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(ERROR CODE: P268100: Activation of Coolant bypass valve)

Here at Links Autos, we specialise in all things VW.  No matter the issue, big or small, our VW specialist technicians are on hand to get your car back to tip-top condition.

And that specialism is the reason Mr McMahon brought his VW Golf R to our Macclesfield garage when he kept getting the coolant level warning light on his dashboard.  After topping up the coolant, the levels dropped again.  Frustrating.

Coolant is a liquid housed within the engine, there to protect the engine from overheating.  Coolant, AKA Anti-freeze, also works as a lubricant for the moving parts it comes in contact with.  The coolant protects the water pump, head gasket, cylinder and pistons from damage.  So when the coolant levels regularly dip, this could lead to an expensive but avoidable repair bill.

The first thing we did was complete a series of checks, looking for any apparent problems with the engine and searching for what could be causing the client the headache. Using our 15-step diagnostic process, we work to give all clients the first-time fix to their vehicle.  Knowing that we would have to consider that coolant was leaking from somewhere within the engine, we started the search by accessing the serial data from the VW Golf.

This data gave us the error code of:

  • P2681: Activation of coolant bypass valve, interruption

Now that we know the error code, we can use this as a signpost to assist our VW technicians in narrowing down the problem.  We used VW manufacturer guidelines and carried out a coolant pressure test alongside a visual inspection of the engine.  We confirmed that the coolant was leaking from the thermostat housing and water pump.

We began taking the housing apart, noticing there was also a leak on the inside, which had affected the control board of the thermostat.  This would explain the fault code relating to the bypass valve.  A quick check confirmed all, with the actuator plug being wet to touch.

So now that we know where the problem lies, let’s fix it.


Having confirmed the fault code from the coolant leak within the thermostat housing, we knew where we had to start.

In this case, we replaced the VW’s thermostat housing, water pump, drive belt and union.  Then it was time to test the fix.

We refilled the coolant and completed the set-up of the electronically controlled thermostat housing.  Once everything was reset to the VW standard, all the testing confirmed that we had fixed the leak, and we were ready to return the VW Golf to the client.

With our expert VW technicians on hand, we could locate, fix and return the car to the client within 24 hours, saving the client from costly labour rates and inconvenience.

Here at Links Automotive, we make sure we only replace parts that need replacing.  No unnecessary work means transparency, great value for money and a 5* service for our VW customers, every time.

VW expert knowledge, at great value for money, with a real focus on client safety – it is our priority.

If you would like us to take care of your VW, contact us today on 01625 402262, and one of our team will be happy to help.

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