Question about 2001 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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I HAVE A 2001 VW JETTA TDI. THE ENGINE LIGHT STAYS ON. I HAD IT CHECKED WITH COMPUTER AND IT HAS A CIRCUIT A OF THE GLOW PLUG CODE. ANY REMEDY'S?

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After about every 100Kms one or more glow plugs burn out. Think of them like toaster elements which ignite the fuel on start.
The recommended solution is to replace all 4 at once as the labor for changing one is the same as for changing all 4.
If you change just 1 (and you would have to be able to figure out which one it is - not easy) the other 3 will follow (failing) in a few weeks afterward.

Posted on Oct 17, 2010

  • john_carr751 Oct 19, 2010

    Turns out it was the Glow plug Harness. TDI blogg was very helpfull on this fix.

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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I have same problem either glow plug circuit relay or power signal from main computer faulty. Could also be bad wireing harness they are notorious for this. We put a larger battery (higher cca) in to compinsate for excessive cranking a year later were changing the starter it seems summer comes and we blow it off till its noticable again. If you fix exact problem please let me know what it was if possible. GOOD LUCK and Thanks!

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5 Answers

02 VW engine light that stays on


You probably need to replace the glow plug harness. The contacts in the boots that connect to the glow plugs get corroded and throw off the resistance of the circuit. The controller in the VW measures whether your glow plugs are good or not by testing the resistance in the circuit. Test all the glow plugs like DickyIV1 stated and if they are all good try cleaning out the crud on the contacts in the glow plug harness. You will then either need to clear the error code or wait several trips for it to clear itself. If it never clears itself or if it comes back on after you clear it then the glow plug harness is too much of a mess. This is really common on the TDIs (mine needs to be changed but i have been putting it off and ignoring the mil light). When I first tried cleaning the harness on my car it didn't give me a problem for another year and a half. But I knew I'd eventually be changing it.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you should change out glow plugs as a set. It causes less problems in the long run since if one failed you will probably find other will soon fail and it keeps all the resistance close to the same value.

Jul 16, 2008 | 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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