Error code P2181 Coolant system issues

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  1. #1
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    Error code P2181 Coolant system issues

    I have a Passat 2006/2.0T with an error code P2181 (coolant issues problems). The Temperature gauge seems to be ok, at idle, stays around 190-200, when I turn the AC the big fan comes ON, but the small fan (in the radiator) doesn't come up at all. The error code P2181 suggests that I may have a bad CTS, it is not that expensive, I can replace it. The car has 94,000 and the CTS never has been replaced. Could a bad CTS prevent the high temperature fan from coming ON? I have not tested the fan, but it seems to me like an easy taks just to replace the CTS. Any other ideas?

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  3. #2
    1st Gear
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    You most likely have
    1) bad small fan
    2) failing thermostat

    Both are really common. When you have the t-stat out, replace the CTS that is in the pipe at the bottom of the housing. The other CTS is below the timing chain cover next to the battery. That is really easy to replace any time. The other one, not so much. Replace it while you are working right there.

  4. #3
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    I am having the same code pop up. Please keep us posted on what you did to fix it. Think I'll check the fan later and I'll let you know.

  5. #4
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    Fan works, looks like thermostat I guess. Stays at a pretty steady 200. ???

  6. #5
    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    The fan operation is controlled by the dual thermal switch in the lower Rad hose.
    Glutton for Punishment: 14 Passat TDI SELP, 04 Passat 1.8T GLS Variant, 99 C-Red Passat 1.8T

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