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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning, my beetle started, but then it shut off after a second or two. Sounds like immobilizer, right? But no light. (My 1st NB's key broke, so I know all about that light.) I have a ScanGauge, and it's not reporting any codes.

I'm off to disconnect the battery for a few minutes and see where that gets me. Even if that works this time, I doubt it's a permanent fix.

I've searched other threads, and one thing that comes up is bad instrument cluster. That shouldn't be it: the dealer put a new (well, rebuilt) one in just before I bought it, almost 2 months ago. The Carfax report on it hinted at electrical problems... any ideas on what to do here if not the cluster?
 

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What scan tool are you using; it is a VW specific scan tool? If there are immobilizer based codes; it may need a vw scan tool to read those.

Without any trouble codes; off the top of my head:

1. fuel delievery; is there gas in the tank? Is the fuel pressure in spec?

2. crank sensor bad? Are you getting spark; at the spark plugs?

3. immobilizer; what instrument cluster did they put in and why? Did they rebuild the original cluster or install a used or different one? What info; did the CarFax say, about electrical problems? Does the immobilizer light come on; when you turn the key to "on" but not "start" position? What is the history of the keys and cluster coding, repairs? Right now; even though, the immobilizer light is not coming on it is exhibiting the classic signs of the immobilizer kicking on (you might reset it; by doing a hard reset: remove pos/neg cables and touch together for 30 seconds, reinstall).

The classic trouble code for this issue is:

17978/P1570/005488 - Engine Start Blocked by Immobilizer

http://wiki.ross-tech.com/wiki/index.php/17978/P1570/005488

4. ignition switch; worn out or wiring melted to the switch?

Tell us; the overall history of the car that you know of (before you purchased it) and what is the history of the car, since you have owned it (any repairs, problems, etc.).

Going forward; let us know, if you want to fix the car yourself or handing it off to a pro. If you decide to fix it yourself; immobilizer issues, will require at the very basic level a VW scan tool. For more advanced troubleshooting; including coding, output tests, speedo cluster coding, key matching etc., you would need to invest or get access to VCDS by Ross Tech and possibly Vag Tacho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sure enough, disconnecting the battery for a while worked.

The ScanGauge hooks up to the OBD-II port and shows running stats (I configure it to show water temp, voltage, etc.) but also happens to have a code reader comparable to other aftermarket code readers: no ABS, etc. I don't recall if it showed codes when my old NB had keyfob issues.

I'll have to post later with the Carfax info.
 

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As far as I know; normal/generic OBD II readers, cannot read immobilizer modules on a Volkswagen. The fact; that doing the "hard reset"; fixed the problem, would point to a immobilizer issue, based upon my experience and the immo issues, I have had with my New Beetle. You won't know for sure; until you get a VW compatible scan tool and even then, more in depth testing like VCDS, can tell you more detailed info e.g.: whether or not the immobilizer has a fault, if it can "see" the key, whether or not the immobilizer light is working, etc.

Here is a excellent page; about the immobilizer system and how to ascertain, the difference between normal no start issues and immobilizer based no start problems. Someone, may have; removed the immobilizer light bulb; for all we know. Many here; find that their speedo clusters have been tampered with and trouble lights removed, etc. This is especially common; when, used cars are sold and the seller or used car lot, doesn't want to fix the problems, associated with the check engine light. NOTE: you have the immobilizer II system: as your car is a 2002.

Immobilizer FAQ and troubleshooting for VW and Audi, with key replacement tips | VW TDI forum, Audi, Porsche, and Chevy Cruze diesel forum

Keep in mind; that many of these immobilizer issues, are intermittent and thus, can be a challenge to diagnose. In my case; it could be, days/weeks/months in between a no start issue. I struggled with this for many, many, years; in my case, it ended up being the speedo cluster was bad. I worked through the problem in a number of steps: replaced terminal ends to the reader coil, replaced the reader coil, replaced ignition switch and melted terminal ends to the ignition switch. Then, lastly; replaced the speedo and since then, I have not had a single no start issue, the speedo was the problem (the immobilizer chip; resides in the cluster). Having the speedo cluster repaired; would be the easiest route to go and eliminates the need to for programming, key matching and odometer reading transfer.

Lately, we have had good feedback from BBA REMAN: $250 for a lifetime warranty rebuild (if repairable): https://www.google.com/webhp?source...F-8#q=BBA+REMAN+new+beetle+speedo+repair+ebay

The other option; is to have the immobilizer deleted from your ecu. This service is offered by Ian @ Reflect Tuning; we have had good results around here and it is a cost effective solution @ $50.

Immobilizer Defeat : Reflect Tuning :: SHOP

Now, this is a quick overview; of solutions we have found that ended up, having positive results from. These have worked for; multiple members struggling with immo issues. The delete is a straightforward defeating of the system; while, troubleshooting the immo is more involved but typically ends up being a bad speedo cluster.

I don't want to jump to conclusions without supporting evidence but that would require the use of VW scan tool and seeing what codes you are getting.
 
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