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Can Fordmods fix this 2001 polo? 


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 Post subject: Can Fordmods fix this 2001 polo?
Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:24 am 
Smokin em up
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Can any of you mechanically minded ppl please lend some suggestions for a prob with my sisters vw Polo?

2001 VW Polo
5 Speed manual
---not much else to say??? :)

Anyway, when she is driving around and some times at idle, the tacho will randomly drop to zero RPM?! The effect of this, causes the oil light to flash, and follows to emit three loud warning beeps.

As far as we are aware the car runs fine, no probs at all apart from being a bit underpowered :twisted: This has been happening for a few months. Auto electrician can't work it out either.

We have no VW dealer locally who can check diagnostics either. just after some general mechanical advice.

Additional Info: Car has recently had a second hand Air con compressor replace, but Air con still doesn't work?




Last edited by drewh on Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Can Fordmods fix this 2001 polo?
Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:28 am 
Getting Side Ways

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Ride: 5.0 AU's and 5.0 Maverick

Power: 139 rwkw

Location: Sydney West
NSW, Australia

Sounds like a dodgy earth.



xr6turnip wrote:
More people paid for a ride in a VT commodore then an AU Falcon so the VT is superior.
Based on that fact my Mum is the best around!

 Post subject: Re: Can Fordmods fix this 2001 polo?
Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:22 am 
Parts Gopher

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i had a similar problem with my BA falcon. Turned out the issue was actually with the HIM. After replacing that it all went good again. In the BA the PCM, BEM, HIM and dash instruments are all connected via a CANBUS so when one system starts to fail they all do. Although in saying that my whole symptoms where: heater not working and occasionally all the dash instruments went out.

So if the above post doesn't help try looking up whether or not your sisters car has a similar setup.
 Post subject: Re: Can Fordmods fix this 2001 polo?
Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:42 pm 
Smokin em up
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Thanks for the replies guys - i don't where to start with these VWs! I checked it out but its so tight, so hard to check anything out without getting underneath. But Im about 95% convinced its an electrical problem.

After doing a bit of googling, i found out the problem with the tacho is somewhat common problem. I can also confirm that the car idles at 0 rmp on the tacho, and does to respond to revs while in neutral.

I have started collecting a few details which I will present to our local auto electrians (doesn't know much about VWs), and I will post in this thread for future reference.

Quote: ... ing-11389/

We just bought a 1995 Golf III 2.0L. The speedometer and tachometer do not work. They seem to vibrate at zero but not move beyond that. The odometer, dial lights, etc., all seem to work fine. Since I last wrote - I have seen the speed/tacho work once. Then back to zero next time I started.

I've seen a few posts on this subject but no definitive answer on whether its likely to be the speedometer gear or an electrical connection behind the instrument cluster. I've now checked both. I pulled the speedo gear out and checked it - it appears almost new. I pulled the instrument cluster out and reseated connections - again no problems found.

Regarding your cluster issue,

I am a auto electrician by trade,

I have worked on the golf 3 cluster while serving my final years of apprentice with Volkswagon South Africa.

The problem with those cluster, they have a electric floppy circuit, that circuits generate dust and moisture making the connection weak and then breaks in places causing the rev counter not to work.

The temp and fuel gauge as well.

Can you tell me your speedo connection is it electric ? or cable ?

If it is cable, then the gears in the cluster have issue.

If electric, again the cluster circuit comes in to play.

I would suggest if not fixed yet, to replace the cluster can be found in scrap yards.

Agents will be to exspensive

I had the exact same problem with the gauge cluster on my girlfriend's 1995 cabrio. swapped it with used cluster of similar year.. same problem again. tach and speedo worked intermittently. pound on the dash, they flicker,.. tried tying the wiring harness clip to the back of cluster with zip tie.. worked for a short time... problem persisted. took it apart again and looked really closely under bright light

and six trouble free months later it's still working!!

If you have experienced intermittent function of speedo and/or tach and/or odometer.. there is a very good chance you can fix it yourself.. for less than 25.00.. or free if you have already or can get your hands on a soldering pen and solder

I believe this to be a problem from the factory. whatever robot or computer that sets these up was not aligning properly at the time (or for years maybe??) causing a cold solder joint which separates and is a persistent problem over many models sharing these clusters

1. remove gauge cluster
2. detach wiring clip
3. by removing the screws (torx on some, phillips on others) separate rear panel from cluster
4. inspect pins and surrounding solder where wiring clip attaches.
5. wiggle each pin with small screwdriver or tip of knife blade and examine for visible separation from solder on board
6. carefully, with soldering pen (gun's too big), heat solder at each pin ONLY until it liquifies and has shiny smooth texture. this only takes a couple of seconds.. DO NOT OVERHEAT as can damage board. allow to cool and harden.
7. re-inspect each pin.. no more wiggle?
8. re-assemble, road test, and enjoy

I found both of the gauges that i possess to have had the exact same problem with the exact same pins. now i have two perfectly functioning gauge clusters.

save yourself trouble and dolllars.. try this before you take it to the shop.. or suggest they look very closely at the wiring clip pins on the board if you do take it in.

those poor little vw mechanics, they'll never find this one themselves,... it's way too simple.


New to this forum , just bought a 97 jetta with a 1.9 tdi .
the tach quit working and the oil pressure light is now flashing . from "reads" i gather it may be associated with the alternator " w" terminal connection . any ideas about where to get a new alternator connector? or anything that would help me solve this issue ?

Yup, it's an AAZ so an IDI engine rather than a TDI engine, and so W-terminal drive to the tach.

To check the W-terminal output, set your multimeter to "AC volts"... one terminal to ground, the other to the W-terminal on the alternator... the pin-out of the small connector on the alternator looks like this:

found the problem , the w wire from the alternator had a break in it . fixing it brought both tach and oil light back to normal. thanks for all suggestions though.

I recently picked up a 98 Jetta TDI with a bad head. (prothe again) and rebuilt it and reinstalled. Engine runs great, but the tach and the speedometer are intermittent. I rechecked and cleaned all the plugs that were disconnected in the process and still have an intermittent tach and speedometer. So I removed the cluster and re-soldered the connectors and while still apart, plugged it in. Funny thing is although it didnt work at the time, I reached up and bumped the tach needle and it came up to current idle speed. On a whim , i drove the car and the speedo worked too. I pulled over and shut it off, restarted and sure enough, the tach remained at "0" . I drove the car and speedo too remained at zero. while driving I reached up and tweaked the tach and it and the speedo worked again. Shut it off again and tried it again and tried tweaking the speedo to see if it worked reverse. It did not. Ok, so I think the tach servo is somehow messed up and off to the salvage yard I go. I got a cluster off a same year gasser and installed it. IT WORKS! Great so I go home and find the circuit board is the same adn swapp the appropiate lights and the bezel front mask the "unleaded only" resoldered the connector , just in case and reinstall. (yea, i know the tach is mismarked) It works great, I'm happy, kids happy. kid goes to deliver pizzas and calls about hour later calls back and says the tach and speedo has quit. I took it apart again and tried the tach tweak and the same thing happens as the original. I called the former owner and. he says the cluster never once gave him a problem. Tach and speedo in now intermittent. I pulling my hair out. Any ideas?

In R & Ring the head, you would have disturbed the grounds for cluster (secondary), VSS and CTS. A common issue for cluster problems. Remove and thoroughly wire-brush them.

Having owned a Mk3 with the same intermittent issue on the speedo and tach, there is a high possibility that the cold solder joints where the connector prongs meet the circuit board have cracked/failed, and are causing the issue.

If you can take apart the cluster and know how to solder, it's a cheap fix:

and here about mid way down the page:

Once again you are correct. I spoke to a couple people today with experience having worked on these clusters and he said the tach and speedo are wired in series. If the tach dont work the speedo wont. He also said the "shivering" of the tach needle is a give away. Bad stepper motor. So as you see in the earlier thread I purchased another gasser panel from "pull a part". It too had the same problem after a couple hours. I found this site ... eplacement

I figured the gasser (which only had 111k on the clock) SPEEDO servo motor might be just fine. I opened that instrument pack and found the stepper motors have the SAME PN on them. So I removed the SPEEDO stepper from the gasser panel and installed it in the TACH position of my tdi panel. IT WORKS!!!!! At least for now. If I have any additional problems I'll update everyone. But the point is BOTH STEPPER MOTORS ARE IDENTICAL! It took me about 1 1/2 hours to complete the entire swap. Thanks for all your help! ALL OF YOU. :-) Kevin

Do you have a check engine light? The link below may be for a different engine but it should be similar to yours. The tachometer gets it's signal from the ignition control module and I would check for any poor or corroded connections.

I second checking the connections, especially the ground at the engine compartment fuse block and the battery. Bad ground connections can make your gauges do some flaky things.

Tachometer jumps and falls randomly during highway driving

I've had this issue with my GTI for a while, but since I don't drive it that often, I never looked deeper into the problem.

While driving on the highway, my tach will jump 500rpm's (usually from 3000 - 3500, or 4000 to 4500) for a fraction of a second.. If you blink, you'll miss it.. but since it happens so often, I notice when it happening. I can feel it while I drive.

The problem started to get more serious when the tach would drop to 0 for a few seconds, and then jump back up to 3k or 4k (whatever I was doing before). I took it to a shop and they fixed the fuse box, but that didn't seem to fix the problem.. The worst it got was when i was on the highway, the RPMs dropped to 0, I pulled over, and the car shut off.. would turn over but not on.. I waited for 10 mins or so and the car finally started and i took it home..

I brought it back to the shop and they couldn't reproduce the issue for a few weeks.. The difference is that they took the car out every day, and I drove they car maybe twice a month.. This was at the end of last summer, so I didn't put any serious thought into it.

Didn't drive the car all winter, and now it's happening again. I plan on doing a lot more driving this summer so I need to fix this issues ASAP.. If it's something I can fix in an afternoon by myself, that would be perfect.. Any help would be greatly appreciated..


my tach was acting up when i first got the car, I cleaned all the connections going to the coil when i replaced the coil and that fixed it.

Had the same thing happen in my old diesel jetta. Check the regulator in the alternator. Its on the back side held on by two small screws. If the contacts are worn down replace it with a new one and see if that fixes it. 90% of the time it will.

Some other problems that could be related:
- Needs new O2 sensor (the car will stall very quickly while driving sometimes :roll: )
- bad earth - what do I do to check these?
- Crank sensor? -




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