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Discussion Starter #1
A little history:

I bought a 2003 Beetle for my daughter with 68K miles. All was going well,when one day while my kiddo and wife were driving around, the hose popped off of the Boost Pressure Control Valve (N249) and the check engine light came on. They called me, and I told them to stop by AutoZone and have them run a scan the OBD, write down the code and come straight home. They found the hose disconnected and reconnected it when they got home and before I got home. Shortly thereafter, the Air Bag light came on. I borrowed a friends generic OBD scanner to clear both warning lights, but it would only clear the check engine light, not the Air Bag light.

This is when I got my first schooling on VW's! The ONLY THING a generic OBD scanner will read on a VW is emission related stuff, and let you reset the CEL and see if it comes back on! Everything else is encrypted and requires you to take it to the dealership. Several of the guys at work are ex-dealership technicians, but none of them worked on VW/Audi because of the specialized tools associated with them.

Well, long story short, I broke down and bought a VCDS cable from Ross-Tech ($400 with a USB extension cable and shipping)cause my friends told me about how dealerships screw people. They told me it was going to be $140 just to do diagnostics, then they're going to have to fix it and that they will probably waive the $140 diagnostic fee. After reading LOTS of forums posts, the air bag light seems to be a common problem with the New Beetles and dealerships like to charge in $500 increments.

I hooked up the VCDS tool and laptop to the car, ran the auto-scan, saved the report and cleared the Air Big light (which said the problem was in the drivers side seat belt latch)and two other codes it had saved in it's memory. My friends told me to clear the codes first, if they come back, I still have the problem. The VCDS manual from Ross-Tech tells you NOT to clear any codes unless you have fixed the associated problems.

My question is:
Are my friends right? I didn't fix anything, I just cleared the codes. After that, I wiggled the key back and forth in the ignition 5 times (without starting it) which my friends said would re-set the computer (and it worked when my CEL came on for the second time before I got the VCDS dongle.
 

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A little history:


Well, long story short, I broke down and bought a VCDS cable from Ross-Tech ($400 with a USB extension cable and shipping)cause my friends told me about how dealerships screw people. They told me it was going to be $140 just to do diagnostics, then they're going to have to fix it and that they will probably waive the $140 diagnostic fee. After reading LOTS of forums posts, the air bag light seems to be a common problem with the New Beetles and dealerships like to charge in $500 increments.

I hooked up the VCDS tool and laptop to the car, ran the auto-scan, saved the report and cleared the Air Big light (which said the problem was in the drivers side seat belt latch)and two other codes it had saved in it's memory. My friends told me to clear the codes first, if they come back, I still have the problem. The VCDS manual from Ross-Tech tells you NOT to clear any codes unless you have fixed the associated problems.

My question is:
Are my friends right? I didn't fix anything, I just cleared the codes. After that, I wiggled the key back and forth in the ignition 5 times (without starting it) which my friends said would re-set the computer (and it worked when my CEL came on for the second time before I got the VCDS dongle.
When you wiggle the key do have to say: There is not place like Home, there is no place like home? ;) Just kidding.
I never heard such a thing that wiggeling the key would reset anything. But if it worked for you then GREAT!

The seat belt latch is a common problem with the beetle. Resetting it will not hurt anything and sometimes the code will not return but sometime it will. In that case you may need to replace the seat belt buckle. Here is a link regarding this issue:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/questions-issues-concerns-problems-new-beetle/52640-dang-seat-belt-buckle-air-bag-light-issue.html

Good Luck to you !
 

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There are some codes you may come across in the Air Bag System that you MUST NOT CLEAR OUT until the issue is resolved. Others don't matter.

In a nut shell, if you see some igniter with a "short to ground" or "short to plus", do not clear them out! A former co worker did this and deployed the steering wheel airbag in a Jetta. Good thing he wasn't in the car when this happened.

Now items like "Resistance too Low" or "Resistance too High" should be safe.... but if you don't actually fix the issue, the codes will not clear out.

Turning the ignition on and off several times does nothing. Just as effective, tossing a pinch of salt over your left shoulder.

The belt latches in Beetles is known to fail, the issue is there are two switches in the belt latch, so 4 wires run up into it. The wires get stressed since the latch unit can wiggle around and at some point the wiring failed. The 'ol E24, I know ye well.

00591 - Ross-Tech Wiki

You can get a live reading of the E24 belt latch in Measuring Block group 003, field 3. It should "Yes" or "No". Wiggle the latch around some and see if you get a "Too High" reading, if so, replace the belt latch.

What were the other codes?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
THANKS!

I'm still getting familiar with the vag-com/VCDS. But I'll try that in the morning.

1 Fault Found:
00591 - Seat Belt Switch; Driver (E24)
32-10 - Resistance too High - Intermittent

And seriously, wiggling the key back and forth 5 times cleared my check engine light. I wouldn't have thought it either, but he worked for Ford 15 years! I checked with another guy I work with, and he said "yeah, it re-sets the computer". They came from the same dealership. I can ask another guy I work with to verify that, he's straight off the boat from Greece where he worked on nothing but European cars, but not VW's. They don't have any reason to lie to me, I'm their supervisior.

Another thing I noticed, after wiggling the key 5 times, the horn didn't beep for about 2 days when I'd set the alarm.

Just for ****s and giggles, try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There are some codes you may come across in the Air Bag System that you MUST NOT CLEAR OUT until the issue is resolved. Others don't matter.

In a nut shell, if you see some igniter with a "short to ground" or "short to plus", do not clear them out! A former co worker did this and deployed the steering wheel airbag in a Jetta. Good thing he wasn't in the car when this happened.

Now items like "Resistance too Low" or "Resistance too High" should be safe.... but if you don't actually fix the issue, the codes will not clear out.

Turning the ignition on and off several times does nothing. Just as effective, tossing a pinch of salt over your left shoulder.

The belt latches in Beetles is known to fail, the issue is there are two switches in the belt latch, so 4 wires run up into it. The wires get stressed since the latch unit can wiggle around and at some point the wiring failed. The 'ol E24, I know ye well.

00591 - Ross-Tech Wiki

You can get a live reading of the E24 belt latch in Measuring Block group 003, field 3. It should "Yes" or "No". Wiggle the latch around some and see if you get a "Too High" reading, if so, replace the belt latch.

[What were the other codes?]
Here is a copy of the initial scan before I cleared them.
 

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Still curious about the wiggling of the Key. Do you actuall insert the key into the ignition, then partially remove it and slide it back in and repeat that function 5 times? Or what exactly do you mean by wiggling the key?


THANKS!

I'm still getting familiar with the vag-com/VCDS. But I'll try that in the morning.

1 Fault Found:
00591 - Seat Belt Switch; Driver (E24)
32-10 - Resistance too High - Intermittent

And seriously, wiggling the key back and forth 5 times cleared my check engine light. I wouldn't have thought it either, but he worked for Ford 15 years! I checked with another guy I work with, and he said "yeah, it re-sets the computer". They came from the same dealership. I can ask another guy I work with to verify that, he's straight off the boat from Greece where he worked on nothing but European cars, but not VW's. They don't have any reason to lie to me, I'm their supervisior.

Another thing I noticed, after wiggling the key 5 times, the horn didn't beep for about 2 days when I'd set the alarm.

Just for ****s and giggles, try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Still curious about the wiggling of the Key. Do you actuall insert the key into the ignition, then partially remove it and slide it back in and repeat that function 5 times? Or what exactly do you mean by wiggling the key?
The ignition switch has 4 positions. When you put the key in (call this position 2), you can turn the key down (call this position 1) or up (call this position 3) and up one more time to crank the engine (call this position 4).

Put the key into the ignition switch, now, go to position:
1, 2, 3, 2, 1,
This is one cycle. Do this 5 times as quickly as you can then pull the key out of the ignition.

I just tried it again this morning, but I didn't have any CEL's. As predicted, no horn beep when setting the alarm.

To be more specific, my friend said the computer in the car 'remembers' information from your last couple of drives like ambient air temp, driving style, etc. Wiggling the key resets that info, then it rebuilds the info over your next few drives. Somewhere, I thought I either heard or read that driving it for 10-15min or 10-15miles equals one cycle and it needs 3-5 cycles to rebuild the history. That would make sense, I drive 20 miles to work, 12 hours later, 20 miles home. After 2-3 days, I had several cycles.

Try it and let me know what happens. My daughters car is a 2003 GLS 1.8 turbo.
 

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The ignition switch has 4 positions. When you put the key in (call this position 2), you can turn the key down (call this position 1) or up (call this position 3) and up one more time to crank the engine (call this position 4).

Put the key into the ignition switch, now, go to position:
1, 2, 3, 2, 1,
This is one cycle. Do this 5 times as quickly as you can then pull the key out of the ignition.

I just tried it again this morning, but I didn't have any CEL's. As predicted, no horn beep when setting the alarm.

To be more specific, my friend said the computer in the car 'remembers' information from your last couple of drives like ambient air temp, driving style, etc. Wiggling the key resets that info, then it rebuilds the info over your next few drives. Somewhere, I thought I either heard or read that driving it for 10-15min or 10-15miles equals one cycle and it needs 3-5 cycles to rebuild the history. That would make sense, I drive 20 miles to work, 12 hours later, 20 miles home. After 2-3 days, I had several cycles.

Try it and let me know what happens. My daughters car is a 2003 GLS 1.8 turbo.
I think the term "wiggle" is confusing; it seems more like you are "cycling" the ignition; i.e. turning the key through some preset sequence.
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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There are some codes you may come across in the Air Bag System that you MUST NOT CLEAR OUT until the issue is resolved. Others don't matter.

In a nut shell, if you see some igniter with a "short to ground" or "short to plus", do not clear them out! A former co worker did this and deployed the steering wheel airbag in a Jetta. Good thing he wasn't in the car when this happened.

Now items like "Resistance too Low" or "Resistance too High" should be safe.... but if you don't actually fix the issue, the codes will not clear out. ...
Also you do not want to do any continuity testing either, if you have igniter codes. Unless you want to deploy it/them.
 
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