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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 April 14th, 2009, 07:30   #1
mike944
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Default 01 Jetta starts & immediately stalls. - intermittent problem

Hey guys, I'm having an intermittent problem with my 2001 Jetta. (185K miles)

I'm pretty sure it's electrical, but not positive.

Sometimes it starts up and then immediately stalls. Just about as soon as it gets to full idle speed, (about 1 second) it just shuts back off, like i turned off the key. Sometimes the security light flashes (the little car with the key icon in the gauge cluster) when it stalls. Sometimes not.

It seems to happen more often when it's wet out. I tried different keys. One works better than the other, but they both have the problem.

Once it's running, no problems at all.

A guy at the VW parts counter seemed to think it might possibly be the gauge cluster. Says those are classic symptoms of gauge cluster problems. I thought it might be related to the anti-theft key coding, due to the anti-theft light flashing, but i don't know.

Anyone know what might be causing this?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 07:57   #2
puter
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You will need to get the codes read so that we can help you more.

It does sound like it is the immobilizer, but codes will help us diagnose what is causing the problem.

Sometimes odd electrical issues can be resolved by taking the cables off the battery and touching the ends together for 10-15 seconds and then hooking the battery back up.

Also, you say some keys work "better" than others. Does one key not work? If the key is not correctly programmed for your car then that would trigger the immobilizer when you try to start it without disarming the lock.

It's all guesswork until we get the codes (and maybe even then )
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Old April 14th, 2009, 08:50   #3
mike944
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The CEL is not on, so i didn't think there would be any codes. I'll check tonight when i get home.

shorting the battery leads together? that sounds a little risky.

No, they both still work. last week was the first time i noticed the immobilizer light flashing, so i thought it might be a bad key, so i decided to number the keys, and see if i could tell any difference between them. on saturday (a rainy day) key #1 caused the car to stall about 4 times in a row (with immobilizer light flashing) I gave up, and tried key #2. Key #2 stalled once (no immobilizer light), but then kept running the second try. But, I have used both keys succesfully since then, with no stalling on either one. I haven't been able to develop a consistent pattern with either key, so i'm not sure it's the key. Both keys are original to the car, and are not recently programmed.


How does the immobilizer work 'normally' on a TDI if someone uses an incorrectly programmed key? would it start then immediately stall, or does it not crank at all, or would it crank, but not start?

I'll check the codes tonight.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 09:06   #4
puter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike944
The CEL is not on, so i didn't think there would be any codes. I'll check tonight when i get home.
It is pretty much gaurenteed that there will be codes. There is absolutely no reason why the CEL has to be on for there to be codes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike944
shorting the battery leads together? that sounds a little risky.
without having them connected to the battery, hopefully you saw that part. All you will be doing is discharging latent energy from the car, there is no powersource connected, so why would it be risky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike944
How does the immobilizer work 'normally' on a TDI if someone uses an incorrectly programmed key? would it start then immediately stall, or does it not crank at all, or would it crank, but not start?
If someone tried to force the car to start without disengaging the alarm the immobilizer would kick in. You can also see the immobilizer kick in when you have electric charge issues, that goes back to my comment above telling you to touch the battery cables together.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 09:15   #5
mike944
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puter
....
without having them connected to the battery, hopefully you saw that part. All you will be doing is discharging latent energy from the car, there is no powersource connected, so why would it be risky?
I saw that part, don't worry. I guess that some of the modules might have capacitors in them specifically to maintain power when the battery gets disconnected, and shorting them together would force-discharge them, negating their entire purpose. That's why i thought it might be risky. shorting the cables together is just not something you're 'supposed' to do. it doesn't seem like the 'right way' to fix anything. And with a car full of a lot of expensive electronics, it seems like a big risk to my wallet.

I'd like to save that as a last-resort option.

I'll read the codes on the immobilizer and see what i find.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 10:47   #6
puter
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That is a common option, and a common solution.

I would advise you to do it.

Also, capacitors have a limited amount of energy storage. If this were going to damage your car by having them discharge, then you would find that your car would be quickly damaged when your battery dies. You can argue with me on this if you want, but I have a degree in the area

At this point, if you are unwilling to try resetting the electronics as instructed, then I am not sure I can help you...I don't want to go down a long troubleshooting course when all you had to do was that.

If you do not believe me, then I suggest you use the search link at the top of the page and research for yourself whether or not it is a viable solution.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 12:13   #7
runonbeer
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I had an immo issue on my car recently (disconnected battery, pulled ecu, took ecu to colorado, chipped it, brought it back, put it in).

All I ended up having to do was disconnect the battery again and cycle the key. then reconnect the battery and everything worked.

On my car I also had to recode the ecu to my cluster but since you haven't messed with yours, then you will most likely not have to do this.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 17:40   #8
mike944
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Well, there definitely were codes. Just as i suspected, it looks like it's got something to do with the immobilizer.

No codes from the immobilizer itself, but i got the following codes from the engine & instrument cluster.

Engine codes:
17978 - Engine Start Blocked By Immobilizer - P1570 - 35-10 - - - Intermittent


Instrument codes:
01039 - Coolant Temperature Sensor (G2) - 30-10 - Open or Short to Plus - Intermittent

01176 - Key - 07-10 - Signal too Low - Intermittent

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I find it strange that the coolant temperature sensor code appears in the instruments, and not in the engine codes. Perhaps it's related, perhaps it's a fluke.

I did not reset the codes.

I guess i can try the cable shorting thing. I won't question your degree. I have a mechanical engineering degree, which means i know just enough about electronics to be dangerous, but not enough to actually know what i'm doing. All i can do is question things when they sound strange, or bad.

Should i try the cable shorting thing now, or should i do more testing first based on the codes i recieved?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 19:17   #9
puter
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It won't hurt to try. I've done it numerous times with no harm and have heard of it fixing this sort of issue.

Either it'll fix it or things will stay the same. Good luck.

. o O (my degree doesn't make me think it will fix this...just that it won't hurt your car , your degree is much more helpful in terms of actually fixing a car =P )
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Old April 15th, 2009, 05:33   #10
mike944
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I noticed something this morning, related. While i was waiting for the glow plugs this morning, i noticed the immobilizer light flashing, before i even tried to start the car. i removed the key, re-inserted the same key, and turned it on again, and no immobilizer light. (it was dry today)


ok, i'll try the cable shorting thing tonight.

Do those codes tell you anything about the issue?
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Old April 15th, 2009, 05:39   #11
puter
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not me personally, there are others here who it may.

I would double check how tight your cables are on the battery. Anytime I see sensors going bad and strange behavior I suspect loose cables on the battery.

When you put them back on make sure you get a good connection.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:25   #12
mrGutWrench
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puter
I would double check how tight your cables are on the battery. Anytime I see sensors going bad and strange behavior I suspect loose cables on the battery.
When you put them back on make sure you get a good connection.
__. And grounds; they're important, too.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:43   #13
puter
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ya, the only reason I didn't say grounds was because usually when there is a grounding issue I see short to negative, not short to positive. But it's definitely always a good idea to check the grounds when you are having electrical issues; especially the one under the battery, it seems to be problematic.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 08:08   #14
DanG144
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I agree that all 3 grounding points under the battery are often problematic.

This looks as if it could be a wiring issue in the ECM wiring harness. I would inspect the harness for chafed wires (bare wires) and the connectors for clean tight fits, if the problem persists.

The Coolant temperature sensor could be a totally separate failure, or it could be related. The CTS fail often enough that I would just replace the sensor, if it were my car.

Then if the code reappeared I would inspect the wiring harness for wires that have the insulation chafed off of them.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 08:32   #15
puter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanG144
I agree that all 3 grounding points under the battery are often problematic.

This looks as if it could be a wiring issue in the ECM wiring harness. I would inspect the harness for chafed wires (bare wires) and the connectors for clean tight fits, if the problem persists.

The Coolant temperature sensor could be a totally separate failure, or it could be related. The CTS fail often enough that I would just replace the sensor, if it were my car.

Then if the code reappeared I would inspect the wiring harness for wires that have the insulation chafed off of them.
I still think he should try touching the bat. cables together before he goes into all that. It's easier and it could resolve the problem.

I have never heard of a single negative effect from doing that. If anyone has any to volunteer, feel free.
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