VW Beetle Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Beetle lovers. Let me first introduce myself. My name is Brice and I am a first time VW and Beetle owner. I own a 2001 VW Beetle with a 1.8L Turbo that I recently purchased for a very good price. It has the 4 speed automatic transmission. The problem is that it has a lot of problems. When I first got the car, it had the EPC, Generator, ASR, and Oil Light. The car starts and runs fine, for the most part. After a couple days of tinkering, inspecting, and getting to know the car a little better, this is what I have found.

The first thing I found were a couple of popped fuses, which seems normal in most situations, but I also found a popped 150A fusible link on top of the battery. The battery was not charging, but I can tell that the alternator was recently changed. I replaced all of the fuses, including the fusible link (which was pretty difficult to find a replacement). This fixed all of the lights on the instrument cluster, with the exception of the ASR.

After doing this, I find that the car runs much better or sound better in idle. The battery still wasn't charging, so I replaced it as it was bad. I opted to take the car for a ride to check it out a little more. This would be the second time that I have driven it, but the first at highway speeds. I find that I cannot get the car to shift into 4th gear at all. The engine will rev to 5 and 6000 RPMs but never shift. The shift points from 1, 2 and into 3rd, all feel good and at the right points. Driving hard, soft, or normal changes nothing.

With this new information, I decide to put a code reader on the car and find that my Actron code reader comes up with No link. I thought this was kind of strange. Anyway, I go down to the local chain auto part store, like O'Reilly or Autozone and have both of them attempt to read the ECU/ECM and both come up with the same problem of no link.

I can tell you that the factory radio is no longer installed in the car. Actually, no radio is installed in the car. I know that after reading the forums, that this can be a problem, especially reading the codes from many of the posts I have read on this forum. Anyway, I have tested and recorded voltages at the OBDII connector. All of these readings are with the Key in the ON position.

Pin 1 - Dark Gray wire: 13.7V
Pin 2 - Not Present
Pin 3 Not Present
Pin 4 Brown - Ground - verified.
Pin 5 Brown - Ground - Verified
Pin 6 Orange/Black Stripe - No voltage or ohms
Pin 7 Gray/White - 13.7V
Pin 8 - Not present
Pin 9 - Not Present
Pin 10 - Not Present
Pin 11 - Not Present
Pin 12 - Not Present
Pin 13 White/red stripe - No Voltage or ohms
Pin 14 Orange/Brown - No Voltage or Ohm
Pin 15 - Not Present
Pin 16 - Red/White Stripe - 13.7V

At some point, I imagine that a previous owner had either hooked up the battery backwards or created a short from the battery to ground while changing out the alternator, causing the fusible link to pop. Is there something that has been mentioned that leads anyone to believe that the ECM might have blown a circuit to cause it not to read? What can I do about the shift problem? Is this being caused by a sensor that is easily changed? Any direction would be extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,839 Posts
Well, you have quite a few issues! At the basic level of troubleshooting; using a scan tool, would be beneficial.
Now, it seems you cannot connect with any scan tool you have tried; you might take a look, at a common problem with the radio connections, that could be causing this issue:

Ross-Tech: VCDS: Aftermarket Radio Problem

As far as the transmission shifting problem; the 01M 4 speed is notorious, for valve body issues and the solenoids sticking, causing the shifting problems. To learn more of the ins/outs of the issues; that are specific to these transmissions, check out the faq and other info on this site: (you might contact the vendor; ask him about your situation and see what solutions, he has to offer you):

http://kansascitytdi.com/

Because, of the nature of the damage; that may have occurred, before you had the vehicle... troubleshooting the electrical issues, could pose a real challenge. Many things; could have gotten damaged and there is nothing harder to figure out, than a intermittent issue because of a damaged module like the ecu or speedo cluster, which causes allot other problems/trouble codes but are not, the primary issue to begin with (symptoms, not the cause).

At the beginning of your troubleshooting process; if you could fix the connectivity issue with the OBDII plug, so you could communicate with the diagnostics aspect of the car, that would be a big leap forward to fixing the car. These cars are controlled by a quite a few computers and components, figuring out what is causing the connectivity problem is the issue, you have your work cut out for you.

Once, you get the obd II connector working again; a vw specific scanner, probably would be a good tool to have and see what trouble codes are coming up. You might check on amazon; for a cheap VAG 401 scanner or the more expensive VCDS by Ross Tech.

As for getting the ecu or speedo cluster repaired; BBA reman and many others, offer this service with a lifetime warranty. I have been told; jumping/battery connectivity related issues; can fry the boards in the speedo cluster, the ecu is a possibility as well.

There are free online manuals with wiring diagrams here:

http://workshop-manuals.com/volkswagen/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update:

I was able to follow the instructions for the After Market Radio issue. I found that the car did indeed have an aftermarket wire harness that had the looped cable . I cut the loop and taped it off.:p
Unfortunately though, it was not able to restore communications with the ECM. I scanned the car twice today with 2 different scanners and both times it came back with "No Link" to the ECM. :( I did verify that both scanners still work by scanning it on another vehicle. What I did get accomplished though, was I purchased a vag-com cable last night and downloaded the software to the laptop. ;)

Does anyone know the exact pin on the OBDII connector that links to the ECM? I attempted looking through the wire diagrams at the site you provided, but I found it extremely difficult to navigate and find what I was looking for. I guess that is the trade off for being free.

At this point, I am already considering replacing the ECM, but would love to get it to communicate before having to undertake that expense.

I did reach out to Kansas City TDI and I am waiting on a response about the transmission issue.

**Side note** The ECM is not under the plenum on the driver's side on the exterior of the vehicle. The only way I was able to access the ECM was to remove the dash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,839 Posts
Ok...

1. After Market Radio issue: you fixed the k-line as per ross tech website: good! DONE!

2. ecm: still not communicating:

Inspecting the components; that are possibly/typically, related to the issue:

a. You could inspect the ecu and wiring going to the connector.

b. Look for rodent damage, melted wires, blackened and smelly components?

c. remove the cover off of the ecu and do a "smell test" and look for onboard damaged components?

NOTE: I am not necessarily recommending or encouraging you to attempt to repair the ecu yourself. However, you could pop the cover and see if there is anything that would give you an indication, the ecu is fried/damaged.

Here is a video: showing a tech, inspecting his ecu and finding onboard bad components. Gives you an idea; what to look for and it is easy to check things out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYsdw_gKEgA

d. clean the ecu plug with electronics cleaner ( CRC 5103 Quick Dry Electronic Cleaner) and blow out the connections with compressed air, reinstall the ecu/plug.

e. the above; could also be done to the speedo cluster and see what you can see or smell!

Videos; showing the disassembly of the speedo cluster: (not necessarily; for the faint of heart and you could damage or destroy it in the process) Leave it alone; if you do not feel comfortable doing this type of detailed and delicate work.

https://www.google.com/webhp?source...youtube new beetle speedo cluster disassembly

f. do a "hard reset"; remove the positive and negative battery terminal ends and touch them together for 30 seconds and reinstall them.
This resets the ecu; clears the memory.

g. after poking around and cleaning the plugs/reinstalling them, reseting the ecu, give it a shot and see if it makes any difference communicating with a scan tool. Probably not but at this point, why not try?

3. purchased vag com cable:

a. Did you purchase cheap knockoff on ebay or did you buy a genuine ross tech cable off of their site?

Here are some videos that review and discuss about what it is and what it can do for you:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Ross+Tech+VCDS+review

4. wiring diagrams/plug pinouts?

a. let us know; specifically what you need and maybe we can find it for you.

5. ecu replacement:

a. shipping out the original ecu; would be the best way to go and would be a plug/play solution (no coding/programming, matching keys, odometer transfer, ete. etc.)

b. There are MANY places; that offer ecu repair and you can find those with a quick google online. BBA REMAN offers a lifetime warranty repair service, their best best prices on ebay (for some reason; they have cheaper prices listed on their ebay store, rather than their website store). A number of members here; have used them, occasionally a component isn't repairable (speedo clusters) but overall, we seem to be getting positive feedback about their repair services they offer.

http://us.shop.bba-reman.com/

The other option; is you could also contact Ian at reflect tuning and see what he has to offer, in the way of repair or at the least checking your speedo cluster and ecu for damage. He has very reasonable prices and you might email him, see what he has to say. I used him; to "zero out" my new/used speedo cluster on my 2002 new beetle and he did a excellent job.

http://reflecttuning.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I found a small fuse panel that had 2 relays and 2 fuses. The relays were marked 100 and 428. If I am not mistaken, one of these is for the ECM and the other is for fog lights. The 2 fuses in that box, 1 was a 40A and the other a 20A.

I found that the 40A fuse was blown. I replaced it and found that it popped almost immediately after I turned power on. BUT, when I replaced it again, it never popped again. /Shrug/ This is something that I am going to watch.

I ended up getting the cheap cable for now. The budget is tight right now, so I will see how this works out before going on to the real deal.

Luckily, I went ahead and opened the ECM last night. Nothing smelled burned, but there were a few spots on the board that kind of concerned me. When I do a swap, it will be for a unit that is exactly like the one I have right now. I know it is just easier that way.

As far as wire diagrams, I picked up a Chilton's today and I have access to a Bentleys Service online. I have been going over those most of today.

As far as skill level and comfort level, I have no problems in just about any area. I have an extensive background in electronics, computers, and troubleshooting wiring. The biggest concern is just having people around that can a least point me in a direction if I get lost....kind of like this whole project...HAHA. Just Kidding. It is a little bit of a learning curve though from being a Ford and Chevy man to VW and ACTUALLY working on them. That video was kind of funny, but I get the picture.

I had initially done a hard reset the first night I had the car, but this was before I found and replaced the popped fuse today. I will get back on that this week. I might not respond again until the weekend when I can dig deeper into the car and try some more of your suggestions. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Keep in mind fuses are to protect the wiring.

You can actually "read" a fuse like a Tarot card and understand how things are functioning.

If the fuse is blown way apart with molten balls on the end of break and the inside of the fuse is black, this means something very different then a blown fuse with no black and only a slightly melted fuse element.

It sounds like this car may have been jump started backwards or something really bad occurred with the electrical system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update:

The new cable came in today. I was able to successfully get it installed in the laptop and get VCDS installed. The software successfully saw the cable, but I was never able to connect or read the ecm. I guess this means that I am looking to replace the ECM. Ona side note, as I was reading through the manuals,I also found that the EPC, electronic pedal control, needs to be changed out at the same time as the ECM.

Can anyone confirm or deny this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,839 Posts
VAGCOM Obd II cable:

Which cable did you get (was it listed as a "409.1" cable and was it serial or a USB connection) and did it come with drivers and VCDS on a disc? What version of VCDS did you install? It can be a challenge to get the cables to work (mostly driver issues) and some may or may not work with VCDS Lite, some come with a hacked/older version of VCDS. The vendors who sell the cables;'may or may not give you support on getting things to work but you might have to play with it, until you configure things correctly. I purchased some vagtacho and vag commander cables and it took allot of work to finally get them to work, primarily a trial/error process, finding the right drivers/software to get them to work. You get what you pay for, no support and when you are working with Chinese hacked software/hardware you are pretty much on your own.

Since, you are having connection problems to begin with; it is hard to know, if your cable and software install are working correctly.

Gas pedal:

I have never heard of that; some of the major control modules have to be coded but I am not aware of the accelerator pedal, being one of them.

As far as the ecu; having it repaired, would be the best way to go and eliminate any need for extra coding. Some people have transferred their surface mount EEPROMs from the old ecu to the new one and handled the Immobilizer/key coding that way.

I would contact Ian at reflect tuning and see what repair services, he has to offer or ship it out to a place like bba reman.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Obd II cable:

Which cable did you get (was it listed as a "409.1" cable and was it serial or a USB connection) and did it come with drivers and VCDS on a disc?
I picked up this cable. It is marked KKL VAG-COM for 409.1. The driver disc they provided was blank. The computer was able to recognize the cable though.
http://www.amazon.com/Diagnostics-OBDII-Interface-VAG-COM-Cable/dp/B008C3DC3Y


Obd II cable:
What version of VCDS did you install?
I downloaded and installed this software from Ross Tech. http://www.ross-tech.com/vcds-lite/download/index.php
Even without the drivers for the cable, the program was able to recognize the cable. It gave me feedback that looked something like this:
Cable/com port recognized
No Link or connection to ECM.

I have not tried any additional drivers/software package yet though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Not sure if VCDS supports all protocols, but try VCDS on any other OBDII car, even non VW to make sure your cable and program work. I know VCDS will at least support any car that uses the same OBDII protocol that VW uses, But it may support all protocols?? You could at least used the basic code reading of VCDS on any car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Never mind. From what I can see, it is not being used for anything. The multitude of posts that show this relay panel, nothing is ever in it. I just found it odd that I was able to measure resistance between some of the pins that are in the panel to a wire that goes to the ECM...

End result, still trying to trace down wires to get the ECM to read.
I am looking for a VW Tech that might have a better VAG-COM / VCDS cable and program to read the codes.
 

·
Title User Custom
Joined
·
82 Posts
What area are you in, there is a thread on VW vortex with individuals that have it and are willing (Including myself) to run VCDS scans. That said sounds like Billy's covered most all of the things to check for. It's possible VCDS might be able to look at other modules, but I'd have to check the wiring diagram to glean how the data is obtained.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top