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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

I have 2 Beetles... a 1.8T and a TDI. My problem is with the 1.8T.
I last used the car June 1st and everything was fine. The next day my wife's brother went to use it and the car was "dead" and wouldn't start. When I got home, I tried it my self and sure enough, a dead battery, but also, turning the key felt strange (no spring-load when in the "start" position to return it to the "run position).

I gave the car a boost, and all my warning lights came on on the dash, and you could hear one of the fuel system pumps running with out the key in the ignition. I disconnected the booster cables and the car stayed "live" until I disconnected the battery terminal.

In going through this forum and doing a lot of searching and reading I came across this thread on how to replace the ignition switch >>> http://newbeetle.org/forums/technical-how/59181-ignition-switch-replacement-diy.html

Did that, and the same problem still exists. Is it possible the lock mechanism has failed in some way? I'm thinking that maybe the tab that goes into the back of the switch is somehow broken, although I did look in the back of the lock and turned the key before installing the new switch to see if the tab rotated with the key (it does). Still no "spring load" feeling when turning the key to the "start" position, and all the dash lights stay on when the battery is connected. Is it possible the key / tab is not turning the switch? The tab is engaged with the switch and the switch is seated properly.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK, This is a follow-up. Disassembled the ignition switch again and took a closer look at the tumbler / lock mechanism. The tab is not turning the switch. So. I got the fuel pump / dash lights problem solved as the switch was stuck in the run position, however, now because the battery has been disconnected for the last few days, the radio is in safe mode, and when I try to start the engine, I'm supposing the immobilizer is kicking in. The car won't start, and the alarm system (horn) sounds off.

Inserting a screw driver into the switch to depress the center button I get a click - click - click sound coming from the center of the dash somewhere behind the radio (some kind of relay I suppose). I assume that's something trying to reset it self. I let it go on like that for several minutes and tried to start the car again (key and fob in) using a screw driver on the switch. Same result.... the car wouldn't start, and the alarm system kicked in. What to do?

Thanks again...

Paul
 

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Well, it sounds like you narrowed down the bad ignition switch and the actual column lock and linkage to the switch, being bad. You will need to remove the airbag/steering wheel to replace that assembly. As for the immobilizer kicking on; the immo can get goofy, when the battery is disconnected or gets low. You might try do a hard reset and do a full charge to the battery (confirm with vom).

Here is a good thread; that is a overview of the tumbler, steering column lock and switch assembly:

Ignition switch and lock cylinder removal and repair on VW and Audi | VW TDI forum, Audi, Porsche, and Chevy Cruze diesel forum

Here is a section; discussing immobilizer issues:

Immobilizer FAQ and troubleshooting for VW and Audi, with key replacement tips | VW TDI forum, Audi, Porsche, and Chevy Cruze diesel forum

I was having a problem with my car starting and the immobilizer kicking on; my electrical ignition switch was bad, I was also having a binding problem and the key tumbler was heavily worn. When I replaced both of those; the ignition switch "spring" feeling came back and it was much easier to turn the ignition/key. I also ended up having melted wiring; going to the switch as well, which I replaced the terminal ends and plug (melted as well). After that, the immobilizer issues were not as much of a problem; I had a long term immobilizer actuation issue that was only fully resolved with a new speedo cluster. In my particular situation; the speedo cluster was damaged and since the immobilizer resides in the cluster, it would randomly kick on and I couldn't start the car. Read the immo section on myturbodiesel.com to ascertain the real cause of the no start issue. The site has excellent info and if you join, there is extra info that only member can "see" (membership is free).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks again billymade. Dealing with the air bag scares me a bit, but help you've given me in the past gives me the confidence to tackle this. I'll give those links a look-see tomorrow and give it a shot. I like to solve my own problems but this forum is a great help. If I think I'm getting in over my head I can take it to my mechanic (he's very good) but I like to save a buck where I can. I'll post back and let you know how it goes.

Cheers! - Paul
 

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As long as you disconnect the battery before removing the airbag/steering wheel, you shouldn't have any problems with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Decided to try to start it one more time this morning because I'm a glutton for punishment, and wouldn't you know it? The "bug"gar fired right up... no immo.... no alarm. Go figure. I still do need to replace the lock assembly though. The old switch was seized, and I think that's what snapped the tab in the lock assembly when my brother-in-law tried to start it. I spoke to my mechanic about it and he can get me a new lock assembly cheap. We just need to use the tumbler / immo antenna and all should be good.

Smileybug, thanks for the advice on disconnecting the battery. I was going to anyways, but always good advice :)

Thanks again guys! - Paul

P.S. - Lost the radio though and the code was removed from the O.M. by the original owner.... guess I need to call VW with my VIN for that huh?
 

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I never had my radio go into safe mode after disconnecting the battery. It might reconnect on its own. But if you don't have the code and need it, yes, ask the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First time I've ever been locked out of it too. Haven't had a chance to call the dealer yet, but I will. I love having a radio but that was the least of my worries. I'm just glad I have a car to drive...lol
 

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I have a 2001 Beetle that only came with 1 key. As we all know replacement keys are expensive. I recently acquired a 1999 that has complete set of keys. I want to switch the lock cylinders on ignition, door and trunk. Can I just change the cylinder or do I need to change the entire ignition switch? I removed the ignition lock cylinder from the donor vehicle easily. If I try to start the donor car with screw driver, alarm sounds and car wont start. Can I get it to start without ignition key?
Can I just switch the key cylinders?
How to get vehicle to start without alarm on donor vehicle with lock cylinder removed? I want to be able to move vehicle on my property.
Thanks
 

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Well, a big part of the issue; is the fact that the 99' does NOT have a immobilizer but the 2001 model does. It would be easier; to keep the 2001 as is and buy more CORRECT and immobilizer compatible keys, that are made for your year/specific car. The 2001 will need specific keys with the rfid chip, when matched/programmed to the car; will allow the car to start and be recognized by the immobilizer system. You CANNOT, use the keys: that came with the 99' to communicate with the 01'; as it needs a immobilizer specific keys. The issue is not the mechanical lock/tumbler but the rfid chips in the key and the reader coil, that goes around the ignition switch tumbler and ultimately, the immobilizer that resides, in the speedo cluster.

Check out these guys; for affordable new keys and key matching/programming solutions:

sidewindekey.com

One stop shop for VW and Audi keys, cutting and programming tools!

read more info: about the immo system and how it works:

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/wiki/i...ng-for-vw-and-audi-with-key-replacement-tips/

programming and key options:

http://www.fixmyvw.com/vw-key-fob-programming-guide/

Lastly, before going through all the purchasing and programming of the keys yourself; you should call your local auto mobile locksmiths and see what they charge, to make/programming more keys for your car. Your car is old enough; that any good auto lock smith; should be able to make the keys you need and have the computer, to program, the keys to the immobilizer system.

Strictly, from a hassle/time point of view; this maybe, you best solution but call around for estimates (from your local auto locksmiths), check fixmyvw/sidewinder, for the total costs of new keys and purchase or renting of Vagtach/VCDS, to do the programming.
 
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