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I have an Audi A3 2001 1.9TDI engine code ASV and my temperature gauge has always been acting weird - goes to 100°C or higher and then drops back to 90°C.

I took my car to a local certified Audi mechanic and they told me that there is nothing wrong the cooling system itself. They said the problem lies with the temperature gauge which they also said it is a known problem on this models. They said that they can only replace the entire instrument cluster which would cost me about 800,00 € (almost half the value of my car ^_^), I of course declined. :)

Can I fix the temperature gauge by myself? What could be wrong with it? Is it the stepper motor? How can I diagnose this?

EDIT: I FORGOT TO MENTION that whenever the temperature goes above 90°C I gently hit above the instrument cluster and temperature immediately falls back down to 90°C, however I'm getting tired of hitting my car like this. Also it looks stupid when people pass me by and see me banging on the instrument cluster. ^_^

  • They were sure it was the temp gauge and not one of the temp sensors on the engine? Those would be much cheaper to replace. – JPhi1618 Nov 17 '17 at 16:43
  • @JPhi1618 Temperature sensor has recently been replaced and made no difference. – Eric Nov 17 '17 at 22:27
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One option would be to fit an aftermarket temperature gauge - You can buy various sorts for fitting to kit cars and classics, and a full kit will also come with a suitable sensor to fit into one of the radiator hoses. You could then simply ignore the built-in one.

Another suggestion would be to get a replacement dash from a similar car in a scrapyard, however if it is a known problem then chances are the replacement would have the same problem!

  • +1 to Nick’s answer. Fixing gauge clusters can be very difficult. There are usually *many small components, and it would require some really solid skill with soldering and a good understanding of electronics. Not to mention that some of them, and some of the components, are fully packaged units that are plastic welded or glued shut, meaning that you have to break them to get them open. Wow may also be able to get a complete aftermarket gauge cluster... but that could cost close to the same. – kyle_engineer Nov 17 '17 at 17:31
  • Since its a known problem scrapyard is out of the question. Fitting an after market temperature gauge seems like a good option but I've yet to find one... Does anyone know where I could look those up? I can't seem to get any good results on ebay... – Eric Nov 17 '17 at 22:32
  • You could try classic car suppliers - I just bought an oil pressure gauge from one here in the UK. – Nick C Nov 17 '17 at 22:52

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