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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 June 11th, 2011, 13:30   #1
ken.fresno-tdi
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Default all four windows roll down, but not up!

1996 B4 Passat, 175,000 miles. My wife was driving, pushed the power window switch to roll down the driver's window, then tried to roll it up - nothing. tried all three other windows - same thing. No warning this would happen. Interestingly, the windows roll up using the ol' clockwise twist of the key in the outside door lock. But that is hard to do when driving! I'm assuming a comfort control module problem, rather than a fuse or relay since it is all four windows at once and it only has a fault in one direction. Anyone had this happen?? Wife not pleased! Especially when the door won't close because the latch pin gets stuck, the ignition switch is broken (manual push button on dash does the trick_) and the ignition switch is sometimes difficult to turn. The windows are strike four! Cheers. Ken
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Old June 13th, 2011, 10:34   #2
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mine had a similar problem. mine would all spontaneously roll down a couple minutes after locking with bulldog remote. also another time sounds exactly like your problem, they would roll down but not up. happened to be raining too, of course.
i don't remember exactly how i fixed it, but i did it both times by fiddling with the key in the door lock. i think i cycled through all the key tricks/positions a few times, and they worked fine after that.
may not be the same problem, but it worked for me.
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Old June 13th, 2011, 12:50   #3
ken.fresno-tdi
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thanks - I have searched the archives and don't see any others with this exact problem so good to have you chime in. I'll try mucking about with the lock. That could also connect with the problem that was happening at the same time - the driver's door would not close (a pin in the door latch was stuck), and my wife was fiddling with everything she could to try to open the latch - likely also the outside lock.

I don't see how it could be a fuse/relay issue since they do work - down - and the Bentley wiring diagrams don't differentiate between an up and down circuit. I'll try to post the answer... assuming I find one....
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Old June 13th, 2011, 13:00   #4
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I had my car do this once when I was changing my key FOB. I ended up removing the positive off the battery and its worked correctly since. I think the alarm module or something got confused.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 05:22   #5
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Have you tried from other switches? There are two switches for the driver's window, three for the windows in the other doors.
Try the rear door windows from the rear door switches. Try the passenger front window from the passenger's door.
The little rocker switch contacts build up enough corrosion that they can't conduct the current needed to activate the motor relay. They can be removed from the doors or front console, disassembled (tiny springs inside, so open them inside a sandwich bag to catch any parts), have the contacts scraped clean, and reassembled.

The door key lock close shows that the problem isn't power, or motors, or binding, just that the signal from the CCM works, but the signal from the interior switches don't. Check the interior switches.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 14:34   #6
PSeyle
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Default Partial Fix

I have a similar problem with one window, the front passenger. It is stuck in the UP position. It does not matter which of the two front switches are activated, nothing happens, well, 95% of the time. The window has been known to go down with the interior switch on a rare occasion. But it won't go up unless you get out of the car and use the key in the lock trick. The key trick makes the window go down and up with NO issues. Like Ken said, its a pain to have to close your windows from the outside of the car.

Sooooooooo . . . .
I pulled back the rubber boot on the passenger side below the A pillar where the door wires connect with the main body of the car. There is a slew of little connections in there. I wiggled each one, pulled them off and on then sprayed the whole mess of connections with electrical parts cleaner. WHAM! Fixed . . . . so I thought. After putting the boot back and operating the window with both internal switches, everything seemed fine. Wife came out later to inspect my fix and nothing worked.

I have since discovered that if I simply pull back the boot, spray some electrical parts cleaner in the connections, I will get a few minutes of interior window actuation.

This leads me to believe that the switch is ok. And in your case Ken, why would all 4 switches go bad at the same time? Does not make sense. Even VW electric issues have to have a solution . . . right?
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Old June 19th, 2011, 19:32   #7
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PS, Try the window with the door closed, with the door fully open, and with it part way open (or while moving it).
The wiring in the hinge area is known to become brittle and to break. You may have moved the wiring just enough to make temporary contact with the door open and the boot pulled back, but closing the door moves the wires again and may have disconnected the temporary contact.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 05:44   #8
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i just found a similar problem. my back left window stopped working yesterday. both the dashboard and door mounted switches not working. i had some hint that this was coming. if i tried the dash switch for that window, it would not work unless i first pressed it to close (even though the window was closed), then open, it would work. it would not just open if i tried that first.
at some point last night when i was driving home, the window went down by itself. not sure if it "fell" down or powered itself down. i've tried wiggling the wire cluster in the door jamb and i got intermittent power but it wouldn't go up. kind of just "danced" in place. i could hear and feel the actuator , again, intermittenly, but no up or down movement. also tried the key in door while opening and closing the suspect door, with no luck. i think i'll take the panel off today to find more clues. any thoughts?
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Old June 21st, 2011, 05:48   #9
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rain is coming this week. anyone have an idea of how i can get the window closed for now?
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Old June 21st, 2011, 09:16   #10
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ok. found some possible culprits. in the wire harness, 2 broken wires, one thin black and the other a black with yellow stripe. some corrosion on the pin connectors also. how do you splice those back together? hardly any room and as i've found out, if you can splice them, they don't last because its right where they bend when the door opens and closes. how are the pin connectors held in place in that round plug? i would like to run new wires and pin connectors, but how?
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:13   #11
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I used a paper clip and managed to get the pins out of the connector. I soldered a new wire on it, ran the new wire about a foot inside the door, solder and a piece of heat shrink tubing fixed it up. It takes longer since you have to pull the door card off.
I know they make a tool to get those pins out, just not sure what it is!
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:58   #12
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Solder doesn't bend or flex. You'll be putting a rigid section in that wire and concentrating the amount of bending needed into a shorter remaining section. The more solder joints, the sooner some other section will also break.
I use crimps as short as possible, often a larger gauge, and cut in half (shorter that way). The large gauge permits the broken ends of the wire to be overlapped for secure conduction.
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If the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression,
the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.

Svante Arrhenius 1896

Cogito ergo soy (I think, therefore: Biodiesel)
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 07:10   #13
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Having 2 Passats with your problems the most likely culprit is a broken wire in the wire bundle between the door and post as you found. The wires are just long enough to go from point A to Point B. One previous fix was a crimped butt connector that worked loose after about a year on a passenger side door. Soldering is a longer term fix that I have used. I used shrink tube on the joint after soldering to prevent shorts which will cause the windows to do strange things at bad times. New wire is THE fix if you have the patience.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 06:28   #14
ken.fresno-tdi
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thanks for the suggestions. None of the switches work to move the windows up (drivers switches for front windows, passenger front window from passenger door switch, dash switches for rear windows, rear switches for rear), but they all work properly to bring them down. Fiddling with the driver's door lock did not work. 'resetting' the alarm module by disconnecting the battery did not work, opening the door partially/fully did not work, wiggling the wire bundle between the driver's door and A pillar did not work. Since it first happened the windows have never rolled up with a switch, only with the outside door lock turned clockwise, so it seems a bit strange - no warning, no 'sometimes' working. I'll try looking for a broken wire in the door. Last resort - connect the door lock 'window up' wire to a temporary switch inside the car so that at least I don't have to stop the car, get out, lock the car and roll up the windows, then unlock the car, get back in, start the car, just to roll up the windows!

Oh, one possible clue. About the same time this began happening all four doors began to unlock with one turn of the key, rather than two turns of the key. That suggested to me that there is something happened electronically, not necessarily electrically (e.g., a broken wire). I earlier wrote saying I thought that it could be the CCM - but I was thinking of an A4 Jetta when I wrote that - I don't see in Bentley that the B4's have a 'comfort control module' - only individual controllers in the doors. Is that correct? So what module controls whether the outside door lock opens all doors with one or two turns of the key? I assume you can program this with vagcom...

Last edited by ken.fresno-tdi; June 23rd, 2011 at 06:31.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 07:23   #15
ken.fresno-tdi
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Oh, here's another piece of the puzzle. Pseyle mentioned above that he used the 'key in the outside lock' trick to both open and close his windows. I didn't realize it could be used to put the windows down. My key only closes the windows... (thank goodness!).

(I wonder on which level of Dante's hell VW electronics belong?)
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