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Discussion Starter #1
I need to find out why my CEL doesn't work. So I need help taking the instrument cluster apart and checking the LED. Opening the cluster itself doesn't look like a tough job, but what do I do next? How can I remove the needles without doing any damage? And, more importantly, how do I re-install them? How do I calibrate them after the procedure?
 

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Just turn clockwise and pull straight up, they'll come off. Just press them back on, and turn them counter-clockwise to see where they want to stop. You'll want to actually power up the cluster while you still have access to the needles to tweak them back to their exact alignment. When adjusting, only turn them clockwise- I've seen several posts where forcing them against the lower stop can cause damage. It's relatively simple once you've given it a try.
 

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No, you have to manually adjust them. Powering up the cluster will bring the mechanisms to their regular rest position.
 

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Yes! there is a calibration process via VAGCOM if you need it. Go to "Instruments" than "Output Tests" than click next til it indicates "analog indicators" at which point you'll see all the needles start moving towards their maximum range, and than cut back to a preset position.

Preset positions are:
Fuel Guage will go to half.
Coolant temp gauge will go to half.
RPM gauge will go to 3000 RPMs
Speedometer will go to 65 MPH (I believe, it's the same angle as the tachometer.)

DO THIS FIRST BEFORE THE VAGCOM PROCEDURE!!!
For the RPM and speedometer, rotate the needle clockwise until you feel resistance. Once you feel resistance, go a little more. Then turn it back clockwise until you meet resistance and try to get it to align with the zero versus the resistance you'll feel with the needle.

All with a light touch and you'll be good. I found the best way to realign the fuel and coolant temp needles was to run the output test with the needles off, than press the needle back onto it's motor's shaft.
 

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So, the calibration just moves the needles to a specific point, but it doesn't actually allow for adjustment of the needles from within vag-com. Still have to manually make the adjustment.
 

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So, the calibration just moves the needles to a specific point, but it doesn't actually allow for adjustment of the needles from within vag-com. Still have to manually make the adjustment.
Yeah yeah I know... but I figured it was worth mentioning. Wouldn't it be cool if you could though?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am familiar with the output tests but they could only be useful when testing if the needles are aligned correctly. I thought that maybe there's a way to ađjust the start and end positions of the neeles, but this has to be done manually. However, it's not that hard. I found it a bbit frustrating at first but then with a little patience it worked out just fine
 

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Yeah yeah I know... but I figured it was worth mentioning. Wouldn't it be cool if you could though?
Gosh, I wish! I didn't quite get my temp. gauge needle in the right spot, so now it sits just slightly off the center mark. most ppl would probably never notice, but it drives me nuts!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Then there's only one thing you can do - get the instrument cluster out and adjust it ;)

I did this in the car and powered the cluster up a few times to check if I've got it right ;)
 

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How involved was the process to pull the cluster itself? And did you find out what the issue was? I noticed my CEL doesn't self test like the other lights and I'm kicking myself for not noticing this before I bought the car... Hoping I don't need major tools/VAGcom
 

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How involved was the process to pull the cluster itself? And did you find out what the issue was? I noticed my CEL doesn't self test like the other lights and I'm kicking myself for not noticing this before I bought the car... Hoping I don't need major tools/VAGcom
There are DIYs around about pulling out the cluster. It isn't too hard for me, because a PO didn't bother to replace any of the fasteners getting to it. My CEL was always off when I bought the car, and I didn't notice either. It turned out a PO had opened up the cluster and broke the CEL LED off of the circuit board so it would never light up (No Light? NO PROBLEM!!!). If this happened to you, I still have some correct extra bright yellow LEDs that I can send to you.

The next time I go in there (to point the needles to the right position, lol) I will replace all the fasteners on my way out.
 

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Pulled everything apart and I can;t see any physical reason that the light should not work. The LED is still there and there is no tape in the way. Any ideas?
 
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