Last post on May 24, 2013 at 3:22 PM
You are in the Volkswagen Jetta
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Volkswagen Jetta, Sedan
#5685 of 6630 2004 VW Jetta EPC/ESP/Traction Light
Jun 24, 2008 (8:46 pm)
I recently bought a 2004 VW Jetta, and I haven't even had it two weeks yet and the EPC/ESP and Traction Lights are all coming on. I took it to VW, and they ran all the codes on it. They first told me it looks like it needs a throttle body but before they replaced that they wanted to clean the throttle body to see if that wouldn't clear up the code, which it did. About 3 hours later all the lights came back on again, so I had to run it back down to VW. They then told me that they thought it was the pedal position, and they wanted to get another pedal from another 2004 Jetta with the same engine and see if that didn't clear up the code, so they did that. The codes still came on after they did that. Now they are thinking that it might be the engine control module (ECM), and that part alone runs from $700.00- $1100.00 plus labor. They called me the next morning and said they would like their "main tech" to look at it and see if it might be a wiring issue or something like that before they replaced anything. I'm now thinking that they don't even know what's wrong with my car. I have been reading a lot of problems with the ECP light on this website, and it doesn't look like there is a solution to this problem. If anyone has had this problem and has found a solution, please pass it on to me so that I don't have to invest a lot of money that I don't have into this darn car. I'm really upset about all of this because we haven't even had the car 2 weeks yet. Thanks so much.
#5686 of 6630 Re: 2004 VW Jetta EPC/ESP/Traction Light [jnoe35773]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jun 25, 2008 (1:45 pm)
Actually it sounds like your dealer is doing a very good job of trying to solve the problem for you and isn't just throwing parts at it and wasting your money. I'd suggest you work with the dealer, keep in good communication and see what they have to say. Everything they did so far makes sense to me. Modern cars can be a devil to repair. There is, in fact, no "computer" that tells the mechanic the exact problem--only the circuit/system that is in distress.
#5687 of 6630 Re: 2004 VW Jetta EPC/ESP/Traction Light [jnoe35773]
Jun 25, 2008 (6:25 pm)
Actually, they ARE throwing parts at the problem. (aka GUESSING) It sure sounds as if they are just "pulling the code" and guessing what might be causing the problem.
This does not surprise me at all. Dealerships are TRAINED to "fix it fast".... not to "diagnose the actual problem". This translates into what we call "shotgunning" the problem. (just keep throwing parts at it and charge the customer for them.)
Although your dealership may be the best way for you to *eventually* get it fixed.... personally, I find it appalling that they do not actually MONITOR some key circuits while driving to actually isolate the issue a bit more.
It is not very difficult to use a laptop computer to graph the TPS (ThrottlePositionSensor), MAF (MassAirFlow) and some other key inputs while actually driving to help pinpoint an elusive problem like this one. The flakey device will clearly show up as a "spike" on the graph when the problem happens.
Also, there are a myriad of "diagnostics" that can be run on all the systems you have mentioned to help isolate a flakey device or sensor. One "quickey" way to help isolate things is to just UNPLUG the device in question and try driving with it like that.
For example, unplugging the MAF will cause the ECU to fall back into "limp mode"... but the car will still be drivable. A classic method of isolating a bad MAF is to unplug it and see if the engine runs BETTER without it connected. (instead of running with bad signals from the MAF)
A laptop computer in the hands of a competent trhoubleshooter is a wonder to behold. The most elusive problems are isolated with efficency. (no "shotgunning" required.)
More than once, I have isolated a problem with one of my daughters VWs and printed out the results so they can present to the dealership. ( One time resulted in a free "steeringwheel position sensor" replacement and another time a free MAF was installed by dealership.)
Jun 25, 2008 (7:25 pm)
my 95 jetta 2.0 started bucking and loosing power, so i decided to change the fuel filter. i double checked i put it on right, and i did, but now it wont start, my buddy said it might be a vaccumm leak so i replaced all the hoses on the top side of the engine, and now the only way it will stay idling is if we pull the throttle out...but she still idles rough, and when i went to start her yesterday, she would stay running...any suggestions? fuel pump? spark plug cable? is it possible that im not running on all 4 cylinders? im dead with out my baby what do i do?
#5689 of 6630 Re: 2004 VW Jetta EPC/ESP/Traction Light [bpeebles]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jun 26, 2008 (8:09 am)
Well maybe the factory tech is now what a line mechanic used to be at a dealership. We do know that there's a big talent shortage at most dealerships. If you are THAT smart, why work on cars? (good question).
Quite frankly, if a line mechanic spent the time you do in carefully diagnosing and repairing the problem, I mean with that level of deliberateness, they'd probably fire him for being too slow. Some dealers can be slave drivers.
I didn't get the impression they were charging him for all the time they were spending. Maybe I misread it.
This is why I like independent shops. The highly competent ones will approach the diagnosis differently than a line mechanic at a dealership who is under the gun to perform. Also these shop owners are invested with a sense of ownership and reputation.
#5690 of 6630 Re: 2004 VW Jetta EPC/ESP/Traction Light [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 26, 2008 (1:03 pm)
I agree with you... if a dealship tech were to take the deliberate time to actually DIAGNOSE each problem... the dealership would be selling less parts and getting fewer cars thru the shop each day.
That is why I have migrated from fixing computers (the kind you walk inside) to developing software to earn a living. Now, I just fix cars, TVs and other electronic devices for fun. (because it does not pay the bills to do it for a living and be honest at the same time.) I just could not bring myslef to sell somone $200 of parts if they only need a component lubricated. (like a trunk latch for example)
On the other hand, some folks would argue that they want their car fixed FAST and not be charged a lot for labor. This approach would mean a tech should just replace all suspect parts as fast as he can. (and hope he fixes the problem)
Somtimes, you end up paying either way.... labor one way -or- parts the other way.
Each approach has its pluses/minuses and either of them could be the less-costly.
#5691 of 6630 Re: 2004 VW Jetta EPC/ESP/Traction Light [bpeebles]
Jun 26, 2008 (2:04 pm)
some folks would argue that they want their car fixed FAST and not be charged a lot for labor.
And in particular, they probably do not want to be charged for a lot of diagnostic labor.
#5692 of 6630 Re: Problem with Speedometer [eddyrodr]
Jun 26, 2008 (5:22 pm)
I hope this helps someone, because when I was looking for the answer no one posted their fix! All it takes is a few minutes to create a post and cut/paste it to several forums. Let others know what worked for you! Please post solutions too, not just questions!
I purchased a 1999 VW Jetta. Speedometer & Tachometer didn't work. Tach sat at zero... speedo "bounced" on zero. Odometer, cruise control, and all other gauges worked fine.
I removed the instrument cluster. It's really simple, a couple of plastic covers, the light switch, and four screws. It was MUCH easier than removing the gauges from my F150!
I opened the speedometer and found no servicable parts. Some posts will tell you there is a gear inside that is stripped. That may be the case, but I didn't want to risk breaking anything else!
I found DNA Speedometers by searching the internet. They're in Tamp, FL. I packaged the gauges and shipped it allong with a check for $129. Turn around time was GREAT! The received it, fixed it, shipped it back. That's it. I didn't have to call or send nasty emails... nothing. They litterally turned it around in one day! Round trip took a whole week... that's UPS ground!
When it arrived I installed it and took it for a test drive. It worked like a champ. They even replaced the blown bulb in it. DNA Speedometers even garauntees their work for six months!
There are other places on the internet that repair speedos... I went with this one and had a GREAT experience.
#5693 of 6630 2001 jetta replacing glovebox problem..
Jun 28, 2008 (10:23 am)
can anyone help me to get my glovebox out and my new one in??i bought the car and thehandle and lock were missing on the glovebox..i bought a new one $117.00 at dealership. i have three screws out along the bottom out side and three out inside the glovebox but i cant get it to come out..the two hinges at the bottom are holding it...anybody know what else is holding it in????any help will be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance...
#5694 of 6630 98 Jetta K2 - overheating/biting the dust?
Jul 06, 2008 (5:34 pm)
Let me preface this discussion with the fact that I know little to nothing about cars. Which I guess would explain why, on the tight budged I have (read: no money), I was "smart" enough to purchase a VW. Which I still owe quite a bit of money on.
ANYWAY. I have a 98 VW Jetta K2. It has about 125000 miles on it. I drove it from Wisconsin to Connecticut, but before I did so I had an oil change and had it checked out. The mechanic told me I had a coolant leak and that my transmission may have some problems, but that it'd be ok for my trip. That was about a year ago. Since then I had one mechanic look at it after it overheated and broke down (scary!), and he suggested I use a coolant stop leak system and keep some coolant in my car. So that's what I've been doing. Because I can't really afford repairs.
However, my car has been running like crap. It has barely been accelerating, and today it overheated and started smoking and coolant spewed everywhere and was dripping out under my car onto the road. I didn't know what to do, so I called a couple people who know cars, and they suggested I put water into the coolant tank just so I could get the car home. I did this, but noticed that as I was driving home my power steering wasn't working.
Does anyone know what any of this means, or if it's something I can have fixed by someone other than an overpriced dealership or garage? I really need to be able to get to work, and I sincerely do not have the money to spend on repairs (or a new car). I have about a half hour commute and would be interested to know if my car is fixable, or if anyone has some general idea of what the problem could be.
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer me.