Urgent Help, please. Ran out of options... Volkswagen Passat 1.8T 1999

Old 03-27-2013, 11:51 AM
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Exclamation Urgent Help, please. Ran out of options... Volkswagen Passat 1.8T 1999

First of all, I would like to say "thank you" in advance to anyone who can help me with this huge problem I'm having with my car... I'm running out of options and I'm at the point where I don't know if I should sell it as is, sell it for parts, or continue to try to fix it.

My car has been in my garage for over 3 months (will be 4 on April 12) here's what happened:

I left my car for a month parked - no one turned it on because I took the keys with me - anyway... when I came back, my car didn't start and I figured the battery just discharged so I asked a guy from the neighborhood to jump start it... Unknown to me, he didn't know how to do it because he ended up crossing the wires (I know how to do it, but I didn't want to risk crossing the wires myself... and I would've looked it up on my phone but this garage had no service whatsoever and I was "locked in" - long story) well, anyway, when this guy crossed the wires, a small fire started on the right side of the battery and he quickly took the wires out and did it the right way... well, the car would try to start but nothing.. Triple A came an hour or two later and changed the battery and the car finally started but it took A LOT for the car to start. This guy from triple A was giving the car so much rev that I felt the car was going to blow up. When I tried to drive the car this is where it all went downhill:

- the ABS light was on, the brake light was blinking, and the car was beeping
- Radio was completely OUT, won't turn on - nothing
- Passenger blinker light was out (but the fuse was blown so I changed that, it works fine now; no other fuses were blown)
- Car would not go past 10mph and it would act like a manual car when you don't shift to right gear; like it's about to stall... but it doesn't.
- The rev goes up and down when it's on idle and you try to put gas/rev - I can provide video
- In the reservoir (I think that's what it's called at least) there's this milky oily mixture - I can provide pictures.
- Water is coming out of the exhaust - but A LOT
- I tried to scan the vehicle but the scanner isn't detecting the car - it was done with two different ones: one known to work (by a mechanic) and the one I bought

My money is limited; Volkswagen wants to charge me $150 JUST to plug the scanner in PLUS another $150 to sit around and figure out the codes.
Another mechanic wants to charge me $90 to scan it/figure out problem, which I think it's a fair deal considering how much the dealership wants. BUT I'm hesitating to do this only because 2 different scanners didn't detect the car.

A few other people have told me to buy a new ECU - already found the exact one (matching numbers, etc) - but I'm also hesitating on that, too.

Then there's people who say ABS Module, or the Transmission Control Unit/Module, and even a blown head gasket - which they said if it's a head gasket, I should buy a new engine......

I would like opinions, however, from people who KNOW Volkswagen's... so this is why I'm here.

This has become a challenge for me and the mechanic who has been looking at my car.

ANY and ALL help is appreciated at this point as I'm getting so frustrated, I don't know what to do... should I buy the ECU or not?

Also, I'd like to point out that the ABS light and Brake light are now OFF and not beeping but the engine light is STILL on.

I never had problems with this car until all this happened the day the guy crossed the wires; so you can imagine my horror and shock at this whole situation... and like I said it's been almost 4 months so I just want to figure out once and for all what I should do.

Thanks so much...
Old 05-02-2013, 12:16 AM
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Join Date: May 2013
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It a computer problem from the sounds of it. These cars depend heavily on their computers. Keeping in mind that the car ran perfectly fine before this happened, I'm going to say im 90% sure it's the computer. The computer controls almost everything in these cars, and your VW sounds like its gone completely haywire after this incident. Your best bet on getting a cheap computer is going to be a junk yard, pull and pick. Because they're expensive as hell anywhere else.

Think about it, car ran fine until this 'electrical issue' happened.
Old 05-02-2013, 06:31 AM
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Location: Stoke on Trent, England
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Welcome to the forum. Name:  VWwelcome.gif
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Well the best tool you can buy for a VAG vehicle is VCDS, you can help out any friends or neighbours with VAG vehicles.

You don't say where you live but I assume the US. If you can't afford $349 for this cable I'm told that AutoZone will do a free scan in the hope you buy something of them. Or you search World Vag-Com Locator Map but this is never up to date. Don't be fooled and buy the cheap Chinese clones of fleabay.

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