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Warning Light Fix

Coolant level warning light resumes blinking after startup
Year(s):  1985 - 1991
Model/Type:  Vanagon
Bentley Page(s):  90.21

From:  John Meeks

Symptom(s):  Blinking coolant light won't quit blinking

This condition will usually appear on very cold days. The Coolant light will blink for a few seconds as it should, but then soon resumes blinking. Turning the ignition off then restarting usually fixes the problem till next time.

If your expansion tank (Not the overflow tank that you check through the license plate door) is full of coolant, check the level sensor by pulling the sensor connector from the tank. Next, check the sensor terminals on the tank with an ohmmeter. The resistance must be between 31K Ohm and 65K Ohm with correct COOLANT LEVEL AND COOLANT CONCENTRATION. If this test fails, replace the level sensor. If the resistance test is passed, continue to the next steps.

Next, check the #42 or 43 relay. This is usually third from the left (#3), on the second row above the row of fuses. Pull the relay. If the coolant light continues to blink after a few seconds, your gauge is bad. This can be repaired if you have some soldering skills. Here's how:

For Vans with the clock in place of the tach, see THIS THREAD on theSamba forums. Thanks David B.

7mm socket / wrench
small flat blade screwdriver
fine point soldering iron
desoldering braid
wire cutters
16 volt 10 uf (micro farad) tantalum capacitor. Instructions elsewhere call for a 10 milli farad cap. This is wrong!!!

Remove the instrument cluster.
On the bench, remove the (4)screws and (3)nuts as shown in the first pic.

Lift the left edge of the tach cluster out of the housing and fold over, tach face up.

Remove the two small flat head screws from the faceplate of the tach.
Gently ease the gauge up toward the tach faceplate by pushing on the 3 threaded posts on the rear of the cluster (the ones you removed the 3 nuts from) while lifting the tach face lightly. Take care not to disturb the Tach needle and temp gauge needle.

With the gauge free of the cluster, Set up for soldering.

Using desoldering braid, heat the pads as shown in the next pic till the solder is drawn up into the braid.

Now push the old cap's leads through the holes where the solder was (other end of the tweezers works here). Gently tease the old capacitor (pictured below) out from under the board.

Trim the legs of the new capacitor to about 3/8". The longer leg will be the + connection and should be marked on the new cap. Position the new cap from the top of the board into the now empty holes with the + lead nearest the edge of the board. Heat and apply solder.

Reassemble the gauge to the tach housing. Replace nuts and reattach the tach to the instrument cluster. Reassembly, as they say, is the reverse of disassembly.

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