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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 September 17th, 2011, 10:01   #1
ichoric
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TDI(s): 2002 Jetta
Default Brake+ABS light & 3 Beeps

Been trying to figure this one out, but so far no luck. Even took it to the dealer, and the problem didn't happen so they didn't look any further.

2002 Jetta TDI ~180K miles.

Problem:
When first starting up the car, everything is fine. After driving about 30-seconds to 1-2 minutes, the ABS and Brake dash lights flash on once, go back off, accompanied by 3 beeps. Sometimes the pattern happens twice or three times. It ONLY happens when the car is just starting a trip; if is driving for 5 minutes, it doesn't happen again.

Usually when this happens, after the trip, when I turn the engine off, everything resets (clock, trip odometer.)

Again, the dealer couldn't figure out the problem.

I tried removing Fuse 41 (my lighter fuse) to see if it was a short in there (based on comments here: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=167657), but while it started happening less (maybe 2 times a week rather than once per day), it didn't fix the problem. And with the fuse still removed, the problem seems to be happening pretty regularly now.

Also, when first starting the car I can tell if it's going to have the problem fairly easily, because the blue backlighting on the radio isn't solid - it flickers. (Tried turning off the radio to see if the problem would go away - it didn't.)

The dealer did a charging check on the alternator and battery, and both checked out fine.

Anyone have any ideas for what I can do/check? I'm not exactly a mechanic, but I'd like to at least track down the problem to have someone more skilled fixed it, if needed.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 12:15   #2
ichoric
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Seems like I have a more unique problem that I anticipated. Bummer.

Couple other things: The light flashing and beeping only happens when the engine is cold. If I drive for a while, stop to go shopping, then start going again, it doesn't happen. Doesn't even happen as often when the weather is warm. (Dropped from the 90's to the 60's over here, and now it beeps every single time; when the weather was warmer, it was mostly only happening in the morning.)

It also seems to be related to RPMs. Going downhill in neutral doesn't cause the issue; once I'm in gear and hit 2000-2200 RPM, that's when it happens.

I don't think it had anything to do related to fuse 41 (cig ligher), so I put that back in. I did remove the radio fuse (forgot the number) to see if the problem still happens. I guess my theory is that there is a short somewhere... I'll report back if I find anything; maybe somebody else will have a similar problem and they'll know what not to check. =)
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Old September 18th, 2011, 12:30   #3
raikky
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ive had the saem thing happen to me 5 or 6 times in the last couple of years. doesnt happen often though like you. i used to have it more when my brakes were ****ed. replaced them all and i rarely get abs light on which was alwasy on.i found a trick to stop it but not a cure. it hasnt happened for months now.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 08:40   #4
ichoric
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Pulling the plug on the radio didn't work. This morning the ABS light stayed on for quite some time, along with the flashing BRAKE light. (I thought the flashing lights meant failure is imminent...but the brakes work fine.) My brakes were replaced about 6 months ago...the problem just started happening about 1-2 months ago.

While all the lights were going on the beeping was happening, the entire console kept dimming, getting brighter, and dimming. Now, even turning on the rear defroster makes the backlight of the dash flicker.

I suppose now since it's happening almost every time, if I take it back to the dealer, they'll have a snowballs chance to figure it out.

Is there a sensor or relay somewhere that may be shorting (...but only when the engine is cold?) Seems like a stretch...
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Old September 20th, 2011, 08:42   #5
Silentmunky
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I am currently having the same issue. I had the 3-beep sequnce happen three times this morning. I pulled my scanguage out and got 3 codes P0673(glow plugs, I've been lazy this summer), P0118, and P0128. Those last two refer to temperature sensor: VW 059919501A. But I have had electrical issues for awhile. If I try to roll down several windows at a time, I can dim my interior lights. I even notice my headlights dim that way too. The past couple days the 3-beep has been happening more, and when rolling up several windows I got my radio to stop playing a cd for about 3-4 seconds. I think there is a short somewhere or a bad ground.

Just figured I would let you know that you are not the only one.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 14:41   #6
sirpuddingfoot
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Most likely a Bad Wheel Speed Sensor / ABS sensor (same thing), which should run you about $30 delivered from any number of parts sites and is a pretty easy fix as long as you don't have an issue jacking up your car and removing a wheel or 3. Of course, you'd have to figure out which one is the cause first. Or, you may need to get your ABS module rebuilt/replaced (rebuilding will save you hundreds and you can drive your car while it's being serviced). For rebuilding, I have heard modulemaster.com is highly recommended.

The 3 beep sequence is your ABS module faulting out. It may well be due to a voltage issue or bad ground elsewhere. In my humble forum experience, checking under the battery tray for a loose ground is a good place to start.

Silentmunky: I have been able to dim the lights on the 3 VWs I have owned by rolling up multiple windows at once (much less noticeable on my Passat). It may have something to do with why window regulators seem to need to be replaced in these vehicles so often.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 20:02   #7
ichoric
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Checked under battery tray - not sure what exactly what I was looking for, but I did see a couple orange wires securely fastened to a couple of bolts on the chassis. No signs of fraying, anything loose or corroding.

So here in the PacNW, we had some cold temps a few days ago, and the lights and beeping was going off all the time. Now it's back to the 70's and 80's, and everything is fine. Would cooler/damp conditions somehow make the ABS more prone to faulting? Also, is there a way to test the ABS control module? For $100 I wouldn't mind having it rebuilt, but I'd have to pay somebody to take it out and put it back in...so it'd be handy to know if that's actually the problem.

Same deal with the ABS sensor - but I suppose if it's in the process of dying, I can just wait until the dash light is on all the time and then take it in to have somebody figure out which one, and replace it.

Silentmunky: I haven't noticed my headlights or anything getting dim, but when my car is having its problem, turning on the rear defroster makes the blue backlight flicker... and at one point, after my car had been off for a while and the electronics reset, the power doors didn't work - seemed like they didn't have enough "juice" - until I started the engine.

Maybe VW should have sensors that detect when sensors are going bad... =)

Thanks for the ideas, and if anyone can think of anything else, it'd be greatly appreciated! For a 10 year old car with 185K miles, the engine still runs strong...

Last edited by ichoric; September 20th, 2011 at 20:35.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 09:34   #8
Silentmunky
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Mine does the same thing during cold/damp times. Especially when it is raining. I had my drivers floorboard get wet once from too much rain and having those older stlye drain nipples that like to accumulate debris. I think that has caused some form of issue. I'm just far too lazy to get under my dash and look for anything since this is an Intermittent issue.

I may just go through and check all my fuses for corrosion and then get to work on my grounds. I do not think this is an ABS module or sensor issue. If that were the case then hard braking/spirited driving would cause this to go off. Or one would think it would that is.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 19:14   #9
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There should be a code stored that can be read using VCDS; a generic scanner will not be able to access the ABS module.

I had this warning and it was a wheel sensor that was occasionally not reporting. I believe the owner's manual indicates that the warning can also be tripped due to low brake fluid level.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 05:45   #10
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I'm having a similar problem with my 2001 golf.

When it's cold (like this morning 0c ) scangauge shows voltage at 9.5v but when I test my battery voltage with a multimeter it shows 12.4v. This morning I started the car to go to work. Turn on my lights, radio and heated seat. Back out of the driveway, start driving down the street. When I'm shifting the lights dim( dash lights, headlights) and radio completely turns on and off between gears.

When the car is running scangauge is showing 12.8v to 15.2v. It doesn't hold a steady voltage on scangauge. ( my jetta holds 13.9 to 14.3 all day)

Alternator is new and I've swapped them between the cars ( 2003 jetta 2001 golf ) battery is new.

Ideas???!
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Old September 24th, 2011, 17:16   #11
ichoric
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This forum has a pretty handy feature at the bottom of the posting...shows related threads. Given that, the related threads that all appear to have the exact same problem:

1. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=260076
No resolution.

2. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=253618
(Links to: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=253289; one solution was a loose bolt in the alternator (not entirely sure what that means.) Others have no resolution.)

3. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=244151
No resolution.

4. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=81795
Resolution 1: Bad ABS pump/module.
Resolution 2: Wiring issue (not much in the way of details.)

5. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=73797
Resolution: Loose battery terminal; fixed terminal tension bolt.


So really, this appears to be all over. I've checked all my fuses (including those on my battery), pulled the battery to check the grounds (nothing looked bad)...but when I put my battery back in, I tightened it real good. Haven't had a problem since then - but then again, it hasn't been cold/rainy and that's the only time it happens, I don't want to say my issue is fixed.

With that said, tomorrow is supposed to be rainy up here in the PacNW, so I'll take it for a ride to see if the beeping and lights behave themselves. If not, I'll try finding a gravel pit (or a driveway other than my own) to slam the brakes to see if the pump is dead or dying - or at least test to see if ABS is working at all.

As far as the codes: the dealer I go to (Dick Hannah in Vancouver, WA) is a place I trust, but with that said, their quality of people seems to have fallen quite a bit in the past several months. At any rate, they said that there were no errors that needed to be purged...and I have no reason to not believe them.) And the battery + alternator both check out fine.

Still looking for other ideas, so if this has happened to you, please let us know how you fixed it!

Thanks again!
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Old October 19th, 2011, 15:21   #12
ichoric
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Ever since I took the battery out to try to find something wrong...and then put everything back in, the problem hasn't happened again. It's been a few weeks (including cold/wet conditions), so I'm going to figure this is resolved. Bad connection..? Weird how that happened by itself, though.

Next up...the car shudders when shifting. I'll start a new thread for that if I can't find a solution, though. =)
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Old October 19th, 2011, 15:38   #13
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Most likely this is an easy fix and just a ground not making full contact. There are three ground posts under the battery tray. Remove the battery and tray, clean the posts and all connection ends. My jetta does this almost every time it rains for an entire day. Once cleaned and i put some di-electric grease on the contacts it doesn't come back for a few months.

If this were a faulty ABS untit. The ABS light would stay on constantly and every time you started the car you would get the brake light flashing and three beeps. Trust me I have replaced two of these units one in my 99 passat and one in my 02 jetta. Same exact symptoms and both fixed the exact same way.

Try cleaning the three grounds. I am willing to bet this is your problem.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 08:25   #14
kempfta
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All,

I had the exact same issue. This post described it exactly. Only happened when the car was cold and about a minute after the car was started. ABS, brake and traction control lights all blinked and 3-beeps occurred. I could almost kill my car trying to roll up all four windows at once. I had mine to the dealership and the found nothing, only codes that appeared were for low voltage.

I have solved the problem for my situation, however I did several things so I'm not sure exactly which one did it. I removed my battery to inspect the ground wire as suggested in this post, I also did a visual inspection of the wires wiggled them making sure nothing was wrong. I didn't see anything that would indicate a loose connection or bad contact. I also changed my fuel filter and air filters during this time so I'm not sure if doing that contributed to fixing this issue or not. My fuel filter hadn't been changed in quite a while. I also had the battery tested to make sure it was ok, it was fine. Put everything back together and amazingly the issue was gone.

Reading this thread it looks as though more than one person has had the issue go away after removing the battery and putting it back in. Therefore, its like this is due to a loose connection or something along those lines. Not sure if the fuel filter contributed but I could see a clogged or poor flowing fuel filter playing havoc with the ECU and computer.

Todd
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Old November 16th, 2011, 05:46   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kempfta View Post
All,

I had the exact same issue. This post described it exactly. Only happened when the car was cold and about a minute after the car was started. ABS, brake and traction control lights all blinked and 3-beeps occurred. I could almost kill my car trying to roll up all four windows at once. I had mine to the dealership and the found nothing, only codes that appeared were for low voltage.

I have solved the problem for my situation, however I did several things so I'm not sure exactly which one did it. I removed my battery to inspect the ground wire as suggested in this post, I also did a visual inspection of the wires wiggled them making sure nothing was wrong. I didn't see anything that would indicate a loose connection or bad contact. I also changed my fuel filter and air filters during this time so I'm not sure if doing that contributed to fixing this issue or not. My fuel filter hadn't been changed in quite a while. I also had the battery tested to make sure it was ok, it was fine. Put everything back together and amazingly the issue was gone.

Reading this thread it looks as though more than one person has had the issue go away after removing the battery and putting it back in. Therefore, its like this is due to a loose connection or something along those lines. Not sure if the fuel filter contributed but I could see a clogged or poor flowing fuel filter playing havoc with the ECU and computer.

Todd
Although the Warning Beeps and Lights may be the same. The problem they represent could be a dozen different things.

My problem is NOT intermittent at all. It was intermittent for the first few weeks it happened, but it has been consistent for the last 3 years.

I checked the ground wires, the voltages have all been checked, the battery and alternator have been replaced already, I am on my 3rd (or 4th) ABS Control Module.... and I STILL CANNOT communicate (with anybody's VAGCOM) with the ABS Controller. I CAN still communicate with the ECU (Engine Controller) and the Airbag Module.

I am still stumped and still desparate for new ideas. Please help!
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