I noticed there was a small crack in the radiator of my 93 VW Golf/Rabbit Cabriolet. So I ordered a new one and installed it.

However, the car seems to now run hotter - or, at least, the thermo-fan comes on later. Whilst the temperature gauge does not enter the 'danger' zone it does sit higher then it did previously.

During the install process I re-used the old thermofan switch, and cleaned it - there was a very thin layer of grime on it. On installing it, it is clocked at a different angle to the original, but surely that shouldn't matter?

I must admit the replacement rad I bought was pretty cheap (only one I could find), but was designed for my car. All other parts of the cooling system seem fine (no oil or rust or gunk in coolant, air bubbles bled out).

Should I be concerned?

1 Answer 1


Believe it or not, the temperature of an engine is not controlled by the radiator but rather the thermostat as long as the radiator has sufficient capacity to cool the engine.

So in your case it's quite possible that you are simply misreading the "idiot gauge" or that the thermostat is not working properly. Possibly it was installed wrong.

Rather than base your diagnosis on this gauge, get an actual cooling system thermometer and measure the actual temperature and make sure it's in the normal range as specified by the vehicle manufacturer.

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