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I am picking up my car today and i will provide all the info you need once i get it . its a 2003 passat has the 1.8 t motor 4 door sedan . I know i will want to upgrade the sound system soon with a double din head unit . I have heard that its not a good idea to ever disconnect the battery beacuse it can sometimes disable the car is this true ? also some have said you need a special scanner to reset all the codes if this happens , can't i just use a standard scanner tool or do i need to take it to a dealer . I might just replace the radio first and go from there are the speakers any good in this car ?
 

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- The signature of the Monsoon sound system is the external amplifier. Below the package shelf in the sedan, or in a cubby in the cargo area in the wagon. It will usually say Monsoon on the head unit face.

- You can generally disconnect the battery to your hearts delight. There's a theoretical possibility you might lose the throttle-body adaptation, which theoretically could keep the car from running; but I've never heard of it happening.

- IF that should happen, a generic scan tool won't help you. You'll need something VAG specific, like the dealer tool or the commercial VCDS software.

- The speakers, if intact, are decent. Matter of fact, if you have Monsoon, the entire system is pretty respectable. If you're just buying a 13-year-old German sedan, save your stereo money for other things that should be done first - I assure you you'll need it.

Note on the stereo in general and the Monsoon in particular: The system on these cars is a little... odd. I used to install car stereos for a living, and this one isn't particularly friendly to piecemeal upgrades. You can change the head unit, as long as you used the right wiring adapters, but if you start in on the speakers and amp, it's best to just rip it all out (including much of the wiring) and start over.
 

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- It will usually say Monsoon on the head unit face.
When you turn the head on it will display in large black letters on the LCD display 'MONSOON'
At least it has in the cars I have had which have all been '98 - '04 model years.
 

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It will usually say Monsoon on the head unit face.
Heh. The h/u in my non-Monsoon car was replaced under warranty in the first month I owned the car in 2001. The replacement h/u has the mid-range tone control and displays "Monsoon" when powered up...but the system isn't Monsoon.
 

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I've disconnected my battery a bunch of times both in my 01 and 04 and I've never had any issues with the radio except 1 time in the 01 when I touched the pos/neg cables together. It then went into 'Safe' mode and I ended up going to the dealer to use their radio keys to pull the radio and get the # off the back of the head unit. They matched the # to my VIN and gave me the code to unlock it.

If my speakers were all working in my 04 I would be very pleased with the sound quality but I have to fix them. They cut in and out so I loose all sound a lot except for the tweeters and drivers door. If I can't fix them I will replace the entire set up so I don't have any issues.

If you replace the head unit make sure you get the correct wire harness (not some cheap knockoff to save $) and do exactly as the directions say. Crutchfield is an excellent source for all your stereo needs. I second what Scotts13 said as well as the others.
 

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When you turn the head on it will display in large black letters on the LCD display 'MONSOON'
At least it has in the cars I have had which have all been '98 - '04 model years.
(GRIN) Note the "usually." On my 2000 and 2004, they both say Monsoon on the cassette door. The 2004 says Monsoon on the screen at startup. Once could, of course, have swapped in a head unit from a Monsoon-equipped car; I believe it's also possible to change the coding to show/not show the screen label. So... usually. (Go look for the amp.)
 

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As long as we're on the subject.....do all Monsoon radio equipped cars use the same speaker setup? Specifically, are the small separate tweeters high on the doors present in all models or just higher trim levels? When I'm cruising the bone yards, I seem to remember some had the tweeters and some didn't although I wasn't paying much attention to other factors.

Also, one of my main front door speakers is shot. Are there any issues with just replacing it with a generic speaker or do I need to find another VW specific one?
 

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As far as I know, they all have the tweeters - but I've never owned a base-model GL. The door speakers on a Monsoon system are different front-to-rear, and different from a generic speaker. They're "tuned" to the frequency response of the amplifier, and vice versa. Some people report pleasing results substituting generic speakers, but it won't be correct "high fidelity".

As stated, you should replace replace like with like, or replace everything - amplifier included.
 

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My 2001.5 is a base model (no sunroof!), but with Monsoon, and has the same speakers as my decked-out 2004, tweeters included.

The PO of my 2004 had inexplicably replaced the Monsoon woofers with "generic" speakers from a good brand. The audio was terrible! I purchased stock Monsoon replacements from an eBay seller (around $30 each) and now it sounds as good as my 2001.5. The only issue with boneyard speakers is they're riveted in place, so you'll need a drill. (Rivet new ones in, too, to avoid rattle and to maintain the seal around the speaker.)

As noted above, the front and rear woofers are different (last letter of part number differs, and rears are 2 ohms, front 4 ohms). Be cautious of sellers who ignore the last letter.
 

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Do not use cheap replacement speakers!!! You will not be happy with the results. I have talked with a few different people and they all have the same ending. When you miss match the Monsoon system you get bad sound quality.

I'm pretty sure the foam has separated on my speakers along with loose wiring. I am going to pull mine, fix the short in the wiring and hot glue any tears I find and see how that works.
 

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Within the first month back in 06, I had a new headunit, new mb quart speakers and 2 amps with a little 10" sub. I say go all out.
 

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I went and spent $6 on a boneyard speaker and it fixed my problem. One thing I noticed is that the fronts come in at least 2 different versions. Some are 'paper' like my original speaker that tore apart and some are a sort of synthetic mesh. I have pictures somewhere and the part #'s are different of course. Maybe this is part of the premium sound package? It does appear that they all have the separte tweeters...
 
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