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Automatic Transmission

What Could It Possibly Be?

Recently, a local Lee Myles shop was dealing with a vehicle that had this 01045 code but didn’t go into failsafe right away. The symptoms it produced seemed to indicate a bad Multi-Function Switch (transmission-range sensor) on the transmission rather than the Tiptronic assembly in the console. So they brought the vehicle to our facility here in Miami.

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What Could It Possibly Be?

Shift Pointers

Subject: Malfunction of Tiptronic signal
Unit: 09G
Vehicle Application: VW New Beetle
Essential Reading: Rebuilder, Shop Owner, Center Manager, Diagnostician, R & R
Author: Wayne Colonna, ATSG,  Transmission Digest Technical Editor

Shift Pointers

  • Subject: Malfunction of Tiptronic signal
  • Unit: 09G
  • Vehicle Application: VW New Beetle
  • Essential Reading: Rebuilder, Shop Owner, Center Manager, Diagnostician, R & R
  • Author: Wayne Colonna, ATSG, Transmission Digest Technical Editor

Many car manufacturers are designing gear-shift levers in the center console that incorporate the tip up/tip down manual shift strategy in the assembly. Those that do usually share a common problem of liquid spills onto the circuit board in this assembly causing a variety of undesirable effects. The Volkswagen New Beetle is no exception, having its cup holders positioned in a way that allows for these spills (Figure 1); might as well leave the sunroof open during a good dosing of rain. Volkswagen’s code for a malfunction of this Tiptronic signal is 01045 (Figure 2).

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The presentation we made in ATSG’s 2010 seminar concerning this problem came from an incident Jim Dial dealt with in a nearby shop. This vehicle would go to immediate failsafe with all the PRNDL lights lit up, and it had this 01045 code stored. Clear the code and it would return immediately upon startup. When they removed the assembly from the vehicle they discovered that half of the plastic strip guard that covers the slot where the selector-lever shaft passes through had deteriorated. Pieces of it lay on the floor in a sticky substance that may have been soda along with a pile of matted cat hairs. It was the kind of job you really needed plastic gloves for – just nasty. No doubt whatever spilled on it contributed to its failure.

Recently, a local Lee Myles shop was dealing with a vehicle that had this 01045 code but didn’t go into failsafe right away. The symptoms it produced seemed to indicate a bad Multi-Function Switch (transmission-range sensor) on the transmission rather than the Tiptronic assembly in the console. So they brought the vehicle to our facility here in Miami.

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I hooked up our Vag-Com (VCDS) to get a better look at the system. When it arrived it was in failsafe with code 01045 stored. I then cleared the code and started the vehicle, and everything was good (Figure 3). I thought to myself, maybe that means I will not be dealing with a sticky substance mingled with matted cat hairs as Jim had to, and I smiled.

I shifted it to reverse and then to neutral and all was still good (figures 4 and 5).

But as soon as I selected drive (Figure 6), the transmission engaged harshly and the code set.

The Vag-Com selector-lever display window read ERROR (Figure 7). I then placed the selector lever into the Tiptronic mode (Figure 8), and the Tiptronic display window remained empty as it was in Figure 7.

After I moved it in and out of the Tiptronic mode several times it finally began to read (figures 9, 10 and 11). I erased the code, repeated the test and had the exact same results.

The question then arose, is it the Tiptronic assembly or the transmission-range sensor? The numbers displayed in the Multi-Function Position Switch window provide a binary number representing the position of the switch: Park = 00001001, Reverse = 00001100, Neutral = 00000101 and Drive = 00000110. The numbers being displayed in this window throughout the different ranges confirmed that the Multi-Function switch was working correctly, verifying that the fault was in the Tiptronic assembly. Should the transmission-range sensor be at fault, these binary numbers would reveal it and a code 17089 would be stored.

There have been several instances on ATSG’s tech lines in which this code 01045 has come up and testing confirmed a faulty Tiptronic assembly. The assembly is then replaced with a new one from the dealer and the vehicle goes into immediate failsafe with all the PRNDL lights lit up and code 01045 stored. This signal is sent to the computer over the network and there are no CAN communication codes present. What could it possibly be? The assembly is new. Could it be a bad computer? A bad range sensor?

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A bulletin issued by VW (37 07 07 Feb. 2, 2007 2013850) for 2003-2007 New Beetle convertible and 2005-2007 New Beetle explains that the magnet in the new Tiptronic assembly is mispositioned. The bulletin provides a step-by-step procedure for repositioning the magnet to its correct location. Need I say more?

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