Thursday, April 28, 2016

VOLKSWAGEN SHARE PRICE

VOLKSWAGEN SHARE PRICE

In the German language, Volkswagen means "The People's Car". However, the People as a whole are energetically rejecting Volkswagen cars in favour of other brands of automobiles. Volkswagen (VW) as a company has suffered  tremendous financial losses and has fallen from grace because of the cheating devices that gave rise to the emissions scandal that affected 11 Million vehicle globally. The cheating German auto manufacturer, recently announced a EUR4.1 Billion euros (USD4.6 Billion) operating loss for the year 2015 and set aside an additional sum of EUR16.2 Billion (USD18.2 Billion) to pay for its diesel emissions test-rigging scandal. But regardless of the amount of money Volkswagen is throwing at the problem,  the VW share price had already plummeted from US$244.30 in early April 2015 to US$166.98 by mid September 2015. This 32% decline in share price slipped  even further by a whopping 18.5% to close at USD 136.15 by of third week April 2016. So within one year and two  weeks the Volkswagen share price fell by a massive 44.3% in  value. 


Volkswagen's USD 18.2 Billion shlush fund is destined to cover the costs of legal expenses, penalties, claims, recalls and vehicle buy back from all the countries affected by the diesel emissions cheat software, essentially to cover all cost incurred last year. Somehow this  US$18.2 billion  is likely to be just the beginning of their woes because on Thursday 21 April 2016, a US federal judge announced that Volkswagen promised the  US government that they will buy back as many as 482,000 diesel cars, as well as pay all penalties to make up for the  pollution generated by their cars.

Having said that, it's been a very bad week for German automakers as a whole because a US attorney seizing an opportunity to make hoards of money, has sued Daimler over Mercedes Benz's diesel pollution. He hired a company to test Mercedes-brand diesels driving on real roads, the findings showed that they spewed out much more nitrogen oxide virtually all the time than the amount stated. He shared the test results with California regulators which will surely trigger an inquiry  by the US Environmental Protection Agency, into Daimler Benz's emission figures. He also intimated that there could also be some complicity on the part of European governments. Daimler said the lawsuit’s claims are totally without merit and that the investigation is unrelated to the VW emission scandal. The company also repeatedly denied  using emission defeat devices or manipulating emissions tests. 

However Daimler AG did concede that the US Department of Justice asked the company to investigate irregularities in diesel emissions in its Mercedes brand vehicles. Now that at least two German automakers are under US scrutiny, the emissions-cheating witch-hunt could be growing exponentially. Senior Kelley Blue Book  analyst Karl Brauer said that  Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and other automakers, and several governments have known for years that diesel cars only met with emissions standards in the lab, but not on real roads. He also added that it was so understood, even if not documented; essentially an agreement between the automakers and the European governments. Hardly had the above transpired when Germany’s transport minister announced that five automakers agreed to recall 630,000 diesel vehicles in Europe following an investigation into emissions levels. Recalls include Mercedes and Opel, as well as Volkswagen and its subsidiaries Audi and Porsche.

Earlier this year, Dutch emission tests revealed that a Mercedes C-Class BlueTec diesel emits 40 times more nitrogen oxide on road tests than in lab tests. In other tests released by the British government during this week, have shown that diesels from Daimler and other automakers, including Ford Motor Company, Nissan Motor Company and Hyundai Motor Company, perform vastly differently in lab tests than they do on the road.



Volkswagen, the German carmaker Volkswagen announced on Friday past (April 22) that the massive engine-rigging scandal it is currently engulfed in, pushed it into an annual loss, for the first for more than 20 years, but the final total costs are still incalculable.

Back in Tokyo Japan the latest fuel consumption misconduct is at play. Mitsubishi is embroiled in a fuel-consumption scandal affecting thousands of its vehicles and admitted to 'cheating' since 1991. They have been using an improper fuel-efficiency testing method for the past 25 years and have no idea how many cars are affected sold overseas that exceed the already known figure of 600 00 vehicles. Mitsubishi admitted that a group of unnamed employees rigged fuel consumption tests back in 2002 to make some of its cars seem more fuel-efficient than they actually were.   
A decade ago Mitsubishi  was pulled back from the brink of bankruptcy when it was found to have covered up a series of vehicle defects. But today Mitsubishi plans on  compensating customers in a bid to limit the fallout from the scandal. Meanwhile Transport ministry authorities raided Mitsubishi's  offices earlier in April.  

Mitsubishi Motors Corp’s president Tetsuro Aikawa bows with other company executives
at a news conference. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters


These embarrassing global scandals have raised questions about the Japanese and German carmakers future, but points to a broader problem in the global car industry as regulators probe other automakers' pollution and fuel-efficiency standards. While the echos of these announcements are  is still resonating in the ears of the motor industry,  Germany's transport minister Alexander Dobrindt said  Volkswagen's emissions-rigging scandal sparked a inquest and found irregularities at 16 car brands, amongst which are  Mercedes, France's Renault, Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Jaguar, and Nissan.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

EPC DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT

EPC DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT

VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT vehicles are crammed with wonderous technology, ranging from various electronic modules that overseas their general functionality to hoards of sensors that monitor how these vehicles behave and actuators that respond to software controlled decision making elements. One could say that collectively they give cars a degree of Artificial Intelligence and their seamless integration makes motoring a lot easier. But when something goes wrong, there is also a swarm of warning lights on the instrument cluster that will flash at you until you take corrective action. However, knowing exactly what each warning light flashing on its dashboard is trying to tell you, is a completely different story. Even though some of these light are self explanatory and fairly obvious to understand, others are not, and  can be interpreted by looking in the owner’s manual. Knowing what these warning lights mean is really important to drivers because they can preempt a potential breakdown or full-on engine failure, insulating you from expensive repair bills.

As a general rule, warning lights illuminated either red or amber (yellow /orange), though a blue light is often used to indicate high beam and green lights are used to mean indicate left and right  turn signals. On a VW Polo a red warning light emphatically means that something needs to be done immediately. For example, the Oil pressure warning light, or the low brake fluid level light, or the parking brake warning light, or the Coolant level low / coolant temperature high light, illuminates red or flashes red as a danger sign and needs immediate attention. Failure to remedy can result in the engine seizing, the brakes failing, damaging your rear disks and brake pads, or the engine overheating resulting in a possible blown head gasket or worse, respectively. On different model VAG vehicles, the use of red and amber light may overlap. 

An amber / yellow /orange light  on the other hand serves to be rather informative and draws the driver]s attention to a potential problem or a problems that needs to be remedied soonest. For example the amber Anti-lock braking system (ABS) light, or the amber Airbag light, or the amber Immobilizer light, or the Brake pad wear light, or the Engine fault Onboard diagnosis (OBD) light, none of which will impede driveability nor endanger the driver. But this isn't strictly true especially when encountering the dreaded yellow EPC light


WHAT IS AN EPC LIGHT?

EPC stands for Electronic Power Control and has  much to do with controlling the electronic throttle hence it is sometimes referred to as the "Electronic Pedal Control". Probably because the throttle valve is actuated by an electric motor rather than a physical cable between the accelerator pedal and the throttle control valve. In essence the engine control unit responds to the sensor on the accelerator pedal and sends a corresponding command to the throttle valve positioner via four wires which is commonly known as "Drive by wire". But the EPC is much more than just an Electronic Pedal Control. Any malfunctions in the either the "Drive by Wire" circuit  or its associated sensors are detected by self-diagnosis and indicated by the EPC warning light.

The Electronic Power Control (EPC) is a circuit made up of various engine components or sub circuits that collectively addresses torque. In reality it should have been called "Electronic Torque Control". Should  a problem arise in the torque system, it correspondingly illuminates the easily identifiable yellow/amber/orange word "EPC" in the instrument panel.  The EPC circuit's decision making elements are embedded into the ECU which is responsible for the electric throttle valve positioning and overall torque-oriented engine management.

As such the ECU has to gathers all torque demand inputs in order to correctly calculate the appropriate control actions. These inputs includes, the Engine speed, the Engine load signal fetched from the air mass meter, the Vehicle speed, the shift point of an automatic gearbox, whether or not the air conditioner compressor is ON or OFF, whether or not the the cruise control system is engaged, whether or not the Traction Control System is engaged  or the braking  system is applied.

The combination Brake light / brake pedal switch provides a braking input to the ECU, failure of the switch to send data of the drivers foot on the brake pedal can trigger the EPC light in certain VAG vehicles, but definitely on the VW Polo. Don't be fooled by the brake lights that are working, when the brake pedal is depressed because it does not imply that the brake pedal switch is functioning as it should. In similar fashion the Clutch Pedal Switch provides cruise control input to the ECU, engaging the clutch, automatically disengages the cruise control which could also trigger an EPC episode.

This EPC light will come on when there is a problem:-

1) With either of the accelerator pedal senders.
2) With either of the throttle angle senders.
3) With the throttle valve control unit
4) With the accelerator / throttle harness.
5) With the throttle adaptation.
6) With grime and carbon build-up in the throttle body. 
7) If the the Throttle Valve Control Unit is replaced.
8) With the Brake Light Switch
9) With one of the Knock Sensors.
10 With the Mass Air Meter (MAF).
11) with the Engine control unit
12) With the Ignition system
13) With the Fuel injection system
14) With the ABS
15) With the Power-assisted steering system
16) With Lambda regulation (fuel consumption signal)
17) With the Alternator
18) With the TCM

Bearing in mind the throttle valve control unit is located on the intake manifold and needs to ensure that the engine is supplied with the appropriate and proper air flow. By implication the MAF measures the air flow and should there be a problem with it, the  ECU will not be able to calculate the proper torque and possible go into EPC mode. The consolation is that every fault that occurs would normally create a DTC entry. So the best way to determine the cause of the EPC light coming on, associated with loss of power and limp mode, is to do a diagnostic scan. 


Links to other EPC Problems!
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Sunday, April 3, 2016

ELECTRO-HYDRAULIC POWER STEERING FAILURE

ELECTRO-HYDRAULIC POWER STEERING FAILURE 

In a matter of just a few short days, I've received a flurry of assistance requests from several VW owners,  all of whom seem to have power steering issues of some sort or the other. These issues ranging from complete failure of power steering to intermittent steering assist, to stiff and hard to steer. Among  the vehicles affected are VW Jettas,  Volkswagen transporters, Volkswagen Passats,  VW MKIV  TDI's and Golf Mk5s. Unfortunately specifics about steering problem can vary tremendously because some VAG vehicles are Hydraulically controlled, whereas some are electronic and others are ally controlled, all of which use slightly different technologies and components often spacely dissimilar.   



This implies some vehicles will have a Power steering pump as part of the steering rack assembly whereas others will have a power steering motor / hydraulic fluid reservoir a good meter separated from the steering rack. The following is  a general overview of the operation of VAG power steering systems. But what all these systems have in common, is the dreaded yellow steering light on the instrument panel which lights up for a 3- 4 seconds when the ignition is switched on but goes out after the engine is started. This is part of the self test that checks all electronic modules and mechanical mechanisms are synchronised to work together in harmony. However when the Servotronic warning lamp K92 stays on after the engine is started, there is definitely a fault with the power steering system.


When this happens it is a good idea to book the car in for repairs or do the repairs yourself because it could be quite  expensive.  Either way get the vehicle off the public road because loss of steering while driving can be very dangerous if not fatal especially going around corners because of the possibility of over steer.  An electro-hydraulic power steering system is fairly intricate because its control modules are interconnected. The Power steering control module controls the hydraulic pump motor which produces the hydraulic pressure needed for the steering servo assistance. But in order to this, it needs signals from the 'Powers steering sensor' which is located in the steering column and from the speedometer sensor via the 'Instrument cluster control Module' which is responsible for turning on the yellow steering wheel symbol should there be a problem. And lastly the Power steering controller also needs the engine speed data from the 'Motronic control Unit'. It also needs a 12V supply from terminal 30 as well as 12 volts supply from terminal 15 and of course an earth connection. The power wires are fairly thick and chunky which implies high current delivery. Poor electrical connection can cause arching which will disrupt functionality. Loss of any of signals or voltages to the Power Steering control module for even a few seconds will interrupt steering assist and make the car hard to steer. 



In a previous blog I described the  steering loss I encountered due to loss of  voltage to my car's hydraulic pump motor because my positive battery terminal was loose which resulted in intermittent supply to the main steering control module. It is worthwhile to  to check the level of the Hydraulic fluid in the reservoir when you suffer hard of stiff steering. If there is a leak, the hydraulic pump motor cannot produce the necessary pressure resulting in stiff steering. If the fluid is low, refill the reservoir but don't start the engine but get someone to continually turn the steering wheel between the left and right extremes while waiting for all air bubbles to surface. When the appearance of air bubbles  ceases, it would be ok to start the engine. It is also worth your while to   check for DTC's with a scan tool. Should there be a steering error,  deleting often restores steering assist. The LenkhilfeTRW V270 used in the Polo 9N is normally coded as 10110 which can be changed to 10120, 10130 or 10140 in order to incrementally increase the stiffness of the steering. For more Steering codings click here.

Friday, March 4, 2016

AUTEL D900 SCAN TOOL

AUTEL D900 SCAN TOOL

The modern day car in its current incarnation has increasingly become more and more electrotechnical than mechanical and technological advancements are constantly on the incline.  It is therefore  quite appropriate to say that vehicle owners need to become electromechanical savvy. In my opinion, the way forward is to invest in a scan tool for your particular make and model car. Since most people are familiar with Cell Phones, Decoders, Set Top Boxes, PVR, DVR and Televisions with various menus, or computers, access points and routers  with various wizards, navigating a scan tool would be relatively easy. A scan tool is an indispensable device for modern car diagnostics and is a technological marvel that's going to save you time and money, but only if you are willing to embrace the technology. 



In a previous blog I discussed VCDS which I think is a really fantastic piece of software with its hardware interface combination specific to VAG vehicles. The amount of Onboard information that is accessible with VCDS is astounding and it is literally beter than the factory  VAS Scan Tool used by VW /AUDI /SKODA / SEAT agents. In fact, in some cases VCDS  will even retrieve more faults than the VAS tools.  Be that as it may, as fantastic as VCDS is, it has major shortcomings for vehicle owners in general. Since VCDS is VAG specific, all other vehicle owners are at a loss to its technical capabilities and would have to look at other scan tools from  companies like  Auto Boss, Launch X431, Autel Maxidas DS708, Pro-Link iQ,  Mentor Touch ET6500, OTC Pegisys, Craftsman - 20899, G-Scan Oceania, Bosch 3824, etc, who produce commercial multivehicle scan tools. These companies cater for the automotive service industry since their scan tools are quite pricey and far beyond the budget of the average car owner.  If VCDS was multivehicle, it would be as good if not better than most commercial scan tools. However, since this is not the case,  Autel has come to their aid of the average car owner. Autel has a low cost handheld scan tool that is multivehicle compatible that supports the following list of vehicles.

Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daewoo, Dodge, Eagle, Ford, Geo, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Porsche, Plymouth, Saab, Saturn, Scion, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo.  

I acquired the 2015 version because of its versatility because it supports several models of each of the above mentioned vehicles. I wanted it to diagnose my Renault but discovered that it unfortunately does't support Renault and even more surprisingly it doesn't support my  VW Polo  2.0L Highline (9N) either but it does support the the following list of VAG vehicles.

Audi A3
Audi A4
Audi A6
Audi A8
Audi A8L
Audi All road
Audi Cabriolet
Audi S4
Audi S6
Audi S8
Audi TT

Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen Bora
Volkswagen Eurovan L5
Volkswagen Eurovan VR6
Volkswagen Golf A3
Volkswagen Golf A4
Volkswagen GTI
Volkswagen Jetta A3
Volkswagen Jetta A4
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Touareg

I don't know if the previous years version (Autel D900 2012) supports older vehicles like 2002-2010, but am of the opinion that all newer scan tools are backward compatible though I may be wrong. Anyway, the Autel scan tool is really cool, it comes with a mini CD containing a pdf file of all supported vehicles. I would have thought they would include a list of generic DTCs for Chassis / Powertrain (P-codes), Body (B-codes)  and Network (U-codes) for easy of identification. What this implies is that you will have to either find these lists online, save them as pdfs or print them or access the internet resources to identify the codes every time you car throws you a DTC.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

IMMOBILIZER

VW, AUDI, SKODA & SEAT IMMOBILIZER PROBLEMS

The worst thing that can ever happen to you especially when you're in a hurry to get to an appointment on time,  is to turn-on your car's ignition key and see a yellow immobilizer symbol (car with a key below it) flashing in your instrument cluster accompanied by a fairly loud ear piecing audible signal. When you witness this, your car isn't going to go anywhere and neither are you. I suppose there are worst scenarios you could be in like when you stop along a dark and lonely road at night, compelled to take a pee, only to return to your car, to be met by the yellow flashing immobilizer symbol. There are so many VAG Vehicle owners who have experienced some sort of immobilizer problem with their cars and those drivers who haven't, I'm so sorry to say, but its only a matter of time before you do. That sounds very pessimistic, but once again, I'm sorry to say but that's the reality of the situation. It is what it is.


The dreaded Immobilizer symbol

Looking through my database of immobilizer issues, some of which I have shared with you below, gives you a fair idea of what can be expected from your VAG vehicle in the future. VW, Seat, Skoda and Audi vehicles comes out with a various versions of theft deterrent software systems, starting with vehicles without an Immobilizer (Pre 1995),   to Immobilizer I (Immo I - 1996), to Immobilizer II (Immo II - 2002+), to Immobilizer III (Immo III) aka Transponder III, to Immobilizer IV (Immo IV) and  the 5th generation Immobilizer (Immo V - 2011). There are also various Immobilizer hardware integrated into the instrument cluster, two of which are (J285 & J334 Immobilizer Control Module) and  (J285 & J362 Immobilizer Control Module).  Not to state the obvious, VAG cars are equipped with Anti-Theft Engine Disable immobilizers to circumvent theft; and should a car thief swap-out an ECU without matching it to instrument cluster, the engine will start briefly then die and this will be repeated indefinitely. 


AUDI, SEAT, SKODA and VW AVITARS



Since the implementation of Immo 3, variable code evaluation is use in both  the engine control unit and Immobilizer control unit. They use an equation / algorithm that calculates the generated variable code that both control units must agree upon. So, if you ever start your car and it stalls after about 1 second, then its perfectly safe to suspect the Immobilizer as faulty whether it displays the immobilizer symbol or not.  In such a case  the DTC memory should be checked and, if necessary, the control module adapted. Whether or not the has Immobilizer disabled the ECU can be verified under address word 17, and or address word 25, using a scan tool like VCDS, ODIS,  Launch, Autoboss,  Autel MaxiDAS, etc. The data whether  ON or OFF, sits in measuring block 007 under Central locking. Most importantly the DTC are the clues that's going to point you in the right direction.


ODIS is the latest VW, AUDI SEAT SKODA, BENTLEY,
LAMBORGINI and PORSCHE Diagnostic Software.




So, when the ignition is switched ON, the Instrument cluster / Immobilizer Control Module enables or disables specific vehicle functions based on a hand shake. What this means is that when the switchblade key is pushed into the ignition lock, or placed in proximity of the  coil transmitted radio signal, the instrument cluster electronics detects the key and initiates a data transfer between the pickup coil in the steering column or ignition switch and the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) capsule embedded in the fob key. If the correct / unique identification number / authorized security data stream is received at the Immobilizer Control Module it permits the engine to start and idle uninhibited. But if it doesn't the car wont start.
RFID capsules are tiny, it stores data unique to your car  and can be found inside your fob key.


The list below constitutes just a smatter of immobilizer errors that VAG car owners can experience, which range from a low fob key battery, to an instrument cluster or ECU replacement. And somewhere in between you will have, wiring harness issues ranging from intermittent to open circuit and even short circuit. Active RFID tags have their own power source whereas passive RFID tags used in all fob keys don't require power. 
Essentially they consist of a scanning antenna, a  transceiver with a decoder to interpret the data and  a transponder - the RFID tag - that has been pre-programmed with the relevant information specific to your VIN, ECU and Instrument cluster. A dry joint on the pickup coil inside the capsule can prevent the necessary hand shake thus its a good idea to have a second matched fob key available if the key that won't start the car is suspect. In the list below, you also find appropriate codings for  Immobilizer Module address 25 and as  can be clearly seen, different control modules have different ODX/ASAM datasets, different software versions and different .rod files. Before changing any codes, make certain that you have a printed copy of all existing codes.

Immobilizer DTCs, Immobilizer Errors, Immobilizer Problems & Codes 

Address 25: Immobilizer
   Cannot be reached
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   unobtainable
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer      
   DTCs not supported by controller
   or a communication error ocurred
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer      
   16897 - Incorrect Immobilizer code
   P0513 - 35-00 - Malfunction in Circuit
   17978 - Motronic Engine Control Module (ECM) -J220- Electronically locked
   P1570 - 35-00 - Malfunction in Circuit
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6X0 953 257
   Component: IMMO 0008
   Coding: 00001
   Excessive Comm Errors
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Control unit: 6Y0 920 883 M
   Component: IMMOBILIZER VDO V04
   Coding: 00102
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6Q0 920 825 E
   Component: IMMOBILIZER VDO V06
   Coding: 03144
   01176 - Key
   07-00 - Signal too Low
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer      
   Part No SW: 1K0 920 874 JX    HW: 1K0 920 874 JX
   Component: IMMO            3HL 2416
   Revision: V0005000    Serial number: VWX7Z0G524F0LU
   01176 - Key
   008 - Implausible Signal - Intermittent
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer      
   Controller: 6H0 953 257 B
   Component: IMMO VWZ3Z0X1234088 V71
   Coding: 09600
   01176 - Key
   65-10 - Unauthorized - Intermittent
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer      
   Controller: 038 906 019 DQ
   Component: 1,9l R4 EDC 0000SG 1536
   Coding: 00002
   17978 - Engine Start Blocked by Immobilizer
   P1570 - 35-00 - Malfunction in Circuit
   16989 - Internal Control Module: ROM Error
   P0605 - 35-00 - Implausible Signal
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer      
   Controller: 4A0 953 234 F
   Component: IMMO AUZ9Z0T7884365 D77
   Coding: 00000
   01176 - Key
   07-10 - Signal to Low - Intermittent
   00750 - Warning Lamp
   31-10 - Open or Short to Ground - Intermittent
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer  
   Part No: 6L0 920 803 E
   Component: IMMOBILIZER     AGD V05
   Coding: 00105
   01177 - Engine Control Unit
   65-10 - Unauthorized - Intermittent
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6X0 953 257
   Component: IMMO 0003
   Coding: 00003
   00750 - Warning Lamp
   31-00 - Open or Short to Ground
   01314 - Engine Control Module
   49-10 - No Communications - Intermittent
   01176 - Key
   65-10 - Unauthorized - Intermittent
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 4A0 953 234
   Component: IMMO AUZ9Z0W5254731 D77
   Coding: 00000
   01176 - Key
   07-10 - Signal too Low - Intermittent
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 1T0 920 873 E HW: 1T0 920 873 E
   Component: IMMO VDD 3808
   Revision: V0001000 Serial number: VWX7Z0G33ND1A0
   00003 - Control Module
   014 - Defective
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 1H0 953 257 B
   Component: IMMO VWZ3Z0M2519376 V00
   Coding: 09600
   00546 - Data wiring faulty
   27-00 - Implausible Signal
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer       (J334)
Part No SW: 5K0 953 234 HW: 5K0 953 234
Component: IMMO H03 0607
Serial number: 00000000000000
Coding: 000000
ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03009
ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_SE36.rod
9456681 - Key
B104C 29 [009] - Implausible Signal
Confirmed - Tested Since Memory Clear
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Part No: 1H0 953 257 B
Component: IMMO VWZ3Z0E1731908 V00
Coding: 09600
00546 - Data wiring faulty
27-00 - Implausible Signal
01181 - Initializing; Only 2 Keys Learned
35-00 - Implausible Signal
01179 - Incorrect Key Programming
35-00 - Implausible Signal
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Part No: 1K0 920 960 L
Component: IMMO 3354
02241 - Engine Control Module; Immobilizer Data not Adapted
000 - - - Intermittent
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Part No SW: 3C0 959 433 H HW: 3C0 959 433 H
Component: IMMO 038 0364
Revision: 00038000 Serial number: VWZCZ000000000
Part No: 3C0 905 861 C
Component: ELV 023 0350
3C0905861C ELV 023 0350
02823 - Requirements for Locking the Steering Column Lock not met
000 - - - Intermittent
02861 - Electronic Steering Column Lock Check Sum Error
008 - Implausible Signal - Intermittent
02815 - Steering Column Lock; Supply Voltage for Locking Motor
002 - Lower Limit Exceeded - Intermittent
02817 - Steering Column Lock; Enabling Wire from Steering Wheel Electronics
002 - Lower Limit Exceeded - Intermitten
02818 - Steering Column Lock; Enabling for Electronic Ignition Lock
009 - Open or Short to Ground
02811 - Control Module for Electronic Steering Column Lock (J764)
014 - Defective - Intermittent
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Part No: 2K0 920 941 CX
Component: IMMO VDD 0716
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Part No: 1P0 920 825 B
Component: IMMO VO3 0424
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6Q0 920 923 Q
   Component: IMMOBILIZER VDO V03
   Coding: 01444
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6Q0 920 923 R
   Component: IMMOBILIZER VDO V02
   Coding: 01432
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6Q0 920 903 J
   Component: IMMOBILIZER VDO V06
   Coding: 01431
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer      
   Controller: 6Q0 920 825 E
   Component: IMMOBILIZER VDO V03
   Coding: 01144
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6Q0 920 825 F
   Component: IMMOBILIZER AGD V05
   Coding: 01132
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6Q0 920 804
   Component: IMMOBILIZER VDO V06
   Coding: 01131
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)
   Part No SW: 5K0 953 234 HW: 5K0 953 234
   Component: IMMO H04 0406
   Serial number: 00000000000000
   Coding: 000000
   ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03008
   ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_SE25.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)
Part No SW: 6J0 920 901 A    HW: 6J0 920 901 A
Component: IMMO          X07 0110
Serial number:            
ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03004
ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_SE25.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)
Part No SW: 6R0 920 861 B HW: 6R0 920 861 B
Component: IMMO H23 0110
Serial number:
ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03004
ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_VN35.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)
   Part No SW: 5K0 953 234 HW: 5M0 920 960 E
   Component: IMMO H14 0112
   Revision: X0014004 Serial number:
   Coding: 000000
   ASAM Dataset: EV_ImmoUDSMM9RM10 A01102
   ROD: EV_ImmoUDSMM9RM10.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)
Part No SW: 5K6 920 970 G HW: 5K6 920 970 G
Component: IMMO H05 0206
Serial number: 00000000000000
ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03004
ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_VW36.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 3C0 959 433 AR    HW: 3C0 959 433 AR
   Component:    IMMO         043 0383
   Revision: 00043000    Serial number: VWZCZ000000000
   Part No: 3C0 905 861 H
   Component:    ELV          028 0380
   3C0905861H    ELV          028 0380
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 1K6 920 974 H    HW: 1K6 920 974 H
   Component: IMMO            VDD 2416
   Revision: V0003000    Serial number: VWX7Z0H43NL82Z
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Controller: 6X0 953 257
Component: IMMO 0007
Coding: 00001
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Part No: 5P0 920 825 A
Component: IMMO VO3 0422
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 1Z0 920 912 E    HW: 1Z0 920 912 E
   Component: IMMO            VD1 1610
   Revision: V1610056    Serial number: SKZ7Z0G4047329
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)
Part No SW: 5K0 953 234 HW: 5K0 953 234
Component: IMMO H03 0505
Serial number:
Coding: 000000
ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03009
ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_VW25.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Part No SW: 8P0 920 931 HW: 8P0 920 931
Component: KOMBIINSTR. VDO H18 0560
Revision: D0H18002 Serial number: AUX7Z0F6FN5049
-------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Controller: 6X0 953 257
Component: IMMO 0003
Coding: 00001
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
Controller: 6X0 953 257
Component: IMMO 0008
Coding: 00001
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)
   Part No SW: 5K0 953 234     HW: 5K0 953 234
   Component: IMMO          H07 0705
   Serial number: 00000000000000
   Coding: 000007
   ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03709
   ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_SE36.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)
   Part No SW: 5K0 953 234 HW: 5K0 953 234
   Component: IMMO H07 0308
   Serial number:
   Coding: 000000
   ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03005
   ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_SE35.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)
   Part No SW: 5K0 953 234 HW: 5K0 953 234
   Component: IMMO H03 0607
   Serial number:
   Coding: 000000
   ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03009
   ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_VW36.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer (J334)    
   Part No SW: 6J0 920 901 A    HW: 6J0 920 901 A
   Component: IMMO          X07 0110
   Serial number:            
   ASAM Dataset: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09 A03004
   ROD: EV_Immo_UDS_VDD_RM09_SE25.rod
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 1P0 920 904 C
   Component: IMMO VO3 0422
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Controller: 6X0 953 257
   Component: IMMO 0008
   Coding: 00001
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6Q0 920 903 J
   Component: IMMOBILIZER VDO V06
   Coding: 01431
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No: 6Q0 920 923 R
   Component: IMMOBILIZER VDO V06
   Coding: 01432
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 1K0 920 953 P HW: 1K0 920 953 P
   Component: IMMO 3HL 1610
   Revision: V0003000 Serial number: VWZ7Z0G9079540
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 3AA 959 433 HW: 3AA 959 433
   Component: IMMO 043 0399
   Revision: 00043000 Serial number: VWZCZ000000000
   Subsystem 1 - Part No: 3C0 905 861 J
   Component: ELV 029 0380
   3C0905861J ELV 029 0380
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 3C0 959 433 AQ    HW: 3C0 959 433 AQ
   Component:    IMMO         044 0383
   Revision: 00044000    Serial number: VWZCZ000000000
   Part No: 3C0 905 861 G
   Component:    ELV          027 0380
   3C0905861G    ELV          027 0380
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 8P0 920 981 A HW: 8P0 920 981 A
   Component: KOMBIINSTR. VDO H73 0300
   Revision: D04 Serial number: AUX7Z0E1FNG04N
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 8P0 920 900 F HW: 8P0 920 900 F
   Component: KOMBIINSTR. VDO H72 0210
   Revision: D03 Serial number: AUX7Z0D9FND0BK
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer
   Part No SW: 8J0 920 980 G HW: 8J0 920 980 G
   Component: KOMBIINSTR. VDO H02 0480
   Revision: D0H02002 Serial number: AUX7Z0I4FNJ115
--------------------------------------------------
Address 25: Immobilizer  
   Part No SW: 1K0 920 974 N    HW: 1K0 920 974 N
   Component: IMMO            3HL 2418
   Revision: V0003000    Serial number: VWX7Z0H824U00R


Monday, January 4, 2016

TRANSMISSION LIMP MODE

TRANSMISSION LIMP MODE 


During the late 1970's to the early 1980s, the on-board computer made its first appearance, responsible for monitoring and controlling the vehicle's engine. It started out with better fuel economy in mind,  followed by a  electronic capacitive discharge ignition systems (CDI), then electronic points and engine timing were introduced. Soon thereafter it encompassed anti-lock braking (ABS), airbags (SRS), climate control (HVAC), electronic stability control (ESP) and emissions control among several others. Today, virtually every subsystem in your vehicle is controlled by a computer  interfaced with sensors of sorts – including the automatic transmission’s shift timing sequence and line pressure.   The manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor and throttle position sensor (TPS), among several other, supplies the engine’s load signals and information which is used by the  Engine Control Unit (ECU) to inform the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) when to manage gear up-shift and down-shift, especially when you’re driving up an incline or inclined toward spirited driving. Since there is so much electronics, there is so much more that can go wrong,  so a  "fail safe" system had to be employed as a safety feature just in case of signal errors  that occur  outside of its expected range.  A feature that would protect the engine / transmission from "runaway" that could cause it to self destruct. 

There is even an Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) valve safety circuit, integrated directly in the transmission hydraulic circuit of all VAG vehicles. When necessary, a part of the gearbox is depressurised to prevent any transmission clutches from closing uncontrolled due to  excessive clutch pressure. This is feature is called the "Emergency Program" aka "Limp Mode"  or "Limp Mode Home".

When your Audi, Volkswagen, Seat or Skoda's  EPC light,  and or the Check engine light,  and or DPF (Diesel Particulate filter) light turns on, your car is likely to go into limp mode, if  it hasn't  already entered into Limp mode. Other than the illuminated light or lights in the instrument panel, and an engine that will not rev more than 2000 revs, neither exceed 30 kph, it gives you absolutely no explanation why it happened.  To make matters worse, there is no definitive list of what causes this elusive limp mode but I have tabulated some of them from personal experience. 


How to fix limp home mode


  • Throttle Pedal Sensors (TPS), G79/G185
  • Throttle body Position sensors, G187/G188 
  • Throttle Valve Control Module, J338
  • Engine Component Power Supply Relay, J757
  • Intermittent Ignition Coils, N, N128, N158, N163
  • Fuel Injectors N30, N31, N32, N33
  • Transmission Control Module J217
  • Waste-gate Actuator Valve, N75
  • Knock Sensor, G61 
  • Fuel pressure sensor G247 
  • Fuel pressure regulator valve, N276 
  • Automatic transmission electronic pressure control (EPC )   solenoid / stuck solenoids
  • Transmission solenoid harness
Volkswagen Automatic Transmission Solenoid and Harness kit.
The only way to repair an EPC fault (Limp Mode) or for that matter any fault on any VAG vehicle, is to do a DLC scan to pull the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) to at least point you in the right direction. One of the most miserable Limp mode experiences ever is a Transmission Limp Mode. They range from a transmission that is low on fluid, to stuck in 2nd gear, to jumping out of gear, to noisy gears selection. But the worst is when  engine antifreeze water from the radiator enters through the corroded ATF cooler lines into the transmission, also allowing the ATF to leak  into the engine coolant, radiator and engine. 


Knowing the Germans, their just had to be a oil cooler for the automatic gearbox integrated somewhere into the radiator. Even though VW claim that ATF is a lifetime fluid", it is only a matter of time before it mixes with antifreeze and water. Anyway, this happens to  the all-in-one radiators  of Volkswagen Jettas, VW Golf 4, Passat B6, Audi A4 Quattro  and I suspect other VAG vehicle which I havn't personally experienced. It also happens to the Mercedes Benz C250, but it's  not an exclusive German car design flaw. It s also prevalent in the Nissan Pathfinder, Fords and Pontiac as well as several Asian vehicles.

Once the oil cooler lines spring a leak inside the plastic radiator, it messes-up the entire system by mixing the anti freeze water mixture with ATF. Yet with all the vehicle on-board electronics there is no visible sign that this cross flow happened nor any electronic detection or indication. Since oil is less dense than water, the gears in the transmission runs in water which causes the  metal gears to rust besides taking  the facings off the clutch plates. Beside the water shorts out the printed circuit board driving the solenoids on the valve body. This type of extensive damage can result in a very expensive transmission replacement if it isn't detected before the damage is done. 


Volkswagen  valve body
An easy way to identify this problem, is to check the ATF dipstick level often, which needs to be between the two notches marking min and max. Much more than that can indicate ATF floating on water. Also verify that the colour of the ATF is translucent red and not brown or black. Bi-annual ATF replacement, though expensive should almost guarantee a trouble free transmission. The logic behind an all-in-one radiator ATF cooler is to heat-up the ATF with the hot radiator water during cold conditions because oil tends to become thick and gel when very cold.  But is may be in your interest to replace your all-in-one ATF cooler with a separate / free standing oil cooler as used in the new cars if you live in a country where it never snows or never experience freezing cold weather.

Universal Aluminum  after market Automotive 13-Roll Transmission Oil Cooler

Friday, January 1, 2016

NEW GENERATION ALL ELECTRIC PHAETON LUXURY SEDAN

New Generation All Electric Phaeton Luxury Sedan

Volkswagen has been delaying the inevitable for way too long by fooling around with emission cheating devices in its EA 189 TDI - 2.0L and 3.0L Diesel Engines, and completely missed the window of opportunity enjoyed by its competitors. To the point that the EPA has placed a halt on all VW diesel engines destined for use in 2016 vehicles.  Meanwhile Toyota sales have topped VW sales for the month of November and outsold Volkswagen for 5th straight month. At this rate Toyota is likely to outsell VW for  December and very likely for the entire year of 2015. 


I'm certain this vexes Volkswagen greatly because Volkswagen has been blowing its own horn as the 'Group of the year for 2014' even though  they are no longer considered among the top fifty companies in Germany. In an attempt to regain its status and as a measure to contain the fallout of the Diesel emissions debacle, the newspapers and magazines have been inundated with Volkswagen Service offers flaunting slogans like.

"Volkswagen Service is proud to introduce Volkswagen Economy Packages".

"Nobody knows Volkswagen better than we do and  nobody's better equipped to service it."

"Let the people who built your car, service and repair your car". 


"You  get service of the highest international standard - 100% Volkswagen service".

"Your Volkswagen is Serviced by Volkswagen Certified  Technicians, highly trained and relentlessly dedicated".

The million dollar question is, "Is this enough to make a come back" or "Is it a matter of too little too late". The Diesel Gate Scandal  that cost Volkswagen tens of billions of dollars only caused an enormous surge in EV interest. Today EV prices compare very favourably with petrol and diesel equivalents and electric cars are no longer the preserve of the rich minority. They are now available to anybody who wants a reliable, cheap-to-run car because the days of spending $75 per week to fill up your polluting car will soon be over. 

Considering electric cars have no emissions, and their speed, performance and range have vastly improved. EV's carry no road tax levy and its running costs are as little as 4 cents per mile, a quarter of the average cost for petrol / diesel cars. The Toyota Prius is currently sold in more than 90 countries and its global cumulative sales have passed the  5.2 million units mark  in July 2015. This figure represents 65.4% of the 8 million hybrids sold worldwide by Toyota Motor Company since 1997. Toyota's sales figures for the first three quarters of 2015 stands at 21,210,000,000.00 JPY = 162,256,500.00 EUR or 176,255,100.00 USD.


Volkswagen is on the back foot for not embracing EV's sooner and is scrambling to get their New Generation All Electric Phaeton Luxury Sedan to market by 2017, which is destined to rival both Tesla and Mercedes Benz. The next big question is, "Can VW pull this off sucessfully"?

Initially when Volkswagen's launched their first-generation Phaeton luxury sedan, their objective  was  to prove that they are the world's innovation and engineering leader, and not Mercedes-Benz or Rolls Royce. But the $70,000+ Phaeton was a flop in  North America and was discontinued, yet  it  underpinned the hugely successful Bentley Continental and the Audi A8. From this one can easily see that the Phaeton was probably something very special hence it survived the chopping block,  as all  non essential / unnecessary projects were scrapped because of the ongoing diesel emissions scandal.

A rendered model of what the New Generation all electric Phaeton luxury sedan could look like.
Tesla Signature Series Model X with Tesla's Autopilot autonomous driving system.