VW Controller Concerns - Transmission Digest

VW Controller Concerns

A 1999 VW Passat came to our shop. The customer said the car did not feel right sometimes. He left the vehicle for us to check out. Upon going on a road test, we noticed the Check Engine light on, wrong-gear starts and gear-shift indicator lights not functioning properly.

VW Controller Concerns

Shift Pointers

Author: John Parmenter

Shift Pointers

  • Author: John Parmenter

Do you ever wonder who designs cars these days? I and the fellows in my shop wonder out loud all the time. The following is a prime example of such a case.

A 1999 VW Passat came to our shop. The customer said the car did not feel right sometimes. He left the vehicle for us to check out. Upon going on a road test, we noticed the Check Engine light on, wrong-gear starts and gear-shift indicator lights not functioning properly. We retrieved codes and data with our scan tool and discovered the following codes:

  • 00532 supply voltage output
  • 00260 solenoid valve 2
  • 65535 ECU defective
  • 00266 valve 5
  • 00270 Valve 7.

My shop foreman, Ray Shannon, checked all the fuses to see that they were OK. Next, he removed the transmission pan and did a resistance test on all the solenoids. They were OK.

Then we checked the wiring from the computer to the transmission. The transmission controller is in the foot well of the passenger-side floor, under the carpet (see Figure 1). We opened the plastic box it was in to discover that it was floating in about a quart of water! Then we noticed that the rug was all wet. Bad heater core?

We opened the hood and noticed that the cowling was packed with leaves. Bad windshield seal?

Upon removal of debris (see Figure 2), we found that the seal (see Figure 3) for the air duct was broken, allowing water to enter the car. VW has an update to fix this: gasket, part #8DO-819-165-B; seal, part #3BO-819-211. While you are there, replace the cabin-air filter, part #8AO-819-439-A. All three components cost less than $50.

The computer is another item. A replacement must be an exact-number match. VW sells units for about $1,800, and they need to be “burned” at the VW dealership. Salvage units must be identical replacement.

If you are doing any major service to a VW product, look and see whether the transmission controller is in the passenger-side foot well. If it is, sell this preventive-maintenance service to your customer. You will be glad you did!

Many thanks to Jim Dial at ATSG for his assistance in this repair.

John Parmenter is a technical adviser for Precision International. You can e-mail him at [email protected].

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