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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good afternoon,
My girlfriend has a manual 2001 VW Beetle. Very recently the cluster stopped illuminating and the gauges stopped working. The odometer is digital and IS working. I looked at the fuses (on the inside to the left of the steering column) and I don't see any visibly blown fuses. Are there any other fuses I should check? Under the hood perhaps? The radio, turn signals brake lights etc work fine. But all gauges sit on zero and do not move AT ALL.

Could this be the vehicle speed sensor? Everywhere I have looked I don't see any mention of the actual gauge lights not working. There is a check engine light on and I'm getting the codes read this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I won't be able to get the codes until Sunday. Until then does anyone have any ideas? Are there any fuses under the hood that should be checked?
 

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Here is a good place to start from (link to the service manual below) : you can check each individual item on the left and do testing, go from there. With so many things failing at once; it would seem to point in the direction of a power issue or a cluster internal onboard component failure. Using VCDS; output tests would confirm whether it's a speedo cluster issue or sensor issues related to each gauge. http://workshop-manuals.com/volkswa...iagrams/diagram_information_and_instructions/


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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Using VCDS; output tests would confirm whether it's a speedo cluster issue or sensor issues related to each gauge.
Thank you very much. What is VCDS exactly? I was planning on just taking up to the autoparts store and having them read the codes, should be the same thing you are referring to correct? Is there another route I should be thinking of?
 

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Well when it comes to trouble codes that are specifically related to Volkswagens; a generic OBD II scanner may not read these Volkswagen specific trouble codes. You need to get a Volkswagen specific Scanner/code reader; you can go to Amazon.com get a V gate VS 450 for a basic scan tool or go high-end, with the factory level scanner cable and software combination VCDS by Ross Tech. VCDS, is basically a clone of the Volkswagen factory diagnostic tool, that they use at the Volkswagen dealerships and this requires a Windows-based PC to run.

http://www.ross-tech.com/


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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ahh okay. What a pain!! I see some cables on amazon but the only full kit I really see is the below.

Amazon.com: Car Code Reader Scanner VW/AUDI SCAN TOOL MAXSCAN VAG405 VAG 405 OBD II OBD 2 EOBD2: Automotive


I would hate to buy this only to use it this one time. Any other cheaper alternatives besides finding someone that already has one?

Edit: I do see cables offered for cheap but the reviews on the software is iffy. The cable should be compatible with Ross Tech and the software available on Ross Tech should be sufficient, correct?
 

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Well if you're going to fix the car yourself; you should buy a scan tool and be able to read codes. Are you going to keep the car or ?; a scan tool is pretty much required to fix cars these days, especially Volkswagens. Here is the scan tool I am talking about the Vgate VS 450 (I think there are even cheaper ones on there for like 20 bucks):

https://www.google.com/search?q=Ama...ent=safari#hl=en&q=Amazon+Vgate+vs450&spell=1

The other option is to pull the speedo cluster and ship it out; have it repaired, going that route, would have the added benefit of not having to have any coding or matching done, if you bought another used cluster.


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Well I would say by a cheap scanner from Amazon ASAP; so you can read the trouble codes and diagnose problems. I guarantee; you will have issues that you will need the scanner to read trouble codes in the future (when there is a problem with the car, typically the check engine light will come on; so getting a scanner is a no-brainer). With a vw scanner and posting up the trouble codes here, we can try to help you figure things out and go from there. Meanwhile, take the car to an auto parts store and have them scan it anyway; see if there's any trouble codes that can be read by their scan tool.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for being so helpful and patient. I went ahead and bought the VS450. Hopefully it will be here tomorrow so as soon as I can I will upload the thrown codes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Finally back!

I pulled the codes using the VS450. Some other codes popped up that aren't too amusing.

16806:p0422 Main Catalyst:Bank 1: Efficiency Below Threshhold.
From what I have gathered this is the O2 sensor and I have purchased a new one.

16711:p0327:Knock Sensor 1(G61) signal too low
16716"P0332:Knock Sensor 2(G66) signal too low
I have seen some info on Ross Tech but I have no clue where or what these sensors are. There are no noticeable drivability problems that are listed on his web page.

Can someone please shed some light on what they think these might be associated with or what I should be checking for??

However NOTHING points to why the gauges may not be working. I removed the cluster from the dash to look at the back of the pins. Everything seems to be soldered in tightly and I couldn't feel any loose pins.

Once again the odometer works, all the check engine lights work. The dash lights are working when the headlights are on. But te Fuel, Speedo and tach gauges sit on zero with absolutely no movement. This was very sudden. 5 minutes early, working, then all of a sudden nothing.

Thanks again for all your assistance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Any further ideas regarding the cluster perhaps?

In addition, any ideas as to what O2 sensor 16806:p0722 could be pointing to? Upstream or downstream?

Also any ideas about the knock sensors?
 

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grounds

Did you check all your grounds that go to the car chassis? common issue especially the wire under the battery tray to loose contact because of the battery corrosion. There is another ground behind the left front headlamp and another mounted to the engine chassis I believe.
 

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Cluster failures; seem to be a common issue around here. Most of the vendors; that repair the speedo clusters, reference the problems you are having. If you had access to vcds; you could do "output" tests; that test the gauges independent of the car normal input or sensors. If you did these tests and the gauges, didn't work.. then, that would confirm the problem is with the cluster. These failures; seem to be on the circuit board itself and the on board components fail, requiring repair or replacement of the components. Some members have repaired their own; replacing the gauge stepper motors. However, seeing how you have so many problems; I find it hard to believe that the steppers for all those gauges have all failed at once. Check out the videos and info; that I linked to above, to see what I am talking about.

http://newbeetle.org/forums/questio...tle/77329-2001-beetle-broken-speedometer.html

Shipping the cluster; out for repair, would be cheaper then getting a new or used one, that would require coding that vcds or the local vw dealer would have to do (repairing our original cluster; would be plug/play, no coding required). The coding process: would be, pulling the secret key code (using vagtacho or having a auto locksmith do it), matching new immobilizer, matching the keys and finally, transferring the old odometer reading to the new cluster. The repair/coding costs; can skyrocket very quickly!

As for BOTH knock sensors; going out at once, that seems odd. I would do some testing and troubleshooting as shown in the manual: (keep going to the next pages for more info; testing etc.)

http://workshop-manuals.com/volkswa...knock_sensor/component_information/locations/
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Did you check all your grounds that go to the car chassis? common issue especially the wire under the battery tray to loose contact because of the battery corrosion. There is another ground behind the left front headlamp and another mounted to the engine chassis I believe.
I will check those today. If a ground is loose wouldn't the check engine light, temp light, odometer etc not be working? When headlights are on gauges light, but needles just sit at zero.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Billy,
So I was to get a used cluster, then it wouldnt be as easy as plug n play, even if i didn't care about the odometer reading?

Do we know of any trusted parties to complete this repair job? How long does the repair process usually take? I have her car for a week while she is out of town.
 

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Hey, I just went through this conundrum; myself and did allot of research. In my case; i went through the whole process of installing a new cluster I got off of ebay. I spent an ungodly amount of time effort and steep learning curve, getting through all the processes to do this by myself. I have access to VCDS and even bought VagTacho to get my SKC (secret key code)and had to send the speedo out to reflect tuning to reset it to "zero", that way I could use VCDS to transfer the old odometer reading to the new one ($50 to do that).

Having done all that; these are some of the vendors, I found online that do speedo repairs, I cannot vouch for any of them, as I have not used them (maybe others can chime in; if they have had their cluster rebuilt).

BBA REMAN:

VW Beetle (new shape) dashboard instrument cluster problems

ModuleMaster

Cluster Fix | Instrument Cluster Repair

There are many, many more; just do a google search: bba/mm seem to be two of the major players in the industry.
Contact them for prices and turn around times, many are sometimes, same or next day service.

https://www.google.com/search?q=vw+...:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks Bill. I am just worried I don't have enough time to ship the cluster and get it back before she returns. I would be willing to purchase the vagtacho so I could do it myself, even it it means that I spend more money.

What exactly is the Vagtacho. I see some USB cables on Amazon.
Amazon.com : VAG Tacho 3.01+OPEL IMMO PIN READER : Automotive Electronic Security Products : Car Electronics
But I am not sure if it will work. It looks like to connects to the ECU port just like any other diagnostic tool.

If i bought this cable and combined it with the VS450 (and download the VCDS software from Ross tech), i should be able to do everything myself, correct?

I am at work right now so I cannot check, I assume the cluster part number is on the back of the cluster, correct?
 

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Well, the process; is pretty involved... if I can do it, then most likely... you can too! I'm telling you; right now, the repair option... would be so much less hassle and brain damage, potential issues with the new beetles owner. :)

Off the top of my head; you would need:

1. same speedo cluster or a new one from vw or check for a used or new unit on ebay. (check with your local VW dealer; with yuor VIN #, to find the current part # for a new one, that is how I found out what I needed, then scored one cheap on ebay, dealer wanted over $400.
a. have the speedo "zero'd out" by a tuner, like reflect tuning (unless your new one, is zero; already): zero out service $50.

2. access the Secret Key Code; accessible by a locksmith with a special computer or by buying the above VagTacho cable ($20-$50) and pulling it, that way.

a. need to get the code out of the new and old cluster, transfer the old skc into the new/used one.

3. Full version of VCDS: (required to do the following procedures: $250-$350):

a. transfer skc to new cluster
b. match new cluster to ecu
c. transfer soft coding
d. match keys to immobilizer
e. transfer odometer reading from old to new cluster; coding speedo from miles to km (input mileage), code speedo from km back to miles, (save) process complete.
f. adjust and correct fuel tank gauge levels; involves removing fuel, adding a certain amount that is specified in the service manual, then adjusting based upon the correct amount in the fuel tank (requires siphoning out fuel; possibly removal of the fuel pump; coding adjustment in VCDS).

As you can see; it is pretty involved, if you are a sadist or glutton for punishment, it can be done and I have just done this myself, so... I do not have, a problem trying to help you complete the process, if you do this yourself. That being said; removing the speedo (two screws) and shipping it out to be repaired, pulling it out of the box.. when it comes back repaired; installing it back in and completing the repair.... IS WAY easier, then going through all the hoops and above programming, learning curve and learning things as you go along (which can be very frustrating and require; many long nights, trying to figure things out)! If you are willing to do it; are armed for bear (a windows based pc: vcds, vagcom, torx bits/screwdriver, battery charger, gas siphoning equipment, etc. etc. etc.) and lots of free time, GO FOR IT! :p Let me know; what you want to do... I've been there and done THAT! :)

Of course; this begs the question, what benefit... is there to going through all the above processes, when you could just fix it and swap it out... DONE! Your not really gaining anything by going through all that work; unless, you are kinda nuts and get a kick out of that sort of thing.... :)... takes one, to know one!
 
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