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Jake, Technician
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 2429
Experience:  Over 30 years experience, 17 years with Audi, Factory trained
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2002 Audi TT quattro: my engine light..Metering

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my engine light on my 2002 Audi TT quattro just came on. I read the code and it came up with code P1296 Manufacturer Control Fuel Air Metering. Can you tell me what that is please?



Thank You for choosing "Just Answer" for your questions concerning your Audi. Yes, I can help you. P1296 = cooling system malfunction. It is fairly common on this model and is usually due to a thermostat that is stuck open or opens too soon. You may have noticed times when you are driving on the freeway at higher speeds with lighter loads that the temperature gauge is below the half way point. Basically it means teh car is not getting hot enough.


Another issue with this year/model is the coolant temperature sensor should be checked and if it is black, replaced with the new style green sensor. This will not however cause the Diagnostic Trouble code that you retrieved.


I hope that I have answered your questions and addressed your concerns. Should you have any further questions for me, please do not hesitate to ask. Positive feedback is always appreciated. If you accept my answer please click on the "ACCEPT" button.


Thank You!


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Jake, and thanks for getting back with me. I have never noticed times when I'm driving on the freeway at higher speeds with lighter loads that the temperature gauge is below the half way point. This has never happened. You said Basically it means the car is not getting hot enough, and you said it's the thermostat, am I correct? I not a mechanic but typically what does the part and labr cost for this on average?

Yes, that is correct. The perimeters to trip the diagnostic code P1296 are "The electronic control unit must see an engine temperature of 80 degrees c (176 f) or greater within 16 minuets of operation". This is not an easy one to get to. It is located under the intake manifold near the front of the motor. My on line labor estimating guide has it listed at 2.7 hours, the Thermostat is about $30. It will also need a gallon of the audi "pink" coolant.


The sensor I mentioned is in the coolant pipe on the back of the motor and about 1/2 hour to replace.


You could opt to clear The code and drive it to see if it returns, but it's pretty common and will likely return. It will not damage your car if you continue to drive it, but emmissions and mileage may be affected if the motor does not run hot enough.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay just one other question real quick. Are there any other syptoms that would take place so I know for sure this is indeed what the problem is?

OK, No problem. First off lets get the code definition straight. P1296 is as I described and NOT a fuel air metering code. Either you read the code wrong, or your definition is wrong. So check that and be sure.


The easiest way (the only way I know actually) to duplicate the problem is; First off erase the code, allow the vehicle to cool off over night. In the a.m. (hopefully a cold one) start the car and try to get to a highway ASAP where you can cruise (preferably a down hill grade) at 60 mph or so. Watch/time your coolant temperature gauge. Does it move steadily up to the half way mark in maybe 5, 10 minuets tops? If so, I would just wait and see if the code sets itself again. If however it stays cold, the thermostat is at fault.


Like I said before if this drive cycle scenario does not occur for you often and you want to wait and be sure, just turn it out and see if it comes back.


I think that pretty much covers it. If you have any more questions, don't hessitate to ask.


Jake "The Audi Doctor"


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Jake, I have not had the probelm today at all. The coolant temperature guge moved steadily up asd normal just as it did yetserday and when in go to the middle marker it stayed there as always. Yesterday I did read the code correctly I used the actron OBD II AutoScanner to get this reding and this is the code that it gave me. SI there a better cable/scanner to use fro the Audi TT, and if so what is the name and what is the average cost. Maybe the Actron gave me the wrong code, however I did not have any temperature running hot or anything. I look forward to hearing back from you.



If it could not be duplicated by driving as per my afore mentioned description, it is possible that either the thermostat is no longer sticking open / opening too soon or the parameters for the test drive have not been met. At this point in either case, if you have cleared the code, I suggest you just drive it, keep an eye on it, and see if the code returns.


The best after market scanner in my opinion would be the Ross-tech. It consists of the software and an interface cable and is PC based. It has nearly full factory capabilities for VW and Audi (only) at a fraction of the cost. It goes for about $600. It may be too much for the average vehicle owner.


Hope this helps!


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay do you know where I can buy this Ross-tech cable and software> Do you have a website?
Yes, you can check out the various packages they sell their software and interface in. The $600 covers all VW/Audi and associated marques.
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