Question about 1999 Volkswagen Passat

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I have vw passat 1999, 1,8 turbo gasoline, tiptronic transmission. sometimes on the board ABS BREAK blinks and at that moment this system does not work. sometimes it doesn't blinks and ABS works. what does it mean? what is the problem?

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These cars use a Bosh 5.3 ABS module that is prone to failure. You have several options:

First, have it rebuilt. There are dozens of rebuilders on ebay. I haven't tried any of them, but they charge anywhere from $100 - $200. You have to remove the module yourself and send it in.

Your second option is to have VW do the work. They will sell you a complete ABS module/pump/solenoid setup (which VW insist cannot be sold separately). The total cost for parts for option 2 is about $1600 (plus labor).

Your third option is to try and find a working ABS module in a wrecking yard. I did this, but the wrecking yard went through three modules before they found one that worked and that was the right PN. You'll need to know the PN of the entire ABS pump/module assembly. This cost me about $200, but I have a spare pump now (yay).

Your fourth option is to try and find a new ABS module without the pump. A few online vendors have them, but they're about $500.

Finally, you can just give up on it and live without ABS.

So, here is how to remove the module:
1. Raise your vehicle and remove the driver's front tire.
2. Remove a few of the torx screws that secure the front fender lining.
3. Pull the fender lining out of the way.
4. Remove the windshield washer reservoir (you need to do this for clearance, I think it is only held in by 3 bolts, and is the only reason for steps 1, 2, and 3).
5. Remove the power steering fluid reservoir (just unbolt it and move it aside for clearance -- don't remove the actual hydraulic fluid lines from the reservoir).
6. Disconnect the ABS connector. There are actually 2 of them - one on top of the module and one on the bottom.
7. Remove the 6 torx bolts that connect the control module to the ABS pump.

Some of the process is illustrated here (although, they cheat and do half of the steps with a module that is already removed from the car):
http://www.bba-reman.com/content.aspx?content=Bosch_5.3_ABS_Removal

There is no risk of fluid leaking and you can continue to drive your car (once you put the wheel back on). There are also instructions on how to rebuild the unit yourself, but don't try to do it unless you are REALLY good with a soldering iron. A microscope would also be helpful.

Posted on Jul 03, 2009

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Email me at superbikevoodoo and I will send you picks and instructions for a hot wire.

Posted on Dec 22, 2009

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