Multifunction display (MFI or MFD) FAQ and menu settings on VW Golf and Jetta TDI

difficulty: 1/5
back to 1000q: mk5 Jetta "how to" list
(also applies to Tiguan)
back to 1000q: mk6 Golf-Sportwagen index


Some menu and convenience settings on your mk5 or mk6 VW Jetta, Golf, and Tiguan like language and metric/standard units are self explanatory.  Others aren't.   My car didn't come with an owner's manual to explain any of this (and many functions aren't mentioned at all) so here's an article shows functions of the "in motion" trip computer and "stopped only" setup menu.  This article does not discuss bluetooth functions.  Please refer to 1000q: mk5/6 bluetooth FAQ for details on the bluetooth menus.  

There are 3 basic types of displays: lowline half screen, midline full screen, and highline full screen multifunction display (MFD+).  Some call it MFI (Multi Function Indicator) or MFD (Multi Function Display) but both are correct because both appeared on the menu depending on the year.  After 2010 the display became white/black instead of red and the lowline display became full size.  After 2011, the Jetta uses a short half screen display again.  2010+ cars combined the CECM with the central convenience module.

-A lowline display only shows basic features and the "pixels" are basic.  2009 and earlier lowline were half-screen.  The fuel level and water temp gauges do not have chrome rings.
-A "midline" display is full screen but does not have all the options of the highline display like the convenience menu (adjustable settings shown below).
-A highline display allows more functions to be adjustable through the menus.  The fuel level and water temp gauges have chrome rings.

-If you have a low/midline display some of these options can still be adjusted through a ross tech VCDS.  Some examples are the alarm honk or how many doors open when you use the key fob to unlock the car.  (You need an OEM GPS or compass module for the compass to show up in the display but if you have a highline display the car already has at least the compass module).

Only highline MFD show the large "car door open" screen.  Lowline have a little car symbol light.  In North America, midline instrument clusters were only found on gas Jetta / Golf.  TDI 2005.5-2010 either have lowline or highline (+) clusters.  mk6 2011+ Jetta only had low line clusters. 2010+ Golf/Sportwagen in the US had highline clusters. If you don't have a highline cluster you can't access some of these options.  See 1000q: VCDS options and tweaks if you don't have a highline cluster.

2009 Jetta TDI sportwagen and most 2005.5/2006 didn't come with a multifunction steering wheel (pictured below) to control the MFD+.  To add a MFSW, see 1000q: steering wheel and paddle shifter retrofit.  Other cars came with buttons on the stalk.  "OK/reset" is on the bottom of the stalk.  Hold the trip buttons up or down to access the menus.  It appears that 2011 and newer Jetta TDI moved the right spoke buttons back to the wiper stalk.

There are also other settings which can be accessed through a ross tech VCDS but are not adjustable through the menu.  The amount of electric steering assist can be raised or lowered up to 2007 (see 1000q: power steering assist level for details), the foglights (if equipped) can be used as daytime running lights (see 1000q: foglights as DRL for details), and the intensity of the daytime running lights is adjustable.  If your VW speedometer is reading fast, see 1000q: speedometer fix to adjust it.  If you have climatronic dual zone auto climate control, you can also see the speed that the odometer sees, see 1000q: climatronic menu for how.

From what I understand, many US spec Tiguans with the full screen MFD are not enabled to access the convenience menu even though it's equipped.  Use a VCDS to change the code to enable it.

Trip computer functions

This shows average mpg, instant mpg, trip time, trip distance, and speed warning.  To switch between trip computer 1 and 2, press the "OK" button.  Press and hold "OK" to reset the current trip computer.  To adjust the speed warning, press "OK" on this screen and adjust the speed using the up/down trip buttons.  The speed warning sounds a chime when you pass the set speed.

When you're at the average mpg (1 or 2) screen, the Ø symbol to the left of the number is a Durchschnitt, or cut through. This means average in German speaking countries. (thanks draula!). It resembles a null, phi,or Scandinavian but it's a durchschnitt.

Menu settings only available when car is stopped (2009 models may have some functions that were in 2010 models)

Note: Units with factory in dash GPS like the MFD2 (see 1000q: MFD2 navigation system FAQ), the newer RNS510 (1000q: RNS 510 GPS system FAQ), or the latest RNS 315 GPS (see 1000q: RNS315 GPS system) don't have the compass setting because the compass is in the GPS.  If you add a factory GPS you must disable the compass with a code change or else it will get 2 signals.  Here is the compass menu from a 2010.

Selecting Factory Setting on any menu resets that menu.

A. "Time" lets you adjust the time or 24h/12 hour clock or for daylight savings.

B. "Winter tires" sets a chime that sounds when you exceed a certain speed.  You can adjust that speed in +/- 5 mph increments.  It has nothing to do with adjusting the speedometer.  To correct a fast speedo, see 1000q: speedometer adjustment.

C. "Language" changes the display language.

D. "Units" changes fuel consumption units (below screen) or switches Celsius and Fahrenheit.  GB (UK) gallons are bigger than US gallons.  This is one reason why early reviews or press releases of European cars show more mpg - their gallons are bigger.  The Euro mpg test cycle is also different from the US EPA test cycle.

E. Going to the "Convenience" menu opens the options below (Not all will be available on your car, all options are shown below for illustration). A 2010+ Golf menu is shown on the right.

  1. Windows+sunroof that close if it rains is only available if you enabled the function AND have a rain sensor (auto headlights/wipers and dimming rear view mirror).  This came stock on all 2005.5 Jetta TDI but can be retrofitted to any VW Jetta, Golf, or Sportwagen with a highline central electric control module (CECM).  See 1000q: rain sensor retrofit to add one.  See 1000q: rain sensor auto close to enable the function if you have the sensor.
  2. Door open lets you unlock all doors or just a single door when you press unlock once on the key fob.  Auto close locks the doors when you exceed a certain speed.  Auto open unlocks all doors when you remove the key from the ignition.  If you're in a car crash, the doors should unlock automatically.  2010 models looked like the black/white screen.
  3. ATA confirm is the anti-theft confirm horn honk.  You can set it so that the car honks when it's locked or doesn't honk.
  4. Conv. mode lets you choose which windows/sunroof to open/close if you insert the driver's key into the door lock and turn/hold it to lock/unlock.  You can also do this using the remote key fob but you have to use a VCDS tool to get to the menu.  See 1000q: using the remote to open/close the windows for instructions for 2005.5-2009 models.  Instructions for 2010 and newer are at the bottom.
  5. Mirror adjust lets you adjust the mirrors together or separately.
  6. Mirror down lowers the right side rear view mirror when you shift in reverse so that you can see the curb when backing up.  NOTE - this option was only on 2005.5 Jetta that had highline door control modules (package 2 with memory seats and leather).  This module was decontented on all later Jetta and Golf to midline door control modules which can't do this function.  You also had to put the mirror adjustment knob on right for it to work.  If you have this function, please share exactly how it works in the Volkswagen TDI discussion forum.

F. "Lights and Vision" menu opens the options below.

  1. The intensity of footwell lighting is adjustable.
  2. Comfort indic. ON activates the turn signal 3 times with a light tap of the turn signal.  If you hold the turn signal for 2 clicks it won't activate.  OFF activates the turn signal only as long as you are tapping the turn signal.  This setting is separate from the normal "move the lever all the way" function of the turn signal.  If you have a 2009 (maybe 2010) or newer, you can adjust how many times the signal flashes during convenience mode.  (You have to use VCDS tool - enter the central electric module adaptation).
  3. If you have coming home, it briefly activates the low beam headlights, side lights, taillights, and license plate light after you lock the doors.  Leaving home turns these lights on when you unlock the doors using the key fob.  I believe your car must be equipped with the correct switch and control module for these to work.

Do you have any tips on what these settings mean or a scan of the owner's manual?  Please share in the Volkswagen TDI discussion forum, thank you!

Additional menu settings on 2010 + Jetta and Golf

(2009 models may have some functions that were in 2010 models)

The additional main menu settings are Alt. speed dis. and service indicator info/reset.

You can now customize the MFI (multifunction indicator display or MFD+) menu as well.

The convenience menu has the setting to control the windows here.  If it doesn't let you open the windows using the remote key fob, see 1000q: 2010+ remote window open trick. ****NOTE: the picture below is from a 2010 Jetta. The 2010 Golf menu looks the same except they removed the ATA confirm option (see above).

After around 2011, some had alt speed options. This displays km/h and I'm guessing mph in Canada.

Is your car slightly different?  Share your experience at the forums linked at the top.