Hi All, wondering if somebody can help me out? My 2003 Golf started acting up with starting problems (starts, then dies). I had it towed to the dealer and they told me it's apparently an immobilzer issue with a fix of replacing a reader coil and 2 wires overlay to the ECM (?) for $1100 which may or may not fix the problem.
Is there a way to bypass this immobilizer or something that anyone knows of that WILL fix the problem?
I'm new to this, so bare with me. Thanks.
The dealer's mechanics for these vehicles are mainly trained for more current models. The dealer has no idea what's going on with your car and they're just taking the stab which will end up just taking your money. The dealer's mechanics are no better than a local shop's mechanics. The problem with a local shop is they may not be very honest (just like the dealer).
Since you have one of these vehicles, you're going to have to decide if you want to learn how to work on it yourself. If you're not willing/capable, then you'll spend a lot of money to the point where it won't be economically feasible for you to keep it up. These cars are 20 plus years old.
I bought mine about 5 years ago and after a month or two I had a brake issue. I took it to a local VW guru and it cost me $900. I paid $2,200 for the car.
At that point I decided I'm either going to sell it, or I'm going to learn how to work on it.
There are many online resources for these vehicles, that you can become a pretty good YouTube mechanic. You have to be willing to invest some money/time to work on them; they're not like an American-made vehicle. The Germans are... not America by any stretch.
First thing you should do is buy Ross-Tech's VCDS cable. That is what most of the local VW shop mechanics use for diagnosis (and all of us shade-tree mechanics). Once you have that and you perform the scan, you'll have a much better idea of what's going on with that car.
In the meantime, here's a YouTube video from one of the more trusted resources out there:
. His YouTube channel has a ton of great information about these Mk4s.