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Hello to all, especially to CR125Honda for this thread from which I have learned quite a bit about the immobilizer. I am a novice at electronics (or should I say a complete ignoramus?) I have owned a 2002 Passat GLX wagon (170K miles) for the past year and half and have enjoyed driving it. Of late, the car starts intermittently, but curiously what I have found is that when the car won't start, everything shuts down after the key is turned to the "start" position; no starter motor whine, the instrument cluster and all electronics immediately shut off. But by chance, I discovered that all resumes back to normal if I disconnect and reconnect the battery; similar to a re-boot of a computer. My instrument cluster is original to the car (I am the 4th owner of the vehicle) and it, too, is starting to show the fading MFA display. I have only one key (switch blade type) FOB which I cannot vouch is the original key to this vehicle. I also have a Ross-Tech VAG-com analyzer which is still new to me. At this starting point what would you all suggest would be a logical way to diagnose my problem?
 

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@ OKC:
In VCDS, click "Auto-Scan", select model series (Passat 3B for you), and let that run. Save the output and post it here.

Your specific issue (total loss of electrical power, only when key is turned to Start) is indicative of a faulty battery (collapsing under high load), or faulty battery cable(s)/connections. This is NOT an Immobilizer problem.
 

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^+1. I'd also recommend cleaning the battery terminals. You may have a bad connection there that is 'fixed' temporarily when you disconnect/reconnect the wires.
 

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To both cuppie and Iowegian, thank you for your advice. I never thought about the battery connection as the first place to look. Happy New Year to you both. Thanks again.
 

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The problem with the fading LCD screen is pretty common. Usually will only happen in the Summer time. FWIW. You can save yourself some $ and have just the screen replaced and not have to replace the entire cluster.
 

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I don't know if you are still following this thread or not with the age but I am having a very similar issue and wanted to see how you came to find out that it was the instrument cluster?

The instrument cluster was the problem.
I have a B6 passat my son drives and it has the key that you push into the ignition to start, but I have 2 keys not just the one. I know its technically the wrong group for this but since its so similar i wanted to ask.

My issue is the car randomly does not start and shows immobilizer error. I recently purchased a ANCEL VD500 OBD II Diagnostic Scanner to read the codes. The immobilizer code is 01176 key and searching for that lead me to this thread. I have noticed that its more often when its hot inside of the car. First thing in the morning there is no issue, as with late at night. I never had this problem over the winter but maybe it just came to so i wont know until next winter. However when i open the doors and let the inside of the car cool down it starts again. I was leaning toward the sensor around the ignition not working. I am going to take it apart and clean the contacts and check the ohm load to see if it is similar to yours. I did just recently replace the radio because it would randomly turn on without anything or anyone in the car and the battery would die because of this. I ended up having to replace the battery because it happened so much in a short time. I did take the radio fuses out until the radio was replaced and I didn't have any other issue until now it wont start, so that makes me wonder if the cluster is an issue, or something with the ignition, like the sensor ring?
 

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I don't know if you are still following this thread or not with the age but I am having a very similar issue and wanted to see how you came to find out that it was the instrument cluster?



I have a B6 passat my son drives and it has the key that you push into the ignition to start, but I have 2 keys not just the one. I know its technically the wrong group for this but since its so similar i wanted to ask.

My issue is the car randomly does not start and shows immobilizer error. I recently purchased a ANCEL VD500 OBD II Diagnostic Scanner to read the codes. The immobilizer code is 01176 key and searching for that lead me to this thread. I have noticed that its more often when its hot inside of the car. First thing in the morning there is no issue, as with late at night. I never had this problem over the winter but maybe it just came to so i wont know until next winter. However when i open the doors and let the inside of the car cool down it starts again. I was leaning toward the sensor around the ignition not working. I am going to take it apart and clean the contacts and check the ohm load to see if it is similar to yours. I did just recently replace the radio because it would randomly turn on without anything or anyone in the car and the battery would die because of this. I ended up having to replace the battery because it happened so much in a short time. I did take the radio fuses out until the radio was replaced and I didn't have any other issue until now it wont start, so that makes me wonder if the cluster is an issue, or something with the ignition, like the sensor ring?
B5s and B6s are totally different in that respect. You should start a thread in that forum.
 
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