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VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas Discussions area for A5/MkV Jetta/Golf (2005/2006 PD and 2009 CR).

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Old January 23rd, 2018, 13:41   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Newtown Square, PA
Fuel Economy: better than my 2013 Spark
Default 09 JSW - Electrical problems after sitting

I have a 2009 Jetta Sportwagen 2,0 TDI that hasn't been driven in a while because I replaced it sooner than I expected. It was having some intermittent transmission issues starting last summer. Essentially, whilst at speed, the DSG would partially disengage (I think? sure felt like it) and the PRNDS lights would all flash on the cluster. Restarting the car was the only way to resume normal functionality. I meant to have it checked out - figured it was a bad solenoid from some limited research I did. Then I decided to sell it back.

In August, I lucked out and a perfect replacement came along. Bought an 06 A3 2,0T hatch with a six-speed and a near-perfect history from a co-worker for a great price. Fuel economy isn't what I was used to but it's a wonderful little car. Problem is, life got in the way. My JSW sat in the driveway undriven and unloved since the day I got the Audi. I felt bad, of course, but I couldn't afford insurance on two cars and also didn't NEED two cars to begin with. I was reluctantly set on selling it back to VWGoA.

Obviously the battery went flat because I kept forgetting to start and run it regularly. It wouldn't start with a jump from any car with any set of cables. I swapped in the Audi battery and bought a new one for the A3. The JSW cranked and started right up, to my pleasant surprise. I missed that sound...

But - getting to the point - here's a list of things that worked when it was parked that now do not.
  • All interior lights and chimes
  • Turn signals and hazards
  • Reverse lights
  • License plate lights
  • Gauge cluster lights (warning lights work, as do the backlit radio buttons)
  • Door lights, all lighted window switches, lock/unlock buttons
  • High beams and DRLS (normal headlights work)
  • Horn (alarm works)
  • Central locks - fob only locks, unlocking must be done manually
  • All wipers, including washers
  • Rear defroster
  • Power windows - however, turning the key to the right and holding it WILL make them all go down as intended. Getting them to go back up by holding the key to the left is a chore, and takes several tries.
The radio works, as do the heated front seats (fancy that!) and the power seat backs adjust too. The fan blowers work, however the heat is not hot. A/C is untested. Turning on the headlights also turns on the taillights as intended. All rear brake lights are functional. Power trunk lock was rather finicky to begin with but does still function. Haven't tried the sunroof as it didn't really work properly to begin with either.

Last night, my girlfriend drove it around the neighborhood for a whole hour (yes the trip timer in the gauge cluster works) without issue. Not having turn signals means I wouldn't take it on busy roads, and lacking the ability to open the windows means no hand signals either lol.

Today I tried to change some fuses. A Google search for "MKV Jetta fuse diagram" returns countless photos, all of which depict different fuse boxes with different labeling, and of course my owner's manual doesn't list all the fuses at all (for instance, neither the driver-side box nor the 30-fuse box in the engine compartment are listed as having a fuse for the turn signals, which is infuriatingly unhelpful). I changed out driver-side 5A fuse #17 (Horn) and it still won't beep, so I figured my problem is more than just fuses and came here.

I know that to sell it back it needs only to move under its own power, which it does. I am seriously considering opting for a fix instead as I've put a lot of work into this car and of course it has significant sentimental value to my girlfriend and me. I know, I know, I let it sit for months anyway. I already apologized.

If it's financially feasible, I would sooner have it fixed under the court order and give it to my girlfriend since she already loves it. I taught her to drive in it, after all.

I'm seeking advice here from those better-informed (and perhaps more mechanically-inclined) than I. I've got some tools and even a bit of free time now and then. What's causing these electronic components not to work? I can't narrow down a failure point and hope I've provided enough information to lead someone more knowledgeable than I to a helpful suggestion or two.

Thank you for reading all of this. Oh, and if you think I'm a fool for even trying to find a fix, just say so (but kindly explain exactly why). I'm not ready to give up on TDI just yet.

Last edited by NullCoding; January 23rd, 2018 at 13:42. Reason: spacing...
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Old January 25th, 2018, 17:08   #2
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meerschm's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Fairfax county VA

The first thing I would look for is chewed wires.

you can test all the fuses without taking them out, if you want to (inside the car as well as under the hood

if you can spend $20, alldatadiy.com has good tech data for the car, including wiring diagrams.

the vw diagrams take a while to figure out, if you are so inclined, with a half dozen redirections to find what you are looking for.

Free advice: it is worth what you pay for it. (sometimes)

Last edited by meerschm; January 25th, 2018 at 17:10.
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Old January 28th, 2018, 14:03   #3
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Calgary, Canada

fuses and grounds is a good start for sure
do you have a VCDS and does it tell you anything?
you might have damaged/fried the CECM (and/or other modules) with all of the jumping attempts. CECM controls most of the things you say aren't working.
And there's no reason at all to give up on the car. Electrical issues are annoying but always fixable if you're patient.
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Old January 31st, 2018, 14:45   #4
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Newtown Square, PA
Fuel Economy: better than my 2013 Spark

Originally Posted by meerschm View Post
The first thing I would look for is chewed wires
No kidding. I live in Pennsylvania after all! From what I can see, nothing is chewed or damaged...that did cross my mind though.

What bothers me is the fact I would have to pay for decent wiring diagrams - may as well suck it up and take it to my local VW specialists (they are not a dealer!) in that case.

Originally Posted by trevinator View Post
do you have a VCDS and does it tell you anything?
No I do not, but given I now own an Audi of the same(ish) generation (Typ 8p, effectively MK V but petrol) I have considered purchasing one. If I could justify the cost, I totally would.

CECM possibly fried with jumping attempts. Would that render the radio inoperable (for example)? I am patient yes, but admittedly not experienced with electronic systems in cars at all.

If that's a module that can be replaced then I could try that. If not, I suppose I'd pursue other diagnostic options. Given how much is controlled through computers on these modern vehicles, I can't imagine replacing a control module would be particularly simple or painless. But it's worth a shot if need be.

Thanks for the replies. Still sitting here, not sold back or emissions-fixed yet.
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Old January 31st, 2018, 15:16   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Vancouver, B.C.

Punxsutawney Phil has eaten your wires! Happy Groundhog Day

I jumped in the Honda the other day and had a ton of flashing lights check engine light flashing "D" on the cluster. Shifted hard into gear as well.

Quick google search said to look for chewed wires, I popped the hood and found 2 wires going to a tranny sensor were missing. The little buggers ate the whole wire.

It seems that auto manufacturers are using plant based ingredients in the wire casings that are tasty to the rodents.

Best thing to do is get in there and poke around for damage usually where the connectors come out of the main harness. Look for chews or missing wires!

Do the ground connections like everyone else is saying too!
1999 New Beetle TDI - Bosio 1019's, Malone S4, Skid Plate, Neuspeed Sway Bars, KW V2, 19's BBS-CH, Spyder LED's, EGR Delete, VF Mounts, South Bend Clutch, B&M Shift Kit, VNT17, Custom Side Mount Intercooler, HPA Big Brakes 355mm Ft/335mm Rr, 2.5" Custom SS Straight Through Exhaust, Colt Stage 2 Cam, 3 Bar Map.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 18:06   #6
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Newtown Square, PA
Fuel Economy: better than my 2013 Spark


1) I am convinced chewed/broken wires are the culprit here. Seems more likely than a fried CECM given how long it's sat. Not that either is a great prospect, but it's a hundred percent my fault the vehicle has sat for so long in the first place.

2) Found out the windows go down when I hold the key in the driver's lock to the left, and actually go back up when I hold it to the right. That's cool. 3/4 doors lock when I press the lock button on the key fob . LR passenger door does not, and opening it sets off the alarm, which is odd because the horn does not work...

3) I am under a great deal of pressure to sell this car. I have yet to get her a formal workup by my trusted local VW specialist, but CEL has been steady on for around 1,5 years due to what I'm told is a clogged DPF. She'd lose power under acceleration (typically uphill) and go into a "limp mode" where the max speed seemed to be around 50mph and a flashing curli-q on the gauge cluster with the message "Engine Fault - Workshop!" I was told that was an issue with the glow plugs, and that a fix would be prohibitively expensive. The transmission fault(s) is/are as yet undiagnosed, but clearly present.

The fact that the radio stays on with the key out of the ignition entirely certainly points to wiring issues (that and the alarm working whilst the horn does not, the window motors working with the turn-key thing but not the actual switches, etc...)

I have to call it, I'm afraid. I simply do not have the time, money, or energy to fix my beloved JSW. It's my fault for neglecting her for so long. I know. Had I been driving or at least starting her since August (-ish), things might be different.

Really doesn't help that a) I have a replacement vehicle that is in objectively better shape and b) we do not have the space to continue storing my JSW, which currently bears a Sept. 17 inspection sticker.

I'm gonna have to say goodbye. Even if I have my mechanic do a complete workover and estimate how much a fix would cost, I fear it will far exceed what VW has offered me to buy it back, and possibly even exceed the restitution I'd receive for the EPA-approved "fix."
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