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Q: UPDATED QUESTION: High Temp Light Flashing on 1998 Volkswagen Beetle

UPDATE: My coolant was flushed about two weeks ago. This week is the first really warm (70's F) weather we've had. My not-very-good-mechanic brother-in-law says that the air was not bled from the coolant system and that's causing the car to overheat. Does this sound like a possible answer? Would this effect the fans?

Yesterday, my temperature warning light flashed on while driving. I stopped, checked coolant levels, and then was able to drive home (20-30 min) with no further incident.

This morning, after about 15 min of driving, the temp light flashed again, and I only made it home by pulling off the road and turning the car off every mile or two when the light started flashing. It would be fine at first, then within 1/2 mile or so the light would flash again.

I did notice today (during my many unplanned stops) that I didn't ever hear the radiator/engine fan kick on like it normally would when I turn the car off.

Could it be the fans that are the problem? If so, what would cause them to malfunction?


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If the fan is not running, you should have your thermostat replaced. This can be done for a very reasonable price. However, if it is not the fan kicking on that is the problem, then the other most likely cause is your water pump is bad. Depending on the number of miles on your vehicle (around 100,000) you should replace both your power steering pump and your timing belt.
yes your not-very-good-mechanic brother-in-law is more than likely right i have a 1999 beetle and the water pump went out plastic impellor crappy design but i changed it along with the timing belt and the car over heated again. so i did some trouble shooting and noticed my fans were not coming on so i jumpered the thermo switch and boths fans came on high and low. i replace the thermo switch and still over heated. There is another sensor/switch its the temp sensor or (auxillary fan switch). I replace it, and still overheated. The only thing left to change was the module but the fans came on when I turned ac on so I suspected that was good. Also checked fuses and housing on battery both good. I was told I needed to burp the system, so I removed the temp sensor thats for the fuel injection not the cooling system and started the car. I added coolant through there and watched all the bubbles come out. I also squeezed the hoses to purge trapped air this process took a good hour or so. I closed it up and no light. Its been running good.
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I had some issues with my beetle where the light was coming on all the time. it was the plastic intake that cracked. it was 20 bucks. it connects right to the block and has 4 hoses going to it. I then flushed the system 3 times and filled it back up. sure enough the light came on again. but i noticed that the fluid was low. this happened about 3 or 4 times before the level did not go down any more. make sure that the level is where it is supposed to be or that light will come on every time. as far as the fans go. i have heard all kinds of fixes and no exact reason why they dont come on. BUT if you wait and watch them they will come on. leave the car running idol for about 15-20 min they will come on. I have seen it happen lol. and yes if you turn on your AC then the fans will come on. i see this is an old post so I'm sure you dont have this issue any more. but for the new lookers this is how i fixed it.
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