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Discussion Starter #1
I have a VW Beetle 1999, with gas 2.0 engine, not a turbo. I got it used, when it was 11 years old.

I left the lights on, and the battery was down to 0. I called the AAA guys, but even they were not able to jump start my car, so I went and bought a new battery from them. The car would crank, but it still would not start!

I had it towed to the closest mechanic, who said the throttle body is bad and needs replacement, and it'll be around $900 for the part and the work. My bf said it's crazy expensive, and I shouldn't do it, so I brought the bug home. But now it's just sitting there, and I don't have a mechanic I would trust to fix it. I already had one bad experience when the (different) mechanic tried to push a very expensive repair ($2000) on me, and it ended up being a spark plug, and this is a second bad one, and no good ones.

Please, could someone advise a good VW mechanic in Orange County that would not overcharge me like crazy?

Thank you.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Why did he say throttle body? You can clean and do an adjustment to them and often fix problems related to them without replacing them. But I really want to know how it was diagnosed.

Are the battery connections good and tight and clean? Does it seem to be a fuel issue keeping the car from starting or not enough juice? I would bank on it still being an issue from the battery, personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't know how exactly he did it, we left a car at the shop to diagnose it, and then he called back when he was done. But he gave me a paper with his conclusion and it had some error codes in it, so I assume he diagnosed it based on error codes from the car computer. It also seemed that he took the part out and cleaned it, because when we returned for the car, it was still disassembled.

The new battery was just installed by an AAA guy, he cleaned and tightened the connections. The car was also fueled only a day before it died, at the Chevron gas station that I always go to, so that should not be a problem.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Post up the codes.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Here is a list of good VW mechanics, and you want to take the car to a VW mechanic, not to a general one: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Lucw8ALCkLtt79MMw9JOG1E_dX57-raBhbhIFdtHnEQ/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1

The list is for TDI owners, but most places also work on the gassers as well. And if they are trusted to work on a TDI, then they will do very good work on a 2.0L.

You need someone who knows these cars and has access to VAG-COM. May just need an alignment of the throttle body. I have heard that if you remove the battery, that you need to do a TB alignment. I never had to, but it could be your problem.
 

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Well, those codes sure sound like either a throttle body or a throttle position sensor problem (P1543 points to a throttle body issue, and P0121 points to a throttle position sensor issue.

One possible quick fix I have heard that works is this. Disconnect the battery and let the car sit overnight. Then after making sure the battery is fully charged, short the two disconnected battery cables together for 10 seconds.

Then, hook them up to the battery and try to start the car. If it starts, it may run rough for a bit, but if it does start, see how it responds to gas pedal inputs. If it revs smoothly, chances are the throttle position sensor is good. If it runs ragged and rough when you give it gas, it mioght be a bad throttle position sensor.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #8
To all who replied, thank you very much!

The problem was resolved, and this is how.

After we declined replacing the throttle body and towed the bug home, my bf said he wants to try one last thing, and then if that fails, we can take it to one of the mechanics on the list.

The thing he wanted to try was resetting the throttle body with a vag-com (don't ask me what that is, I don't know). It appears that it is something a dealer can do, but the dealer charges $100, plus it would cost me a bunch to tow the car there.

My bf ordered a special cable from ebay ($12) and downloaded the software somewhere. With that, he connected the car to his laptop, and reset the throttle body.

What do you know? It runs!
 

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To all who replied, thank you very much!

The problem was resolved, and this is how.

After we declined replacing the throttle body and towed the bug home, my bf said he wants to try one last thing, and then if that fails, we can take it to one of the mechanics on the list.

The thing he wanted to try was resetting the throttle body with a vag-com (don't ask me what that is, I don't know). It appears that it is something a dealer can do, but the dealer charges $100, plus it would cost me a bunch to tow the car there.

My bf ordered a special cable from ebay ($12) and downloaded the software somewhere. With that, he connected the car to his laptop, and reset the throttle body.

What do you know? It runs!
Glad you got it to work. Vag Com is a Diagnositc Program which is specifically designed for VW's and other type of cars like Audi, Skoda, etc.. Glad the cheap E-Bay cable worked.
There are a lot of dealers that will rip you off if you let them so it is always better to get to know your car a little better to be able to do most of the regular maintenance yourself and save a ton of money which would be needlessly spent at the Stealer.
Congrats on the resolution of the problem.
 
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