Thermostat Finally Gave Out – P2181 Code

I’m back with some more high-mileage antics! My car threw a P2181 CEL for cooling system performance a few months ago. The temp gauge took a long time to reach 190 degrees and would dip below if I was on a downhill stretch. If you’re seeing a cooling system performance code or are having a hard time reaching normal operating temps, your thermostat may have failed.

Thermostats are designed to fail in the open position to prevent overheating but this also prevents the engine from reaching its optimal temperature. I live in California so the car didn’t really give me any problems but in colder climates, not reaching operating temp may be harder on the oil and in turn harder on your engine.

The 2.0T FSI’s thermostat is a very cheap part (under 50 dollars online) but it’s jammed in a hard to reach location. This is a job that I took to a mechanic. They can dispose of the coolant properly as well. If you wish to do this yourself, the thermostat itself is part number 06F121111F. I don’t know if it comes with any of the necessary o-rings so you may have to source them. I know ECS sells a kit with the associated bolts and o-rings so it may be easier to purchase it from them.

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Upgraded / Redesigned FSI Cam Follower – Aftermarket

1/22/12 Just a quick warning: this company may not be as legitimate as the VW community thinks. Several Mazda websites do not have fond memories of this particular company. I’ll have to find more information…Stay away for now.

Update: 8/2014

Nothing has proven to be as good as just replacing or checking the cam follower periodically. I’ve been lucky with the wear so it’s far easier for me to not worry about it. Unfortunately, there are a variety of factors that contribute to what kind of wear you see and your experience may vary wildly. Keep on top of your oil changes and keep track of your follower wear!

For the past few months, the company HPFP Upgrade has been working on creating a cam follower that is more durable than the oem piece. Testing is now practically complete. I’m guessing that they are in production right now with a probable February release. HPFP Upgrade is a relatively new (to me) company that focuses on the fueling system for various direction injection cars.

There’s been a good deal of anticipation regarding this product. Any product that can help with the FSI’s follower problem is welcome. The company states that it has achieved an increase in durability through the use of hard chroming. By creating a surface with less friction, there is less wear between the follower and cam. Testing supposedly confirms their claims. In addition to the new surface material, the oil flow holes were relocated to the sides. Information is limited right now as the company has yet to officially release the product.

Early Production Photos – Note the revised oiling hole locations

Of course, the product is untested by the mass public and details such as warranty have yet to be hashed out. There are still unanswered questions. How will the relocation of the oil holes affect things and how durable will the follower and hard chrome finish really be in real life application? HPFP Upgrade asserts that the the new finish is much tougher than the OEM DLC coated follower and slicker as well. They also say that the relocation of the oiling holes also has nothing but positive effects, although their reasoning is yet to be seen. The company seems to have done its homework, field testing a few units with favorable results. So far better than another company that just made the follower thicker and omitted the DLC coating…*cough*kmd*cough*. The design is superficially similar to followers used by Mazda.

I’m following this product quite closely and will probably try it out when it does finally get released.

Here’s a thread on the MKV forum with a few details but it unfortunately turns into a flame war in a page or so. Upgraded FSI Cam Follower

If you do end up getting this in a month or two, let everyone know what you think of it in the comments.

Camshaft and Cam Follower Warranty Extension

 

In addition to the pcv and intake manifold motor, Volkswagen also extended the warranty on the camshaft, cam follower and high pressure fuel pump to 120,000 miles or 10 years. As before, they will reimburse any out of pocket expenses related to failure of any of these components provided you have proof of payment and repair. Keep in mind this does not cover replacing followers, only components that have failed or have insufficient hardening. Look through the following letter and see what applies to you.For more information, check out my other posts:Cam Follower Camshaft and Cam Follower Warranty Extension

Camshaft and Cam Follower Warranty Extension

PCV and Intake Manifold Motor – Volkswagen Warranty Letters

I finally got around to uploading the warranty extension letters that Volkswagen sent out regarding the pcv and the intake manifold motor. These letters were (or are still) being sent out to owners to inform them that the warranty on these parts has been extended to 120,000 miles or 10 years. If you have replaced any of the affected parts from you own pocket, Volkswagen will reimburse you for the costs, provided you have all the receipts still.For more information on the pcv valve, check out my previous post:PCV Valve & Breather TubePCV and Intake Manifold Warranty Extension

PCV and Intake Manifold Motor Warranty Extension

Windshield Wiper Replacements

With winter well on its way, you might find that your wiper blades are not working as well as they should be. ECS Tuning actually has one of the cheaper prices around including the shipping. Here’s a link to the OEM replacement set for the front window: OEM Front Wiper Blades. The rear blades are available as well here: OEM Rear Wiper Blade.

The original wipers on this car are actually very good and lasted about five years in the mild California climate. My previous car ran through them at a rate of one set per year. They might not fair as well in an area that sees actual winter. Here’s an interesting fact about the wipers in case you haven’t heard of it; when you remove the key from the ignition, the (front) wipers will move a little to flip the wiper blade position and prevent them from deforming. This helps the wipers last a little longer.

Sorry, I can’t find the actual part numbers for the front wiper blades, so if anyone has them, I’d appreciate them! The rear blade can be found under part number 6Q6955425A.

* You may also be able to find cheaper deals on Amazon.com. Just navigate over to the automotive department and use the “Part Finder” link near the top left. I have tried the Valeo brand rear wiper and it looks and performs like OEM. They might have the front wiper set for a few dollars cheaper than ECS.

PCV Valve and Intake Manifold Motor Warranty Extension

06F129101P Front Detail

I recently received a letter from Volkswagen of America stating that the warranty for the pcv valve and intake manifold motor has been extended to 10 years/120,000 miles. You will also be eligible for reimbursement if you paid for repairs on any of these parts. Signs of pcv failure may include loss of boost pressure, poor idling and sometimes oil being pushed out of the oil cap. Intake manifold failure usually results in poor cold starting and sluggish low end performance. Either case can also cause the check engine light to come on.

PCV Valve

Here a Golfmkv.com link to common 2.0T FSI issues.

I’ll upload the document as soon as I can scan it in. Here we go.

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2.0T FSI Air Filter – Mann Filter OE Equivalent

Mann Filter - Part Number C41 110

I’ve done a few maintenance items the last few days. The fuel filter was one and now the air filter. Mann Filters has an OEM equivalent filter for the 2.0T FSI motor with the part number C41 110. I purchased it from Amazon. Mann most likely makes the original filter but the aftermarket Mann filter has a very slightly different look from the OEM filter. The foam is slightly lighter in color and softer but thicker in overall dimension. The filter material looks the same. It fits perfectly fine in the airbox. Anyway, it was around 15 dollars from Amazon, about 5 dollars cheaper than my local dealership.

Mann Air Filter - C41 110 - Edge Detail

Mann Filter - C41 110