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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys. I do mostly browsing here and I checked the forum for a similar thread but couldn't find one so I'm sorry if this has already been talked about.
I have a 2000 1.8 Turbo. The other day I turned my fan switch and it wouldn't move. I put a little more then it gave way. Fan quit working. But then I see that behind the AC switch I noticed some sparking then a little bit of smoke came out of the dash. I pulled the AC switch back because it wouldn't go back on its own then the sparking stopped and it didn't smoke anymore.
I took the dash apart after the radio keys came in the mail from Amazon then I took the climate control assembly out (Rather easy job actually) and brought it in the house. Upon taking it apart I get to the fan switch. A piece of metal it seems came off of however it's supposed to come back and it literally MELTED into the housing.
I took that piece of metal out and for the life of me couldn't figure out how it comes back on. I'm guessing the mount must have melted thereby making it impossible to fix this switch.
So I ran to the local Auto parts store and got a 35 amp two way switch. 12 gauge wire.
It's bigger than the current requirements so I think I'll be safe. I got crimper's and used male blades to insert into the harness and decided on the high setting and the medium setting. At least now I have heat this winter. Then I put the switch neatly below the dash.
So it's all back together now but I'm finding the AC switch once pressed on won't press off. So it's been damaged. I pulled the black plug out in back so NO current is running thru this assembly just the vent controls.
Before summer I will replace this unit. Stealership wants my house for this part. E Bay I saw $125.00 dollars though. For used.
But here's the thing. I DON"T TRUST THIS UNIT.
Searching Google I find a picture of a melted dash in a car for the very same thing. Looks like I got lucky.
I'm so irritated. Why is not a recall?
That fan switch is DANGEROUS. Yes it has served me well all these years but usually when a switch fails it's not supposed to burn up your car.
I won't post pics of my "mod" because this is not recommended. But I will say it's a pretty clean install. And it's a lot safer than what "is" recommended.
Thanks for this forum. I don't post much but I get a lot out of this place.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's a fix actually. The white harness behind the assembly operate the fan speed. I disconnected it from the dash switch and bypassed it with a heavier switch.
Wishing now I had installed a 4 way switch so I can get all the speeds but a 2 way works well. The harness is unmolested. Blade crimper connections connect to the harness then duct taped over the whole unit to protect it.
When I can get another assembly I can put it all back together. But I simply don't trust it.
The entire assembly has NO POWER running to it. This effects my recirculation and my AC.
For now I can live with that.
I really wish though that Volkswagen recall this part. I would love to see one come in the mail and with fire protection of some kind.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's a pic.
White harness connects to the fan switch. Bypassed fan switch to heavier switch. I later turned the wires on the switch so it would clear behind the dash better. Then I duct taped over the connectors to protect it.
The black connector is left out due to the AC switch damage.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
And this is the pic I found on Google.
This easily could have been me.
Fan switch failure causing short causing a fire.

 

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And this is the pic I found on Google.
This easily could have been me.
Fan switch failure causing short causing a fire.

That photo is taken from a very early Bug. No ESP switch and early type 1 tape deck. Sure they must of upgraded the unit since the recall.

Whacking a bigger fuse in and 12 gauge wire always sounded like trouble to me. Bypassing the actual problem. Had a fuse burn itself into the holder when i used 12 gauge on a previous Bug :rolleyes::)

You seem to know what your doing by the write up, so all i can do is wish you luck and hope it works :) Dam Bug's, mind of their own, just like most of their drivers :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Mine has the same tape deck with a cd changer in the trunk. It's a 2000.
I hope they did fix this problem. It seems very dangerous that a piece of metal that controls your fan speed can fall off and cause a short that cannot be stopped unless you pull your battery cable.
There are literally MILLIONS of Beetles out there with the potential of this happening. Why is there no recall?

And no changes to the fuse. The 12 gauge is just insurance. Normally the harness is directly connected to the switch so the bigger wire shouldn't lose any draw from moving the switch.

And I don't get why the fuse didn't stop this.
 

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That's a scary pic! I've never heard of, or seen, that problem. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My advice is that as long as your switch operates you should be good.
But if your switch EVER feels like it does not want to move do not force it!
Forcing it will snap that piece of metal right off.
If you are lucky maybe that piece won't short anything out.
I wish I took pics when I had it apart. Sorry.
The sparking was small then it took a minute before I saw smoke come out.
Pulling the AC switch out with a screwdriver stopped it.
The AC switch would press down but would not press up.
I'm still at a loss why I didn't blow any fuses.
 

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My advice is that as long as your switch operates you should be good.
But if your switch EVER feels like it does not want to move do not force it!
Forcing it will snap that piece of metal right off.
If you are lucky maybe that piece won't short anything out.
I wish I took pics when I had it apart. Sorry.
The sparking was small then it took a minute before I saw smoke come out.
Pulling the AC switch out with a screwdriver stopped it.
The AC switch would press down but would not press up.
I'm still at a loss why I didn't blow any fuses.
Good read and duly noted :) Thankyou :)
 

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Mine has the same tape deck with a cd changer in the trunk. It's a 2000.
I hope they did fix this problem. It seems very dangerous that a piece of metal that controls your fan speed can fall off and cause a short that cannot be stopped unless you pull your battery cable.
There are literally MILLIONS of Beetles out there with the potential of this happening. Why is there no recall?

And no changes to the fuse. The 12 gauge is just insurance. Normally the harness is directly connected to the switch so the bigger wire shouldn't lose any draw from moving the switch.

And I don't get why the fuse didn't stop this.
The 12 AWG is just .011" larger in diameter, almost negligible, and the closest domestically available wire to the 2.5 mm² factory, but I'm betting a higher grade copper alloy. I don't think the wire size is an issue. As long as the switch carries a rating for the same amperage as the fuse or greater, the switch shouldn'tbe an issue either.

Not having a switch to look at, was something causing a heavier load, or was it shorting out, this could explain the fuse not going. Could there be an issue with the blower motor or the blower motor fresh air series resistance unit overloading the circuit.


Could the original fuse have been replaced with a substandard quality fuse?

MORAV

Oh, and millions? You might be surprised, here's the production figures through '05 courtesy BUGSTUFF, when the last one rolled off the line at the end of 2010, I figure, and I haven't found the figures, maybe one million and change! (lol)
.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In all the years I've owned our car I actually don't remember ever changing out a fuse.
That pic is interesting. I have to be honest here and say I don't know what the arrow is pointing at but there was sparking and smoke from the original switch and damage to my AC switch. And melted plastic.
It's actually working nicely now but without AC operation.
I will eventually save up for another climate control unit.
The 2010-11 cars seem to have the same unit. Wondering if they fixed this problem.
But I bet when it says it's not compatible they probably have a different harness arrangement.
 

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Had to bring this tread bag from the dead as this happened to me today and I want people to beware of this danger, so I went to turn on the AC and the knob didn't want to turn so I forced it on and with that my knobs on the controls were smoking in seconds and I could see sparks coming out from the seams of the knobs I pulled out the 25 fuse and the 16 fuse to stop the AC from running as it did not want to stop I called a local junk yard and found a replacement control for 75 bucks used installed it and works well. ImageUploadedByAutoguide1340158035.201669.jpg


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Had to bring this tread bag from the dead as this happened to me today and I want people to beware of this danger, so I went to turn on the AC and the knob didn't want to turn so I forced it on and with that my knobs on the controls were smoking in seconds and I could see sparks coming out from the seams of the knobs I pulled out the 25 fuse and the 16 fuse to stop the AC from running as it did not want to stop I called a local junk yard and found a replacement control for 75 bucks used installed it and works well. View attachment 94355


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
Now I'm scared :O lol


>>United States Air Force<<
 

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Climate Control Nightmare

My wife lived out the nightmare...smoke and then flames while driving.
The car is a total loss!
Luckily she and my daughter were able to get to the side of the road and get out.
This is very dangerous.
I have not been able to find a VW response to this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I had since sold my beloved Bug only for this problem.
Buyer seemed really thrilled getting it and said he'll replace the unit.
But with all the recall stories over GM's ignition switch and them waiting till the crap hit the fan before they acted
What is it going to take here? People actually dying?
It's gotten to the point that we really can't trust manufacturers anymore.
And that we are on our own.
But VW really needs to address this because people are keeping their new beetles on the road.
I'm glad everyone is okay tww.
I would be getting an attorney.
 

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From what I have heard; one way, that "recalls" are brought about, is by the amount of response from owners of their cars. I would contact Volkswagen Customer Relations and also register a complaint with the NHSTA, hopefully, they will get enough response to look into the problem.

VW Customer Relations: (VW AG Germany)

Volkswagen Group contact overview

VW of America Customer Relations:

VW Owner's Customer CARE
You can give us a call or send us an email. Either way, VW customer service is easy to reach.
Call 1-800-822-8987
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time in the contiguous United States


Contact Volkswagen of America | VW.com < Contact Us < Volkswagen of America


National Highway Safety Administration:

Home | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)


File a Vehicle Safety Complaint with the NHTSA:

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml
 
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