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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old February 23rd, 2018, 15:02   #1
larrydc
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Default guages went crazy

Had to jump my old battery this morning and the speedometer and fuel gauge went crazy. How do I fix it? Tried disconnecting the battery. Helped a little bit.
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Old February 23rd, 2018, 20:32   #2
Mongler98
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did you hook it up right? are you sure you hooked it up right?

the one and only cause of this failure is 12v going to the ground or getting back fed some how with a shorting wire. either way, its usually a ground issue that feeds back some voltage back and screws it up, fix and check all your grounds or you hook it up backwards. other things can cause this but it always falls back to volts traveling bacward though the ground into the cluster or other things.
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Old February 23rd, 2018, 23:19   #3
Steve Addy
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It's because battery voltage dropped below 12v on your car, the clusters cannot stand up to that.

First, you must get your battery charged and or replace it if it's not good. Then if the condition persists you'll likely need to contact Derek at Chubb's to see about fixing it.

The clusters are very fragile and they won't stand up to low voltage.

Steve
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Old February 24th, 2018, 09:16   #4
Mongler98
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Whats the volts on the battery right now, after its fully charged and the lights left on for a few minutes? and when its being cranked? How old is the battery?
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Old February 24th, 2018, 12:25   #5
Abacus
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Yep, it’s a low voltage issue, not a ground issue.

Derek is the man to see about the clusters. I just got 2 MFA back he converted to TDI. He does good work and is cheap.
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'96 B4V: 356,000 miles Malone 2+, PP520's, 6 speed, 02J short shifter, E-Codes, G60 brakes, Evo plate, DMF, stainless exhaust, heated leathers, cold weather package
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Old February 24th, 2018, 12:55   #6
ketchupshirt88
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Many have had the same issue, it only takes one attempted start too many to kill a cluster. Not really any middle ground.

I just found out my wifeís Prius has b4 cluster issues... lol.

The combo meter on Prius is also sensitive to low voltage and the capacitors fail.

Iím bringing this up because I was curious if thatís what Derek commonly fixed on these, the capacitors I mean.
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Old February 24th, 2018, 15:11   #7
Vince Waldon
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Yup... the voltage spike caused your cluster to go meet its maker. We see this quite often with that vintage of cluster.
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Old February 24th, 2018, 15:21   #8
larrydc
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Guess I made a mistake driving it to town like it is and now neither the clock nor the odometer lights up.
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Old February 24th, 2018, 16:08   #9
Vince Waldon
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It's dead Jim, and it will chose to be dead in a bunch of interesting (and sometimes changing) ways.

There are no user-serviceable parts on the cluster... you'll have to track down a replacement cluster or send it to an electronics dude like the one posted in this thread.
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Old February 24th, 2018, 16:09   #10
Abacus
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It’ll get worse. I had one recently that was so bad only the battery light worked.
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Old February 24th, 2018, 18:20   #11
larrydc
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I wouldn't even know how to get the cluster out to send it to someone that could fix it. Where could I find a replacement? How much would it cost?
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Old February 24th, 2018, 18:30   #12
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You don't need a replacement. Remove yours, send it to Derek and in rapid order it'll be back to you to reinstall.
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Old February 25th, 2018, 20:42   #13
larrydc
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How do you get the cluster out?
How dop I contact the repairmen?
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Old February 25th, 2018, 23:26   #14
Steve Addy
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Removing the cluster requires taking out the filler pieces on either side of the lower cluster surround, the right side has the vent in it and the left side is part of the light switch I think. Behind that I believe are two screws that need to be removed and there may be two screws in the plastic surround above the cluster, somewhere in the middle. I'm saying maybe because I think my B3 surround is a tad bit different but I can't say that for certain.

Anyway, pull all those screws and the surround should pop off (it's snapped in place). Once that's off the screws that hold the cluster in place (2) will be revealed. Remove those two and the cluster will tilt forward allowing you to get your hand in behind there to unclip the two cluster harness connectors.

Tilt your steering wheel to the lowest possible position, tilt the top of the cluster down enough to grab it and pull it out and then maneuver it into position so you can take it out by sliding toward the center of the dash.

The person to call is Derek, at 217-824-3954, Chubs Auto Repair, his userid here is ChubsAuto but you'll have the best luck calling him. He will provide you with all the info you need.

Steve
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Old February 26th, 2018, 03:01   #15
Abacus
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Steve is correct. I posted this a little while ago.

It only takes about 10 minutes to remove.
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'97 B4: 453,000 miles Malone 3, PP520's, Stage 2 cam, SBC3, ARP studs, 2 1/4" exhaust, 2.5" Cat, no mufflers or EGR.
'96 B4V: 356,000 miles Malone 2+, PP520's, 6 speed, 02J short shifter, E-Codes, G60 brakes, Evo plate, DMF, stainless exhaust, heated leathers, cold weather package
BUG*PWR 2013 Award Winner
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