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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I joined this forum because I'm having so many problems with my Beetle.
I can't sell it because it's been in my family since they had it shipped over from Germany and it was given to me two years ago...
But I'm so discouraged. We have put THOUSANDS into this car and NOTHING stays fixed!
My biggest problem is the electrical bug. Neither of my headlights work, both of them went out in very close times to each other. I have to use my brights everywhere I go in the dark and it makes all the other drivers on the road so angry at me.
Along with that problem electrically, the cigarette lighters don't work except for the one in the trunk. Also, the tail lights switch off not working at times. But other times, they work just fine. Same with the lights on the dash for the AC.
Another issue is that my airbag light never goes off... we've tried unplugging the battery for as long as a day and it always just comes back on...
The airbag in the driver's seat deployed on me for basically no reason. I went off a curb a little bit harder than I should have, but it wasn't that hard at all.
There's a few other problems but I'd say they're self explanatory... the ones listed above are causing me huge problems.

I have a 2003 Turbo S model. It's a 1.8 liter engine. I'm in New Mexico if anyone knows anyone nearby that can help... I don't physically have another thousand to put into this car though!
 

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Hi, I joined this forum because I'm having so many problems with my Beetle.
I can't sell it because it's been in my family since they had it shipped over from Germany and it was given to me two years ago...
But I'm so discouraged. We have put THOUSANDS into this car and NOTHING stays fixed!
My biggest problem is the electrical bug. Neither of my headlights work, both of them went out in very close times to each other. I have to use my brights everywhere I go in the dark and it makes all the other drivers on the road so angry at me.
Along with that problem electrically, the cigarette lighters don't work except for the one in the trunk. Also, the tail lights switch off not working at times. But other times, they work just fine. Same with the lights on the dash for the AC.
Another issue is that my airbag light never goes off... we've tried unplugging the battery for as long as a day and it always just comes back on...
The airbag in the driver's seat deployed on me for basically no reason. I went off a curb a little bit harder than I should have, but it wasn't that hard at all.
There's a few other problems but I'd say they're self explanatory... the ones listed above are causing me huge problems.

I have a 2003 Turbo S model. It's a 1.8 liter engine. I'm in New Mexico if anyone knows anyone nearby that can help... I don't physically have another thousand to put into this car though!
First things first, I'd find someone near you with vag com.. What part of NM are you in? That might help.

If the air bag deployed, the light isn't going to go away, you need to replace it and clear the codes with vag com. It's a hard code that will not go away by unhooking the battery. Your air bags will not deploy in an accident if the light is on, so it's kind of important to get it taken care of ASAP.

Have you tried replacing the head light bulbs? It's not hard to do yourself. I've had issues with the headlight harness crumbling in the past and have heat-shrinked mine.


Just take everything one step at a time, otherwise it gets overwhelming really fast. First step, scan it and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm in Albuquerque.
I have tried replacing the bulbs... no luck. Three times actually, after replacing sockets at well. They just keep going out. Could it be a short somewhere in the electrical system? Or maybe just a bad headlight switch?
 

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You need to check out a few things.

1. Headlight bulbs burn out all the time, but there have also been issues with the wiring at the headlight switch as well. Headlight switch/wiring could also be an issue with your rear lights? Also check fuses for lighter sockets, likely something was dropped into then and causing the fuses to blow. Each to check/replace.

2. Airbag light, you have a 2003, there is likely a recall on the front airbag sensor, bad solder joints in the sensor, these have to be replaced with a newer, updated part. Also the seat belt buckle & wiring are also common problems with these cars. You need a tool to read what is going on, but you may be able to get the car into the dealer if there is a recall. If you had an airbag deploy, then this is also a likely problem, the airbag needs to be replaced, then the airbag controller needs to be replaced. You might be able to get VW to do something about the airbag deployment due to the possibility of the recalled front sensor?? Airbags should not deploy unless there is significant body damage.

3. Rear lights, not sure this is your problem, but the brake light switches were also problems. I think the brake light switch was also recalled?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So would I have to replace the headlight switch in that case or would it have to be rewired?
Also, the car is throwing a P0420 and a P011... I understand that one of them is the catalytic converter... but the other one seems like it could be almost anything having to do with the emission system.
 

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Please relist the codes, the 2nd code is missing a number. All codes should be Pxxxx format.

Before you condemn the catalytic converter, you should rule out the simple items, but the catalytic conveters in these cars are known problem areas. Also see if your catalytic converter is rattling. You can hear it if you know what to listen for, or you can use your palm or a rubber mallet to tap/bump the converter and listen for noise.

FYI, if you need to replace the converter, you can get a decent aftermarket one on ebay from a company call Muffler Express out of Canada for under $250 delivered. I have not installed mine yet, but the build quality looks very good. Need to compare them side by side, but from initial view, I would have no problem putting it on my car.
 

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I'm not a dude.
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I'm in Albuquerque.
I have tried replacing the bulbs... no luck. Three times actually, after replacing sockets at well. They just keep going out. Could it be a short somewhere in the electrical system? Or maybe just a bad headlight switch?
You might know this, but don't touch the bulb with your bare hands.. the oils on your skin cause hot spots on the bulb and make it burn out super quick.

What kind of bulbs are you buying?


I doubt it's the headlight switch.. that wouldn't cause them to prematurely burn out.

The wiring, ehhh maybe. My wiring harness on the passenger side was fried, sometimes the headlight would go out and I would have to get out of the car and pound on it a few times. (No joke... I got pulled over for it once. I had hit a pothole and the light went out. Got pulled over a few miles later. I asked the officer if I could get out and hit it to turn it back on and he thought I was joking. Nope. I got out and hit it and it turned back on. I still got a written warning though :( )
Anyway, it was a bad connection in my case. I just tightened the connection with needle nose pliers.

Are your DRL's working? I'd consider disabling them if I were you, not using them constantly saves the harness a bit.
 
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