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  1. #1
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    no spark

    1998 vw passat 1.8T, turns over, but won't start. fuel pump/relay working fine (my face smells like gas). reset battery, did the "car wash syndrome" pedal to the floor protocol, no go. cel on.

    no spark on cylinder 1. i recently replaced the icm (old one was missing cylinder 2, but it at least start). of course i threw the old one away, so i can't check if the new one is bad now too. any thoughts? thanks.

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  3. #2
    PZ
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    Have you checked for spark? Pull a plug, put it in the coil and ground it to the valve cover. If it does not spark, the new ICM may be bad but it could also be several other things. If it sparks, pull all of the plugs and clean them, the engine may be flooded.

  4. #3
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    no spark. ended up just bringing it in to the dealer. they said it was the spark plug module, whatever that is? maybe the same as the icm? couldn't find anything on what it is.

  5. #4
    PZ
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    Yep, ICM.

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    shoot, i just spent 650 bucks plus a rental for a fix that i previously fixed for 50 bucks then. i've really learned my lesson to keep old parts.

    thanks for the help and input anyway pz. i've only been having problems with the icm recently since i put on a k&n cold air intake. in this setup, the icm is just kind of sitting out in the open. in the stock setup, it was in the airbox getting a constant stream of air. does anyone think the icm could be getting too hot without a constant stream of air over it? anyone else have problems like this after putting in a k&n kit?

  7. #6
    (insert title) Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    The ICM is a set of four semiconductors that do the on/off switching for the primary sides of the four ignition coils (think Points if you're familiar with old style ignition systems).The ICM heats up as it performs its job and it needs to be kept cool. This is why the stock setup has the ICM attached (with thermal paste) to a heat sync and that heat sync placed in the fresh air intake path. The hotter that module gets, the sooner it will fail (just like the CPU chip in your computer).

    You're not the first person to run an aftermarket intake without provision for ICM cooling. I'm not sure how others have engineered around the ICM cooling issue.

    It's also possible that your original module was old and ready to fail, and the replacement was bad out of the box.

  8. #7
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    thanks for the info steve. just to be sure, i cross referenced the part number on the invoice and it was the icm. in any case, at least now it's warrantied for 1 year/12000 miles, so it'll turn into a little experiment to see if it fails again, possibly from getting too hot. if it does, maybe i'll just get a little 12v fan to blow over it.

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