Blues Travels

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Boo Is All Bettuh! Airbag Fault and Tweetuh Fixed!

Well, getting my BooBlue fixed was an ordeal. But in true excellent fashion, Terry VW came through once again! I am so lucky to have access to the tech team and Terry.

As many of you will recall, Boo (Blue) developed a glitch in his brain that conveyed some false data, stating that the airbags had deployed. More than being a nuisance, this is dangerous. For if I were to have an accident, the airbags might likely fail to deploy at all. So this was a must fix.

In addition, another problem crept up this week. While vacuuming out Blue a few days ago, I noticed the music that was piping through the front speakers of the front doors sounded strange and uneven; louder on one side than the other. Upon further inspection, it became clear that the left front tweeter was not working, which naturally resulted in the lack of frequency balance. In fact, the tweeter may never have been working at all, even from the day the car was built! I just never noticed it before, because I had nothing to compare the stock sound to.

First at hand was addressing the airbag issue. The airbag fault was really mystifying. Steve, my main Blue-Goto-Guy, worked for two solid days trying to determine what was causing the fault. He tried several Vag-Com diagnostics that suggested the issue was with the airbag or the seats’ wiring harness. So, he replaced both items, and that was no easy task. The seat cover had to be carefully pulled/pealed back to expose the inner workings of the seat’s airbags. Great care needs to be taken not to tear the leather or damage the wires that allow the seat to heat and airbags to function.

After wrangling with the seat for several hours, Steve got the cover safely pealed back, allowing for the replacement of both the airbag and the wiring harness for the driver seat. It took almost six hours!! Then, he started the car and the airbag fault showed up AGAIN! He was so mad. His next option was to then replace the control unit, which was the last line of defense against a fault of this sort. This meant yet another two days of waiting for a part and more labor. Under warranty? Yes, but time is also money, and I was spending lots of time there. But I digress.

The part arrived today, and Stevo had a hell of a time getting it installed! It took several hours to get it done, largely because the job is so tedious. Anytime you are working in the area of the main wiring harness, you have to be extremely careful. Once installed, he started the car and BOOM! Airbag Fault!!! AGAIN! Man he was beside himself.

Another VAG-COM showed that there was a break in the wiring harness somewhere. So, now Steve had to manually check each wire in the main wiring harness, and guess what he found? A wire in the wiring harness that controlled the airbags had been severed completely in two!!! In fact, seeing no visible signs of trauma to the wiring harness housing itself, he concluded it was damaged during the build of the harness somehow.

Luckily, VW has a kit to repair this type of damage, so there was no need to gut the car and replace the entire harness. That was a huge relief! In the final analysis, I ended up with a free airbag, a free seat wiring harness and a new control unit! Begone Airbag Fault Demon!

With the fault corrected, Steve now directed his attention to the tweeter on the driver side door. Two hours worth of diagnostics later (which included testing the head unit, the amplifiers and other systems), revealed that the issue was either the tweeter itself or somewhere between the tweeter and the stereo head unit.

Steve poked and prodded, so to speak, until he determined that the wire leading from the tweeter was not attached to the car at all, and likely never was. It was attached to the tweeter, but it did not attach to an output terminal. So, music was being pumped into all the speakers minus one: the tweeter; because somehow the wire had never been connected to the stereo! Once he connected it, the tweeter worked fine. But it took nearly 3 hours to determine the issue.

With the tweeter now working, it sounds like a new sound system! Wheeeeeeeeeee!

Anyway, the techs at Terry are so careful and thorough, and they are smart. I only wish each of you could have access to guys like this for your VW’s needs! Can you see why I don’t wanna get too far away from Terry VW? Oh MAN, can you imagine the VW dealership in Charleston trying to fix these problems? It would have been like asking a caveman to diagnose an aortic valve tear with two coconut halves connected with fishing wire. Sheesh!

Next on Blue’s “fix me” list is the front bumper, which will get fixed next week.

I will keep you posted (as circumstances warrant).

‘Til Next Time Blue Crew!


March 17, 2005 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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