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boop
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey there.

Ever since i got my Beetle, i've been having some minor trouble with my hatch. The latching mechanism ITSELF works perfectly fine, as do the hatch-release buttons, both inside the door and on the key fob. However, although the latch will open and close like normal, the car does not appear to be detecting this, and therefore i get no warning indicator on the dash nor do i get the visibility light inside the hatch itself.

Here's what i've done:

1. First i replaced the bulb inside the hatch, just in case it'd gone dead. (The original bulb looked intact, but i thought i should try just to be sure.) This had no effect, neither on its own nor in combination with the following steps.

2. I next checked to make sure that my brake light wasn't leaking, as i know this is a common issue. Having checked the inside of the hatch (including under the trim once or twice) following several rain storms now, i can find no signs of leakage.

3. I then checked to make sure that all of the connections and everything were good underneath the trim panel. Everything seems to be in order. The plastic on the three-prong plug that sticks into the latch assembly seemed to have a small amount of green-ish discolouration, but the connection itself was good.

4. Lastly, i purchased a whole new latch assembly, and just now tried installing it. Connections were again fine, the actuator mechanism (which physically opens the lock) still works fine, but as before i get no light on my dash and no light on the inside when the hatch is open.

Just to reiterate, i have NEVER had a hatch warning indicator on my dashboard, ever. It does not come on when the hatch is open and it does not even come on during the bulb test when i put the key in the ignition. Also, i have NEVER had issues with the latch mechanism itself not working properly.

In addition, i have had NO issues with the alarm system that i know of. The alarm appears to be working fine; i once failed to securely close the hatch and when i tried jiggling it the alarm went off, which would seem to be normal operation as far as i understand it. (That's the only time it's ever been activated; it's never come on just sitting there for example.)

To clarify in case it matters, this is a 2003 GLS 2.0 hatch-back WITHOUT a spoiler and WITHOUT the swivel emblem on the hatch.

I'm guessing the next place to check is either a fuse or an electrical relay somewhere, but i'm not sure how to start with that stuff. Any ideas?

cheers
 

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boop
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
UPDATE:

We played with this a bit more today. The green discolouration i mentioned earlier seems to have been the main issue. It wasn't just the plastic — the contacts themselves seem to have been corroded, possibly from an earlier leak problem.

The focus turned out bad, but you can see the corrosion in the attached photo. After popping off the cover, spraying some (non-conductive) contact cleaner, and then scraping around a bit, we got the sensor to register. The sign that the connection is good seems to be that when you unplug the lead, the horn will beep once softly, and then when you plug it back in, the alarm will actually go off.

So, that seems to have solved my problem with the light in the hatch. It now goes on when the hatch is opened and turns off when it's closed, as expected.

HOWEVER, my issue with the dash indicator remains. The hatch warning indicator does not light during the bulb test at start-up nor when the hatch has been opened (whether the engine is running or not).

At first i thought it was because the indicator bulb had simply burnt out, but then i noticed something: The indicator DOES flash, very briefly, immediately after the hatch-release button is pressed. It appears to burn brightly during that half-second or so that it's on, but it immediately goes back out again.

Having the light in the back for visibility is really the important thing for me, so i consider this about 80% resolved. However, it is curious that the indicator still doesn't work. If anyone has any ideas, i'd love to hear them...

cheers
 

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I am wondering if this is my problem also. My interior lights dont come on with any door open including hatch . if it was a door relay I would think it would work on other doors. How hard was it to access the switch you sprayed and cleaned ?
 

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boop
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
You just have to pull the plastic trim panel off the interior side of the hatch (one Philips screw inside each of the two handle things and then just pop the tabs out). Then you can unplug the lead to the latch assembly. Removing or replacing the assembly itself does require a 10 mm XZN driver.

However, i doubt that would be your issue if NONE of your lights are working with ANY doors open. Especially considering that, as far as i know, opening the hatch isn't meant to activate any of the interior lights (aside from the one in the hatch obviously) anyway. If i've understood the problem you're describing, you'll probably want to create another thread.


Anyway, on the topic of the issue in my second post, here's a video of the hatch indicator behaviour i'm now seeing:

New Beetle ?*hatch warning indicator strangeness - YouTube
 

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5/23/10 <3
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11,136 Posts
I am wondering if this is my problem also. My interior lights dont come on with any door open including hatch . if it was a door relay I would think it would work on other doors. How hard was it to access the switch you sprayed and cleaned ?
Actually its completely possible its the door switches. I had both of my microswitches in the doors fail within a few months of each other. Its a common failure point.
 

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boop
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
It turns out my fixed light was not quite as fixed as i thought. It was working off and on for a while, and now it's stopped altogether again.

I suspect that the plug (shown in the photo above) is corroded beyond simple repair. The end result is that the connection seems OK at a glance, but ultimately it gets lost again due to vibration from opening and closing the hatch (or maybe even just from driving around).

I think the permanent solution to this is to replace the connector and, if necessary, the latch assembly as well. (Since my previous latch assembly worked fine after cleaning the connector, i've still got that in.)

What i'm going to try to do then is replace both parts. 1C0827505E01C is the well-known latch assembly, but the plug on the end of the lead that goes into it was harder to locate. Ultimately i found what looks like the correct one; the part number is 1J0973115, which corresponds to a 3-pin electrical connector. (At least, it looks right in the diagram, and it's also used in the Golf's rear latch, so i'm optimistic.)

I've got the connector on order from the local dealership, so we'll see what happens in a week or so.
 

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boop
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
CONCLUSION:

My connector arrived, and it was the correct one. To reiterate for anyone finding this on Google, the 3-pin connector for the latch is 1J0973115 (1J0 973 115).

Anyway, we first removed the old latch assembly and replaced it, since its side of the connection was corroded as well, and i had spent the money on it anyway. The hard part was removing the metal arm from the white plastic ring without breaking anything important, but eventually we got it.

Next we cut off the wires on the latch-sensor lead just above where the old plug was. We could have simply removed the connector and inserted the wires into the new one, but they looked pretty bad, so we did it this way. Just to warn anyone else attempting this, though: There is very little excess on this lead, so if you cut the wires you will need to remove the last mounting strap (closest to the latch itself) to make it reach. This shouldn't cause any problems, though, it's just makes the wiring slightly less pretty.

Lastly, we installed the new plug. The plug is irritating to install by hand (which you'll probably have to do since i doubt many people have the correct punch tool), but can certainly be done. For the benefit of anyone else finding this:

The plug has three pins, so it has three 'slots' for the wires. Each of these slots contains two sort of V-shaped fins, which cut into the wires themselves in order to make electrical contact between the wiring and the pins of the plug. Towards the rear end (wiring side) of the plug there are also two very tiny prongs; these prongs need to be bended inward to actually secure the wires.

So, to install the wires, you'll need to take a very small screw-driver or similar and push the wires (hard) into the plug (keep in mind that the V-shaped things have to cut through the plastic outer sheath of the wire and touch the metal on the inside; it will not work otherwise). Just in case you forget to write it down first, the order of the wires, with the wiring-accessible side facing you, is: blue/brown, brown, black/brown.

Ideally you should test the wiring with a multimeter before you bend the prongs down and put it back together. Blue/brown + brown and brown + black/brown should both generate a reading. Of course if you don't have a multimeter (i don't, but my friend does!) you can just stick the plug back in and see what happens.

Once the wiring is done, push the prongs down and then fit the small cover thing over the top of the connector. Then hook everything back up (remember, you'll have to remove the last mounting strap) and see what happens.

The hatch light and warning indicator should both work. The hatch warning indicator does NOT appear to come on during the bulb test when you stick the key in the car, despite what someone on here told me. However, it SHOULD come on (and stay on) when the hatch is open, as long as the car is on. (It won't light when the car is off.)

Attached are a few photos; sorry for the lack of detailed in-process photos, but it got dark.

1: The replacement connector.

2: The sensor lead, with the corroded wires exposed. We actually removed the old connector before clipping the wires, just to see how bad they were. Obviously after taking this photo we cut off about 2 centimetres

3: The latch assembly all wired back together. Note that i used electrical tape to re-mount the wiring since the existing mount would no longer reach its mounting point — but you probably don't even have to do this, there's little danger in just leaving it as it is

4: The hatch warning light works again
 

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