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Sorry. I posted this in the wrong area. Thought I clicked the one above this.

I have a 2005 VW Passat TDI and I have a bad glow plug on the #3 Cylinder. The dealership told me that VW has switched from the ceramic to steel and that I need to replace all 4. (makes sense to me) Now the thing I do not understand is they are telling me that I need to have the ECU updated also. I was going to change the plugs myself but I dont know what the ECU flash means? Is this snake oil or can I just change the plugs to the new ones and be done with it?
Any help would be appreciated. (or if you have a ceramic glow plug you would part with......)
2 other dealerships I had called don't know anything about it. One was just unsure and the other said, maybe a relay but not sure. (What do they get paid for again?)
 

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They are 100% telling the truth. VW used cermaic glow plugs for a short while. These light off faster and hotter but they are more fragile. So they switched back to steel? metal? whatever. The ECU cannot handle the switch since it was originally for ceramic, so they do need to flash the ECU to switch to steel glow plugs.

Sorry. PS, you should also have the balance shaft oil pump upgrade done or else the chain assembly will fall apart and cause engine boom.
 

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Moved to correct subforum.

First, is your car under warranty or does it have an extended warranty? They MAY cover the glow plugs. Glow plugs are wear items but if your dealer is nice, they might do it.

^^^ What he said. Here is the part you need: http://www.tdiparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=607 They don't make cermaic glow plugs anymore, all replacement glow plugs are steel because ceramics can break off and cause damage. The glow plugs are steel.

$150 is an average price for a reflash to use steel glow plugs. This is because they use a different voltage. The only other option is to have someone flash your car with a performance chip and do the voltage change for you at the same time. That will cost twice as much but you'll get some more performance out of the car. Make sure they include the voltage change for steel glow plugs. Some guys who can do it are listed here:
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/basicpowermods.htm

The oil pump upgrade that Fluid mentions is not going to be covered under warranty. The problem is that it wears down, gets noisy, then breaks. It can happen on low mileage cars, it can happen on high mileage cars. This part was only found on the US on the 2004-2005 Passat and it was later fixed on Euro market cars by switching to a gear drive instead of chain drive. The risk of not switching is severe engine damage. Sorry to be the one to tell you. VW won't cover it because there are only a few people in the US who own these rare 2004-2005 Passat TDI.

The total cost of labor+parts is about $3000. Parts can be purchased here: http://worldimpex.com/parts/genuine-part-bhw-module-repair-kit-passat-bhw_935619.html A VW expert who does these can be contacted here: http://www.cardocautomotive.com/ Most dealers will not be familiar with this problem or the solution or the repair since it's a rare car.

Ceramic glow plug part number:N 105 916 07
The car's computer (ECM/ECU) will be 038 997 016N software version #1388 or higher
Here is the TSB regarding it: www.myturbodiesel.com/d2/images/pdf/ceramicglowplug.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So, since the weather is warm where i am, can I put the new plugs in and drive it over to the dealership?

On another note. Didn't they have a half year model that people call the B5.5? and how would I know if mine fell into that category?

And thanks for all the explanations. I got a great deal on the car from my mom when she upgraded to the 09 Jetta TDI.
 

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No, do NOT put them in since it will they are different voltages. You MUST have the ECU flashed as stated in the TSB to change the computer's voltage to the glow plugs. Feel free to buy them and then go to the dealer for the flash since you won't have to pay the dealer markup on parts. But do not put them in.

Yes, the B5.5 had a few small changes. All TDI are 5.5 models. B5 means the 5th gen passat body although the platform is based off the audi a4. That's part of why it has a longitudinal engine and that excellent multi link front suspension. However, it does make suspension refreshing quite expensive since the bushings are replaced as part of new links.

Here are more details on what was the 5.5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Passat#Mid-2001_facelift_.28B5.5.29
 

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So, since the weather is warm where i am, can I put the new plugs in and drive it over to the dealership?
If you do put them in, disconnect their wires! Spray some PB Blaster around their bases, let soak, and repeat, to eat the corrosion and loosen them up before attempting to remove them.

So yes you can put them in, but do not connect them or else they will get messed up. You shouldn't have a problem starting the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So I can put the new ones in and drive it? I just have to leave the wires off? More than likely I will just throw it on my friends flatbed and haul it up there after the new ones are installed and have them flash it. I just wanted to see if there was a way around having them do it all and also having to arrange a tow. I know you don't need the plugs to start the car in warmer weather so it would make sense to be able to drive it up after the install with no problems.
 

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So I can put the new ones in and drive it? I just have to leave the wires off? More than likely I will just throw it on my friends flatbed and haul it up there after the new ones are installed and have them flash it. I just wanted to see if there was a way around having them do it all and also having to arrange a tow. I know you don't need the plugs to start the car in warmer weather so it would make sense to be able to drive it up after the install with no problems.
Whoops, yes, you can put the new ones in and drive it but do not connect them. And do use PB Blaster a few times and let it soak into the glow plug threads before you try to remove them. The ceramic glow plug has been known to break off and damage a cylinder by falling inside. Using PB Blaster will reduce the stress on it by penetrating into the threads,eating any corrosion and lubing the threads.

You'll get error codes but just make sure the dealer clears them out when they flash the ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's good news. Thank you Fluid and chittychittybangbang for all your help. This is my first diesel automobile and I don't know the ins and outs yet.
 
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