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1996 Passat TDI keeps stalling engine light on??

2974 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  darren
Hi there,

I just bought a 1996 Passat TDI Wagon with 290K. Its been a great car so far but my first project has gone bad

I just replaced the glow plug wiring harness(as it was all cracked) and 4 new glow plugs(3 out of 4 were bad) last night and after completing the work took the car for a spin.

It started right up BUT none of the dash was working (guages,tach,gas,temp) and the check engine light was on. The car ran fine and had good power, but now it cranks for some time and starts eventually but stalls after running for 1 second.

I tried unhooking the battery and hooking it back up to hopefully reset something and it made no difference

It aslo has a weird clicking noise in the dash and the guages look like they're ticking like a clock almost??? I will hook it up to a scan tool when I get home today. Thanks for the Help
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One of the two cluster grounds is right in the area where you were working. Secondary Cluster, VSS & ECT grounds.
The instrument panels can also be damaged if the battery is low and you keep cranking it. Don't keep driving it like this since I think poor grounds could cause the instrument panel to fail sooner or later.

Is the weird clicking noise coming from the firewall in the engine bay? It could be the N75 wastegate control solenoid. This is normal. While you're in there, also clean the contacts on the coolant glow plug relay. This is a strip fuse that commonly burns out.
The clicking noise during a start with low system voltage is typically the cluster gauge stepper motors resetting themselves. The clock and trip odometer will usually reset to zero also. This is the sound of looming cluster damage, so have your battery load tested ASAP unless it is known to be good and fully charged.

Check and clean both the previously mentioned ground and the main cluster ground underneath the battery.
There's a new owner checklist, I suggest you review it to bring the car up to current maintenance. Call the dealer and see if your VIN has any outstanding recalls too.
Good idea about the recall notices, I will add it to the checklists.


Many of the items are not recalls though. For example, relay 109 commonly goes bad and that is not a recall item although it should be since it can suddenly shut off the engine!
IMHO, relay 109 should be a recall item if the DSG has been recalled. Maybe because by the time it started happening the cars were out of warranty!
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