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VWDoc, Independent VW Shop owner
Category: VW
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Experience:  20 years of experience working with VW's. Independent European shop owner and technician.
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I have a p1296 code manufacturer control air metering.

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I have a p1296 code : manufacturer control air metering. It is a 2002 beetle 2.0. What part do I replace the one on the air cleaner assy?
Actually, the P1296 code indicates a fault with the coolant system and you either have:
1) a faulty thermostat
2) a faulty coolant temperature sensor (more common)

I would replace the coolant temperature sensor, seal and retaining clip.

Parts total about $30, and it can be done in about 10 minutes.

The coolant temperature sensor is on the side of the engine closest to the battery. You'll have to remove the black plastic cover, and look for a temperature sensor in the large metal coolant pipe at the rear (right side as you look at it from the front) of the engine.

It will look like this:

graphic
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have already replaced that sensor as stated in more info. DOes that mean thermostat will correct or new sensor is defective?
Sorry about that. When I originally read your question, the optional information was not displayed on my screen yet.

Let me ask a couple of further questions:
1) how many miles on the car
2) have you had any sort of coolant flow problems: not enough heat output, temp light coming on (I know there isn't a proper gauge), or low flow seen through the coolant reservoir?

I'll give more information after you follow up on these questions
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

86,000 miles 1.

2. blue cold light on but goes off when warmed up. It heats and cools fine No temp light on.

And one last question. Has there ever been a timing belt/water pump maintenance performed on this car?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
no replacement that I know of from service records . I am second owner but coolant sensor was replaced in 1/27/04 at dealer.
Ok, coolant sensor was replaced 5 years ago. I'm gathering from your post that you then replaced it again recently? I don't mean to be tedious, but I just want to make sure I have all of the information straight before making a recommendation.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes I replaced it about a month ago.
ah, ok, thanks.

My educated opinion is that there is a flow problem, however it may or may not be thermostat-related. The water pump on these cars has a plastic impeller that deteriorates, and either breaks apart or starts slipping on the water pump shaft, resulting in a slow or no flow issue. From what you're describing, it could be slow flow, considering you still have heat, and no warning light.

Here are my recommendations, depending on how much money you're ready to spend on it, and how mechanically adept you are.
1) Less expensive: Start by replacing the thermostat, thermostat housing and o-ring. You'll have to remove the alternator for good access, as it's bolts onto the side of the block behind the alternator. Once you have the thermostat out, you can poke your finger into the hole, and feel the water pump impeller. See if it's loose or has pieces missing.
2) More expensive: 86k miles is a good life for the timing belt and tensioner and related parts on this car. It's a good time to do a complete timing belt, waterpump, tensioner, and thermostat replacement. Figure about 700 at a shop or about $200-$250 to do it yourself.
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