Today my malfunction indicator lamp came on
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  1. #1
    Neutral
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New York
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    40

    Today my malfunction indicator lamp came on

    Hey guys today I had my MIL come on while I was on the parkway. I was wondering if the engine coolant / temperature level could have anything to do with the light turning on because for about 2 weeks now its but a little less then normal. sometimes itll go up then come down a little, but most of the time it goes up and stays at normal. The car has about 59,000 miles can anyone tell me what this problem could be thats causing the MIL light to come on?

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  3. #2
    3rd Gear
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Maryland (D.C. Area)
    Age
    22
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    1,775
    I think that your "issue" isn't an issue at all. It's normal. There will be more or less coolant in the tank at different points due to the motor needing to use more or less of it, and the temperature it is at. (The hotter it gets, the more the fluid expands. This is why it is called an "expansion tank")

    The only real way to tell why your MIL (or CEL as it is more commonly referred to on this forum) is on without a real symptom, is to get it scanned. Autozone will scan your car for free, but if you are going to start doing your own work on the car then I would recommend just going ahead and purchasing either a Vag-Com system, or a simple code reader. You can get a code reader and Autozone, Advance auto, or somewhere online.

    Either way, when you get it scanned, report back with the code and we can get started.

    Here is the code lookup table: DTC Lookup Table

  4. #3
    Neutral
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    40
    Thanks so much the code that I got was P2181 .. something to do with the temperature gage

  5. #4
    Overdrive
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lehigh County, Pa.
    Age
    59
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    10,118
    Actually P2181 translates into a problem with Cooling System Performance, meaning the temperature isn't where the ECU expects it at the right time - pretty generic. First thing to do would be to replace the Coolant Temperature Sensor, as that's cheap, easy, and fails frequently. But, it could also be the thermostat, even the water pump.

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