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gomi_otaku, VW Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 3457
Experience:  VW FastTrack '00-'01, VW Academy Chicago and Seattle '00-present, VW Certified
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Starts then dies immediately. no power windows- no response

Customer Question

starts then dies immediately. no power windows- no response from tachometer - no read out from odometer - fuel tank has about 3 gallons - I hear fuel pump activate - used to be loud when opening driver side door - now it is quiet but I hear it run when I open the door or turn the key - the fuel pump relay seems to work but shuts off
JA: So many things can cause fuel pump issues. Some simple, some complicated. Fortunately, the mechanics we work with have tons of experience dealing with them. Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: yes
JA: Great! What have you tried so far?
Customer: new battery - checking relay - checking for spark and fuel delivery
JA: Is there anything else important you think the VW Mechanic should know about your VW?
Customer: low on gas and parked on an incline - engine higher than trunk
- could it be that simple?
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the VW Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

What model and engine do you have? What year?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2002 jetta 1.8t
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
any insight?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just realized my cluster is dead except for warning lights... guess that's my problem.
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.
Does the immobilizer light come on and stay on? Image of a car with a key in it. What do you mean the cluster is dead?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No immobililizer symbol. Cluster does not light up when lights are on. Nothing works except warning lights.
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

Do the lights on the other doors light up? it could be a coincidence, that is just the illumination circuit. Does the tach move when cranking or starting?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No tach. Dome and map lights work...
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

Have you checked the timing belt? I assume you have no spark when tested?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Spark is there... just weak. plugs have soot. Car starts then stumbles off.
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

That sounds like it is too rich- which could be a failing coolant temp sensor, or a bad Mass Air Flow sensor. Try unplugging one or the other, the ECM will revert to an internal map to try to run without sensor inputs.

Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

I would try to roll it to level ground, or put some more known good gas in it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
how many gallons should get it to start? I see gas coming up through fuel pressure regulator when fuel pump runs. I removed it to see. The instrument cluster controls some functions like windows and starting so I thought I'll get nothing until that is corrected.
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

are the windows not working?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
fuses are good but windows do not work - locks do work. I tried to replace circuit breaker for power windows - not sure what type it has to be - the one I put in was a different shape but fit. guess I could jump it out to see if windows work then...
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

The door locks, windows, etc are controlled by the comfort module. The cluster contains the immobilizer, which will allow the car to start but then die again if it is malfunctioning. Usually you will get an immobilizer light though. The comfort module also controls the lighting of the switches on the passenger door and rear doors (driver door is driven directly from the light switch)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if the lights work - I can rule out the comfort module?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
at first every single light was lighting up and not going away. (warning lights) After battery disconnect - and touching disconnected leads together - (and a new battery) the warning lights seem normal but cluster does not operate anything other than warning lights.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
possibly the malfunctioning cluster is making the immobilizer an issue... - guess I can try more gas - but how far should I go wasting money on filling up gas cans? should be able to start on 3+ gallons...
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

I wouldn't completely rule out the module, but the only way to be sure of any of this is to be able to scan the car with a scan tool or with VAG-COM software emulator, to see if you can communicate to the modules and see if there are faults.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
haven't gotten a vag com scanner yet - which will be able to do what I need and work for Audi too?
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

absolutely, VAG-COM will scan all VW/Audi cars

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Which vag com should I get? Can they all command fuel pump on and stuff like that? Also... will comfort module affect instrument cluster?
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 1 year ago.

The comfort module should not have an effect on the cluster- the comfort module can cut off the ignition (will not crank at all) while the cluster has the immobilizer (will allow it to start, then die)

Ross-Tech VAG-COM is the best system to get-expensive, but covers everything, they have a support group on VWVORTEX that Uwe Ross himself responds to. And they can allow you to program in things that sometimes the dealer will not be able to do due to safety or regulations

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