bought an early 99 vw Jetta 5 speed a couple weeks ago, while driving home it all of a sudden shut off. We had it towed to a garage and they said it was the ecm put that on still no start. Ideas?

Asked by Mar 25, 2015 at 03:26 PM about the 1999 Volkswagen Jetta

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Dealership said it might be cause the
gage cluster is out of another car
and that's why it won't start also?
Any clues?

10 Answers


That sounds totally ridiculous. If the cluster goes out, I've heard of cars not shifting correctly but never not starting. If it's not starting, usually the first thing that should be checked is fuel and spark. Did they test for that?


Do you have anti theft? If so, disconnect the negative battery terminal for about 5 mins or so. That should reboot the anti-theft if you have it. Now when you say it won't start, do you mean that it turns over and won't fire up, or do you mean that you turn the key and get nothing at all?

Turns over but won't start, has fuel and spark

VWs have very complex electrical/computer systems. It's quite possible that a different gauge cluster is causing the vehicle to stall. I would search around for a local auto shop that specializes in German imports. Specifically one that has access to VAG COM. It's the computer programming system that is specific to V-dubs, Audis Porsches and other stuff that is used to program and reprogram the ECM down to the smallest detail.


Check the fuse panel to the left of your steering wheel. I think fuse # 32 is injectors. See if that's good. If it's not the obvious things, post back when you get it resolved. Especially if you have to take it in to the specialty shop.


Check out this link and scroll down to January 31st, 2010, 15:48 by DZCAD90. Talks about the Immobilizer donut in the ignition. If it has a bad ground it will not be able to read the key. I think it will only matter if you have a key with a chip. From what I read, it sounds like there is an immobilizer module in the gauge cluster. If the cluster was changed, it would all have to be reprogrammed. The car never would have started if the cluster wasn't right. Check it out, see what you think.


yep the immoblaizers are located in the dash cluster. You have to be accurate with the cars gauges. Ussaly if your lucky and you find one that did not have a imobalizer installed in the cluster you won't have to worry about it. you can try and reprogram it for the car but it would be cheaper and easier to jsut visit a wrecking yard. if you have a booster box bring it with you. IF the cars still have the gauges in it you can jsut pplug on your booster to the cables if there still there and checlk by turning hte key to power on postion. if ther eis a key icon on the dash unit it has an imobalizer.

Thanks guys, we took it to the dealership and got it all figured out! Thanks a ton!


Mike, post the solution to your problem so other people with your issue will know how or what to look for. If they follow this thread, they will be left hanging.....thanks!


An early 1999 wouldn't have the immobilizer nor would it have the cluster that would need programming. Those issues are on the newer VW models.

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