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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old July 28th, 2000, 09:10   #1
BIGJOHNO
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Frozen Tundra
Default HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

I'd do a search but I'm about to take a final and then drive 3 hours to attend my grandmother's wake. Last night I noticed the "limp mode" loss of power and the check engine light came on. Today, the light is still on, and the power is just not there trying to go past 2200 rpms. It'll still go, but definitely not as fast. Cruising in 5th doesn't seem too bad (ie I can still accellerate).

I need to know (and quickly) if this is the relay 109 problem. If not, will going to the dealer real quick and having them clear the code bring back the power. If this is going to be more than an hour or so job, is the car okay to drive back to N. Va, and then to northern New Jersey on Monday and back to Norfolk with the check engine light okay? It's ironic how this problem occurs when I really need the car.

If anyone can give me some good answers quickly I'd appreciate it. I'll check back in about an hour (12:15 pm EST) after my exam to see what to do. Thank you all.

John
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Old July 28th, 2000, 10:17   #2
christi
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Location: Ruislip, Middlesex, UK
Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

If Relay 109 fails, then the engine will not run at all.

Try for yourself, pull out the relay and try to start the motor.

------------------
1996 Passat Tdi estate (wagon (variant))
See my Peugeot / Passat site
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Old July 28th, 2000, 10:35   #3
BIGJOHNO
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

So why did it go into limp mode? I guess I'll run it over to the dealer to see what code it tripped and if full power can be restored.

John
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Old July 28th, 2000, 11:40   #4
BIGJOHNO
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

I have more specific info. It seems that when you start the car, the check engine light is not on. As soon as you start driving the light comes on and it goes into limp mode. Then after a certain varying period of time (the last time it was 5 seconds) the car returns to what feels like normal power, though with the light still on (NOT blinking).

So what gives? I think the car will be fine on my trip, but I still need to figure out the problem. Could it be water in the fuel? It started about 120 miles into this tank. Any suggestions are accepted!

John
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Old July 28th, 2000, 11:52   #5
mickey
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

The only thing that will cause total engine destruction is a loss of oil pressure. Check the oil level and make sure it's acceptable. Other than that, I'd say the car is driveable. You'll just need to diagnose the problem when you get the chance.

I agree that Relay 109 is not a likely culprit. When that relay fails the engine immediately quits.

Need details! What year and model is it? What mods have you done?

This sounds like an intermittent sensor problem. Anybody with a VAG tool or an aftermarket equivalent can tell you what code has been triggered. From there, we can probably figure it out. If you have a friendly dealer you might be able to just have them check the codes real quick. Then we can work together to diagnose the problem and you can decide whether to have the dealer fix it or do it yourself.

With a certain amount of reservations I'd say you're probably OK to drive to the wake. Like I said: Only a total loss of oil pressure would be immediately fatal. Sensor problems and "limp home" modes are just annoying until you can get them fixed. But don't quote me on this! You might get stranded halfway there.

That's the best I've got. Any time you get a Check Engine light there will be a code stored in the ECU. You're lucky! Most problems don't trigger codes, and you have to rely on good old-fashioned trouble shooting. This should be an easy one.

-mickey
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Old July 28th, 2000, 12:36   #6
Drivbiwire
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Fuel Economy: Who cares, it's a diesel!
Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

I agree I would guess that you had a sensor failure (possible quick fix) and the ECU is limiting the engine output because it has defaulted to a predetermined limitation to overide a bad sensor value.

Continued operation should be ok like Mickey said make sure the fluids are topped off. I would have the dealer check out the fault once you know what it is make your decision at that point as to whether continued operation is prudent.

DB
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Old July 28th, 2000, 16:03   #7
BIGJOHNO
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

Well, drove 2.5 hours to northern VA on reduced power. When I begin to accellerate, it is on about 50 % or less power, but then if I hold the "go" pedal down, at about 2200 rpm the engine will go into about 80% power (enough to hold 90 mph on the highway, though it takes much longer to get there). 80% is the best I'm getting. All the fluids are fine. Check engine light still on. On Monday we are proceeding up to NJ. So unless there is anyone with the VAG-COM tool willing to meet me off I-95 Monday morning, I'll have to wait until Tuesday to find out the problem. No friendly dealers down here. I explained my dilemma to the service guy at Greenbriar VW and just asked to have my codes checked out and I got "Sorry. No time today, but we can schedule an appointment for Monday. As long as the light is not blinking you should be able to drive it." So much for "service." It helps to have friends in the business I guess.

I'm not too worried about it, just the lack of power makes me almost feel like I'm driving the Rabbit again... almost!

John
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Old July 28th, 2000, 16:14   #8
Clatterman
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Location: So Cal
Fuel Economy: 42
Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

bummer. My guess is a turbo/electronics combo. Seems like it behaves as if there is no boost... maybe it has an override to open the wastegate to full open, or something like that.
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Old July 28th, 2000, 19:42   #9
HowardZ
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

I live between the washington dc beltway (495) and the baltimore beltway(695) about 15 minutes from exit #33 (Route 198).

Or, if you are in N. VA. you can go around 495 and north on Rt 650 to reach me. Probably a 1 hour drive in good traffic.

If you want to stop over I can read your ECU's error codes for you.

Email me for more detailed directions.

[This message has been edited by HowardZ (edited July 28, 2000).]
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Old July 31st, 2000, 08:11   #10
HowardZ
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

John came to my house last night with his Golf and his sister. John has "big" in his nickname because of his enormous height. Definitely over 6 feet tall. I am surprised he can fit in his Golf.

He had 2 error codes.
I cleared them, he drove a mile, and 1 came back. I think it was P0101 - John has the paper it was written on. This is supposed to be a MAF or a EGR problem. The procedure calls for reading block 010, first value. It is supposed to be at least 200 mg of air flow (example in the book was over 300), but all his car can muster is 50mg - exactly 50 without any variation.

We wondered if the air filter or air intake hoses were blocked, so we removed the top of the air filter box, ran the car for under a minute, and it still showed 50.

Most likely the problem is the MAF sensor which probably costs hundreds of dollars.

It was getting late, and we didn't pursue the EGR checking procedures. I suppose a constantly fully open EGR valve will cause too little air to flow past the MAF.

He is in no mood to spend hundreds of dollars on parts. That is what the warranty is for.
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Old July 31st, 2000, 21:22   #11
valois
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

Way to go Z, you are identifying more problems than the local dealership! Hehe. I can see the dealers start to ask around, who is this mysterious HowardZ? When You identify a problem you need to do a big Z on the upper cover.
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Old October 19th, 2000, 10:52   #12
TDI Steve
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

This sounds similar to what's happening to me.

What was the result?
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Old October 19th, 2000, 11:25   #13
Karl Roenick
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Location: Clifton Park, NY, US
Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

You have a check engine light?
Don't forget the Epsilon factor, as in, is it hooked up right.
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Old October 19th, 2000, 11:39   #14
valois
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

I don't think Steve is a member of the Epsilonian Confederation....yet
Check your Maf connections, air filter, clear fuel line for bubbles, anyone around Steve have a vag-com, you guys realize what a service Uwe Ross is to the TDI community, we are starting to build a service network, thanks again for your endeavors Uwe.
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Old October 19th, 2000, 11:45   #15
TDI Steve
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Default Re: HELP!!! -- Does \"limp mode\" = Relay 109 problem? -- need quick help

no egr mod on my car...
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