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: cluster swap fail- how to turn on check engine light



ehschick1849
03-17-2011, 12:18 AM
:(Hey everyone!
I just bought a 1999.5 vw Jetta Mk III GL! So I have tons of questions!

Looks like it was originally an automatic transmission and was swapped to a manual.

When they swapped clusters they either disabled the check engine light to come on or the cluster is bad... my speedo works fine... my temperature gage flashes at random times. (I think it has a coolant leak =[ )

1. Is there something that I can do to check the cluster or do I have to take the dashboard and steering wheel off to pull the cluster?

2. Did the cluster swap also disable the cruise control option that is in my VW?

3. What is the point to doing a cluster swap from an AUTO to Manual?

Thanks a bunch for the tips, information and advice ahead of time!!! :)

Boost Addicted
03-17-2011, 12:52 AM
Well first thing you should do is check all your fuses. CEL shouldn't be disabled, infact in the US it's highly illegal (I'm sure in Canada it is too), so check for a burned out bulb too. This will involve taking out the cluster assembly but you shouldn't have to remove the steering wheel. I'm assuming you don't see it come on when you turn the key to the ''on'' position?

As for the coolant, make sure you replace it with VW spec only coolant (not prestone or any other generic brand). Mixing the two can cause gelling in the system.. not good.

Automatic transmissions (in the MKIII) are four speed, manual is five, making gear ratio's different... Thus cruise control definitely wont work.

Some people think they can do an auto to manual swap easier/cheaper than just buying a manual trans.. Not the case, but obviously some people try it lol. What makes you think it was originally automatic?

Welcome!

ehschick1849
03-17-2011, 01:06 AM
*I will check all my fuses! I was pretty darn sure they were all in great condition but a second look never hurt anyone! The CEL doesn't come on when I turn the key to the "on" position so thats why I was curious! And I am pretty sure that is illegal but I want to make it legal so I can pass through the WA State emissions!! I guess I will automatically fail if the light doesn't come on =[

*The coolant has to be G12 coolant correct? =]

*Dang it... No lazyness for me (cruise control)

*When I bought it, next to the gas gage there is a LED dashboard gear indicator, which of course doesn't work because now its a manual! But that was what made me think it was originally an AUTO!!

=] I appreciate all the help!

Boost Addicted
03-17-2011, 01:15 AM
Haha yeah you'll definitely fail inspection if the light doesn't come on. Again I mean, it could easily be a burned bulb. It's pretty difficult to trick the CEL to never come on.

You got it! G12 is the right stuff. Sometimes napa sells it locally (For much cheaper than the dealer).

The cruise could have other issues if the trans wasnt swapped after all.. Could be a vacuum line, the stalk, etc. Does the light come on when its activated?

I'll ask a friend of mine about the LED indicator... I don't work much with automatics or MKIII's for that matter, so I'll see if VW just got lazy and made one cluster face for all transmission types. But that does sound kinda fishy...

Anyway, no problem, glad I could help a bit =)

ehschick1849
03-17-2011, 01:21 AM
I have a very bad feeling that since my VW is throwing about 6 codes that maybe this person knew what they were doing was bad =[ jerks lol

G12 works wonderful and it doesn't dis-color my coolant ball =]

Negatory on the cruise control light =[ I took a 300+ mile roundtrip to the beach and it would have been wonderful to have =]

I will take a picture of the LED thingy I am talking about! I will post it tomorrow hopefully when I have more time!

You did help and I appreciate it!! Its just information and help I am seeking so I don't sound like a dumb blond when I look for parts and mechanical help locally!

BTW your VW is effing wonderful!! I want mine to look amazing like yours!! Nicely done!

Boost Addicted
03-17-2011, 01:31 AM
Hahaha I appreciate the compliment, but in all honesty its nothing special. My cousin took my avitar pic, and hes pretty phenominal with a camera. I'll upload a full shot of it if I can.. I think my only other photos of it are on facebook and I'm not too computer savvy lol.

Anyway, what are your codes? We could probably figure out some of them out.

Oh, and do you have the same body style as me? Cause if you do, you've got a MKIV, not MKIII. I was gonna ask since you put down 99.5 but I guess it just slipped my mind. Not that it matters too much... Same coolant and everything. Just wanna make sure I give you the right advice and what not.

TeLeScoPE
03-17-2011, 02:00 AM
I was wondering the same thing about the year. lol

ChaseO
03-17-2011, 02:30 AM
seeing as though she said it had a LED gear display it definantly couldn't be a Mk3.
pretty sure MKIIIs didnt come with tiptronic Autotragics.

ehschick1849
03-17-2011, 02:34 AM
Sorry to sound so lame and girlie!!

This is the first VW I have owned and I have yet to have the time to do any research on it!

How do I check which Make it is??

My title says 1999 sorry for the .5 typo!

I am pretty sure when I had my VW checked out these were the codes my mechanic wanted to fix relatively soon:

00750- MiL
16890- Idle Limit
17990- Idle Adaptation
16521- B1 S2 02

My list begins at cleaning the throttle body (??), replacing the rear 02 sensor with a wideband BOSCH and having him or myself pull the cluster to check for the wiring and the bulb!!

Boost Addicted
03-17-2011, 02:34 AM
seeing as though she said it had a LED gear display it definantly couldn't be a Mk3.
pretty sure MKIIIs didnt come with tiptronic Autotragics.



Nah they definitely don't come with tiptronics but that doesn't mean they don't have LED indicators (PRND21 or w/e it is). But agian, never been in an automatic MKIII.

ehschick1849
03-17-2011, 02:42 AM
Apparently it is called a LED Gear Position Indicator and it is something that led me to believe that my car used to be an AUTO because it doesn't work and it have 5 speeds!! I have no clue how to describe more sorry guys but for sure will be posting pictures after work tomorrow... goodnight all!

Boost Addicted
03-17-2011, 02:45 AM
Sorry to sound so lame and girlie!!

This is the first VW I have owned and I have yet to have the time to do any research on it!

How do I check which Make it is??

My title says 1999 sorry for the .5 typo!

I am pretty sure when I had my VW checked out these were the codes my mechanic wanted to fix relatively soon:

00750- MiL
16890- Idle Limit
17990- Idle Adaptation
16521- B1 S2 02

My list begins at cleaning the throttle body (??), replacing the rear 02 sensor with a wideband BOSCH and having him or myself pull the cluster to check for the wiring and the bulb!!

lol you don't sound lame, you know what you're talking about a lot more than some of the n00bs we see around here. You probably know more than my girlfriend and I have her trained pretty well! haha

I believe that first code pertains to your MIL/CEL being open/short to ground.... So in otherwords, burned out.

The next two codes definitely have to do with the throttle body. Yours is electronic (Drive by wire, not drive by cable) right? Take a look and make sure if it has a motor on the side of it or not. If so, when you go to clean it, make sure the motor is unplugged BEFORE you manually move the throttle plate. You can use carb cleaner, alcohol, or really any solvent you want. Just make sure you don't get some of the harsher stuff on rubber components.

And the last one does sound like your secondary o2 sensor is going out. Not sure if you need a wideband or not, but your local autoparts store can tell you. Or if you wanna order it offline, www.germanautoparts.com (http://www.germanautoparts.com) will probably tell you if its wide or narrowband. And they usually have some of the best prices.


If any of that didn't make sense its because its about 4am here and I'm about to pass out lol

santi_ago96
03-17-2011, 10:09 AM
:(Hey everyone!
I just bought a 1999.5 vw Jetta Mk III GL! So I have tons of questions! :)

wait.. you a 1999 with the old body style?
i thought they stopped in the early 1998 with the mk3 body style...? haha

BigJ389
03-17-2011, 10:41 AM
wait.. you a 1999 with the old body style?
i thought they stopped in the early 1998 with the mk3 body style...? haha

Nope they stopped in the 99 n also the new body style came out same year which would make them 99.5 mk4

95jettaIII
03-17-2011, 01:19 PM
just stopin by to say welcome, im sure you'll get your problems fixed...lot of help here, good luck.

ehschick1849
03-18-2011, 11:46 PM
Hello all...
I am sad to say that I went to the store tonight to get groceries and about 15 minutes later after entering the store my passenger side of my car was a victim of a hit and run side swipe =[
I am so angry...
I need a new door and new paint on the entire left side...
So all of this cluster stuff has to come later =[

ehschick1849
03-18-2011, 11:47 PM
And I have a 1999 Jetta Mk III GL old body style

Boost Addicted
03-18-2011, 11:50 PM
Sorry to hear =(

Are you gonna keep the car or just find something else?

ehschick1849
03-19-2011, 01:28 AM
It still drives and it is very reliable...
I may look into having the door replaced...
Just not sure how easy it is.
I've had the car for LITERALLY less than two weeks =[

Boost Addicted
03-19-2011, 01:40 AM
If its just one door then it shouldn't be too bad. Check out some junk yards for a new one? Otherwise you'll have to get the new one painted... Even if you get a junked one, it might be scratched or a slightly different color due to differences in sun exposure..

ehschick1849
03-19-2011, 03:15 AM
Kind of ironic really. I parked my car as far out by nothing but the empty lots.
I come back and my door looks like someone took a shopping cart and an open car door, and slid both of those objects along my paint and dented it :(
Junkyards have blue and white doors for 91 and younger...
I was told that door won't fit on mine. I'm looking for 94-98?
As for the paint situation, I am glad I get to paint her over again but sad that it had to happen so soon :(
I can't wait until she's sparkling :)

95jettaIII
03-19-2011, 07:22 AM
It still drives and it is very reliable...
I may look into having the door replaced...
Just not sure how easy it is.
I've had the car for LITERALLY less than two weeks =[

Sorry to hear bout your hit n run... that blows, I would b super cartoon mad. LOL. Glad to see ur gonna stick it out wit your dub...

Sent from my LG-P509 using Tapatalk

santi_ago96
03-19-2011, 10:46 AM
It still drives and it is very reliable...
I may look into having the door replaced...
Just not sure how easy it is.
I've had the car for LITERALLY less than two weeks =[


dammnn that sucks!!
i would be pissed if that happened to me,,. i would had to go to 7eleven, get a SLURPEE just to cool off...haaa

Boost Addicted
03-19-2011, 11:26 AM
Have you tried to see if your insurance company will cover it or help you out?

Sallad
03-19-2011, 01:46 PM
Are you sure the bulb for the CEL isn't just burnt out?

...and the whole G12 coolant thing is such BS. lol. It's just coolant,nothing special, all it does is lube the water pump and cool the engine/oil. Just don't mix. I've used the cheapie Walmart green stuff for years. Any coolant made in the last 10 years will work. You have to remember these cars are old and not high performance machines, just some German ecno-box. lol Save your money for mods.

Boost Addicted
03-19-2011, 01:50 PM
Are you sure the bulb for the CEL isn't just burnt out?

...and the whole G12 coolant thing is such BS. lol. It's just coolant,nothing special, all it does is lube the water pump and cool the engine/oil. Just don't mix. I've used the cheapie Walmart green stuff for years. Any coolant made in the last 10 years will work. You have to remember these cars are old and not high performance machines, just some German ecno-box. lol Save your money for mods.

Might wanna do your research on phosphate free ethylene glycol before making claims.

Sallad
03-19-2011, 01:55 PM
Phosphate fee coolants are again, a marketing BS claim. All coolants are Au safe nowadays. I agree, 15 yrs ago when these cars came out, you should have used G11 (now it says G12). But modern coolants are fine for these cars. Just do a flush first.

Boost Addicted
03-19-2011, 04:10 PM
Chemistry is now a marketing claim? ok..

Sallad
03-19-2011, 04:18 PM
Obviously you are taking this the wrong way... I'm not trying to start an argument here...

I'm just saying that pretty much all coolants made in the last 10 years, if not longer, are safe for pretty much all engines. I know phosphates and Aluminum don't get along. But that is why you flush your system every few years. I "think" companies make all these claims about the wrong coolant destroying your engine as BS, they just want you to buy their coolant, i.e. Dealerships.

Boost Addicted
03-19-2011, 04:23 PM
Nah not taking it the wrong way, just putting out there what I know. Phosphate free is far less acidic and in addition, keeps electrolytes from building up. The only proof you need should come from a comparison between two of the same car, one using phosphate free, one not.

Volkswagens are notorious for water pump failure, mainly because they've got plastic impellors. A low acidity environment is probably a good thing... and the last thing you want around the impellor shaft and bearing unit is electrolyte buildup to interfere with tight tollerances.

Should we agree most VW drivers aren't aware with the fact that they're designed to use G12? And most (atleast) MKIV water pumps fail around 60Kmi or less?

My GLI is on 100k miles with the original water pump. It was taken out at 70K miles when the timing belt was done, in perfect condition.

Sallad
03-19-2011, 04:45 PM
My car says G11. :)

...but enough thread jacking... this debate is better left for a different thread.

ehschick1849
03-19-2011, 05:26 PM
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m80/ehschick1849/DSCF1061.jpg
here is what the LED Gear Indicator on my car looks like

billh1012
03-19-2011, 05:37 PM
That really sucks sorry to hear about your car getting hit.

ehschick1849
03-19-2011, 06:05 PM
That really sucks sorry to hear about your car getting hit.

I should have half expected my first nice car to have something like this happen to it...
I have become to love my car in such a short amount of time :)
She's wonderful!!!

Oh and btw there isn't any cameras in the parking lot where I parked my car at the grocery store
Typical...

On a brighter note, I have now posted a picture of this gear indicator in my car :)

BooglesMcGee
03-21-2011, 02:32 AM
I think that maybe your car was a manual to begin with, and the PO put in an auto cluster. I have heard that MK3 clusters are prone to problems, like wacky needles and whatnot. Maybe that happened to the PO and they could only find an auto cluster. Just a thought.
And that sucks about the hit and run. Sorry to hear it.

ehschick1849
03-21-2011, 03:16 AM
Thanks for the information...
The PO is a total DB and knows nothing about the car to help me find some stuff out

ehschick1849
03-21-2011, 03:16 AM
Thanks for the information...
The PO is a total DB and knows nothing about the car to help me find some stuff out

95jettaIII
03-21-2011, 10:22 AM
Hello all...
I am sad to say that I went to the store tonight to get groceries and about 15 minutes later after entering the store my passenger side of my car was a victim of a hit and run side swipe =[
I am so angry...
I need a new door and new paint on the entire left side...
So all of this cluster stuff has to come later =[

Yeah my last car was auto then swapped over to stick, easy to tell too.

$3nT u$!nG T@pAt@lK.

Boost Addicted
03-21-2011, 11:39 AM
But not easy to do, so thats why its kind of sketchy....

95jettaIII
03-21-2011, 12:15 PM
But not easy to do, so thats why its kind of sketchy....

Tru, cuz u gotta slice into harness n do it right. I didn't do mine, just knew wat to look for...

$3nT u$!nG T@pAt@lK.

Boost Addicted
03-21-2011, 12:25 PM
Tru, cuz u gotta slice into harness n do it right. I didn't do mine, just knew wat to look for...

$3nT u$!nG T@pAt@lK.

You need different everything... There will definitely be differences in wiring, a different ECU, I believe you'd have to swap out crankshafts (or some other modification so that the crank output bolts to a flywheel), etc etc.

95jettaIII
03-21-2011, 12:47 PM
You need different everything... There will definitely be differences in wiring, a different ECU, I believe you'd have to swap out crankshafts (or some other modification so that the crank output bolts to a flywheel), etc etc.

Definitely different Ecu. I didn't do the swap but I noticed it. LOL

$3nT u$!nG T@pAt@lK.

ehschick1849
03-21-2011, 02:51 PM
Definitely different Ecu. I didn't do the swap but I noticed it. LOL

$3nT u$!nG T@pAt@lK.

So when should I be expecting all of you out to WA? lol
I don't know half of the stuff you guys are talking about
:)
I will ask my mechanic the next time I'm in

96JettaGLmk3
03-21-2011, 03:15 PM
Two things,

1. For the cel issue i would agree its probably just a bulb but i also have a spare cluster i could sell for like 10$
2. I'm no new person to the whole vw scene and using g12. My car has 170k and has never used g12 with the original water pump...IMO they say to use g12 just to get a little more money out of you which is why its normally sold at "dealer only" stores. I agree that it is the best to use but i don't worry to much about that stuff :P

95jettaIII
03-21-2011, 05:54 PM
So when should I be expecting all of you out to WA? lol
I don't know half of the stuff you guys are talking about
:)
I will ask my mechanic the next time I'm in

LOL don't worry, u stick it out long enough you'll b giving people ur input. So when u getting a build thread going? N any mods u Wana do?

$3nT u$!nG T@pAt@lK.

ChaseO
03-24-2011, 04:23 PM
do you have a U-Pull-it, locally?
I helped a friend swap out a rear door on a Honda and it wasnt too hard at all.

as for the cluster, I say if everything works then just leave it be.

And G11/G12 is a dealerships sales pitch. I never once put g11 in and I can assure you with how my car was when I bought it it had never been flushed or had G11 replaced in it.
164k before my waterpump was replaced.

ehschick1849
03-25-2011, 12:38 AM
do you have a U-Pull-it, locally?
I helped a friend swap out a rear door on a Honda and it wasnt too hard at all.

as for the cluster, I say if everything works then just leave it be.

And G11/G12 is a dealerships sales pitch. I never once put g11 in and I can assure you with how my car was when I bought it it had never been flushed or had G11 replaced in it.
164k before my waterpump was replaced.

There are tons of U-pull its but the ones locally have a different color door... I think I may pull a different color door and just put it on right before I get her re-painted!!
I don't plan on messing with it just wanna understand why it was swapped!
Maybe the G11/G12 depends on what each car has been running on because mine was on the cheap crap and ran terrible so I swapped it to G12 and it seems to be running cooler without hesitation!!
*Thanks for the advice ChaseO

ehschick1849
03-25-2011, 12:42 AM
LOL don't worry, u stick it out long enough you'll b giving people ur input. So when u getting a build thread going? N any mods u Wana do?

$3nT u$!nG T@pAt@lK.

I'm not sure what I want to do to my car!! First I want to make sure I get my car inspected for leaks n such!!! After that paint touch up!!! I want to start replacing all the cosmetic stuff!! Then maybe rebuild the engine!! Mods are endless for this car! I want a BLACK badgeless grill first! Then I would like to do blacked out tail lights!!
Thanks for asking 95jettaIII =]

95jettaIII
03-25-2011, 06:55 AM
I'm not sure what I want to do to my car!! First I want to make sure I get my car inspected for leaks n such!!! After that paint touch up!!! I want to start replacing all the cosmetic stuff!! Then maybe rebuild the engine!! Mods are endless for this car! I want a BLACK badgeless grill first! Then I would like to do blacked out tail lights!!
Thanks for asking 95jettaIII =]

Sounds good. Sounds like u go ur head on right... u Wana glx smoked tails or all red ones? Both could b pulled off on a black car. Get a build thread going next, then the pics n fun starts.

$3nT u$!nG T@pAt@lK.

ChaseO
03-31-2011, 03:03 PM
Do you by any chance have the 2 piece badged grill or 1 piece?

and rattle can the door until you have it repainted! black is the hardest color to make look good but it is also the easiest to color match, half my car is rattle canned at this point.

To check for exhaust leaks and clean out your motor, Use seafoam youll see leaks in your exhaust from a mile away and your car will run dandy!

Sallad
03-31-2011, 10:12 PM
I'm not sure what I want to do to my car!! First I want to make sure I get my car inspected for leaks n such!!! After that paint touch up!!! I want to start replacing all the cosmetic stuff!! Then maybe rebuild the engine!! Mods are endless for this car! I want a BLACK badgeless grill first! Then I would like to do blacked out tail lights!!
Thanks for asking 95jettaIII =]

Wow! You really like using exclamation marks. lol

As for checking for leak, the easiest way is to park your car at night with some cardboard under the engine, then check the cardboard in the morning. You should see some drips and the general location of the drips on the cardboard.

Why a paint "touch up"? A nice "cut polish" will usually bring a paint job back. It's amazing what a couple hours with a polisher can do. Plus save yourself a few thousand dollars.

For the backed out tails, just go buy some VHT Nightshades paint from a autoparts store and do them yourself. Just use light coats to build it up.

gls vr6t
01-29-2012, 11:28 PM
i need help.....im not trying to high jack this thread but i have a mk3 jetta gls with a vr6 swap im running obd2 everything except the gauge cluster wire harness. i am running a passat vr6 harness and ecu in the car. my question is how do i make the check engine light on my mk3 vr6 cluster work with a passat harness im pretty sure this is easy and i have done alot of reading but everything i have tried doesn't work "PLEASE HELP"