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I have a 2008 New Beetle S with the factory radio installed, nothing has been changed or touched since I bought the car. Recently the radio started playing only intermittently, and has now stopped playing altogether. It is receiving power and the display shows the FM channel it’s set on, but no sound is coming out.

The CD player worked but also started to play intermittently. However, the disc drive is broken and will not pull in or eject discs. So I think that’s a different issue altogether. Not important to me, so it’s not worth trying to fix. I’m only worried about making the radio play again.

So far, I have removed and inspected both radio fuses in the fuse box on the side of the dash, then removed the stereo itself to check the connections and the fuse behind it. All appear to be perfectly intact, no signs of blown fuses. The car battery is brand new, and disconnecting it did not help. The stereo went into safe mode and then went back to showing the station but still no sound. All buttons appear to be operational (you can change the stations and the presets work), but I question the volume dial. It takes a bit of spinning to take it from min to max currently, but it was able to be adjusted when the radio was last playing, so I don’t think that’s the issue. Also removed the faceplate for ease of stereo removal and reconnected, which didn’t change anything.

I do not want to install an aftermarket stereo. I have located a used VW factory stereo (same model #) pulled from a salvaged 2008 NB to replace mine. That said, I don’t want to purchase a new headunit if mine is fine and the issue is with something else entirely.

I have searched and tried everything I could, but have had no luck. Hoping someone can give me some insight into what else it might be.

Side note: Highly doubt this is related, but everything is wired into the same area in the center console, so I’m throwing it out there. When the car is started, only P is illuminated on the dash as long as the car stays in park. As soon as I depress the button on the gear shift and shift out of park, PRNDS all illuminate on the dash. Shifting into Tiptronic (which I don’t use, but tested for this issue) does not change the display of the dash gears...PRNDS remains instead of showing six gears. Thus I assume Tiptronic does not work, either. From what I’ve searched and read, this appears to be something within the transmission system. Possibly a solenoid? The gear shift can also be moved from D into S without depressing the button, which I assume must be related. Like I said, I doubt it has anything to do with the radio, but who knows. I will be taking the car to the dealer for this issue, but if anyone has any idea what might be causing that and/or anything to try before taking it in, I’d appreciate your input.

One other issue is that the climate control knobs and radio lights do not light up. The passenger airbag and hazard light buttons above light up, as do the buttons below the climate control knobs (rear window defogger, etc.) — Can I assume that this is just due to a dead bulb behind the fan/blower dial?I have taken that out, and though the filament looks to be fine, it does not illuminate. I will replace that bulb to see if it resolves the issue.

Thanks in advance for any input! 🤞
 

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The stock stereos, have a history of failing as they age; swapping it out for a good used one or shipping yours out for repair, is a option. For the cd changer, working intermittently; you might try blow it out with compressed air. I have the older disc changer; that resides in the trunk and it will start to get glitchy, have reading errors, blow it out with compressed air, has fixed it every time. Blowing yours out, removing the cover; cleaning the laser, the grabbing parts of the internal mechanism, might bring it back to life or ship it out for repair. There are many aftermarket adapters; that can allow you to install a ipod and control it, allowing you to have access to a massive digital music library, another option.
 

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As to the transmission issue; diagnosing it, preferably is started by using a factory VW level scan tool (like VCDS by Ross Tech) and checking live data, trouble codes, to see what the problem could be. One, of the very common issues; is the shifter assembly gets broken and the trans computer, doesn't know what gear it is in. All the PRDNDS lights illuminating; is a indicator, of a fault in the tranmission system and so, more testing, troubleshooting is required. The most common issues; that we see are: failed shifter selector assembly, wiring harness failures, sticking solenoids and worst case scenario, internal issues, requiring a trans pull, disassembly, rebuild.

Here is a video; showing the use of VCDS, to diagnose transmission issues:

 
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