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Discussion Starter #1
The engine warning light is on (blinking), and the car is stuttering big time. I had to drive home using the "Tiptronic", to keep the revs above 3k, or the vibration was unbearable.

Does this sound familiar? Anybody experience this?

Thank you
 

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Give some details about your car. What year and engine?

If you have a B5 I'd suspect a bad Ignition Control Module.
If you have a B5.5 I'd agree that a coil pack is the more likely cause.

Can't tell much from the symptoms. You need to get the car scanned and identify the code. Autozone will do it for free, or find a friend who has a Vag Com.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
'99 4 cyl

The car is a '99 4 cyl. wagon.

"bad Ignition Control Module"
"bad coil pack"

Are these something that can be picked up at the parts store and put in by the do-it-yourselfer?

Thanks
 

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The coil packs in the AEB 1.8T are much more robust than their B5.5 counterparts. That is why I would suspect the ICM first. There have been many threads where people describe the stuttering car and blinking CEL on a '98 and '99 and the culprit turns out to be a bad ICM rather than a bad coil pack.

The ICM is located on top of the air box. If you remove the plastic cover over the air box it is in direct view. It is a flat electronic component with a 4-pin connector on one side and a 5-pin connector on the other. It is secured to the air box with 2 small hex head screws. It is simple to change, but a replacement will cost you a bit. The OEM Bosch replacement goes for around $250 and a different brand (Hule, I think)replacement is around $150.

You can buy it from many sources; here is a link to the part at ECS Tuning...

http://www.ecstuning.com/stage/edpd/pagebuild_v2.cgi?make=Volkswagen&engine=1.8T&model=Passat B5&submodel=FWD&category=Engine&subcategory=Electricial

Scroll down to where they show "Ignition Ignition Module".

Another source is IMPEX. They are more expensive, but they show a picture which will help you find it in your car. Here is the link...

http://www.impexfap.com/partlist.cfm?getpart=10409&subcategory=4290#part10409

Here are my suggestions...

1) If you have an Ohm meter you can test your existing ICM by checking resistance from each pin on the 4-pin side to the ground pin (center on the 5-pin side). Be sure the black, negative lead of your meter is on the ground pin, otherwise you will read an open circuit. Compare the resistance values for each of the 4 pins to the ground pin. They should be the same as one another. If one pin reads significantly different then the others, then the ICM is bad.

2) If you aren't sure based on the test that the ICM is bad, I'd pull the spark plugs and look for either a bad plug or an obvious indication of which cylinder is miss-firing. If you find the bad cylinder you can swap the placement of the coil pack from that cylinder and see if the miss-fire changes to its new location.

3) For more supporting evidence you can get the car scanned for the error code. When the ICM is bad the codes typically say "Cylinder # miss-fire," or "Multiple Miss-fire." For some reason Cylinder 2 seems to die first.

Aside from that you have the option of just buying an ICM and trying it or taking the car to the dealership and paying their price. ICM failure is pretty common so it isn't an outrageous idea to have a spare just in case. I'd buy the $150 one and try it; if it doesn't fix the problem you can save for a later time.

Where are you located? Anywhere near Pittsburgh?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
jaero........ Good info

Thanks for the info. I think I'll start with the ICM. I'll let you know what happens.

I located in Holden, MA
 

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Discussion Starter #9
WOW

That's great, that a bunch of people are willing to help out with the diagnostics. Great group thanks for the link.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
jaero .... Looks like I've found it.

jaero,

You were correct with your first assumption. It is the ICM. I had Autozone VagCom it. I got the part for $399.00 (Ouch!!). I will be trying the swap out today. In the mean time I've come across a good write-up on this exact problem (see link) http://www.audilife.com/forums/printthread.php?t=1548.

I'll keep you posted on my results.

Thanks for your help. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
running like a champ

:D

Thanks for the help. It was the ICM. Something I have never heard of before. But that is what a board like this is for, and it really helped me out with my fix, and now I know a little more about my car.
 
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