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We have a 99' 1.8t wagon with 154,000 on it. My husband thinks that the thermostat has gone bad as the car never gets past 120 for its temp, even in the summer.

Where is the t-stat located and is it a hard thing to replace?? Also, where would you recommend buying the part from??

Thanks!
 

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Could be the thermostat or the sensor. The sensor is easier to replace, since you just unplug the old one and pull the retaining clip to get it out, make sure the gasket wasn't left in the opening, and then install the new sensor with gasket, replace the retaining clip, and plug it in. Should take all of 5 minutes. It probably took longer for me to type this than to actually do it.

The thermostat can be replaced fairly easy as well, but requires draining the coolant first, since it's at the bottom of the system. There's a housing on the driver's side of the engine block, behind and below the water pump with 2 or 3 bolts, and then you're right at it. I think I had to remove a cross brace (2 bolts) to get to mine. The new 'stat goes in with the new gasket, and screw everything back in. Again simple, with the most complicated thing being draining and replacing the coolant. I reccomend reading the writeup on replacing the timin belt, as all the steps and specifics are well written there already. I don't think this would take more than 1/2 hour if you don't run into any complications...
 

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2001 Passat wagon; 2016 Golf Sportwagen
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You are lucky your thermostat stuck open. Two in a row have stuck closed on my son's 1996 Audi A4 2.8Q -- the first at 8 years, the second, only 2 years later.
 
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