help narrowing down possible causes for malfunctioning temp gauge; radio display; a/c; stereo speakers; and starting/engine idle

Asked by Apr 03, 2012 at 12:10 AM about the 2001 Volkswagen Cabrio 2 Dr GLX Convertible

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 01 cabrio's (automatic transmission; monsoon
stock radio; operated in maine with current temps in
the 40s - just for basic background info) cel, ABS, and
brake lights are on. Autozone diagnostic results said cel
was on due to a secondary air combination solenoid
valve problem. The a/c( climactic) blows air from
outside, as in it's not cold but the fans work. The heat
works fine on all levels of temp and strength. The radio
display and controls( monsoon stock) are not
illuminated but when I push the radio in it lights up
then goes out when I let go. The temp gauge works
intermittently at seemingly random times. However it
has never worked when the a/c was "on" or when the
fresh air blower was on. It, in fact, will immediately go
from reading halfway like it should, to reading nothing
and won't work again for a day or two. Today, I had
trouble starting the car. The engine would not turn
over until the third try when I pumped the gas slightly,
then I smelled gas for a few seconds. All the lights,
radio, alarm, etc. Came on like usual. Once it started,
the rpms jumped like I was in third gear and the temp
gauge was fluctuating in conjunction with me pressing
the gas while in park. The idle went down to normal( I
think it says 10) before I touched the gas again after
starting. I was not pressing the gas when the rpms
jumped like that. Once in gear, the temp gauge didn't
work. The heater was on when I started it. Also, when I
use the remote to unlock the car, if I open the
passenger door after a minute or two with that door
open the 'armed noise goes off and the car locks itself.
It repeat try Eddy locks like that every couple of
minutes. No such issue if driver door is opened first.
I've checked all fuses under driver dash and replaced
the a/c and cigg/ radio fuses which resulted in my cigg
lighter actually working. Really I'm looking for help
narrowing down the root causes of these problems
since some may be coupled.

3 Answers

*Cruise control doesn't work; car has 130k; never overheated*


You have a lot of information to absorb here, but the thing that stuck out at me the most was when you push on the radio it works and you let go it stops. This tells me that you have electrical issues and from other items mentioned possibly several electrical issues. Since so many components are involved in your problem I would go to your fuse box and pull all fuses that you can. One at a time put them back in. For instance with all the fuses pulled install the fuse that protects just one item for instance power windows. Then try windows and see if they work properly and make sure nothing else works improperly. Go through all the fuses this way. You might be able to isolate a problem circuit since it does sounds like a short or open ground in the system. Hope this helps.


I had the same starting problem with my 98 automatic. Someone told me he thought it was the ignition coil, so I replaced that..then I replaced the cap and rotor. Still had same problem. Then one day it wouldn't start at all. Turns out it was the starter. Replaced starter and put in a new battery. The starter shaft goes into the tranny, maybe you should have the starter checked out. My cruise control doesn't work and the power door lock button doesn't work either, neither does the trunk latch button. I have just learned to ignore all the little things and have fun driving my little car.

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