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Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, GTI: 1999-2005, R32: 2004 (A4) P3081 DTC: Anyone help?


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Last Post: Mar 14, 2017 6:15 PM Last Post By: FreddiesGTI
ChelleWithTheGTI

Posts: 3
Registered: 01/02/08
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jan 14, 2008 3:57 PM   in response to: Art in response to: Art
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I'm not exactly sure what they did to fix it, I want to say that they replaced the thermostat, I'd have to look at the invoice though. I know the hundred dollars is around what everyone charges, but the reason that irritated me was because there was no code to clear out. The engine light was off because when I went to autozone to diagnose the problem they cleared it out for me and wrote down the code and description for me. But oh well that's life I suppose.
gk78

Posts: 1
Registered: 06/18/08
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 8:36 AM   in response to: erick1800 in response to: erick1800
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Art,
I have a 2002 W8. I've noticed after I turn off the engine the fan remains on for a while and I also noticed it on high while I'm driving. The engine light came on the other day and I had a friend scan the code and it came up P3081. How can I fix this problem?
Art

Posts: 2,743
Registered: 09/08/00
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 10:06 PM   in response to: gk78 in response to: gk78
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Good Evening, gk78,

That DTC has come up on this board several times before and it is related to problems with the cooling system. I've written as much as I know and/or can kind out about it on this forum. Do a search on all VW boards for P3081 and you will get several hits including this one:
http://tech.bentleypublishers.com/thread.jspa?threadID=16994&start=0&tstart=0

I would also suggest that you might get a broader response if you post you question on the Passat 1998-2005 boards instead of here on the Jetta/Golf A4 boards.

Arthur LeBrun
Art

Posts: 2,743
Registered: 09/08/00
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 10:17 PM   in response to: ChelleWithTheGTI in response to: ChelleWithTheGTI
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Good Evening, ChelleWithTheGTI,

Just a quick add-on the your comment about the engine light being off.

Don't forget that you CAN have codes (DTCs) stored in memory, but NOT have the MIL on. There are several circumstances where this can occur. One common situation is when certain components get CLOSE to being out of spec, but are not quite there yet; another is a situation where you get a malfunction where a component is failing sometimes. These are called pending or sporadic codes and they are stored, but have not failed to the point of causing the MIL to go on just yet.

Thanks for the update.

Arthur LeBrun
audivwdude

Posts: 13
Registered: 06/30/08
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jun 30, 2008 3:17 PM   in response to: xen355 in response to: xen355
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99% of the time a malfunction in coolant system is thermostat related. I have found that '03,'04 have weak thermostats. They have a different part#/supplier.
It is supposed to open at 87*supposed. anything sooner than 83 will set a fault especially in colder weather/climates.
Ryap

Posts: 1
Registered: 07/06/08
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jul 6, 2008 10:38 PM   in response to: xen355 in response to: xen355
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Zen355,

I have 03 GTI VR6 with error code P3081 and I replace the EC sensor and it fixed the problems and only cost me less than $20 including the coolant.
jess187

Posts: 1
Registered: 07/15/08
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jul 15, 2008 7:13 PM   in response to: erick1800 in response to: erick1800
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I have 2003 1.8T New Beetle. I also scanned this code on my car. I took it to the dealership where they checked it,and it was exactly the problem stated above. Luckily, the part to be replaced was covered by the manufacturer for up to 10 years or 100 thousand miles, so everything was free. Try it!
carrera997s

Posts: 17
Registered: 05/14/05
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jul 22, 2008 4:45 PM   in response to: Art in response to: Art
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Art,

Interesting topic!!!! I'm also receiving this same DTC "19537" on a relatives 04 Golf. I cleared the ECU of this code with the Ross-Tech VCDS Release 805" software. Two (2) days later after running the air conditioning the MIL light came back on again. This time I got this code:

16502 - Engine Coolant Temp. Sensor (G62): Signal too High
P0118 - 35-10 - - - Intermittent

I cleared the fault code again and I ran the car again with no A/C for a while no MIL light but as soon as I start using the A/C again the MIL light comes on usually not right away but eventually. What gives????

Hey Thanks for all of the great Tech Lectures and demos at the old VW zone office in Lanham Maryland!!!!!

Dave Mason
Former Member of the Now disbanded NCAVWC
84 GTI
90 Corrado
92 GTI
05 Jetta GLI
Art

Posts: 2,743
Registered: 09/08/00
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jul 29, 2008 2:27 PM   in response to: carrera997s in response to: carrera997s
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Good Afternoon, Dave,

The situation you describe yells "radiator fan" at me. I would definitely check to be certain that the fan(s) behind the radiator operate when the A/C is on. There are several fan speeds and operating modes, depending on engine/transmission type, but one thing that remains constant is that when you make it cool in the interior, you make it hot in the engine room.

That heat MUST be removed and the radiator fans get the job. So point you search in that direction. There have been some problems with the fan control module and the related circuits, and since all radiator fan functions run through that component, I check it out carefully.

By the way, you can watch the coolant temperature go up and down on your scan tool with the Ross-Tech software. And it should go up and down a few degrees between the fan on and fan off points. That signal comes in from the G62 ECT which I'd suspect is actually telling you the truth.

Thanks for the kind words about the VWoA Service Training Center in Lanham and my time there as the VW Service Training Instructor. It was an exciting and enjoyable part of my career and I've cherished the friendships made during that time. I see some of old VW club guys on a regular basis and am pleased to consider them close friends. In fact, Joe M. and I went to the VW show at York VW on Sunday 7/27. They still talk about the airbag deployment demonstration that I held at that one meeting.

By the way, please update your profile to show a general location since VW guys & girls from around the world check in from time to time.

Arthur LeBrun
jimbexleyspeed

Posts: 21
Registered: 05/06/08
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jul 29, 2008 4:01 PM   in response to: KevP in response to: KevP
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KevP, just reading some of the responses for your MIL light, and how to clear it. You do NOT have to goto any dealership nor need a scanner to clear the code. If it is NOT an active code, (as you have corrected the problem) just pull off the negetive cable off the battery and wait for 20 seconds and re-attach it. This will clear the MIL light. If the light stays on after you have done this, then the code is still active and the problem has not been resolved. Just thought I would put in my two cents to save you a couple of bucks. Happy motoring.
carrera997s

Posts: 17
Registered: 05/14/05
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jul 29, 2008 10:13 PM   in response to: Art in response to: Art
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Art,

Thanks for taking the time to answer yet another question about this DTC. I'm quite sure all who have replied are appreciative of your knowledge along with others on this topic. I'll never forget that AirBag deployment demo. Lets just say it was loud and cloudy!!!! Saw Joe Maas about a year ago at a NCAVWC reunion picnic. It was nice to see many of the old club guys again. Thanks again for all your insight. I'm taking your advice and updating my profile.

Dave M.....
84GTI
92 GTI
90 Corrado
05 Jetta GLI

Message was edited by: VWH20DRVR

GLI05

Posts: 1
Registered: 06/27/09
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jun 27, 2009 5:15 PM   in response to: erick1800 in response to: erick1800
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I have a 05 gli jetta the engine light came on I went to the auto zone and they told me the code was p3081 and the tex was fuel air metering auxiliary anyone help?
Bresha

Posts: 433
Registered: 02/23/09
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jun 27, 2009 7:01 PM   in response to: eurocar504 in response to: eurocar504
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Hi all, Mr. Art gave you right advice already, fault code P3081 is not listed under all VW vehicle even at the dealer or "Elsa web" but it is definitely thermostat issue. Applied to VW vehicle after 2000 model year. Thermostat is stuck open, let say after 10 min on the freeway ECM is monitoring coolant temperature and if the temperature drop bellow 90 deg/C will set the code: cooling system malfunctioning. Make sure with new thermostat new gasket need to be replaced as well.
Good luck to you all.

Bresha

The Champs

Posts: 1
Registered: 07/19/09
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Jul 19, 2009 4:00 PM   in response to: Ryap in response to: Ryap
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Ryap,
Was is a difficult task to replace the EC Sensor and did you buy the part at an auto parts store or a VW dealer?
Rick B

Posts: 1
Registered: 04/02/04
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Dec 13, 2009 5:21 PM   in response to: erick1800 in response to: erick1800
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I have a 2003 Passat V6. Check engine light came on 2 days ago. Fault code is also P3081 which I read in this thread is low coolant temp. My car's temp is fine, the engine warms up fast and runs at 190 deg F all the time, hot or cold weather, always at 190 deg F. I do not observe the fans running all the time or always on high speed. In summary no coolant temp issues. I cleared the code and the check engine light is off. Could it just be that the code/fault was generated in error?
FKH161

Posts: 7,661
Registered: 12/29/05
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Dec 13, 2009 9:11 PM   in response to: Rick B in response to: Rick B
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Could be a one time occurrence... keep in mind that what the needle/gauge shows, is not necessarily what the ECM "sees". Have you data logged the coolant temp signal that the ECM receives?
03GTI

Posts: 1
Registered: 02/05/13
Re: P3081 DTC: Anyone help?
Posted: Feb 5, 2013 1:52 PM   in response to: FKH161 in response to: FKH161
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Just discovered this site searching DTC's for my 2003 1.8T GTI. The codes occur only in colder weather and are P0420 and P3081. The car reaches 190F on the dash gauge and the coolant level is full and the proper mix. I have replaced the coolant temperature sensor and the codes continue in colder weather. Assumptions on my part are the coolant and thermostat are OK as the temp is correct. I have been told that vacuum leaks may cause these codes as well, but I do not know what vacuum line to check. Not sure how to check for fan problems. The car runs fine with and without the codes. I was fortunate in that we had a couple days of warmer weather and the car was able to pass inspection. Looking for some advice as to what I can check. TIA.

UPDATE

FWIW a coolant change appears to have resolved the DTC's.

Edited by: 03GTI on Feb 13, 2013 3:09 PM
FreddiesGTI

Posts: 1
Registered: 03/14/17
Re: P3081 DTC: Art's help?
Posted: Mar 14, 2017 6:15 PM   in response to: Ryap in response to: Ryap
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I too have an '03 24v GTI w/6spd but have had non-working cooling fans (fuse on top of battery has blown) for approx 3yrs, here in SoCal.
It cools (gauge stays @ 190) as long as I have air moving thru the radiator or when gauge starts edging up @ a red light - I turn on heater to full with the interior fan running, even with the outside air @ 90deg +, it will cool back down close to 190.
For a few months now the gauge wo'nt move up, then all of a sudden it moves to 190, and within the last week or so the dreaded P3081 has popped up it's head but the gauge still will be reading 190.
Any ideas?

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