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Yes, it could be something else, other than the converter, such as a faulty o2 sensor. Take your VW to Autozone or Advance auto, and ask them to a do a scan, to see what they come up with ( think it's free).
You should get
the OBD codes checked to make certain what the problem is.. £1500
sounds a crazy price. If the ABS light is NOT on also..your problem
could be as simple as the ESP switch. Also check if your vehicle
is fitted with a YAW sensor...as they also can cause this problem. This
is a small unit fitted on the floor panel under the rear seat.
When there's something wrong with the brake pressure that handbrake warning light comes on.
The ESP warning light could be caused by a lot of things, but most likely it's a dirty fuel filter. Don't take my word for it though, just go to the VW dealer and have it read the faultcodes from the ECU, which should point you/them in the right direction.
Alternatively, when you have the right equipment (= VAGCOM + cable) and knowledge, you or a friend yould diagnose the ECU yourself.
From the sounds of it, you'll need a small service (air filter and oil filter change, etc.) anyways. Don't forget to reset the ECU (or dis- and reconnect the battery) afterwards to erase the faultcode from memory (when there's still something wrong, it'll return soon enough).
need to hook up vag com to car and check to see what the sensors are reading. There my even be a code .You need to know what normal values are. Unfortunatly that means a trip to the dealer or a specialty garage that deals with euros or vws.
There is a light cover in front of the battery... take this off and then look for the metal clamps holding the light housing in. (I say clamps, but they're more like glorified paper clips on either side of the fixture.) Press in on each side, pushing the clamps towards each other and pull the fixture out.