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Ross, Diagnostic and repair technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1180
Experience:  Licensed diagnostic and repair technician
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hello there i own a golf mk4 18t going 2 my car the other

Customer Question

hello there i own a golf mk4 18t going 2 my car the other morning 2 find no clocks working evrylight on it starts up then instantley dies like imobalizer kicks in kept trying eventully started runs perfect but wont even start 2 day
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Ross replied 2 years ago.
Ross :

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you today. I am a licensed diagnostic and repair technician, I look forward to working with you.

I noticed after the initial problems you have you say the car will not start at all now. Do the lights still illuminate on the dash as normal, and is the engine cranking over on the starter when you try to start it?

JACUSTOMER-fef97lwa- :

all warning lights come on and stay on although the 2 digital clocks milage ect dont work at all and the lights outside car work perfect there are no 2 show there on in the car

JACUSTOMER-fef97lwa- :

yes it starts but instantley cuts out can hear petrol prime

JACUSTOMER-fef97lwa- :

all the warning lights light up and stay on

Ross :

Ok, this actually sounds like the instrument panel has failed, on the MK4 golf the immobiliser control unit is part of the instrument cluster, which based on the fact the LCD displays are not working sounds like the circuit board has failed causing it to loose communication with the immobliser. The fuel pump will always prime regardless, but when you start to crank it will not allow the ECU to provide power to the fuel pump relay.

I recommend you get it plugged into a VAG diagnostic system to scan for specific fault codes to confirm the fault before replacing parts, but from experience this is exactly what i would expect to see from a faulty instrument panel.

Before you go any further, you can try re-setting the control unit in case this is a glitch, its unlikely but its always worth try.

1. Remove keys from the vehicle.
2. Disconnect the battery NEGATIVE (-) terminal
3. Wait 5-10 mins for the power to discharge from all control units
4. Reconnect and tighten the battery terminal.

This will completely reset all control units and so can sometimes clear faults like this, otherwise unfortunately i think its going to need a new instrument cluster to cure the problem.

Ross :

I hope I’ve provided the information you were seeking. If you need more help, please use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If you do not require further assistance, kindly rate my service. Thank you, Ross.

JACUSTOMER-fef97lwa- :

wud a instrument cluster stop it starting

Ross :

Yes it would on these models as the immobiliser control unit is part of the instrument cluster

JACUSTOMER-fef97lwa- :

wud this get worse gradually because it used 2 start but nothing now tryed battery off no diffrence at all

JACUSTOMER-fef97lwa- :

easy fix is it

JACUSTOMER-fef97lwa- :

instrement cluster

JACUSTOMER-fef97lwa- :

ok 2 get 1 out ov a scrap golf put straight in

Expert:  Ross replied 2 years ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Expert:  Ross replied 2 years ago.
They often start causing problems before they totally fail, this is a characteristic of a failing electronic components, it depends exactly what's gone wrong, bad solder joints for example, these depend a lot on temperature, as they heat up they can make contact again so you might find on a warmer day with the sun on the dashboard it will start and other days it wont until one day it fails all together.

The physical replacement of the cluster is simple, just a case of removing the trim and a few screws and the cluster can be changed, of course using one from a scrap vehicle is the cheapest option, but either way you have two problems. Firstly the mileage will be incorrect, some people live with this and others like to get it re-programmed. Secondly this new instrument panel will need to be programmed as it contains the immobiliser, so this needs to be matched up to your ECU using diagnostic equipment, however as this needs to be done, the mileage can usually be done at the same time.

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