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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I decided to use my own car to travel for work this week. 250 miles from my house near Pittsburgh to Bethesda, MD. I met up with a friend near Bethesda for dinner and when I got in the car to leave, I knew something was wrong the second I turned the key. I noticed the letters for PRND4321 were all in little boxes and kind of ran together. By the way, 2003 Pasatt GLS with 1.8T and Tip - sorry about that - should have mentioned that first.

I had seen the car do this when you change it from program 1 to program 2 with the APR programming. I had it done last Summer and haven't had an issue before. The car then wouldn't start. I tried a bunch of times. Then, on a whim, I decided to enter my PIN code and put the car back in program 1 (stock) mode. It started fine. I figured, let's try and put it back in program 2 (93 octane) mode. I went through the regular programming steps; entered my PIN, held down set until the check engine light was flashing twice and released the set button. I got the normal alternate blinking of the CEL and the EPC lights telling me that the code was accepted.

Then I held down the res button to enable the lock out. The CEL and EPC acknowledge the code but wouldn't stop flashing. I was able to get the car started but it was like it had no power. I backed in to a different space and ran through all these steps again and was able to get the car running, but the CEL and EPC lights just kept on flashing. I decided to drive to the hotel in Bethesda from Germantown where I was and after about 5 minutes the CEL and EPC lights went out.

I made it to the parking garage and decided to temp fate one last time. No matter what I did it will not take program 2 anymore. I can get everything working fine in program 1 (stock) mode though, but program 2 (93) seems to be gone.

I am fine with stock mode as long as the car is reliable, but I'll miss 93 mode. Much better program in my opinion.

I figure I can go back to where I got it programmed a year ago and they can check it out, but I wondered if anyone else had ever seen anything like this before. It was a sickening feeling when it wouldn't start and I was 250 miles from home. Panic was going to set in soon.

I started the car a few times in the hotel's parking garage and it is fine for now in stock mode. So here I sit in the hotel in Bethesda hoping that everything stays OK.

Thanks for anyone's help.
 

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While I have no advice on this subject...I was going to have this program/chip installed next month.

I might wait on it as this is my daily commuter. Please keep us informed.
 

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Any problems with shifting? Did the tiptronic function work when you had the negative PRND letters showing?
The negative image is prime symptom of faulty Multifunction switch on the Tip tranny. Just a thought.
 

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Sounds like you need to call APR. Its probably your best bet and they can tell you where the closest APR rep. (they have some that are not listed on the web site)
 

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This was some time ago, last fall:
norr said:
First I'll answer some questions: it's DPP not soldered chip, it was done at New Dimensions in Santa Clara, CA and I got the works for $648 + tax; 4 programs (stock, 91, 93, valet), security lockout, TBA, fault code erase and free labor. Sweet deal, huh? If it only worked as advertised... Now an update on the problem:

On Saturday I kept testing it around and, out of curiosity, I switched back to stock... WOW what a basket case! The car felt REALLY sluggish, the engine and ESP icons were lid up and so where all the gears in both auto an tip mode. On top of that the transmission was acting weirdly, it would keep the engine at 3000 rpm even if I released the throttle, where as before you know very well it would have upshifted right away.

So I took it back to New Dimensions where Jason confirmed all my good impressions I already had about these people. He spent quite some time trying to figure it out an here's what we know so far: something goes out of whack when you change programs. He did it a couple of times; cleared the codes, changed the program and then scanned for codes again... well, codes were there, engine, instrument cluster and transmission codes. Also, the light show on the dashboard would appear about every other try but we couldn't identify a pattern.

I've also discovered by myself that if you don't turn the key all the way off and then turn on the engine after selecting a program you will in fact still run the previously selected program until the next time you turn the engine off and back on.

So for now he switched me to chipped mode again and erased the codes after the switch so I can have a driveable car until he talks with the tech guys at APR and see what can be done.
The APR people were useless, they basically told me to put up with it untill they release a patched version of their DPP programming. As for the board, I kind of got the impression people were irritated/annoyed that I was bad-mouthing APR... I ended up making use of their 30 days money-back and swore never to use any of their produts again. They may have released some good chips in the past but the way the programming for 2003 behaved, lead me to believe the have little to none quality control... even a basic testing session would have revealed those errors, but I quess greed came before ethics on this one. I've been wett-ed ever since and very happy with both the product and support.
 

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Lisa Simpson
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I think the issue is not with the programming, but with the DPP code. I am sorry that APR is not standing up better behind it, and I hope they fix the problems quickly. We may not be the biggest bunch of buyers out there, but I know we certainly have the most free cash of any single platform owners' group!
 

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As I have been debating whether to go APR or WETT. This has made the decision easy. What I've heard about Kelly at WETT is EXCELLENT customer service. I've never heard anything bad about her trying to solve problems. I mean, I set her an email when I first starting looking (I will be chipped at the end of July) and she emailed me back an hour later. I know APR may be alittle better than WETT (per a lot of posts here), but for the price and on top of that the customer service...I'm getting WETT.

But, that's my two and 1/2 cents (or nickels if you prefer)
 

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norr said:
norr said:
<snip>out of curiosity, I switched back to stock... WOW what a basket case! The car felt REALLY sluggish, the engine and ESP icons were lid up and so where all the gears in both auto an tip mode. On top of that the transmission was acting weirdly, it would keep the engine at 3000 rpm even if I released the throttle, where as before you know very well it would have upshifted right away.
I'm having trouble following... you switched back to the stock chip and (still) had problems, but this shows the errors are with the non-stock chip? :???:

Wouldn't this show the fault was something other than the chip? Perhaps the trans. control module?

Help me out...
 

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Just a thought...I've got a 2003 1.8t tip with APR DPP stock and 93. When the guy installed mine he told me a couple of times that when switching programs you need to run thru the process of switching and then turn the key backwards to full off position for something like 5 or 8 seconds before starting. He said (actually I was watching him and the warning comes up durring programming) that if you start the car with out turning it to the off position for the said amount of time it could cause the car to not run correctly or at all. When I switch i usually remove the key and wait 10 seconds and then start the car. Just a thought.
 

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hey guys....

I also have 2003 with Wett chip. I've been chipped since 5K and I have

48K miles on right now(I know I drive alot) without a problem(fingers crossed).

Can't say enough of Kelly's customer service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I called APR today. Very nice folks to deal with. Said they had not heard of my exact issue before, but that I should get it somewhere to get the fault codes looked at. We determined that NGP Racing in Aberdeen really was the closest one, so I finished up work @4pm and headed 90 minutes up the road to their shop. Now I was well over 300 miles from home.

I had already called them and told them I was coming. Talked with Nate who said he'd be there to help me out. Of course, the first time he put it in to program 2 it worked perfectly. Figures. Checked for any fault codes. None.

He did mention an issue with the very early DPP stuff having an issue with cold starts and the PRND432 letters doing exactly what I said. He had some trouble initially getting it reprogrammed, but a call to APR seemed to clear that up.

I have to do the program change just a little differently than I did before, but the first thing I noticed is that before, when I would change from one program to another I would hear all sorts of noises coming from the engine area. Almost like things were adjusting. Now, just pure silence.

The car runs great now. Hopefully it will be this way for good as it is a much better experience in 93 octane mode than stock.

I can't say enough about Nate and NGP Racing. They really took care of me and I left completely satisfied. They closed at 6pm but they stuck with me until everything was done right. I'm glad I didn't have more time as I would have had them lower it while I was there! Nate definitely seemed to know more about the process than the place where I originally got it done. Just my opinion from watching him.

Thanks everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
V-MANN said:
Just a thought...he told me a couple of times that when switching programs you need to run thru the process of switching and then turn the key backwards to full off position for something like 5 or 8 seconds before starting. He said (actually I was watching him and the warning comes up durring programming) that if you start the car with out turning it to the off position for the said amount of time it could cause the car to not run correctly or at all. When I switch i usually remove the key and wait 10 seconds and then start the car. Just a thought.
This is exactly the way I have to do it now. It was not like that originally. I got mine done as soon as the DPP stuff came out from APR for the 2003's. I was told 10 seconds minimum now. I never had to do that before. Once I got the CEL flashing the number of times I wanted for the program (in my case it was 2), the CEL and EPC would flash letting me know it was done.
 

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pete1 said:
norr said:
norr said:
<snip>out of curiosity, I switched back to stock... WOW what a basket case! The car felt REALLY sluggish, the engine and ESP icons were lid up and so where all the gears in both auto an tip mode. On top of that the transmission was acting weirdly, it would keep the engine at 3000 rpm even if I released the throttle, where as before you know very well it would have upshifted right away.
I'm having trouble following... you switched back to the stock chip and (still) had problems, but this shows the errors are with the non-stock chip? :???:

Wouldn't this show the fault was something other than the chip? Perhaps the trans. control module?

Help me out...
It wasn't an actual chip, I had it done thru DPP so my stock was no longer VW's stock but rather APR's stock, and anyway the errors came from switching the programs in general not from a certain program in particular.
 

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...got it. DPP=reprogramming the stock chip. Makes sense now.

Glad to hear it's all working. :thumbup:
 
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