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T4 (7P) Towing & cooling fan

#1 User is offline   JonnyB10 

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 08:47 PM

I’ve seen a thread dedicated to T3’s but not much on the T4’s and towing experiences.

So how many of you have a T4 & tow without having the “updated fan”. Is it really worth doing for towing up to 3T in solely standard UK climate. Interested in opinions and, for those who have bitten the bullet, costs of purchase and fitment.

Many thanks & apologies for covering this topic again (as I’ve seen a lot of discussion around it but not much relating to T4 - 2016+)
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#2 User is online   Black Grouse 

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 09:14 PM

View PostJonnyB10, on 06 October 2018 - 08:47 PM, said:

I’ve seen a thread dedicated to T3’s but not much on the T4’s and towing experiences.

So how many of you have a T4 & tow without having the “updated fan”. Is it really worth doing for towing up to 3T in solely standard UK climate. Interested in opinions and, for those who have bitten the bullet, costs of purchase and fitment.

Many thanks & apologies for covering this topic again (as I’ve seen a lot of discussion around it but not much relating to T4 - 2016+)


It's only an issue on T4, T1-3 weren't affected as they got the higher-powered fan as standard without a towbar.

I towed for 2 years without the upgrade, without any issues, raised temperatures, but only in the UK climate - it's since been replaced by the higher-powered fan under warranty but I haven't towed with it yet.

Since the Touareg's towing limit is 3,500 kg then towing, say, 1,800 kg is half the limit for which the lower-powered fan may be adequate - you would only know at high mileage when it's out of warranty anyway.
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#3 User is offline   roytour 

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 07:46 AM

View PostBlack Grouse, on 06 October 2018 - 09:14 PM, said:

It's only an issue on T4, T1-3 weren't affected as they got the higher-powered fan as standard without a towbar.

I towed for 2 years without the upgrade, without any issues, raised temperatures, but only in the UK climate - it's since been replaced by the higher-powered fan under warranty but I haven't towed with it yet.

Since the Touareg's towing limit is 3,500 kg then towing, say, 1,800 kg is half the limit for which the lower-powered fan may be adequate - you would only know at high mileage when it's out of warranty anyway.


Sorry to correct but it was a T3 issue also as I specced a towbar on my T3 and they fitted the higher wattage fan but if I had not the lower wattage fan would have been fitted. Hence why Loz upgraded his, he had a aftermarket towbar and not from new hence his wonderful post upgrading his.
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#4 User is online   Black Grouse 

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 07:58 AM

View Postroytour, on 07 October 2018 - 07:46 AM, said:

Sorry to correct but it was a T3 issue also as I specced a towbar on my T3 and they fitted the higher wattage fan but if I had not the lower wattage fan would have been fitted. Hence why Loz upgraded his, he had a aftermarket towbar and not from new hence his wonderful post upgrading his.


Then I stand corrected.

Is it correct that all T3 with the factory-fit towbar got the upgraded fan, as they should, but that it was the T4 with factory-fit towbar that sometimes (always?) didn't get the upgraded fan, despite being in the specification
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#5 User is offline   Cass 

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 11:35 AM

This issue first arose during the T3 production in 2013 and there were several threads on the forum, including this one:

https://www.mytreg.c...an-replacement/

My own 2013 R-Line came with the correct updated fan and swivelling towbar.

My recollection was that some late T3’s might have been affected but I have limited time today to research that. Certainly the issue affected early to mid-build T4’s. This previous thread seems to indicate that the issue related only to the T4:

https://www.mytreg.c...nt/page__st__20

I‘m sure there was a thread/post listing forum members who had been affected by this. Either way, owners who ordered the swivelling factory towbar or stock vehicles supplied with the towbar and the 600W cooling fans would appear to have been misbuilds by the factory and VW UK have sanctioned warranty replacements with the correct updated 850W fan.

VW advice on fitting aftermarket towbar is that the updated fan should also be fitted, however not all VW dealers are aware of this.

Link to Loz’s DIY upgrade here:

https://www.mytreg.c...cooling-fan-t3/
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#6 User is offline   roytour 

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 07:58 PM

View PostBlack Grouse, on 07 October 2018 - 07:58 AM, said:

Then I stand corrected.

Is it correct that all T3 with the factory-fit towbar got the upgraded fan, as they should, but that it was the T4 with factory-fit towbar that sometimes (always?) didn't get the upgraded fan, despite being in the specification



Yes I believe that to be correct.
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#7 User is offline   JonnyB10 

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 05:40 PM

Yesterday I bit the bullet and had the uprated fan fitted. Couldn’t fault VW’s service.

Ended up taking near the full day rather than the 2 hours stated as it was apparently ‘harder than expected’...

The price didn’t change though - £990 lighter for it 😫

But at least no warranty comebacks now if anything goes wrong.
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#8 User is offline   ColinT 

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 09:33 PM

There are several T4 owners in a Facebook group I frequent who tow 1800kg vans without the uprated fan.

One towed from England to Spain during the recent hot spell, none have suffered any overheating issues.
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#9 User is offline   Cass 

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 09:40 PM

This is a subject which has been discussed many times here. VW advertised that an uprated fan would be fitted when ordering the factory swivelling towbar.

VW UK and informed dealers are also clear on this and in cases where the uprated fan was not fitted by the factory, VW have covered the warranty/goodwill to get it replaced.

Always a moot point with aftermarket fitments but you pays your money (or not) and takes your chance :huh:
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#10 User is offline   NoobyT 

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 09:41 PM

Were their cars ordered with factory fitted towbars and, if so, how do they know they don't have uprated fans, and if they don't have the uprated fan despite it being part of the towbar package they paid for, why haven't they complained to VW and got the fan fitted that they are entitled to?
Tip! Search this forum using Google or Bing with [site:www.mytreg.com word word word ]

VW Touareg models are as follows:
Generation 1: T1 is model 7LA and the facelift T2 is model 7L6
Generation 2: T3 is model 7P5 and the facelift T4 is model 7P6
Generation 3: T5 is model CR7

Models, engines, build years, etcetera - all essential reading - is here:
http://en.wikipedia....kswagen_Touareg and here:
https://www.autoevol...swagen/touareg/

The world's most comprehensive guide to buying a used Generation 1 VW Touareg [T1 & T2 2002-10] that could save you money [even more essential reading!] is here:
http://www.mytreg.co...at-to-look-for/


FYI: Porsche Cayenne 955 = T1; 957 = T2; 958.1 = T3; 958.2 = T4; 9YA = T5
Brilliant site with a lot of information and many photos of all the Cayenne models since launch! https://www.stuttcar...ls/cayenne/958/

#11 User is offline   ColinT 

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 09:55 PM

Like me, they have bought second hand and had aftermarket towbars fitted.

I have spoken to two VW service managers, neither have mentioned a complimentary upgrade and both have said that they don't think the uprated fan is necessary unless you are towing close to the car's limit in very hot weather. This of course is only their personal view.
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#12 User is offline   NoobyT 

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 10:01 PM

To be clear, the only "complimentary" upgrade is if the car had a factory fitted bar and didn't get the correct fan fitted during the build and, as usual, dealer staff probably don't know about it since they don't actually always know very much at all about their range topping Touareg!
Tip! Search this forum using Google or Bing with [site:www.mytreg.com word word word ]

VW Touareg models are as follows:
Generation 1: T1 is model 7LA and the facelift T2 is model 7L6
Generation 2: T3 is model 7P5 and the facelift T4 is model 7P6
Generation 3: T5 is model CR7

Models, engines, build years, etcetera - all essential reading - is here:
http://en.wikipedia....kswagen_Touareg and here:
https://www.autoevol...swagen/touareg/

The world's most comprehensive guide to buying a used Generation 1 VW Touareg [T1 & T2 2002-10] that could save you money [even more essential reading!] is here:
http://www.mytreg.co...at-to-look-for/


FYI: Porsche Cayenne 955 = T1; 957 = T2; 958.1 = T3; 958.2 = T4; 9YA = T5
Brilliant site with a lot of information and many photos of all the Cayenne models since launch! https://www.stuttcar...ls/cayenne/958/

#13 User is offline   Cass 

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 10:03 PM

Dealerships are often ignorant of this issue and I’d wager that their sales would be affected if they informed would be purchasers that they need to shell out an extra grand on top of an aftermarket towbar :rolleyes:

As many owners have experienced, some dealerships have limited product knowledge. Ask them to unconditionally guarantee in writing that they personally will cover any related engine/cooling system/towing issues and see what their response is :huh:
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#14 User is online   Black Grouse 

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 10:10 PM

View PostNoobyT, on 30 October 2018 - 09:41 PM, said:

Were their cars ordered with factory fitted towbars and, if so, how do they know they don't have uprated fans, and if they don't have the uprated fan despite it being part of the towbar package they paid for, why haven't they complained to VW and got the fan fitted that they are entitled to?


Some of the Touaregs affected have build sheets showing the 850w fan is fitted despite the visual evidence under the bonnet that it isn't - so some dealers stonewall and need several escalations to get the correct fan fitted.
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#15 User is offline   bazf 

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 07:26 AM

View PostCass, on 30 October 2018 - 10:03 PM, said:

Dealerships are often ignorant of this issue and I’d wager that their sales would be affected if they informed would be purchasers that they need to shell out an extra grand on top of an aftermarket towbar :rolleyes:

As many owners have experienced, some dealerships have limited product knowledge. Ask them to unconditionally guarantee in writing that they personally will cover any related engine/cooling system/towing issues and see what their response is :huh:


I have fallen foul of this lack of dealer knowledge. I had quite a few conversations with the salesman at Lookers VW in Preston regarding the amount of towing i will be doing with the Touareg once i get a towbar fitted as it will be replacing my Shogun and looking forward to the extra load capacity of the Touareg. I even explained to him that I preferred to buy 4x4's without towbars so that there was less chance of the drivetrain being ragged to *%ck. Not once did he mention that it couldn't tow the 3500kg without a hefty upgrade.

VW UK didn't give a f**k.
LOOKERS VW Preston didn't give a f**k.

I'm nearly getting over the angry phase now.
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#16 User is offline   NoobyT 

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 08:47 AM

I'd just whack in a small claims court claim.
Tip! Search this forum using Google or Bing with [site:www.mytreg.com word word word ]

VW Touareg models are as follows:
Generation 1: T1 is model 7LA and the facelift T2 is model 7L6
Generation 2: T3 is model 7P5 and the facelift T4 is model 7P6
Generation 3: T5 is model CR7

Models, engines, build years, etcetera - all essential reading - is here:
http://en.wikipedia....kswagen_Touareg and here:
https://www.autoevol...swagen/touareg/

The world's most comprehensive guide to buying a used Generation 1 VW Touareg [T1 & T2 2002-10] that could save you money [even more essential reading!] is here:
http://www.mytreg.co...at-to-look-for/


FYI: Porsche Cayenne 955 = T1; 957 = T2; 958.1 = T3; 958.2 = T4; 9YA = T5
Brilliant site with a lot of information and many photos of all the Cayenne models since launch! https://www.stuttcar...ls/cayenne/958/

#17 User is offline   bobosola 

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 11:15 AM

Reviving an old thread, but it's directly relevant to anyone googling this and ending up here. I have just upgraded to a 3 year old T4 (7P) with a factory-fitted tow-bar. So, thanks to this forum, I decided to check for known problems. The earlier problem of the missing fridge power has been fixed on this model but it had the wrong fan fitted - it was definitely the 600W version instead of the 850W one. So I emailed VW Customer care, attached a photo of the fan and asked them the question: is it safe to tow a heavy caravan on the 600W fan, given that the factory should have fitted the 850W version?

Bearing in mind that I am the 2nd owner of a 3 year old car, I would have been happy with their written confirmation that the smaller fan was in fact fine to tow with. I didn't bother doing this through the dealer I bought the car from because my experience is that front desk staff know little or nothing about towing issues and some will even invent absolute bollocks on the spot rather than admit they don't know about something. Within a few days Customer Care came back to me and said it should really have the 850W fan and they would upgrade it for free once they had verified my fan was the wrong one. They also advised me not to tow in the meantime. Interestingly, this was all discussed over the phone - I guess they didn't want to commit to saying it was "unsafe" in any way in writing. I should also mention that they were happy for me to use my nearest VW dealer as a convenience rather than the one I bought it from which was a lot further away.

So I had to do one free-of-charge trip to the local dealer for verification, despite the photo I had attached. Fair enough I suppose, they needed to actually eyeball it themselves. Once confirmed, I then had to take the car back for a 2nd visit to get the 850W fan fitted which VW paid for in full. The service desk guy said it would have cost me well over £1000 at current prices had I paid for it myself.

Arguably I could have run the new car on the smaller fan. My old T3 (bought 5 years ago) had a stock 600W fan but had an after-market tow-bar fitted locally by me. I decided back then to see how it went before thinking about a fan upgrade, and it was totally fine. Over the 5 years I towed many thousands of miles including up, down and across Spain in the height of summer with a 1.8 tonne van. The temperature dial never shifted above normal. Not ever. So I concluded that the 600W fan was fine for caravan towing. After all, pretty much all caravans are barely above 50% of the full towing capacity of the car. But a free upgrade was too good a chance to miss.

So I've now got the proper fan fitted at no cost - and yes, I did check it :-) . So it's a good win for me. Kudos to VW Customer Care - it's good to be able to report they've done the right thing and made a happy customer even happier.
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#18 User is offline   Cass 

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 12:16 PM

Well done to the dealer and VW - good product knowledge and customer service :)

Anyone who finds themselves in the same boat should quote cases like this - nothing worse than ignorance and poor service :huh:
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#19 User is offline   NoobyT 

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 02:48 PM

Good job well sorted.
Tip! Search this forum using Google or Bing with [site:www.mytreg.com word word word ]

VW Touareg models are as follows:
Generation 1: T1 is model 7LA and the facelift T2 is model 7L6
Generation 2: T3 is model 7P5 and the facelift T4 is model 7P6
Generation 3: T5 is model CR7

Models, engines, build years, etcetera - all essential reading - is here:
http://en.wikipedia....kswagen_Touareg and here:
https://www.autoevol...swagen/touareg/

The world's most comprehensive guide to buying a used Generation 1 VW Touareg [T1 & T2 2002-10] that could save you money [even more essential reading!] is here:
http://www.mytreg.co...at-to-look-for/


FYI: Porsche Cayenne 955 = T1; 957 = T2; 958.1 = T3; 958.2 = T4; 9YA = T5
Brilliant site with a lot of information and many photos of all the Cayenne models since launch! https://www.stuttcar...ls/cayenne/958/

#20 User is offline   ColinT 

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 05:33 PM

Do you have the contact details you used for Customer Care?

I'm in the same boat. I contacted VW customer service online asking the same as yourself and they simply replied that I should speak to their dealer network.

Personally I'm not bothered as there's lots of T4s out there towing heavier vans than mine with no problems but, having heard your experience, surely every customer should be treated the same?
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