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  1. #1
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    VW Check Engine Light

    I've got my 2010 CC going into the dealer for a corrosion claim inspection, and asked them if they could pull the codes for me at the same time it's there, as the check engine light has been on since last week. Last time it did this, it was one of the coil packs misfiring, which I changed.

    The service desk told me it would take up to 2 hours and I'd need another appointment, as the techs have to diagnose the issue. Isn't that what the codes are for?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
    It's all about the legs, lungs, heart and soul. The gear comes after that.

  2. #2
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    You need something like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6RKE29?psc=1

    That is just one example. You can get bluetooth ODB II dongles even cheaper that will allow you to get and reset diagnostic codes with your smart phone.

  3. #3
    Schuylkill Trail Bum
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiziks View Post
    You need something like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6RKE29?psc=1

    That is just one example. You can get bluetooth ODB II dongles even cheaper that will allow you to get and reset diagnostic codes with your smart phone.
    ^^
    this

    Or this, which is the one I got. Best automotive 35 bucks I ever spent:

    https://www.amazon.com/Autophix-OM12...XCTJK8QBVN6KF7

  4. #4
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    Most auto parts stores will lend you one, you can check your codes right in their parking lot. Check the codes on line with google

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by drussell View Post
    as the techs have to diagnose the issue. Isn't that what the codes are for?
    Sometimes the code will say something like "cylinder 3 misfire" but the tech still needs to figure out what is causing the misfire. We've been dealing with that with an intermittent (when the roads are slushy) misfire issue with our 2001 Jetta for a couple years now.

    I'm taking it to the dealer tomorrow to see how much, if anything, they'll give me for a trade-in. (edit to add: $1000. Not bad for a 16 year old car with a bad catalytic convertor, coolant leak, and a few other issues that saw fit to stay quiet during the dealer's test drive).
    Last edited by dir-t; 04-13-2017 at 11:05 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    Sometimes the code will say something like "cylinder 3 misfire" but the tech still needs to figure out what is causing the misfire. We've been dealing with that with an intermittent (when the roads are slushy) misfire issue with our 2001 Jetta for a couple years now.

    I'm taking it to the dealer tomorrow to see how much, if anything, they'll give me for a trade-in.
    I did a bit of reading this afternoon, and realized what you said above. So, now I'm not 100% confident that replacing the coil pack solved the original problem, although the light did go away for the past 2-1/2 months. Fingers crossed it's another one going at about the same time as the first, as they are relatively inexpensive, and couldn't be easier to replace.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
    It's all about the legs, lungs, heart and soul. The gear comes after that.

  7. #7
    Schuylkill Trail Bum
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    The cool thing about having your own code reader is that you can reset the code.

    If it comes back on, you have a problem.

    If it doesn't come back on, the problem was some intermittent transient, and you don't need a new part.

    I've had 2 such codes, each of which, I would have gone to the dealer for, and probably ended up with some repair bill to repair some transient error that was based on some condition that passed.

    One code was for a cylinder 4 misfire. I reset the code. Turned the car off, removed the key. Waited a few minutes and restarted. It's fine. Not a problem.

    The other code was for some cooling system thing. Again, there wasn't actually a problem. It has never come back.

    According to stuff I read on various VW and GTI forums, the misfire code would have cost me a new coil thing, and the cooling system would have cost me a new thermostat... neither would have been actually needed as there weren't real, permanent problems either time.

  8. #8
    wots...uh the deal?
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    My code reader is loaned out to a friend at work. He had a CEL, went to a parts store, got the code read. Interpretation was either "pay a mechanic $$$ to replace a bunch fo stuff" or "bad gas". So he borrowed my reader to reset and drive thru the tank of gas until very empty, and the next tank of a quality high octane. So far, the code has not come back. Armchair mechanics.
    *reminds me to get my reader back...
    martymoose

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmoose View Post
    My code reader is loaned out to a friend at work. He had a CEL, went to a parts store, got the code read. Interpretation was either "pay a mechanic $$$ to replace a bunch fo stuff" or "bad gas". So he borrowed my reader to reset and drive thru the tank of gas until very empty, and the next tank of a quality high octane. So far, the code has not come back. Armchair mechanics.
    *reminds me to get my reader back...
    After I got my own code reader, and spent time looking at a huge number of posts in VW and GTI forums about CEL stuff, it dawned on me that the CEL is a very likely a cash cow for dealerships. A regular CEL ATM.

    "Ma'am, your car needs a new thermostat. The part is cheap, however our labor to install it is $600."

  10. #10
    Seat's not level
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    Since they got busted for emissions, they decided to put a bug into the diagnostic codes that will turn on the check engine light. The purpose is to get you into the dealer, rack up some $$$ and pay for the emissions fines :-)
    Bad decisions make great stories - JP

    Spring is here... snowflakes are melting.

  11. #11
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    Gah. I want my Jeep YJ back.


    Except I don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
    It's all about the legs, lungs, heart and soul. The gear comes after that.

  12. #12
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    I recommend a VAG specific tool, an OBD tool won't always give you what you want.

    https://www.amazon.com/Xtool-Vag401-...JF3P6RBNN91DB4

    I wish I could hit a button and it would change my clutch for me...
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  13. #13
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    Apropos of 10ae's inner 13-year-old thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmile View Post
    I recommend a VAG specific tool
    Quote Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
    It's all about the legs, lungs, heart and soul. The gear comes after that.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    After I got my own code reader, and spent time looking at a huge number of posts in VW and GTI forums about CEL stuff, it dawned on me that the CEL is a very likely a cash cow for dealerships. A regular CEL ATM.
    Yes, and the TPMS, as well. I just cleaned up a set of alloys for my Scion, and I'm not gonna put those d@mn TPMS sensor on it. I don't feel it's worth $200 (plus the cost of a resetting tool...) to tell me what my eyes can see, or in the case of a blowout, what my steering wheel has already told me. I'll keep them on the winter tire/rim set, where at least temperature changes and heavy snow might obscure a soft tire. but for summer, I'm still deciding on one of 3 scenarios:
    1) Let TPMS light shine
    2) Put a piece of electrical tape over TPMS light
    3) Wire in a switch and resistor to trick the light off (I already know how to do this, but I'm not sure it's worth the time).
    I'm upping my standards;
    Up yours!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmoose View Post
    My code reader is loaned out to a friend at work. He had a CEL, went to a parts store, got the code read. Interpretation was either "pay a mechanic $$$ to replace a bunch fo stuff" or "bad gas". So he borrowed my reader to reset and drive thru the tank of gas until very empty, and the next tank of a quality high octane. So far, the code has not come back. Armchair mechanics.
    *reminds me to get my reader back...
    Side note, unless his car is designed for high octane, or a modern car which will advance or retard timing based on the gas being used, using high octane will do nothing other than waste money, and on an older car, cause pinging or pre-detonation.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Yes, and the TPMS, as well. I just cleaned up a set of alloys for my Scion, and I'm not gonna put those d@mn TPMS sensor on it. I don't feel it's worth $200 (plus the cost of a resetting tool...) to tell me what my eyes can see, or in the case of a blowout, what my steering wheel has already told me. I'll keep them on the winter tire/rim set, where at least temperature changes and heavy snow might obscure a soft tire. but for summer, I'm still deciding on one of 3 scenarios:
    1) Let TPMS light shine
    2) Put a piece of electrical tape over TPMS light
    3) Wire in a switch and resistor to trick the light off (I already know how to do this, but I'm not sure it's worth the time).
    I drove with the TPMS light on for about 4 years.. I drove an AMG C63, going through 2 sets of rears and a set of fronts every year... I decided replacing broken TPMS sensors was not worth it..

  17. #17
    tka
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljvb View Post
    Side note, unless his car is designed for high octane, or a modern car which will advance or retard timing based on the gas being used, using high octane will do nothing other than waste money, and on an older car, cause pinging or pre-detonation.
    You got the modern car part right, but not the older car part. Higher octane fuel resists spontaneous ignition better than lower octane fuel, so using higher octane fuel reduces the likelihood of ping or pre-detonation.

    As a side note, higher octane fuel usually has lower energy content/volume than lower octane fuels. It depends on how the octane is raised, but with the methods usually used now there is less energy content/volume in higher octane fuels.

    As for the OP, a VCDS will allow you to not only read and reset the code, but you can set all the proprietary features as well.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljvb View Post
    Side note, unless his car is designed for high octane, or a modern car which will advance or retard timing based on the gas being used, using high octane will do nothing other than waste money, and on an older car, cause pinging or pre-detonation.
    No- high-octane fuel itself won't do anything, but a few retailers only offer alcohol-free fuel in high-octane.
    I'm upping my standards;
    Up yours!

  19. #19
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    No- high-octane fuel itself won't do anything, but a few retailers only offer alcohol-free fuel in high-octane.
    I used to dump a gallon of toluene into my Evo before I went to the track, I think it also cleaned out my injectors as a bonus... I think I paid $3 a gallon 15 years ago for 20 gallons of the stuff. Now I use it to clean my bike chains!

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  20. #20
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Quote Originally Posted by tka View Post
    You got the modern car part right, but not the older car part. Higher octane fuel resists spontaneous ignition better than lower octane fuel, so using higher octane fuel reduces the likelihood of ping or pre-detonation.
    Correct. I use 91 octane in my '06 Altima and '98 C1500 to get them to STFU during the summer. I'm tempted to try Seafoam this year.

  21. #21
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Quote Originally Posted by drussell View Post
    I did a bit of reading this afternoon, and realized what you said above. So, now I'm not 100% confident that replacing the coil pack solved the original problem, although the light did go away for the past 2-1/2 months. Fingers crossed it's another one going at about the same time as the first, as they are relatively inexpensive, and couldn't be easier to replace.
    You should be able to feel a serious misfire. Did you use OEM coils or aftermarket? Supposedly, many Fords are picky about using OEM ones, but that might be internet theories.

    This is just me, but if I'm getting a coil failure that's been verified (moving bad coil to another cylinder and problem follows there), I'd be tempted to replace all of them. Expensive, but chances are high another one from that batch of parts will fail soon.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirchyGirchy View Post
    You should be able to feel a serious misfire. Did you use OEM coils or aftermarket? Supposedly, many Fords are picky about using OEM ones, but that might be internet theories.

    This is just me, but if I'm getting a coil failure that's been verified (moving bad coil to another cylinder and problem follows there), I'd be tempted to replace all of them. Expensive, but chances are high another one from that batch of parts will fail soon.
    As of yesterday, the light has now gone off on its own. It doesn't feel like a major misfire - in fact, on the weekend I got my mileage on the highway to somewhere around 40-42 mpg, which I wouldn't expect if one cylinder was sandbagging. I hate it when issues resolve themselves without any indication of why.

    I also didn't try swapping the originally (presumed) bad coil pack and checking to see if the fault moved with it. I just replaced it (OEM) as I was already overdue for an emissions test and plate renewal. As import parts go, they are relatively inexpensive though at $60-80 each, and are dead simple to change as they are on the top of the block on each plug.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
    It's all about the legs, lungs, heart and soul. The gear comes after that.

  23. #23
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Take it to an auto parts store and scan it anyway - chances are high there's a pending code saved in the memory. It's good to at least make a note of it in case the same code pops up later.

    If you're going to go deeper, I'd suggest your own OBD2 reader and a copy of the Factory Service Manual (FSM). That will have diagnostic trees for each trouble code which can sometimes prevent you from replacing perfectly good hardware.

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