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First VW. Passenger power window inop

17107 Views 15 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  johnny248
Hello all!

I've been searching around this site for a week or so and there is a lot of great information. I just registered in search of a little help.

Quick background. I've been a car guy for as long as I can remember, and have been working in the service business for the last 15+ years. I am usually pretty good with any sort of mechanical as well as electrical work. Not afraid to jump in to something to figure it out and repair. After looking around the car a little bit, it seems like VW likes to do things differently than the domestic and Asian vehicles that I'm used to. But the car has been pretty reliable and a nice little car.

That being said, this is my first VW experience.

My girlfriend owns a 2008 Beetle. The car as ~140k on it.

Just recently the passenger side power window stopped working. The drivers window works fine. The passenger window does not operate from either the drivers door or passenger door switches. All switches illuminate. Power locks, mirrors, etc all work properly.

My first guess would be that the lift motor died. I removed the door panel to take a look and there are about 20 wires running into the power window motor. I've had little luck finding any schematics for this is. So I started doing a little testing.

I plugged the drivers window motor into the passenger harness and it does not work. I then plugged the passenger motor into the driver side and it works fine. Therefore I have no reason to believe the motor itself is bad.

I'm not 100% sure on how the circuit works on this vehicle, but in the past with other vehicles the passenger side windows will generally run through the driver side switch before it reaches the passenger side door.

My thought process would say power runs through the drivers door switches and makes its way to the passenger door switch. So possible causes could be:

Bad drivers door switch
Bad passenger window switch on drivers door
Damaged wiring from drivers door switches to passenger switch
Bad passenger door window switch
Bad window control module (if there is such a thing on this vehicle)

All of that being said, I would normally start with either a drivers door passenger switch and/or passenger door window switch. However, I'm not a big fan of just throwing parts at a car without being able to diagnosis the issue a little bit further, but I don't have a schematic to test switch functions.

So at this point I figured I would reach or for any information or advice with this in case it is an issue that people have seen on these vehicles and could possibly save me some time and money by pointing me in the right direction.

I've read about all sorts of issues with windows on these forums, but most of them seem to be mechanical or regulator related.

Has anyone else dealt with this? is it a common issue? Is it as easy a replacing a switch? or are their bigger problems here?

Thank you all in advance for any help you may be able to provide.
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The problem is probably in the wiring harness. The window motors are controlled by CAN bus through the comfort module. The window switches send signals to the door controller (attached to the window motors with the 20 wires) which then communicate with the appropriate controller to operate the window motor. Since you swapped the motor/door controllers and the passenger side worked on the driver's side, either both passenger side window switches are bad or the harness is.

Have you tried operating the windows using the key in the door lock? If you hold it counterclockwise for a couple seconds both windows should lower. Holding it clockwise should raise the windows.
Awesome. Thank you for the reply. The key with manually lock and unlock the door, however it has no effect on either window.

So I started going through the drivers door harness, and found three wires corroded and broken. Red yellow, orange blue, and a small white one. Ran new wires and soldered it all together. Windows work, fuel release works, interior lights are working right (they would intermittently work) and so far from what I can tell, the door locks are functioning properly. - I need to monitor the lock system though because it does weird things. I don't want to say that it is fixed prematurely.

I noticed in the door harness, someone had replaced the main power wire, and also a portion of the red yellow wire which I replaced again.

I can't even tell you what a relief this is. I was so frustrated with this car.

I'll keep an eye on the locks though. I am pretty sure there is a problem with them. I'm told the window should roll down when you turn the door cylinder to the left. This does not happen. And like I said before , the locks were doing very strange things.

Thanks again for your help! I have a happy bug again! And even more importantly, a happy Fiance who drives it!
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Good to hear things are headed in the right direction. Thanks for posting back again. It is important to post what solved problems so that those who come after will know what worked.

The door latches have 3 microswitches in them that sense the key rotation and door open/close state. In the early NB years they were prone to solder cracks that would cause all sorts of problems. It sounds like you could be suffering from that as well. Here is a DIY I put together:

New update!

I just got back home from a 2500mile round trip visit to Florida. The power windows have been working flawlessly.

Today I took on the power door lock issues.

To sum up the problems:
-Doors would have to be unlocked, then locked in order to lock the doors with the fob.
-security/horn would not sound when locking door with key. Also, the window roll up and down with the key in the door cylinder did nothing.
-Dome lights would intermittently work with the doors open.
-Without any speccific circumstances, the door lock system would randomly do any of the follwing. Doors would lock, and security system would go off with the doors open, the hood open, the trunk open, door open with key in ignition, door closed with key in ignition-this would happen with key in, ign off. Key in, ign on, but would not happen with car running.
-Doors would sometimes lock while driving.

So I took apart the door latch. My circuit board looked a little different than the pictures posted. There was some sort of coating over all of the solder joints. I couldn't see any actual broken solder joints , but I went over them all with the soldering iron and solder. Basically heated and resoldered everything.

Put it all back together, (Which was sort of a pain in the rear compared to other doors I've worked on) and from what I can tell, everything is working beautifully! Every function of the central locking is doing what it is supposed to do! I am very happy with this, and I thank everyone for all of their help and guidance.

Now, the not so good. While in our road trip, the flasher started acting up and would continue to click after turning off the turn signal. While it continued to click for anywhere between 2 clicks, and 30 clicks, the lights did not flash along with the clicking. I am assuming that it is the flasher, which appears to be a signal unit part of the hazard switch. I think replacing it would hopefully fix it, but of course I come here first.

Secondly- and from what I can tell the last of the electrical grimlins. The HVAC control head doesn't always illuminate when the parking/headlamps are turned on. I can get them to come on by hitting the control head. I would think something is loose or not making great contact. Anyone see this happen? Any super tips?

Thanks again for your help! I was ready to trade this car out of frustration, but if I can get all of these issues ironed out then it will stick around for awhile.
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The door latch problem is very common and can cause lots of different symptoms. Hopefully these new issues will be easier to solve.

Here is a DIY on removing the hazard switch, which is also the turn signal flasher:


and here is how to take it apart and repair it:


The HVAC controls are illuminated by a single lamp under the rotary fan speed switch. Set the fan speed to "2" and pull it straight out to get to the lamp. BE SURE to set it at "2" before pulling it out or you will break it. The lamp is a bayonet type, it sounds like yours may just need to be pushed in a little firmer.
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You are awesome! This has made everything SO much easier. I will take on those two fixes and see what happens!

Thanks so much!
Hey, you're welcome. After you've owned one of these cars and done all your own work on it for 14 years, you kind of have seen it all!
As much as all of these problems suck , it is nice that these electrical parts can actually be repaired if you are handy. I've worked as a service writer for a long time, and I can guarantee you that if you came into the dealer with a door lock problem, the latch would be replaced. People don't repair things anymore. Just replace.
On the fan switch, does just the knob cone out? I set it on two and have tried pulling pretty hard but it doesn't seem to budge... H n...
Here is a video that is pretty good:


The guy is actually breaking his switch because he didn't set it to "2" first, but other than that it is good.
OK cool. I got it. Just had to use the tapped up pliers. Done.

Next will be the hazard switch.

I am running out of problems to fix on this little Bug lol
I also noticed that the 3rd brake light is no longer working . I didn't see a fuse listed for that, but it seems a little weird that it is totally out since I thought it had LED's in it. Is there something I should be looking at? Or do just need to purchase an entire replacement light assembly?
The bulbs; work in a series, so if one dies the whole thing dies (breaks the circuit). When mine died; I removed it and did a continuity check with a multimeter and it was bad, plus I was getting power at the plug. It is a sealed unit; the bulbs cannot be replaced or repaired without destroying it, (glued together construction). The stock version from VW is expensive and tends to be failure prone; they sell aftermarket LED versions that would theoretically last longer but some reviews, have complained about fitment and build quality issues. Check out amazon; for more info: (LED aftermarket version; made by Dorman and other brands). Note: again, check reviews for fitment issues.

That's what I figured. They are going for about $44 AM on ebay. Expensive bulb to replace lol

As always, thanks for all of the great help from newbeetle.org members!
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