B4 Electrical Issues...

alaskansnail

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Location
Apple Valley, CA
TDI
97 Passat
Vehicle Specs:

1997 B4 Passat Sedan
TDI
Manual


Speedometer Issue:

Ever since I got this car the speedo has been intermitted. Most mornings I will get into my car and it will be on, but the moment I turn my key it all turns off. The blinkers work and the idiot lights work no matter what, so I am confused.
Also another thing it seems like when it's cold it doesn't want to work at all.
I have cleaned the ground points on the Orb of Death and the grounds behind the battery. Someone said it maybe ground points in the inside on the driver's side, but I can't find those.

Is there any other ones I should be looking for?
Or does it not sound like a grounding issue and if so, what do you think it could be?


Radio Issue:

When I got my B4 the radio wasn't working, so after a week I took it out and check it and everything seemed to be fine and then I checked the fuse (where I should've went first) and it was blown. So I replaced it and BAM working radio.
Then one day it just stopped working out of nowhere. I hadn't changed or done anything to my car, it just stopped.
So I checked the fuse and it was blown...So I went to replace it and the moment it I started to put it in it blew it.

Has anyone experienced this and if so, what was your fix?


Climate Control Lights:

The lights behind my climate controls are completely out. I took my dash out this weekend and noticed that the plug was fried in the top part of it.
I want to replace the plug, but I don't know where to find one.
I didn't take a picture, because I had to put it all together and go do something.
If it helps it's a beige-ish or a white plug.



Thank you in advance!
 

ToddA1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Location
NJ 08002
TDI
'96 B4V, '97 B4, '97 Jetta
Speedo issue could be the cluster, itself. Most people would send them to Chubs Auto and he’d repair them. I read recently that he stopped working on these clusters. These clusters are notorious for the caps blowing out and the steppers going bad. Low voltage and cold weather on exasperate the issue.

The radio, look at the obvious... the fuse is only doing its job, so you have a short somewhere. I’d start at the power harness.

Blower switch may be burned up or maybe the female connectors are. Depin and see. Worst case scenario would be getting rid of the VW connector and adding your own female connections. A decent amount of current flows through, so a lot of them are melty...

-Todd
 

wyopel

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Location
WA
TDI
1996 B4V-270k, 1998 Jetta-140k
I got a cluster repaired at Chubs just early last summer. He said he was working on few. My guess is that the speedometer issue is related to the cluster. May also want to check the speed sensor on top of the trans...maybe a bad connection there.

Also, take a picture of the plug you are looking for. I may have one on my "parts" car I would be willing to part with.
 
Last edited:

alaskansnail

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Location
Apple Valley, CA
TDI
97 Passat
Speedo issue could be the cluster, itself. Most people would send them to Chubs Auto and he’d repair them. I read recently that he stopped working on these clusters. These clusters are notorious for the caps blowing out and the steppers going bad. Low voltage and cold weather on exasperate the issue.

The radio, look at the obvious... the fuse is only doing its job, so you have a short somewhere. I’d start at the power harness.

Blower switch may be burned up or maybe the female connectors are. Depin and see. Worst case scenario would be getting rid of the VW connector and adding your own female connections. A decent amount of current flows through, so a lot of them are melty...

-Todd

Well I may end up sending it to him if he is still doing it.

Okay I'll take a look into that, hopefully this weekend.

I'm thinking I may have to do that because when I had it all apart it looked bad.

Thank you for all the info, really!
 

alaskansnail

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Location
Apple Valley, CA
TDI
97 Passat
I got a cluster repaired at Chubs just early last summer. He said he was working on few. My guess is that the speedometer issue is related to the cluster. May also want to check the speed sensor on top of the trans...maybe a bad connection there.

Also, take a picture of the plug you are looking for. I may have one on my "parts" car I would be willing to part with.

Well I hope I might be able to, but the guy above just said that he maybe not doing them anymore. :/
If he is, where can I get his info?

Oh heck yeah! I'll try and get to that this weekend.

Thank you for the info!
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
Well I hope I might be able to, but the guy above just said that he maybe not doing them anymore. :/
If he is, where can I get his info?
Oh heck yeah! I'll try and get to that this weekend.
Thank you for the info!
Part of the problem is that we're running out of clusters for these. I'm tempted to start acquiring GLX clusters for MT when I see them just because there are so few around anymore.

Similar situation that I had read here for the Mk3 clusters too. I have a cluster I would like to send to him and see if he can repair, also a Mk3 cluster that has intermittent problems as well. Probably another where purchase when found would be a good policy!

Chubbs is in Illinois, I can't recall the address or the phone but I need to, and I need to keep it in my phone for reference.

Personally I hope he is not giving up on these!

Steve
 

ToddA1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Location
NJ 08002
TDI
'96 B4V, '97 B4, '97 Jetta
He’s had my Jetta cluster for at least 6 months. Asked me if I could find a replacement board. The board was replaced by him, about 1.5 years ago.... parts are getting scarce.

-Todd
 

wyopel

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Location
WA
TDI
1996 B4V-270k, 1998 Jetta-140k
If he is done repairing these, perhaps we could ask to work with him to write up a post for home repair. I thought about trying to do it myself, but was convinced by the forum to send it off. Too much of a learning curve to make it worth my time. I've seen a few youtube videos on a similar repair. A skilled hand and a good soldering iron are important. Maybe we could convince him to do one more cluster and video it?

He is in Taylorville IL. Google Chubs Auto Repair for contact info.
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
If he is done repairing these, perhaps we could ask to work with him to write up a post for home repair. I thought about trying to do it myself, but was convinced by the forum to send it off. Too much of a learning curve to make it worth my time. I've seen a few youtube videos on a similar repair. A skilled hand and a good soldering iron are important. Maybe we could convince him to do one more cluster and video it?

He is in Taylorville IL. Google Chubs Auto Repair for contact info.
I've done the capacitor replacement myself, it's not that hard, but if there was anything else wrong I would have to defer to Chubs.

A cluster that came to me in 2014 with a screeching problem has been working fine now after a cap replacement. It's been rock solid, then again I frequently check my battery voltage and have scangauge set to display voltage all the time.

Steve
 

alaskansnail

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Location
Apple Valley, CA
TDI
97 Passat
So here's a question, I found a cluster for sale, but it's from a GLX. Would I be able to use that in my TDI?
I don't know if the connections are different or if it just won't read right at all.
 
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