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Help!T5 getting hot too quickly - fan running at 60C & continues after switching off

Hi guys,

Can someone please help me?! This is stressing me to the eyeballs!?!

Had a T2 back in 93, changed it for T4 in 2000 - none of them ever gave me a days grief. Then in July this year (2011) bought an immaculate 2007 T5 2.5tdi from a car & van dealer.

The van ran brilliantly - talk about punch! - then at the beginning of October (just as the 3 month warranty expired), I had to drive to a place just around the corner form me (less than a mile) and I noticed that my temperature gauge was starting to climb. It had only got to 60C/70C, but it was there far too soon. As I parked up I noticed the engine smelling a bit hot, and when I turned the ignition off the fan was running.

I took it to my local garage who suspected it was a the thermostat stuck shut as the rad didn't feel warm. Water level was fine and seemed to pressurise...but not a lot!?!

After spending £300 and having a new thermostat fitted with a full sevice at the same time, everyting was fine again, ...for about 4 weeks - then the same thing happened again! Literally a few miles and the temperature would climb and the fan would come on.

This time I noticed a bit of sludge in the (brand new) oil, and it was suspected that this was the water pump failing/leaking (which as you all know is in the crank housing and water leaking into the sump is extrememly common). A friend of mine looked at it and he reckoned the water pump was working, but it only seemed to be a dribble and therefore to go ahead and replace it.

So another £300 later and the water pump was replaced. The van ran fine again... for 3 days!?!

Same thing all over again. I turned the van over from cold, took it 2 miles up the road and the temperature started to rise. I parked up (even though it had only been 5 minutes and the temp gauge only read 60C) and the fan was going ten to the dozen!?! This time I noticed the fan wasn't turning itself off either, it was going like the clappers, even with the keys out of the ignition. We waited, and waited... but the fan wasn't switching itself off, so I put the keys back in the ignition, switched on, and hey ho, the fan went off.

Yesterday, I took it out again - same prob - getting hot after 5 minutes, less than 2 miles down the road and temp gauge at 60/70C, park up, switch ignition off, fan on, switch ignition on again, fan goes off.....

So this time I'm thinking, could it be a temperature sensor, sender or relay? But, does the temp sensor/relay determine how the pumps run and how efficiently the water gets to the rad/cools the engine?

Also, with all these problems, the heating in the cab is working fine - gets warm very quickly - and if I keep it blowing out hot, it does seem to reduce the speed at which the temp gauge/engine heats up.

Nonetheless, the engine is getting very hot and smokey, very quickly, and the cooling just isn't working right.

I've got it booked in to an auto electrician tomorrow.

I was worried it could be the head gasket, but I've been told that the heads just don't go on the T5's and if they do it's very rare, but also the van is still running fine and there's no loss of power or sluggishness at all?!?

Has any body got any ideas? Pleeeaaase?? :*
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