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Old February 12th, 2006, 17:46   #1
coleslawter
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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TDI(s): 2001 Jetta
Unhappy Electronic Immobilizer Big Big Problem

A few weeks back, I had started fiddling with my valet key to switch the casing to a 2000 Passat key. I gave up after accidentally breaking the chip inside the plastic.

So I have now been using one of the flip-keys without any problems. No problems until today, that is. My parents went to move my car but used the valet key (I had previously been using it all the time and didn't tell them that it was broken) to try to start the vehicle. I can only assume that the car gave the usual routine of turning over but stalling as soon as the key was let go of as it had given to me when I realized that the chip I broke really WAS crucial to operation. I don't know how many times they tried but sooner or later they called me to say "the Jetta won't start."

I came home and used my key that had worked just 12 hours before. No dice. The Electronic Immobilizer warning light flashed as soon as the key was turned to "on," regardless of which flip-key I was trying. So I referred to my owner's manual. I have really come to hate this wretched book that has warped to the shape of my glove box and answers no questions. I tried to resync the key to the car, thinking that was the problem. I tried setting the other key up as the master, to no avail. After much swearing, saying "why the F$%^ didn't you call me as soon as it wouldn't start," and blah blah blah... I gave up.

Now here I am: stuck in the after-math of a snowstorm, with no car, no money to get it towed to the dealer, and work at 11:30AM tomorrow. The short of it is this: what should I do? Has anyone else here experienced something along these lines? I had found a similar topc that resulted in success from VAG-COM, but since I lack that, what can be done at this point? Thanks a lot, anyone.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 19:06   #2
MOGolf
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Can you explain further what you did when you "tried to resync the key" and "tried setting the other key up as a master"?
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Old February 12th, 2006, 19:11   #3
MOGolf
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And do you have the 'secret number' tag that came with the car?
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Old February 12th, 2006, 19:15   #4
doc_m
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that skc number is critical to re coading the keys
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Old February 12th, 2006, 19:24   #5
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If you have the 'secret number' you can temporarily disable the immbolizer.

Emergency start function, activating without VAG 1551

Using the emergency start function , a vehicle with a faulty anti-theft immobilizer can be started and driven under its own power to a VW dealership.

Requirements

Customer must provide proof of authorized vehicle operation/ownership with vehicle documents and identification

Key tag with covered secret number is available

Mechanically correct key available

- Switch ignition on.

- Twist setting knob for clock (on instrument cluster) clockwise while simultaneously pressing reset button for trip odometer counter.

In the display for the trip odometer counter "0000" appears and the first digit blinks.

Using the reset button for the trip odometer counter, the first digit can now be moved from "0" through "9":

- Press reset button for trip odometer counter until valid first digit of secret number is displayed, e.g. "5"

In the trip odometer counter display "5000" appears.

- Twist setting knob for clock.

In the trip odometer counter display "5000" appears and the second digit blinks.

- Press reset button for trip odometer counter until valid second digit of secret number is displayed, e.g. "3".

- Twist setting knob for clock.

In the trip odometer counter display "5300" appears and the third digit blinks.

- Press reset button for trip odometer counter until valid third digit of secret number is displayed, e.g. "4".

- Twist setting knob for clock.

In the trip odometer counter display "5340" appears and the fourth digit blinks.

- Press reset button for trip odometer counter until valid fourth digit of secret number is displayed, e.g. "9".

In the trip odometer counter display "5349" appears (example).

- When all four digits are entered, simultaneously twist clock setting knob and press reset button for trip odometer counter.

If the valid secret number has been input correctly:

trip odometer display is shown again in trip odometer counter

warning light for anti-theft immobilizer stays on

Notes:

The immobilizer system is now deactivated.

Three attempts to input the secret number correctly are possible immediately. The next three attempts will not be possible for at least 10 minutes if the ignition remains switched on continuously during this time.

After the secret number has been input incorrectly three times, and the ignition switched off, the control module is locked. "FAIL" appears in the trip odometer display counter in the instrument cluster.

The waiting time between each set of attempts doubles each time to a maximum time of 255 minutes.

If during the input procedure no key/button operation occurs for longer than 30 seconds, the emergency start attempt is interrupted.

- Switch ignition off and then start engine.
The emergency start function is not operable again and must be reactivated if:

- 5 minutes have elapsed since the ignition was switched off and the ignition key removed from the ignition lock.

- 45 minutes have elapsed since the ignition was switched off, but an ignition key remained inserted in the ignition lock.

- Upon beginning an adaptation function with VAG 1551.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 19:37   #6
coleslawter
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By "resyncing" the key, I just followed the directions in the manual for "resetting the remote control." My mom read me the directions and I thought it would work until I looked at the book and saw that it really didn't fit the problem I was having.


Should I try that process? Are there any severe repercussions with VW dealerships? Also, is there any explanation for how this happened?

EDIT: I decided to go give it a shot. I assume I did it wrong; my odometer reset button seems to stick as does the clock reset. Oh. And my glow plug light was flashing by the time I got out of the car. I've never seen that before.

Last edited by coleslawter; February 12th, 2006 at 19:58.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 19:58   #7
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Without a VAG-COM to retrieve the info about what the ECM and cluster are seeing, any explanation at this point would be speculation.

There shouldn't be any repercussions. Take note of the time delays that occur if you don't do it right.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 06:34   #8
coleslawter
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I just can't get the trip odometer to blink. I've turned the clock reset clockwise and counter-c while holding the reset and nothing happens.

I need to kill my family.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 14:51   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOGolf
If you have the 'secret number' you can temporarily disable the immbolizer.

Emergency start function, activating without VAG 1551

Using the emergency start function , a vehicle with a faulty anti-theft immobilizer can be started and driven under its own power to a VW dealership.

Requirements

Customer must provide proof of authorized vehicle operation/ownership with vehicle documents and identification

Key tag with covered secret number is available

Mechanically correct key available

- Switch ignition on.

- Twist setting knob for clock (on instrument cluster) clockwise while simultaneously pressing reset button for trip odometer counter.

In the display for the trip odometer counter "0000" appears and the first digit blinks.

Using the reset button for the trip odometer counter, the first digit can now be moved from "0" through "9":

- Press reset button for trip odometer counter until valid first digit of secret number is displayed, e.g. "5"

In the trip odometer counter display "5000" appears.

- Twist setting knob for clock.

In the trip odometer counter display "5000" appears and the second digit blinks.

- Press reset button for trip odometer counter until valid second digit of secret number is displayed, e.g. "3".

- Twist setting knob for clock.

In the trip odometer counter display "5300" appears and the third digit blinks.

- Press reset button for trip odometer counter until valid third digit of secret number is displayed, e.g. "4".

- Twist setting knob for clock.

In the trip odometer counter display "5340" appears and the fourth digit blinks.

- Press reset button for trip odometer counter until valid fourth digit of secret number is displayed, e.g. "9".

In the trip odometer counter display "5349" appears (example).

- When all four digits are entered, simultaneously twist clock setting knob and press reset button for trip odometer counter.

If the valid secret number has been input correctly:

trip odometer display is shown again in trip odometer counter

warning light for anti-theft immobilizer stays on

Notes:

The immobilizer system is now deactivated.

Three attempts to input the secret number correctly are possible immediately. The next three attempts will not be possible for at least 10 minutes if the ignition remains switched on continuously during this time.

After the secret number has been input incorrectly three times, and the ignition switched off, the control module is locked. "FAIL" appears in the trip odometer display counter in the instrument cluster.

The waiting time between each set of attempts doubles each time to a maximum time of 255 minutes.

If during the input procedure no key/button operation occurs for longer than 30 seconds, the emergency start attempt is interrupted.

- Switch ignition off and then start engine.
The emergency start function is not operable again and must be reactivated if:

- 5 minutes have elapsed since the ignition was switched off and the ignition key removed from the ignition lock.

- 45 minutes have elapsed since the ignition was switched off, but an ignition key remained inserted in the ignition lock.

- Upon beginning an adaptation function with VAG 1551.
I'm having IMMO issues with my 02 Jetta after not driving it for most of the winter I found a 4 digit number on a sticker in my trunk since I didn't get a tag when i bought the car used. Not even sure if this is the SKC but I was going to try it using this proceedure. My cluster does nothing when I simultaneously trurn the clock knob and push the odo trip reset with either of the keys switched on. Anything else I can try before I have to tow it in for a key reread at the Stealership?
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Old March 31st, 2006, 16:38   #10
MOGolf
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They have a bad habit of scribbling the radio code on that sticker.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 20:09   #11
Mcgink
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I was able to extract the radio code from the salesman, "it was like pulling teeth" but I was clueless about SKC codes when I bought the car used. The radio code in an 02 jetta resets itself as long as the radio has not been removed as stated in the manual. I found this to be true as I already tried diconnecting the Battery in an attempt to get some type of a reset of the IMMO3.
At least I get to listen to the radio while waiting for the tow truck

Last edited by Mcgink; March 31st, 2006 at 20:12.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 21:46   #12
decan
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MoGolf
Thank you for your description in Post #5. We all may be having an immobilizer issue at one time or another and it's great to refer to the possible solutions given by you. I for one find it important enough to have copied it as a reference in one of my TDI folders.
Interesting what you discover 'underneath something !!' Clem
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 11:01   #13
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I think the procedure that MoGolf has for the Immo is probably worthy of the How To's page so it would be right on top and easy to get to in a Immobilizer search.

I was unable to get my odo to flash 4 digits but who knows how many others could avoid the Tow Hook by using this procedure.
Just my 2 cents
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Old April 4th, 2006, 22:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgink
I think the procedure that MoGolf has for the Immo is probably worthy of the How To's page so it would be right on top and easy to get to in a Immobilizer search.

I was unable to get my odo to flash 4 digits but who knows how many others could avoid the Tow Hook by using this procedure.
Just my 2 cents
Don't quite know how I avoided the tow hook with my Immobilizer issue but this is the sequence that seemed to fix it

First,
This is what happened
My car was only driven once since last November.
The Battery had discharged.
I charged the Battery.
When I started the car it would shut down within a couple seconds and the Immo light was flashing.
After approx 15 seconds,the Glowplug light would flash together with the Immo light.
Second,
I came to the forums and did some reading since my owners Manual was useless about the Immobilizer system. It seems that Immobilizer 3 drops the key code if the car isn't driven regularly for 3-4 months. I discovered that I need an SKC code to unput into the cluster via Mogolf's info to get it to the dealer for a key reread. I discovered a sticker in my trunk w/ 4 digits which was not my radio-code. I'm not sure if this is an SKC code or not but figure I'll try it.
Third,
I was trying to use the MoGolf procedure and was unable to get my trip odo to flash four zeros. I tried as many variations of it as I could think of.
At the time my Immo light was still flashing along with the Glow plug light.
This is what got the Immobilzer light to go off.
I left the ignition key switched on
I walked away from it for prob about an hour. There was a battery charger attatched and the E brake was set (DRL's off) and the tranny was in Park.
When I came back, the Immo light was off. I shut the key off, and then the car started right up and ran like the champ I remembered. I'm not sure if there's a time frame that the cluster looks for the correct key when it's switched on or what. Anyway, I wanted to share my experience with members in case anyone else has had the same problem.
Epilog,
If anyone has any input as to what fixed it or if leaving the key switched on for a certain time period is the way to go, let all members know.
My next step would'hve likely been to tow/trailer it to the stealership for a key reread.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 16:34   #15
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Mcgink, you've got an '02 so you've probably got an Immob. III, unlike the original poster. The procedure you used is similar to what is needed to be done if key programming is done incorrectly too many times. There is a timeout feature for that and, as you found, is probably invoked for an "erroneous" blocking by the immobilizer. Thank you for adding it to our pool of knowledge.
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