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.

Revision P PCV Failed – 06F129101P

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Underneath the valve cover – the gasket is the black rubber going around the edges

After a year and a half under APR Stage 1, the newest pcv revision finally succumbed. It seems that these things are still not bulletproof.

I was doing a general engine inspection when I noticed that there was oil dripping from the rear of the engine. A closer inspection led me to find that the valve cover gasket was leaking oil. I did not suspect PCV failure right away because normally you would also have oil leaking out of the filler cap. I had oil in the spark plug wells and all over the coils. When the valve cover gasket goes on these motors, the oil tends to leak right into the plug well. I checked the torque on the valve cover bolts and some were very loose so I figured that might have contributed to the oil leaking. On a hunch, I checked the PCV and the valve was gone. The one way valve did not function anymore. Once the one way valve failed, boost pressure pressurized the crankcase and the valve gasket was the path of least resistance.

The PCV failure cost me one coil, one valve cover gasket and a new front pcv valve. I also chose to replace the plugs at the same time since everything was soaked in oil. The coil was still functioning but oil had entered the insulating sleeve. Combined with the heat, it split the rubber sleeve.

I hope the P revision failure was more of a fluke than anything, I really would like to stay on the stock units.