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Hello, let me preface this by saying that I know very little about car maintenance, so apologies if I ask some stupid questions.

My 2004 Jetta with around 122,000 miles on it has recently been overheating. It has happened twice, both times after driving for maybe 20 minutes, and both times I have gotten the temp back down by blasting the heater.

My fluid levels are normal and I see no evidence of leaks. Can anybody help me figure out why car is suddenly overheating, and maybe give me some advice on how to check for the problem? I am a graduate student living on a very small stipend so if I can avoid repeated visits to the mechanic that would be great.
 

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I've usually found the heater blows cold while the engine overheats when the pump goes due to the lack of circulation.
 

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Hello, let me preface this by saying that I know very little about car maintenance, so apologies if I ask some stupid questions.

My 2004 Jetta with around 122,000 miles on it has recently been overheating. It has happened twice, both times after driving for maybe 20 minutes, and both times I have gotten the temp back down by blasting the heater.

My fluid levels are normal and I see no evidence of leaks. Can anybody help me figure out why car is suddenly overheating, and maybe give me some advice on how to check for the problem? I am a graduate student living on a very small stipend so if I can avoid repeated visits to the mechanic that would be great.
I would suggest that it is NOT the main thermostat but the engine cooling thermostat (ECT) (some models have two) situated in the bottom rubber hose just behind the radiator. Second one (if fitted) just above main thermostat (diesels) or maybe back of the head (can be tricky to find) look for the 2/4 wires. If two fitted, suggest you replace both around £40-£50 the pair (easy job)
 
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