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.

VOLKSWAGEN GOES ELECTRIC

VOLKSWAGEN WAS DELAYING THE INEVITABLE

EV's (electric vehicles) has been around as long ago as the mid 1930's, but back then, they were called trolleybuses or  trams. As can be seen in the two images below, these EV's served as mainstream transport for the masses and believe it or not, are still in use in many places in Europe today. The technology though very old, is of long standing and proven, which is essentially a high voltage  electric motor that can deliver high horsepower at high RPM, connected via a gearbox to the drive train. Talking about trains, trains are in fact also EV's but with a slight difference. These EV's of days gone by, both trams and trains are attached to some sort of umbilical from which it received its electrical power to propel whereas modern EV's rely on portable battery power which until now hasn't been very efficient. 

But according to Elton Musk, CEO of  Tesla motor company, this isn't strictly true because they have an entire range of Tesla cars that can do as much as 265 miles (426 km) between battery recharges. He is also of the opinion that the maximum limit of what’s possible with diesel and gasoline has been reached and that the time has come to embrace a new generation of technology.

Trams in Alexandria Eqypt.





















Trams in Vienna by Martin Otner



Frankly speaking,  I don't think its about the battery's inefficiencies but rather about the lack of facilities to charge your EV's battery when enroute or at your destination. But in the same breath I need to add that the charging problem is easily surmountable because a solar panel driven charging system (green technology) can easily be sold as an accessory with every EV and can be installed in your home garage. An overnight charge would give the average vehicle user sufficient power to commute virtually all day.

Admittedly, getting high efficiency from a high-voltage motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack is not easy because there are many factors that effect efficiency, non of which I believe would have been too difficult for Volkswagen to solve. It just kinda seems that Volkswagen was delaying the inevitable even tough they've been flaunting their all-electric, minicar, e-up concept for the past number of years. Yet whilst still grappling  with the global fallout that originated from its diesel emissions scandal, VW recently reaffirmed the brand’s commitment to electrification. Sharing that they are working on a "standardized electric architecture" for all VW vehicles  with motors and flat battery design components that can fit in the various VW vehicle body shapes and vehicle types. 

Adding that VW is  also creating a new business segment called “New Volkswagen” to bundle modern development of digital features for Internet connected vehicles and other related mobility services. This announcement was  based on the  fact the  Silicon Valley firms like Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc. are planning to make inroads into the automotive segment with software development and battery production. 

Vw even released a photo of its brand new all-electric concept car with an expected  driving range of 155–186 miles, scheduled to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in Jan of 2016. But the main surprise was the news that the next generation Phaeton super-luxury sedan will be an EV—only and not available in nether diesel or gasoline. Its going to have  a pure electric drive with long-distance capability, connectivity, and next-generation assistance systems as well as an emotional design.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

EPC Q & A REVISTITED

EPC Q & A REVISTITED

Of late, Vag vehicle owners are experiencing Electronic Power Control problems more frequently than ever before yet most VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat still have no idea what an EPC fault is and what causes the EPC light to turn on. To add insult to injury some VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat service agents tend to "repair" these faults by trial and error, costing the vehicle owners exorbitant amounts of money only to later discover that the fault persists. The EPC warning light can be found in selected models in virtually all makes of cars and is not limited to just Volkswagen Audi, Skoda and Seat vehicles. Volkswagen Audi, Skoda and Seat use Electronic Power Control in their drive by wire vehicles as a safety feature which in my opinion isn't all that safe. Case in point, I have had my VW Polo go into limp mode whilst overtaking a car in a two way street.  It stalled at the very moment when I was cutting-in in front of the said car, causing its driver to frantically brake and swerve to avoid colliding with the rear of my car because  suddenly I wasn't accelerating any longer. Not to mention the on-coming car, which swerved toward the shoulder of the road since my car was straddling the white line. My EPC problem turned out to be the incorrect octane fuel.


Be that as it may, by the time the EPC light illuminates in the dashboard, in response to some sensor detecting a problem, the problem already occurred in either the torque control, traction control, throttle body and sensors, accelerator pedal sensors, cruise control,  fuel supply or ignition systems. Essentially the epc light is just a way to tell you that there is a problem with the drive by wire system and generally remain on until the fault is cleared.  At the instant that the EPC light illuminates, the  ECU flags a DTC which is then stored in the relevant electronic control module. This DTC gives a fair idea of the suspect system but cannot pinpoint  the culprit component. 


QUESTION?

Anonymous says:- Hey I have a 06 Passat 2.0t and I am reading all of these stories on the EPC my check engine light was already on while I was driving but the car was good. I was on my way to work after stopping at the gas station and my EPC light came on and my car stalled on the highway and has not came back on. The lights windows and everything works but when I try to turn the car on it attempts to turn but never does. 


ANSWER!

From your description I understand that after your EPC light came on, your car won't restart. So you checked the light and windows which tells me you suspected that the battery may have run down and perhaps not strong enough to turn the engine over.  But you also mentioning 'check engine light'. A combination of check engine light and EPC light is emissions related and if your car's emissions exceed a predetermined level, the ECU will prevent the engine from starting. Its best that you have your car scanned to see what DTC it threw out. 


QUESTION?

Musa Brain says:- Hi there. I have a VW polo vivo I have the EPC light on when I'm driving slowly and also when I'm reaching a stop sign and hit the clutch pedal it turns off and when I start it in the morning it turns off so I have to rev it for it to idle but after some few minutes the EPC light comes on. Please help?


ANSWER!

Musa your description of your EPC problem seems that you car doesn't idle fast enough. I assume that its drives normal whiles on a higher rev. It quite evident that it switches off when you come to a halt and whilst it's cold. I suspect that you have a blocked air filter problem that doesn't allow sufficient air to the MAF, but I could be wrong since you provide no DTC's. It could also be a blocked fuel filter that starves stichiometricity since torque is determined by both  air and fuel. 


QUESTION?

Bogdan Iova says:- When I swich key on the EPC light not apear and teh engine not start. Golf 1.6 16V 


ANSWER!

Bogdan, you really haven't given me much to work with here, but off hand it seems that you may have a blown fuse that powers the instrument cluster. Because the moment you turn on the ignition key, the OBD II system does a self  diagnosis by turning on all the dash board lights for about 10 seconds whilst running the test.  It then turns off  those light related to the circuits that function normally and leaves those lights on, for circuits that fail the test.  So, if you EPC light does come on when you turn on the ignition , then goes off,  you don't have an EPC problem.   However if your engine won't start it's obviously cause by something else. It could be that your battery has reached end of life. If the engine doesn't turn over, even the starter could have packed-up. But if it does crank and won't start, check your fuel gauge to at least determine that you have fuel in the tank.  Related to this could be your ECM Power Relay, your fuel pump relay or the fuel pump itself. Without more info, this is about all I can help you with. DTC codes would have been helpful.


QUESTION?

Anonymous says:- Hi there, I have a 2003 polo 1.6, EPC light is on and when it's idling can't rev it, checked and cleaned the throttle body and still same issue, ran a diagnostics check and it says something about the pedal, please help?  


ANSWER!

Hi Anonymous, you seem to have a classic EPC problem but for the benefit of everyone else, it would have been great to share the DTC codes that you recovered. I suspect it must have been one of the following codes since you mention the error code said something about the accelerator pedal.

18038  P1630 Accel, Pedal Position -G79 signal too small  (low)
18039  P1631 Accel, Pedal Position -G79 signal too largely (high)
18040  P1632 Accel, Pedal Position -G79 supply voltage  malfunction

18041  P1633 Accel, Pedal Position -G185 signal too small
18042  P1634 Accel, Pedal Position -G185 signal too largely
18047  P1639 Accel, Pedal Position -G79 & -G185 out of range 

You also mentioned that you checked and cleaned the throttle body. If you dismantled it in anyway, then you need to redo adaptation, else the ECU would have no idea how wide the butterfly valve has opened.  Remember there is no throttle cable connecting the accelerator pedal to the throttle housing. This is known as a drive by wire system and it communicates the driver's torque demand to the ECU. The two potentiometers in the accelerator pedal assembly communicates the pedal position directly to the engine control module (ECM) using two separate signals, one signaling the pedal physical position and the other indicating rate of pedal movement.  You will need a scan tool to do the adaptation because any faults in memory must be cleared before adaptation can be done. 


The most common problem is the accelerator pedal itself. One or both of the potentiometers go high resistive/ intermittent and the accelerator pedal assembly should be replaced as a single unit. A tell tail sign of accelerator pedal trouble is that the engine revs higher than 800 rpm and at times the rev counter rises and falls continually whist idling, going as as high as 2000  rpm. If this happens, grab hold of the pedal whilst the car is idling and pull the pedal upwards, away from the floor. If the revs reduce and the surging stabilizers, replace the pedal. The image above shows idling whilst engine in surging and  the image below shows idling with the pedal pulled up.



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

DOOR LOCK PROBLEM ON POLO 9N

DOOR LOCK PROBLEM ON POLO 9N


For the past week or so, I've noticed some peculiarity  with my VW Polo's left side  front passenger door locking mechanism. To risk stating the obvious, my VW Polo is a right hand drive car. Its auto lock feature is enabled, so when I drive and reach about 15 kmph all the doors lock simultaneously and the sound made by the four solenoids are clearly audible when this happens. But then, the front passenger door immediately unlocks itself. Initially it was the sound of the solenoid in the left passenger door that alerted me to the fact that it locks then unlocks itself.  Physically, all four door knobs are retracted at 15 kmph, three stays down but the left front passenger door pops button back up again. After this happened a few times,  I re-locked it  by pressing the internal central locking button on the driver's door panel. The left passenger door responded to the central locking lock instruction by re-locking but then immediately unlocks itself again.

Thinking that it was just an electronic glitch and that the door might still be locked, even if the button jumps up. So I stopped the car, rolled down the left passenger window, climbed over the console, stuck my hand outside and pulled on the door catch. Surprise, surprise the door opened.  So I thought to myself, this isn't good, it fact it really sucks.  It's a huge safety risk driving with an unlocked door, especially considering the amount of bag snatching and car hijacking that's been taking place of late. Thieves and criminals hanging out at stop sign or at a traffic lights patiently await the opportunity of an unlocked door coming their way, so that they can jump into your vehicle and rob you. I know of a case when three villains jumped into a nurse's car and forced her at knife point to drive to an ATM, to withdraw her daily cash limit. They then held her hostage until after 12:00 the evening just so that they could get the balance of her money from her account which was less than her daily limit for the next day. Fortunately they didn't harm her, but her nerves were totally shattered.   What I discovered much late is that when the passenger door button pops up and I manually press it down, it doesn't pop up thereafter and the door stays locked.

Anyway, this door knob popping-up  started to irk me and it was get flippen irritating, so one afternoon when I get home I decided to tackle the problem. I switched off the engine, removed the key from the ignition, and all the doors unlocked simultaneously, which is absolutely normal.  So I re-locked the car with the fob remote and all the buttons stayed down as they should. When I depressed the fob remote key unlock button twice in quick succession, and all the doors unlocked which is also perfectly normal. From this I deduced that the electronic circuit responsible for unlocking the passenger door must get its power via the ignition switch, since it only unlocks when driving at 15 kmph and not whiles it's stationary and therefore  there has to be a dedicated switch in each door. But before I start taking things apart I needed to make absolutely sure that the problem is in the left front passenger door.  I once again used the fob remote key to lock  all the doors to make sure that they stayed locked, which they did. When I unlocked the Polo with the fob remote key, only the driver's door unlocks which is perfectly normal. But within 3 seconds the left passenger door also unlocks, and that's not normal. So I realized the problem is specific to the left passenger door yet I needed to make absolutely sure.

Sitting in the drivers seat, I  turned on the ignition and opened the drivers door and saw the  red door-open icon in the cluster turn on. I repeated this process on the front passenger and rear doors, as well as the boot lid, all of which activated  the red door-open icon except the left front passenger door. The next test was observing the interior light. As I opened the driver's door to get in, the interior light turned on, so I waited for the light to automatically turn off. I then reopened the door and the light turned on as it should. I repeated this action on the other doors which also worked as they should, except the front passenger door that didn't register that it was opened because the light stayed off.  From this I deduced that both  the instrument cluster door-open icon and the interior light is powered from the same switch in the door which is actually  intermittent when not short circuit. Then I got out my laptop and my VCDS cable rigged it up and Voila! With the all the doors wide open, as can be seen in the image below, the passenger door switch remained closed.






As can be seen in these images the door and trunk Measuring Value Block are 005, 006 and 007. With all the doors closed, as can be seen in the images below,  the state of the passenger door switch didn't changes at all. So just for the hell of it, I banged the passenger door a few times hoping that the switch would budge because I'm certain it was stuck in place rather than the contacts burnt together. 



Now that the preliminaries are out of the way,  I can finally get out the screw driver, spanners and the torx wrench and dismantle that pesky door mechanism. The following pics gives a fairly good idea of what it entails to remove the door lock and on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most difficult I give it a 7. Removing and replacing the steel trace link that fits between the exterior handle and the lock is quite a challenge if you  have large hands. 


The door panel before dismantling it
The plastic cover removed to expose the screws.
Removing door handle screw with hex key
The inside view of the door panel with the electric window plug unplugged

The slide mechanism mounting plate with all itsscrews removed

Removing the torx screws securing the door lock

The sliding window removed from its clamps and stored safely
Screws of the backing pate, the inside door handle, the door lock, the inside door lever
The passenger door lock with the micros witch dangling on its wires

I sprayed the the micro switch with some Q20, and flicked it a number of times. I also cleaned the the metal pawl that activates the micro switch. It has a little notch it is that fills up with grime.
I used two pins which I pieced thought the insulation of the micro switch wires in order to connect my multi-meter to do the continuity tests.


Continuity measurement of the micro switch in its normally open position 
Continuity measurement with the micro switch depressed
The steel trace link between  the exterior door handle and the lock.
Quite difficult to remove and put back especially if you have large hands.
The door lock "question mark looking" lever where the steel trace link connects to


The position the link must be in to lock into place in the "question mark"
Showing the steel trace link in place, but it has to
inserted when its inside the door frame.

Several other VW Polo owners have had similar problems with one or more of their car's doors. For example: When they lock the car with the inside central locking button, the left hand side passenger door does not open when it is unlocked, so the driver has to roll down the window an open it from the outside. I remember the that both my Golf 1 and Golf 2 had door lock issues and a replacement lock was really cheap. In fact it was less that the price as a pack of 30 cigarettes. But times have changes and considering the replacement cost of a VW Polo door mechanism (R900 -R1200 excluding labour) and what a shitty job it is to replace it, most drivers just learn  to live with it. 

I know of a VW Pasat that had a similar issues. When the car is unlocked with the fob key neither of the inside nor the outside handles would open the door and since the door needs to be open to repair/ remove  the locking, the car eventually had to go to the agents who charge a whopping R5500.00 to fix it. At least if the other doors had a keyhole to open them, it would have been so much easier. But is all about cost saving for manufacturers.