Temperature Gauge seems to be low after repairs

i have a 2002 Jetta. i always thought the temperature gauge stayed at 190 degrees (that’s the middle hatch mark) once it warmed up. a week or so ago the check engine light came on and i noticed the gauge would drop below 190. when i took it in, i was told the main cooling fan was not working at all. i picked it up yesterday and now the temp is staying about 1/4 of the way up the gauge instead of at the 1/2 mark like i think it always had before going bad. so it seems to me, it’s not warming up enough. is that ok or do i need to go back to the dealer again?

Hmm…curious set of circumstances. While it’s unlikely that your thermostat failed at the very moment of this service point, it’s also unlikely that you were driving around without a functional cooling fan without some evidence of overheat or at least higher than normal gauge readings. To “accidently” fall into normal (or tolerable) in the midst of a fan malfunction would be slim odds to bet on.

I hate to say this due to the expense, but have someone check the REAL coolant temp with (iirc) VAG/CAN/whatever works via the PCM. For that matter, buy one if possible so you can do it yourself. The cost will probably be less than having the dealer do anything, including changing a belt.

…but you might get the dealer to do it free since the difference was after they serviced it …a “come back”, if you will.

Good luck.