it, yet, either.
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