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vwnewton, VW Owner,ASE Master and L1 Advanced
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 307
Experience:  25 years of VW obsession turned into a job, last 15 years as a VW Tech.
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My 2003 VW Passat won't pass emission test. Trouble Code

Customer Question

my 2003 VW Passat won't pass emission test. Trouble Code P3081
JA: Just to clarify, what's the exact code? And have you tried to reset it?
Customer: P3081 Yes many times
JA: Are you fixing your Passat yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No, I have taken it to the shop 3times
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: OBD Results Monitors not ready; Evaporative System, Secondary Air Sytem
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to just answer, Im DavidThe most comment issue for this fault of p3081 is a faulty thermostat heres a test plan that u can do to see if the coolant temp sensor is bad. Picture shown below are the sensors terminal you can check for resistance readings

Measure resistance at Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor -G62-, terminals C (signal) and D (Ground). make sure u have a resistance reading between both terminals.If you have a black engine coolant temp sensor i would replace it with the new uptaded green one its not very expensive and very easy to replace .

Regarding your fault more than likely its a faulty thermostat they tend to get stuck open sporadicalyOne other check you can should do is to check and see if you get a good steady flow of coolant going back to the coolant reservoir with the vehicle running just in case your water pump impeller is broken. I hope this helps please dont forget to click Accept is my advise/answer is to your satisfaction.

Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

checking in to see how its going