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Several cooling system symptoms

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Hi there!


There's a few issue with the cooling system on my 2003 2.8 VR6. I haven't had a chance to poke around the car yet as my garage isn't accessible for now until I get my other projects out of there, but thought I'd get some info now so I know what I have to deal with when I get to have some garage time on the car.


There's a coolant leak. I can smell it, that smell of burnt coolant on the engine block. There's a visible dripping leak at the two plugs/sensors shown in photo below. What are these sensors and do you think it's enough to replace the seals or must replace whole sensors?


The Check Engine light has come on and I'm getting code "P0116 Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Range/Performance".


The coolant level when I open the reservoir is at max. But after driving the car it goes down to the bottom of the bottle. When I open the reservoir the level comes back up to the max mark!


Yesterday the level went down and hasn't come back up.


There's also an idle issue. Car is fine when warm, but when cold the idle goes up and down every second, then steadies out.


I've stopped driving the car since the symptoms appeared, except for a few short journeys to double check the symptoms.


Attached photo shows the OBD error code. And the the two leaking sensors.






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Find your car. As we are after sensors, select Electrics and scroll down for "senders on engine":



Don't blindly order them - check they are the correct ones with the parts chaps!

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, i think that end is the thermostat? if it is you should have 2 sensors or 3 sensors if aircon. really fiddly to get to if it is them. take a look at this - 

it could be a knackered thermostat housing as these are rubbish plastic or leaky crack pipe.

if in doubt swap it all out shouldnt be more than = £80 including sensors

Image result for vr6 thermostat housing

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