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Discussion Starter #1
I drive a fair amount during the night and if you have onstar you realize that the LED does not "dim" with the rest of the interior lights/leds and after a while, it gets annoying. I'm also struggling with the throttle a bit.

Onstar:
I currently have electricians tape over it but wondered if any of you have better ideas.

Some options I've considered:

1. Removing a fuse for Onstar as I never intend to use it.
2. My wife offered to "paint" it with nail polish, either black it out or tone it down.

THrottle:
My other current Passats are 1.8 TIP with the wire based throttle. This W8 has the drive by wire variety and there seems to be a dead zone where you push and get no response and then all of a sudden the engine gets the "gas" and the passengers are getting thrown into their seats. It just seems touchy...is this typical of the drive by wire or am I just used to the "mushy" 1.8 and need to get used to the W8?

I have about 50k left on the warranty and don't want to void it (VW Certified) but like most, enjoy working on the cars.

Thanks for any advice!
 

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lreven said:
I drive a fair amount during the night and if you have onstar you realize that the LED does not "dim" with the rest of the interior lights/leds and after a while, it gets annoying. I'm also struggling with the throttle a bit.

Onstar:
I currently have electricians tape over it but wondered if any of you have better ideas.

Some options I've considered:

1. Removing a fuse for Onstar as I never intend to use it.
2. My wife offered to "paint" it with nail polish, either black it out or tone it down.
If you truly don't intend to use the OnStar service, as in you do not have it activated and do not care about the automatic airbag deployment reporting, etc., you have two options.

The simple and easy option is to unplug the OnStar telematics control module. Assuming you have a sedan, it's in your trunk in the first-aid compartment / storage area. It's on the top shelf out of the three shelves, enclosed in a protective Styrofoam surround. No tools are required, it just slides right out. Unplug its wiring harness and you should be good to go. You can unplug the GPS and cellular antennas if you're in the mood, but there's no need and it's just more connectors to lose down inside the car if you ever decide to reverse your decision. I don't think this will set any DTCs in any other modules on the car, but I haven't tested.

The elegant option is to use VAG-COM to place it in Transport mode. Cars are shipped this way from the factory to conserve battery power, and the dealer is supposed to turn it off. With the key in and the ignition on but without the engine running, access the Telematics module (address 75). Go to Adaptation channel 3, which will come up as "Service Mode", currently set to 0. You need to set it to 1. For some reason it won't work if I input 1, I have to use the Up button. Hit Test, then Save, then close out the controller. Ignition off, key out, and then the module should be inactive from there on out. The status light will not light. It will not draw battery power waiting for call-ins from the OnStar service after the car is shut off. The control head buttons themselves will continue to be backlit when the rest of the interior backlights are on, but that's not too obtrusive. I don't know if the backlighting is still active when you unplug the telematics module entirely.
 

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i'm not sure how the onstar button/light looks, but if you can get the button off just sharpy on the led to dim it, this way you can adjust how bright it is, and it doesn't look bad
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks all for the info. I wondered what the styrofoam package was above the CD carrier. I was thinking maybe it was part of the Monsoon (Doh!)

I don't think I'll remove the Onstar controller but will look into either disabling via Vagcom or the sharpie method. I do have the licensed version of Vagcom and I already used it on the W8 to get rid of the damn autolock feature. As well as recalibrating the throttle bodies and other stuff on my other two Passats.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A friend sent me this site link. http://www.i-hacked.com/

There is an article with some directions on how to attach a serial connector to the onstar controller which I could then plug into a GPS software package like MS Maps. It at least lets you use the GPS information.....obviously not something I want to do under warranty but I thought it was interesting.
 

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Sounds like you own about half the Passats in Iowa!:D
 

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lreven said:
There is an article with some directions on how to attach a serial connector to the onstar controller which I could then plug into a GPS software package like MS Maps. It at least lets you use the GPS information.....obviously not something I want to do under warranty but I thought it was interesting.
I've seen that before. With the cost of USB/bluetooth GPS devices so far down these days, it has more geek value than anything. But taking things apart can be fun, and after all, all Volkswagen OnStar units will be useless bricks after January 2008 when the analog cell network dies.

If you're just curious about where you're at, the OnStar telematics controller appears to give out your latitude, longitude, altitude and GPS time via several OBD measuring blocks. For very occasional use, you could take those coordinates and plug them into a map program if you got lost. The right blocks are up in the 30s, if memory serves. Now that I'm almost done with my transmission, the telematics controller is one of the two other things on my hitlist for which there isn't yet a VAG-COM label file, and I think I can make one. The GPS should continue to work even after the analog cell network goes away, although the unit won't be able to do anything with that data by itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
To the earlier post (ONE8T says - You must own half the passats in Iowa) - yes, it feels like it. The B5 design still gets noticed in the packs of Honda - Toyotas. I'll wait for the redesign of the B6 before making the leap as they are hard to pick out of the crowd and look like a Jetta anyway.

I haven't had much time to devote to the Onstar item. I would be interested in the label files from more of a geek/curiosity factor. I agree that with the relative cost of GPS tapping into the GPS side of Onstar would be more of a geek item.

BUT having been in the computer field since '80 and having worn a pocket protector or two in the past, it geek fits. So, at some point I think I'll "play" with it (onstar) a bit to see what I can get out of it. Otherwise, if I don't, I'm going to want to get rid of the damn ugly antenae that came with the setup.

I still jump in one of the 1.8's when I'm out for a quick errand or horsing around. The W8 doesn't even feel like the same model as the other 1.8's and V6's I've driven, totally different experience.
 

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Ireven,
I'm sure the dealer can de-activate your onstar. As for the dead spot, my 03 W8 is smooth in all throttle positions/applications. I would have the dealer look at it. I only throw passengers around when I intend to.
 
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