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Ask Chris(aka-Moose) Your Own Question
Chris(aka-Moose), VW Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 45632
Experience:  16 years of experience
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I have a VW Passat 2002 station wagon. The toggle on the

Customer Question

Hi, I have a VW Passat 2002 station wagon. The toggle on the on-board computer display does not work anymore. I can only toggle once, when I start the engine, after that it freezes up. Right now it shows "miles", and I would like it to show "miles until tank is empty", but I cannot toggle to that display....
Additionally, the radio does not turn on and there is no backlight on the air conditioning / blower dials...
All of these are electrical problems, could they be connected?Thank you,
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  Chris(aka-Moose) replied 5 months ago.

Welcome, I'm Chris (aka Moose) I prefer to work when others don't, I am here around lunch and after dinner till after midnight.

The website only allows us to help diagnose and fix one issue per post. More questions can be opened for additional concerns. On this post what concern would you like me to help with?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Chris,thank you for your message. I would like an answer for the on-board computer display freezing up, please. I will post separate questions for the radio and backlights.Thank you,
Expert:  Chris(aka-Moose) replied 4 months ago.

Thanks Alice,

There is only one test that needs to be done. The multifunction display switch needs to be OHM tested to make sure the switch does respond when pressed. If it is then the concern is going to be a failure within the instrument cluster. If needed the wire diagram is below. If you are going to do this test yourself let me know and I will help.

This is my 1st answer, but does not have to be my only answer. You the website and myself expect you to have a ~~~5 STAR EXCELLENT~~~ experience with my help. Please let me know if you are pleased by selecting a star rating above or by replying and saying your pleased. Not rating or rating 1-2 stars does not benefit you nor me in any way. Follow up and reply as often and when needed, there is no extra charge to do so.

Thanks Moose.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Chris,the switch does respond when pressed. but only once, and only when I start the engine.
On one occasion, though, I was able to toggle through all of the functions, without it "freezing" ... and then it went back to where I can only toggle once...
I think that the instrument cluster is OK, this looks like a wiring issue to me... What is your opinion?Thank you,
Expert:  Chris(aka-Moose) replied 4 months ago.

Since your wanting my opinion rather than the way to diagnose it which I provided prior. I believe this to be the instrument cluster to blame though that is just an educated guess since no diagnostics have been done yet.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Chris,
I apologize, my wording may have been incorrect. I understand that you recommended an OHM test for the switch, to determine that the switch responds when pressed. I added that the switch does respond.The instrument cluster also seems to be functioning well, since I was able, on one occasion, to fully toggle through the displays, and I can always get ONE toggle right after I turn the engine on.
My question (incorrectly worded previously) is: could this be a wiring issue? If so, what tests can I do to identify the problem?
Have you ever encounter this kind of problem? What other possible explanations are for this issue?Thank you,
Expert:  Chris(aka-Moose) replied 4 months ago.

Yes this can be a wiring issue.

It is going to be the switch, wiring, or instrument cluster, nothing else.

You will need to remove the switch and OHM test it. If it passes multiple times, then you would remove the cluster and do the same OHM test of the wiring there from the switch and test the switch again but this time at the back of the cluster. If all is good to this point the cluster is to blame.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry to keep asking, I don't want to remove the instrument cluster if it is not really necessary.... as I mentioned, the problem is intermittent. I can ALWAYS get the switch to toggle ONCE, when I turn the engine on. Occasionally, it toggled multiple times through all of the displays. Yesterday it toggled by itself, when I drove over a speed bump.
Is there any way to test the wiring? There seems to be a short circuit somewhere...Thank you,
Expert:  Chris(aka-Moose) replied 4 months ago.

The only way to test the wiring is with the switch and instrument cluster connectors exposed so a volt meter can be used.

Expert:  Chris(aka-Moose) replied 4 months ago.

Hello again Chris here,

  • I am following up with you to see if you got everything you needed from my answer.
  • I have not heard back from you, so I assume you were not pleased. We're you pleased with my help?
  • If you were not pleased with my help, please let me know by replying so I can help more.
  • This post is coming up on the 7 day mark where it times out. When a post times out, that means it's no longer on my active list (you reply and I may never know it.)

Thanks Chris

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Chris,Thank you for your answer. As I mentioned, my belief is that there is a larger electrical wiring problem, since this issue appeared at about the same time with difficulties in unlocking the doors (doors unlock and then immediately lock, either when I use the switch on the driver side door or the remote key... I have to press unlock 3-4 times to get the doors to unlock...) , radio functioning intermittently, instrument cluster toggling displays by itself, when turning A/C and/ or fan on or when driving over speed bumps....I don't know that removing the instrument cluster and checking the wiring will solve the issues, but I will give it a try.I think that the site's policy of having only one question per post is not the best way to get answers, since it doesn't let you get the bigger picture. Sometimes issues are connected, and it helps you diagnose the problems more efficiently.Thank you,
Expert:  Chris(aka-Moose) replied 4 months ago.

This post times out tomorrow. I do not see that we have made any progress so far and no diagnostics I have laid out have been done yet. I feel its best I opt out and see if another can help you. Do you agree?