Question about 1998 Volkswagen Passat

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2000 VW Passat

The panel icons/indicators (ABS, brake pads, check engine, etc.) are all flashing and ringing. You think I hit the jackpot. Apparently, when I had the new brakes (both front and back) installed, the computer chip/module was short-circuited. It will cost $700-$800 to replace this dev ice. I would like to get a reconditioned/refurbished if possible to save on costs.

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  • emilya787 Nov 01, 2008

    thanks for all your comments, suggestions, etc. I will pursue it further with the mechanic that did the work.

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First,  it's HIGHLY UNUSUAL for a brake job to cause this unless someone really screwed up.  I suspect that some connector is just unplugged due to negligence during the job.  
It is incredibly difficult to imagine anyway a halfway competent mechanic could damage the computer doing a full brake job, even if rotors and calipers were replaced.  The only thing in the path of the job related to this are the pad sensors (only one on drivers side i my Jetta) and the wheel speed sensors (these should not be able to be damaged unless the axle is pulled out).
If the shop did this, you took it in and no panel lights were on, and you picked it up and lights and buzzers flashing,  make them fix it, and if they refuse and you paid with a credit card, then document well and dispute the charge  with card company.

Perhaps they somehow poured brake fluid on the ECM, which I believe is next to the brake fluid reservoir .. this is the only way I can see that they could have damaged the ECM.  Take a peak at it,  most brake fluid will destroy paint ... if the painted panels under the ECM or resevoir show bubbling or look like your car has posion oak ... this is probably what happened.  If this is the case, it it possible that removing the ecm and using electrical spray contact cleaner might make it work again ... but if the shop did it, have them get you a new ECM.  Used ECM is not recommended unless it's cheap and has a warranty.  Try blauparts.com, a great online vw/audi only parts source selling OEM parts at a significant discount. 
Good Luck, ..ajm




Posted on Nov 01, 2008

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