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1989 LT31 temperature sensor

Hi all,

New to the site and hoping to get some help.

I have a converted 1989 LT31 (2.4 diesel). The temperature gauge stopped reading a few months ago. Thinking it would be an easy enough fix I took it to a local garage but he wasn't able to find the proper replacement. The new one he put in reads too hot (he told me it would be so). Soon after that the red light started flashing on hills, which I ignored for a bit thinking it must be the new sensor (never had any overheating problems before). Pulled into a garage one hot day and it turns out the thermostat was jammed shut. Have since had the thermostat replaced. These days the needle settles at 2/3 the way to the top, reaching 3/4 (and a little more) on hills. It never moved much when the original sensor was in. I don't think the engine is overheating but all the same the hypersensitive needle is disconcerting and I'd rather have the proper one fitted. I live in a rural area in the west of Ireland and the small garages around here aren't bothered to go to the effort of finding a genuine part for an old vehicle they rarely see anymore. If anybody on here could help me find the right part number so I could source one myself I'd be very appreciative. It's our first camper van after years of lusting after one and would like to make sure it lasts as long as possible.

Many thanks,



  • We have a few friends in Ireland, so I will point them in your direction.
    The gauge will read hotter on hills but as long as it returns to 'normal' all is deemed well.

    281919511A was only used on the LT and NOS parts are £100, if you search ebay using the number.
  • Thanks Chris, I appreciate that. It's a bit much to pay when the van doesn't seem to be actually overheating but would still prefer the genuine part. Always knew an old van would be a bit of a black hole for money!
  • I think the number which Chris has given is the gauge, although it sounds like the sender was the part replaced? I too had a hyper-sensitive gauge after replacing the sender with a pattern part. The temperature/resistance relationship must have been different compared to the original - not ordinarily a problem except that on the LT the flashing red light is also driven from the sender reaching a particular (rather than a separate thermal switch). So on long hot climbs the light would flash!

    My old sender still worked fine to drive the gauge (it was the integral switch for the electric water pump which had failed), so I knew the engine wasn't overheating, but felt I couldn't rely on the new sensor. I managed to replace with an OE (Meyle) part from VW Heritage, but don't know what would be right for your engine.

    I still have the old sensor, so if yours is a simple sender with no extra function, it should work to drive your gauge correctly. Does yours fit in the top hose? If it helps, it's yours for a drink + postage?
  • That should read 'particular resistance'!
  • Most of LT temp sensors are a bit temperamental.

    I'd have one or two original ones knocking about.

    Based in Athlone.
  • mat_the-cat and Marlow, I've sent both of you messages (I think?!) so if either of you could get back to me that'd be great, thanks. My email is richardcreagh [at]
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