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Volkswagen Passat, Sedan, Wagon
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#2146 of 3341 1996 Passat dashboard lights not working
Jan 21, 2007 (3:57 am)
I hope someone can give me some advice with a problem I'm having. Bought a 1996 auto Passat about four months ago and the dashboard lights do not stay on for longer than five minutes, sometimes they go dead within seconds of starting the car. If I leave the car for a few hours they will usually work again, but only for a few minutes until they go off, start the cycle again. I've been to the local VW dealership several times and lost all faith in them. Their final diagnosis was that there was a fault in the circuit board for the dashboard and the whole thing needed replacing at a cost of over £500. As I only paid £900 for the car I didn't take them up on this, especially considering how unimpressed I was with their 'customer service', I'm not entirely sure whether this is a correct diagnosis of the problem anyway.
The other problem I've been having, and not sure if this is related or not, is that the battery has now drained three times for no apparent reason. The first two times were whilst I was waiting for someone, sat in the car with the engine off but key in the ignition and radio on. Those occasions were for no more than 5 minutes and the battery was completely dead. The recovery guy that came out the first time said the battery looked new and in good condition and couldn't work out why it should have died. The third time, this weekend, was overnight. Drove the car home with no problems, car wouldn't start the next day until someone jump started me.
Has anyone had any of these issues before? I really don't know what to try next. I don't trust the VW dealer, but not sure that a local independent garage could help either, and I really don't want to throw even more money at it without being sure something could be solved.
Thanks in advance...
#2147 of 3341 Re: 1996 Passat dashboard lights not working [tjle21]
Jan 21, 2007 (8:18 am)
Here in the U.S. at least, the 1996 instrument cluster was HIGHLY suspect, or said another way, it was very fragile. The following link will take you to a post of mine from about a year ago about my 1995 Passat GLX (mine was a 5-Speed) that had a 1996 instrument cluster installed under warranty about 9 months after I bought the car.
shipo, "Mileage Fraud!! Odometer was rolled back!!! What 2 do?" #42, 30 Jan 2006 10:19 am
So, assuming that you took a look at my tale, my suggestion would be for you to contact a local independent shop and have them do the work. You can buy the cluster yourself from VW or have the shop do the purchase, either way my bet is that the new cluster, along with installation won't set you back more than two hundred and fifty pounds, three hundred at the most.
Let us know how you make out.
#2148 of 3341 name the noise (anyone recognize it?)
Jan 21, 2007 (9:28 am)
My 2003 Passat 1.8T (72K miles) has begun making a noise in the last few days (we've had wintry storm weather, in case that's relevant). The noise, which is subtle, not loud, seems to come from about where I think the turbocharger is. It occurs immediately AFTER i remove my foot from the gas pedal and lasts a second or two. Not sure how to describe it- not a rattle exactly, not a boing exactly, not a hiss exactly - more like someone breathing out the word "heh" without any voice. Drawn out for a couple of seconds. But somehow I sense an element of boing or maybe of rattle.... Anyway, not loud; upper-middle in pitch; steady - I could imitate it but can't describe it well. (If I get super-ambitious maybe I coudl try to record it and put up an mp3.... don't count on it.)
One thing that may be more informative: if I'm coasting at very low speed and use the pedal to give only a little more gas, so the engine stays in the lower 1000 rpm range, the sound does NOT happen. But if I give it more gas (not necessarily enough to get to 2000 rpm, but near it), I get the noise as soon as I let go of the pedal. So that makes me wonder if it's the turbo.
If anyone is still with me -- (a) any idea what this is? (b) is it a problem or just normal and no problem?
#2149 of 3341 Re: 2004 passat - rear lights stay on [berkman]
Jan 21, 2007 (6:11 pm)
Without doubt, it's the brake switch on the brake pedal. Common issue on thw Passat. You'll find that you can move the auto transmission shifter without applying the brakes, too.
First, pull the fuse so you don't kill the battery - sorry, I don't remember the number. This means that you won't have any brake lights - either replace the fuse when you drive it in or be dang careful without 'em. Don't disconnect the battery, you'll lose a lot of settings - throttle position, power windows, etc.
If you're under warranty, then you're covered. If not, I think it took less than hour to repair. I think the part is cheap. I was under warranty when mine went.
#2150 of 3341 Re: What is happening [altair4]
Jan 22, 2007 (4:34 am)
2003 1.8T VW Passat Wagon
70K miles. I am quite happy too.
Mobil 1 0W40 (VW502.00 approved oil) from begining (even though my dealer was using "regular" 5W30 I was bringing my own oil) and premium fuel.
#2151 of 3341 Re: ABS-Break lights [bschroeder20]
Jan 22, 2007 (5:41 am)
I have a 2006 Passat Diesel Wagon. I had all of the same problems you all had.... the brake lights staying on and the ABS light staying on, I kept in in my garage.
Anyway I found and obscure link to a web site that mentioned a story about trying to get VW to recall the cars for this exact issue and VW refused. The dealer knows about the problem and all you have to do is call them and have the brake sensor fixed. The incorrect sensor makes the car believe the tire pressuere is wrong and the brake fluid pressure is wrong so the ABS comes on without any warning or reason. It is important to make sure your tires are properly inflated. I did find that out from the dealer as well. Incorrect tire pressure can cause your ABS system to not work properly.
This is a known VW issue at all delearships. They just don't tell you until it happens to you.
I took mine to the dealership and they had it for three days. I haven't had a problem since.
#2152 of 3341 update on the noise...
Jan 22, 2007 (8:11 pm)
...still not solved. But this evening the "check engine" light came on (the little icon that looks like an engine - malfunction indicator light, or whatever they call it). So... tomorrow, to the dealer to see what the code is. Not sure it has anything to do with the noise (could be coincidence?) Will let you know. Hope it's..... inexpensive.....
#2153 of 3341 Re: 99 Passet-VW Mechanic says engine/pistons are bad at only 91K miles [99passat1]
Jan 23, 2007 (8:03 am)
Hello. Would you please E-mail me and let me know what the problem was with your 99 passet misfiring. My step daughter has a similiar problem, Is it the wires or posibly be an electrical problem. Thank you George at GEREPAKAOL.com
#2154 of 3341 Re: update on the noise... [brozhnik]
Jan 23, 2007 (8:34 am)
What sort of noise is it? I have a 94 Wagon and I have all sorts of electrical problems. Currently, there is a high pitched, moaning sound that seems to be coming from under the back tires and the car feels stiff when in first or neutral. Any suggestions?
#2155 of 3341 Re: name the noise (anyone recognize it?) [brozhnik]
Jan 23, 2007 (10:19 am)
I'm not sure what this noise is...but I did enjoy reading your attempts at describing it! Tough thing to do...
A thought - might be the diverter valve, below the turbo. That valve helps reduce turbo lag.
Excerpt from millteksport.com:
What does a diverter valve do?
The standard valve in your car regulates the turbo power. At idle, your valve is open from vacuum pressure. When you depress the throttle, the diverter valve begins to close. When fully closed, turbo boost is allowed to be delivered to your engine. When you lift the throttle, the boost pressure is released from the valve into your air cleaner box.