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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old December 1st, 2011, 19:24   #1
captaincatalyst
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southern Indiana
Default Dashboard Guages Not Working

Hello,

I searched for this problem and found a couple of similar threads but not much in the way of specifics for my car.

I have a 01 NB TDI with an automatic transmission. The engine is an A4.

The problem is that none of the gauges in my dashboard are working. The odometer and trip meter work fine. Cruise control and the various lights and indicators also all work fine. Oh, and luckily the low fuel indicator light and beep still work even though the fuel gauge isn't working. So the car is aware of all the measurements, and I'm lead to believe the problem is likely either a fuse or grounding.

I've had this problem for a long time now, and have just made do with the speedometer in my GPS unit, but if it's an easy enough fix, then I'd like to do it. I've seen the gauges come on maybe once for short period of time since the problem started, and now they're frozen at their last location.

I looked at fuses 11 and 15, and even swapped them out with a couple other 5amp fuses and it doesn't seem to help.

So that leads me to checking the ground wires. I saw a thread talking about the ground wires in a different engine, but I'm not seeing them in mine, at least from the top.

Can anyone give suggestions on the location of the ground wire to check and whether or not there is anything else to check?

Are there any connections I can check by pulling the IC out? Do I need to worry about immobilizing the car or screwing up the association with my key if I unplug the IC?

Thanks,

Last edited by captaincatalyst; December 1st, 2011 at 19:28. Reason: additional detail
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Old December 1st, 2011, 22:46   #2
dalchri
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Muncy, PA
TDI(s): 99 Beetle
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Something that you might want to check into is pulling the instrument cluster and seeing if there are any dry solder joints.

I had a problem with solder joints on the socket that accepts the wiring harness on my A3 instrument cluster. If I tilted the instrument cluster, the gauges would come to life because I was putting stress on the wiring harness and pushing the dry solder joints together.

Try jiggling the instrument cluster to see if it will come back to life.

I've never seen the insides of my A4 NB instrument cluster so I don't know what you can safely get into to look at.

A dry solder joint will look like it has a ring where it has cracked and broken the circuit. We also have this problem in our door locks. Do your door lights still come on when you open the door? If not, you have the same problem inside your door circuitry.

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Old December 3rd, 2011, 14:53   #3
captaincatalyst
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Well, I pulled the IC out, took it apart and visually inspected the solder points. Everything checked out. I don't currently have access to my soldering iron or multimeter, so I can't do much more with it at this point.

I put it all back in and at least didn't make anything worse.

However, now I'm leaning more towards checking the ground wires under the hood. Can anyone help point out where they would be?

Thanks!
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Old February 24th, 2012, 19:02   #4
wort
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: indiana
TDI(s): 98 VW Beetle
Fuel Economy: 50 mpg
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I'm having the same problem with my fuel gauge, the rest of my cluster works fine, however, even took the battery out to access the 3 grounds that were supposed to be under it, they werent though.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 13:44   #5
JB05
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Location: Il.USA
Fuel Economy: 43/41/40
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According to my Bentley wiring diagrams the gauges have a common ground, 269, which nobody seems to be able to find based on my recent searches. I think it is encased inside some harness under the instrument cluster, but this is just a guess. Bentley does not specify a location. This may or may not be your problem, but you can search on this 269 and see what is said. Edit: I rechecked the WD's and the location states in instrument panel wiring harness. I know of two, a green and a blue, but I think they mean somewhere else.

Last edited by JB05; February 25th, 2012 at 13:53.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 17:35   #6
sisyphus
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Do a search on "coolant migration."
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Old April 14th, 2012, 04:54   #7
captaincatalyst
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My problem was solved by a cluster swap.

For anyone attempting to buy a cluster for their New Beetle, it's probably best to go with the same part number as what you had in before. There are going to be multiple options even in the same model year due to different gasser models and it's probably going to be difficult to get any random cluster adapted to your car. The part number should be listed on a sticker on the back of the icu when you take it out.

Having said all of that, I didn't take into account that non-TDI clusters are different (no glow plug light for starters) and bought a cheap cluster on ebay from the same model year. When I plugged it in and turned the key, the fuel guage moved. This is what proved to me that my problem was within the cluster itself. After a bit of time with vag-tacho and vcds, I figured out that I wasn't going to be able to adapt it to my car though. Found the same part numbered cluster at a local shop and verified that the fuel guage would move when powered before purchasing. Vag-tacho got me the skc for the new cluster and changed mileage. I used VCDS to adapt the keys. I followed directions on adapting immobilizer 2 clusters and there are a couple of values that are supposed to be adapted in VCDS as well.

I will also note that on the original cluster I resoldered all points at the two main connectors and it didn't help. I'm leaning more towards a bad connection somewhere else or a fried controller chip for the stepper motors. I also figured out that at least the fuel gauge is run by the blue connector only.

Anyway, I'm back on the road with realtime gauge readings now. Thanks to all for suggestions and hopefully this information will help others.

Last edited by captaincatalyst; April 14th, 2012 at 04:58.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 04:14   #8
Mitchgomsu
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: The Beautiful "UP" of Michigan
TDI(s): 97 Passat
Fuel Economy: 52.8 mpg, best so far
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Hello, this is my first post - n00b - I guess. I would just like to say Modulemaster.com did a great job fixing my guage cluster which was totally out of commision when I bought the car (97 passat) and they also fixed the module on my drivers side window motor. They are based out of Idaho so you have to remove/ship to them, but they were fast and reasonably priced. Look them up online and give them a call if you need something that isnt listed (like my window motor module) they will look into it and let you know if they can fix it... Hope this helps somebody - I love this forum I have learned a lot from TDI club!
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