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The Colonel
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone! I am new to NB so please excuse me if this has been answered like a million times. I have a 2000 New beetle 1.8T. While driving it tonight to pick up my daughter from work, both the speedometer and the odometer stopped working. Gas gauge is fine. RPM gauge is fine. Lights are fine. Just those 2 things. Now the question is this: Is it a fuse that has blown, a speed sensor OR am I out of luck and have to buy a new cluster for this? This is my wife's car and needless to say she is a bit ticked so any answers would be awesome. IF it is the cluster and I replace it, how would I get the mileage to read what it is now? I am doing this myself so hopefully it will be a not too difficult fix....Thanks in advance gang!
Paul

***EDIT***
Ok this morning, when the wife was on her way to work, she told me that the gas gauge was going up and down. SO I am thinking that this is the cluser going out. So now I think I might know what the problem is. But I would still like to hear from the group here (before I go and spend the $$ on it).
 

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Premium Member
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1,086 Posts
I would look into the following first before the cluster:
1. Fuse box on top of the battery. Check for corrosion discoloration Etc.
2. Battery voltage and charging system. The car begins to "save" power for the ECU computer when full system voltage is not present. Does the car start ok? has it gotten cold just before this started?
3. Ignition switch in the steering column. When the switch begins to go bad electrical gremlins seem to pop up every where. ( Search the threads for ignition switch.

4. Ignition switch wire harness plug.It can go bad from over heating and the wires lose their insulation and begin to touch.

A few things to check before you spring for a new cluster
 

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The Colonel
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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah i called my mechanic and he seems to think that it might, just might be in the alternator. Or perhaps with the battery. It hasn't "struggled" to start but there were some days that it took a while.

It has been cold before this started. My best guess is that something came loose OR a fuse might be blown or something that is probably simple. (wishful thinking here) Will keep everyone posted.
 

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Yeah i called my mechanic and he seems to think that it might, just might be in the alternator. Or perhaps with the battery. It hasn't "struggled" to start but there were some days that it took a while.

It has been cold before this started. My best guess is that something came loose OR a fuse might be blown or something that is probably simple. (wishful thinking here) Will keep everyone posted.
I don't think it's the battery or alternator but this little part:
Home Page > Search > 191919149e > ES#296415 SENSOR - 191919149E

Vehicle speed Sensor. If this part goes bad the Speedo and Odo and also Gas Gauge will malfunction.

It is located towards the back of the engine on the tranny. You may have to take off your air filter box. Look for a silver shield bag, it should be in there. Unplug the wire from the sensor. The sensor is screwed on top of a pinion gear and the pinion gear is screwed into the tranny. Both can be unscrewed, but try just unscrewing the sensor from the pinion gear. the pinion gear is plastic and can break. Then just install the new sensor. You can also test the sensor, with the sensor disconnected from the pinion gear, plug the wire back into the sensor, turn the ignition to "on" (do not start the car), and spin the dowel manually. If you see your speedometer move (you may need someone to help with this part) then your sensor is good.
 

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Okay, here is the location of the VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor)
Pictures are courtesy of the excellent work of D2Beetle. His Clutch and transmission DIY's are incredible. So I don't want to take credit for his Great pictures. But this will help you find the Speed Sensor more easily!




 

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The Colonel
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
It looks like in the 3rd picture that a piece has been removed from the main part and that there is a plug of some kind that goes into it. Am I correct in assuming this? When the "foil" is removed is it easily replaced or do I have to use new stuff? Looks like an easy fix, well I say easy in that all you have to do is unplug the old, plug in the new and off you go...I am off to the mechanic today at noon so hopefully I will have an answer this afternoon!. Thanks though for the pics. They are VERY helpful!
 

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It looks like in the 3rd picture that a piece has been removed from the main part and that there is a plug of some kind that goes into it. Am I correct in assuming this? When the "foil" is removed is it easily replaced or do I have to use new stuff? Looks like an easy fix, well I say easy in that all you have to do is unplug the old, plug in the new and off you go...I am off to the mechanic today at noon so hopefully I will have an answer this afternoon!. Thanks though for the pics. They are VERY helpful!
The silver stuff is just heat wrap to protect the plug and the sensor. It can be reused or you can buy new heat wrap if you feel more comfortable with that. In any case the VSS or Vehicle speed sensor is shown at the top circle and needs to be unbolted/unscrewed from the transmission and then replaced with a new switch that looks something like this:


As you can see it has that little tip/tongue or whatever you want to call it that slides into the transmission and screws back on. Should be straight forward and fairly simple to fix. You may have to take your Airbox out to see it and to get to it but that shouldn't be too difficult.
Pretty inexpensive fix compared to the hassle and expense of getting a new cluster especially if this switch is all that is needed.
 

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The Colonel
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Discussion Starter #9
Quick update of sorts. Took car to mechanic. A fuse near the battery was blown so that was fixed. But it did not fix the problem at hand. He thinks it is wait for it.....the speed sensor! (LOL!!) He also said my battery has a dead cell so I gotta replace that. Tomorrow it goes it to get the VSS replaced. He is thinking that will be the only problem. He told me that the flickering of lights and the gas gauge going crazy is a result of the battery. Alternator is fine and charging like it should be. A major THANKS to all the info that has been given me! I will post another update tomorrow and hopefully it will be done!!
 

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The Colonel
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Sorry gang that I have not updated until now. It has been hectic. Ok here is what the mechanic told me:

Fuse on/near battery was blown. Replaced and did not fix problem.
Alternator is good.
Main fuse box is good.
Wiring back to exhaust manifold is ok.
He told me that the battery has a dead cell and that *could* be the problem and that I should get one (I am gonna need one anyway) and see what happens next.

he wants to trace the wiring back from the manifold becaus ehe could not do it while he had it. So I am gonna try the battery first. He does not think it is the cluster...yet. I am leaning towards that but will see what happens when I change out the battery this week. So there is the update so far. Hoping to get this fixed because $$ is starting to add up, repair wise...Ugh!
 

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I don't think a new battery will solve your speedometer problem. Why not change the VSS as previously discussed? I truly believe that this is your problem and is easily fixed.
 

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Twizzler
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REPLACE THE VSS, it is highly unlikely your cluster. When you short the cluster it also messes up the gas gauge and speedo. So broken wires touching leasding to the cluster OR VSS. The speed sensor is one of those "known" to VW problem areas of our cars. Mine usually stops measuring the rate of speed at about 80mph, it just floats around it while I am way past it at times. It was of course the speed sensor. The section that sticks out and into the tranny wears over time and skips giving erratic readings. Great item to make out of plastic. Don't worry VW recently apologized for our cars while introducing the 2012 "fixed" version. The speed sensor along with other parts were specifically refered to.
 

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The Colonel
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Discussion Starter #13
Ok gang. The VSS was replaced and nothing. Battery replaced and nothing. It did however fix the gas gauge from dancing. He now wants to basically retrace the wires and see if any are loose or frayed. In order to do that he will have to have it for a week or so. (That's what he said anyway) So that right now is our only option. Guessing it might be better that he does instead of the dealership...
 

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The Colonel
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Discussion Starter #15
Hey everyone...Well I have had nothing but problems with this thing. Took it in and they traced all the wiring. All looked good. Fuses still look good. The mechanic basically shook his head and did not know what it was. Replaced the cluster and nothing. So I did the next best thing....I got rid of it. It was becoming an expensive nightmare. So thanks to everyone who suggested things. I went and got me a 2009 Nissan Rouge. While it was nice while I head it, I guess it just wasn't for us....Again thanks gang!
 

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For what it's worth I had this issue and replaced the VSS. Didn't solve my problem and kept blowing fuses. Turns out the reverse lights didn't work either and THAT was the culprit blowing fuses and killing the speedo. new pigtail is in route for the reverse light.
 
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