Compass problems?

Lincoln

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Location
Seattle, WA
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SE 6 Speed MT
Anyone else have problems with their compass? Mine seems fairly random (i.e. not consistently off by the same degree/direction; sometimes correct and mostly incorrect). Any ideas on what the problem could be? I tried messing with the zone, but that didn't make any noticeable difference. I also tried following the calibration process (though my read of the owner's manual is that it should calibrate automatically), but was unsuccessful. Since I don't see any other compass issues after a quick search, I'm probably missing something simple, but would love help figuring out what that simple thing is. Thanks.
 

nord

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Location
Southern Tier NY
TDI
All turned back to VW. Now a 2017 Hundai Tuscon. Not a single squalk in 10k miles.
My 2013 SE compass was somewhat selective in accuracy. Not a big deal, but aggravating to a degree. For some reason my compass seemed affected by geography and time of day.

Case in point... A trip from my home in the Elmira/Corning area west to Erie. Usually an afternoon trip. Compass could be relied upon to agree with the GPS on the way out. On the return trip later in the evening the compass would often become very confused. It would not be unusual to see a reading of NW when I knew very well we were headed directly east. Other times an indication of S when headed NE.

I calibrated the compass several times without any change. Since the compass was generally accurate, except under certain circumstances, I chalked it up to sensitivity and magnetic anomalies beyond my control.
 

13PassatTDISE

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2014
Location
Queens, NY
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SE
My compass is all messed up. Last night while driving South it read West. Then I turned to the left (real direction East) my compass read South! How can it be this far up?
 

AreaMan

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Location
Cincinnati, OH
TDI
2013 Passat 6M
On occasion mine's been completely out of whack, like being stuck on NE when I'm heading W (i.e. way off).
Seems ok most of the time, it just occasionally loses its mind. Not sure of a fix, doesn't really bother me too much.
There have been reports of the compass being installed 180 degrees off in the trunk lid, but that was not my case since usually it is correct.
 

Palouse

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Location
Idaho
TDI
2012 Passat SE/sunroof, DSG
Mine ('12, SE) performs well. I just have to adjust when I cross into another zone.
 

nord

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Location
Southern Tier NY
TDI
All turned back to VW. Now a 2017 Hundai Tuscon. Not a single squalk in 10k miles.
As I posted above... The 2013 compass went bonkers on occasion. Usually at night it seems and geography seemed to be a factor. No re-learning made any difference.

My 2014 is rock solid reliable.
 

Lincoln

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Location
Seattle, WA
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SE 6 Speed MT
Realized I never updated this post with the solution: After complaining of "clunking" sound from the trunk lid, my dealer reported that the compass, which is located inside the lid, was loose. After securing the compass, the clunk went away and the compass has worked perfectly ever since.
 

767wrench

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Location
Ohio
TDI
1981 Rabbit Pickup
Ill have to check that out mine reads 90 degrees off even after i tried to relearn it.
 

Drnknmnky13

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Location
D.C.
TDI
2002 Golf 5spd, 2014 Passat DSG
Mine was intermittent. Since I'd rather have no information over bad information...I removed it. Made a nice spot to mount the control box for the rear view camera.

My GPS seems to know which way I'm headed, plus I generally know which direction I'm oriented. So it's never going back in.
 

inthewoods

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Location
Carson, WA
TDI
2014 Passat SE Manual
The compass in my '14 has gone to crap too... just randomly cycles through.
I'm sure it's going to cost a pretty penny to fix since the compass is integrated into Car-Net now (yes, I checked there is no antenna in the trunk lid, and no way to calibrate). :mad:
 

fidget247

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2012
Location
Mason, OH
TDI
’13 Passat 6M
Does anyone have a solution to the compass problem? I have a 2013 SE. Most of the time, there is NO heading on the dashboard, but when it does decide to appear, it is always EAST, regardless of which direction I am moving. Under the Settings menu, I can not see any thing called Compass. Any suggestions on how to get this right?
 

Jetta_Pilot

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Location
West Hill, Ont. Nov.2nd in Mexico till April 27th
TDI
2015 Passat Highline TDI Candy White (SEL Premium) long gone 2002 Jetta TDI
Does anyone have a solution to the compass problem? I have a 2013 SE. Most of the time, there is NO heading on the dashboard, but when it does decide to appear, it is always EAST, regardless of which direction I am moving. Under the Settings menu, I can not see any thing called Compass. Any suggestions on how to get this right?

While reading through the manual some time back I seem to remember there is a way to recalibrate the compass. You need an empty parking lot where you can do a 360 circle. But what else you need to do I do not remember.
I would suspect it may be in setup or navigation? Sorry I can't be of more help. Maybe someone else knows?
 

Lincoln

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Location
Seattle, WA
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SE 6 Speed MT
I suppose it doesn't hurt anything for fidget to try the recalibration procedure, but I doubt that's his problem. (Procedure should fix a compass that is slightly off directionally, rather than one that is completely haywire.) As just a wild guess, I'd say it sounds like his compass is somehow bad and would likely need to be replaced. If it were just an intermittent signal, it could be a wiring issue. But with both intermittent AND always saying East when sending a signal at all, that's something worse. Or maybe not, since a new compass may be a cheap/easy fix - anyone know how much they cost?
 

251

TDI Owner/Operator
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
NW IN
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL
On the SEL model the compass is built into the OEM head unit. I believe SE's have (had?) the compass mounted on the underside of the trunk lid. SE's with optional OEM navigation head unit likely have the compass built into the head unit. This information comes from threads here dealing with replacing the OEM head unit with an aftermarket one as in all cases reported so far the compass information does not work with an aftermarket head unit. So if you have an OEM head unit with navigation it appears the entire head unit may need to be replaced to fix the compass side of it if it is indeed malfunctioning.
 

vwappathy

Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Location
Huntsville, AL
TDI
2014 Passat SE TDI MT 2006 Jetta TDI MT
Early 2014 Passat SE

My compass worked great for the first 3 years until the original car battery died. I think that trying to start the car with a nearly dead battery killed the module that works the compass. After installing a new battery, most times there is no compass showing. When it does come up, it reads either NW or E no matter what direction I'm headed.

I took it to the dealer who spent 2 days trying to repair. I have an SE model without navigation. The dealer told me my compass is in the telephone control module which also runs car net. It is located under the passenger seat in a foam housing that slides out toward the front. The module part number is 561 035 285. There is no form of calibration for this type of system and no separate compass module.

A new telephone control module from the dealer is over $500, so I passed. There are many of these available on eBay and I was able buy a used unit with warranty for $32. Unfortunately, after installing the replacement, I had no compass at all. I put the old unit back in and the compass works as before, intermittently showing only NW or E.

Does anyone have experience with this type of system? Did I just get a bad replacement module? Please share your experience. One last bit of info. The SW version on my original module is 0086. The replacement I bought had a SW version of 0102. Does that make a difference or is it just a software update that will work fine in my car? VW techs, help us out.
 
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