2001 Volkswagen Beetle Electrical & Lighting Problems

rickz713rickz713 Member Posts: 4
edited August 2014 in Volkswagen
2001 Beetle. oil light and buzzer go on every time i stop. just had oil changed too. also, cold temp indicator stays on all the time. any ideas?


  • ourfirstourfirst Member Posts: 2
    I am sure it is in the archives someplace, but I thought I would just ask again. The left headlamp is out on our New Beetle. The manual say to take it to the dealer because special tools are required to replace bulb. What is the trick in replacing the bulb?
  • aaronr121aaronr121 Member Posts: 91
    No special tools are required (at least on our 98). Just a lot of patience the first time. You need to flip open the belly clamp, and press the dimple in on the slider, and pull the lever on the slider to move it down. Then the whole headlight assembly pops out. Then it's easy to replace the bulb.

    Getting everything back together takes a lot of patience tho. You need to make sure everything lines back up correctly (very tought) pull the lever back up and hook up the clamp again.

    Best thing to do, is probably pick-up a Haynes manual at the local auto-parts store. It probably covers it.

    And usually, the headlights themselves will probably be out of alignment, so you should check that.

    It's not fun... but I have a lot of practice.
  • tkevinblanctkevinblanc Member Posts: 356
    I bought an inexpensive suction cup at Harbor Freight - I think it was $5, that made removing the headlight much easier. Otherwise, it is a simple process once you've seen it done. Google it. There's a well written description on the web... serveral, actually.


    Search around and you'll find one with pictures. It's very easy, just don't force that little lever. It moves only a little, and it seems easy to break.
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    My sisters' '04 Turbo Beetle has had both headlights replaced and now needs another one. The gray stuff inside the headlight is cracking. It is a sealant to keep out moisture/dust. Has anyone else had this problem?
    Thnx from Texas!
  • ourfirstourfirst Member Posts: 2
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 462
    Have you checked the oil level using the dipstick ?
  • rickz713rickz713 Member Posts: 4
    the oil level is fine, i just had it changed
  • olufsks22olufsks22 Member Posts: 2
    I have the same problem - does anyone have an explanation?
  • bverwerbverwer Member Posts: 1
    I could use help as well. Temp light is on all of the time and now my EPS light came on. Engine light was on, checked code and replaced Mass Flow controller. 1 week later, light is back on withe the same code. This year it has been a money pit.
  • madbeetle02madbeetle02 Member Posts: 1
    2002 Beetle. Mine just did the exact same thing today! And my cold temp light stays on as well. Any clues on what is causing this?
  • sugarbear2sugarbear2 Member Posts: 4

    I am having problems with my signal lights not working. This problem is also effecting my hazard lights. When I use the turn signal nothing happens. Sometimes I can slap the dash board and it may click a couple of times but that is it. Then there is nothing. It has gotten so bad now that even when slapping they don't work. :sick: My husband and I recently received a recall message in the mail about the brake lights but I am not sure if this could be a part of that issue. Is there anyway for me to fix this issue on my own? I have looked into opening the steering column but it is impossible to see the screws holding it together because they are way up. Help me,please. :cry: Thank you!
  • wizard5wizard5 Member Posts: 1
    I am also having problems with my signal lights not working. Hazard lights not working either. When I use the turn signal nothing happens. Fuses are good. Any help before I have to go back to the dealer?
  • sugarbear2sugarbear2 Member Posts: 4
    Unfortunately, I have not found out anything. You were the only one to respond. I you find anything out from dealer could you please let me know? If I find out anymore I will reply back to this message. Good Luck! :)
  • sugarbear2sugarbear2 Member Posts: 4

    I wanted to let you know that I found out what was going on with my signal lights. I had to take my car to the dealer for a recall and had them check the signal light issue too. I was told that the hazard light switch had gone bad and to replace it would be $95.00 with the cost of labor. I wish I knew how to do that because at this dealership that would make the part only $10.00 because labor is approx. $85.00/hour.
    Hope that helps you! :)
  • alanjackalanjack Member Posts: 2
    Hello.....I need to know how to remove and replace the battery in my 2004 New Beetle (2.0 Liter) I know the mechanics of it but not the electronics??? Is there something I have to disconnect or defuse to not mess with the computer and all the other electronically stored info???
    Signed frustrated!!!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Every vehicle I've ever had would lose any electronically stored information when the battery is disconnected. I'm assuming VW's reallly aren't any different in this regard.

    I've seen reference online to a computer memory saver (15-20 bucks) that plugs into the cigarette lighter. Supposed to keep current flowing in the system as you change the battery, and will ensure that your idling values/etc stay put!

    The few times I've had to replace a battery, my car has "relearned" all the lost info. Resetting all my radio presets was really the bigger hassle.

    Any VW owners have an special info on this??
  • alanjackalanjack Member Posts: 2
    aaronr21 has the same response but if it's your left headlight IE drivers side it's a real tight fit. there's a "plastic" slider mechanism that looks like the trigger on a rifle. just to the left of this is a waffled button about 3/8" by 3/8" ...you have to push this in and pull up on the trigger.....mind you on the passengers side you can drive another VW in the space and it's more than easy...10 minutes to change out the headlamp....headlamp cost about $9.00 at any Murray's KEY INSTRUCTION don't touch the glass part of the bulb. No tools are needed at all for this entire procedure. AS aaronr21 said though be patient....I broke the drivers side trigger off and I'm the guy asking about how to R&R the battery on a 2004 so I can get the thing fixed....anybody out there???
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 462
    For the battery...

    make sure that you disconnect the negative (black) lead on the batterty first.

    Then when you hook up the car replace the negative (black) terminal last.
  • kaitrosskaitross Member Posts: 2
    question.....my EPC light came on, and in the manual it tells me to take it to a dealer asap, but what does this really mean? and how important is it to get looked at asap? thanks!!
  • jriegerjrieger Member Posts: 8
    The hazard flasher controls your turn signal flashing. It pops right out of the control panel and should take a VW mechanic 10 minutes to replace. If you paid $85, you got scaaaaaaroooood.
  • sugarbear2sugarbear2 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info but as I had said before they did tell me that it was the hazard light switch. And just a small note I didn't pay $85 to get "scaaaaarooooood". I had it checked while they were correcting the recall therefore, didn't pay $85.
  • sbmolversbmolver Member Posts: 2
    As usual, the wife didn't listen while i was away. She let the battery on the bug go dead. We replaced the battery but upon installing it, the idle rev'd from 900 to 2000 continuously. Talked to VW. They said to turn key to on and back to lock position 10 times. Ok.....reving fixed but car falls on face and gives various fault codes. VW then says they need to set ECU back to factory settings. I asked if this is normal when u change a battery...they said yes.
    Question......does this sound right to you guys? Is there a short-cut or "trick of the trade" to do this at home? I will have to tow this thing 100miles if not. As always...any and all help is greatly appreciated.....
  • kaitrosskaitross Member Posts: 2
    i took my husbands 97 jetta to get the turn signals, hazard lights, horn adn wipers fixed (NONE WORKED AT THIS POINT!!!)and they had to change the turning signal relay switch, about $100 and they were all fixed with that same part...could be it! not sure though......
  • guns2guns2 Member Posts: 3
    Ok Guys here we go....
    Have a 2000 beetle, this thing has been a nightmare. so far this is whats been going on over the past 3 weeks.

    Week 1 - A/C comp only getting 8 volts, so now A/c doesnt work.

    Week 2 - Drivers side power window quit working

    Week 3 - now the high temp light goes on and off - even when cold???...

    This car is driving me nuts, along with my wife harping at me all the time saying "when are you going to fix this". Problem is, I keep trying but cant get anywhere. The 8 volts on the Compressor I think might be a ground issue? The high temp light on/off might be a bad sensing device? and as far as the window not working-I havnt even got to looking at it. This car is starting to make my stomach hurt...

  • jriegerjrieger Member Posts: 8
    The air cond. has a module that will control the compressor. It's in the engine area, below the battery.

    The heat light is an easy one (I hope). Add some coolant to your coolant bottle. The contacts inside must be covered!

    Can't help with the window but hope other info helps.
  • madmax85madmax85 Member Posts: 4
    I'm having a problem with my rear hatch icon staying on. Also, the same day that started, my car quit beeping when I woudl set the alarm. I know it must be a sensor problem but don't know where the rear hatch sensor is located or whether it is something I can repair. I'm out of warranty and I'd rather avoid the service department if at all possible. Can someone provide some insight? :)
  • guns2guns2 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks Jrieger
  • bill142bill142 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 200 beetle. Here is what I have experienced without any warning:

    Electrical system components stopped working:
    Horn, Turn Signals, AC & Blower, Vent controls, Winshild wipers & Fluid controls, Head Lights.

    Here are the electrical systems still operating correctly:
    Radio, Brake Lights, Running Lights, Pwr Windows, Pwr locks, Pwr Moon roof, Pwr trunk, Pwr gas door release, Car starts and runs normal !
    Pleaee Note - The hazard flashers work, the momentary bright lights when you pull back on the turn singal works.

    I have verified all fuses next to the battery are OK, All fuses in the fuse box are OK, I have removed the covers to access the relay panel. I removed all relays and checked all relay coils with a VM and everything looks OK. There were no contacts welded.

    No sure where to go from here. Any suggestions.
  • twalbrightjrtwalbrightjr Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 TDI New Beetle. The same thing happened to me. I was 80 Miles away from home at the time. I had also just put some fuel in the car and was half-way down the on ramp from the Midway service plaza in Bedford...headlights, turn signals a/c, vent blower not working. haven't tried the horn. Wouldn't have been such a problem except that it was midnight when this happened. The next morning I drove the car home. fortunately I didn't run into any police. My appointment at the dealer is tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on the problem/how expensive it is.
  • jeffc6jeffc6 Member Posts: 2
    Did you find out want was causing your electrical issues? I have exactly the same thing happening to my 1998 Beetle.

  • jeffc6jeffc6 Member Posts: 2
    Did you find out want was causing your electrical issues? I have exactly the same thing happening to my 1998 Beetle.

  • odudeodude Member Posts: 6
    I have owned my beetle turboS for a year and half, and there have been issues ranging from electronic issues to headlight problems and the lack of quality with many of the interior features.
    My right daytime running light is dimmer than the left headlight, and is noticable when the headlights are on at night. I will take it in to the dealer, since they replaced the headlight cover on the right side. However i wanted to ask if anyone had similar issues.
    Also, the remote lock button locks the passenger door but doesn't lock the driver side consistently. In fact, it didn't work for the past 8 months but just recently began working as did the locking mechanism once the car reached 10mph. Also, I used to be able to close the windows and the sunroof by turning my key in the door lock. This no longer works.
    I also noticed last week that lit icons appear when I engage/disengage the spoiler and when I unlock the back hatch. That stopped the next day, but I thought it was unusual that these light indicators appeared after a year and a half of not working. My spoiler that enganges at 45mph makes a loud, abrupt noise when it closes once I slow down below 45 mph. Do other beetle owners notice this loud problem too?
    Finally, though this is purely aesthetic, the interior parts of my beetle show wear and tear easily. I am very careful with my car's interior and keep it very clean, However, I noticed the black finish on the radio and especially the cup holders, have begun to rub off and bubble and peel (this occurred on the plastic surrounding the cup holders.) The interior door handles also show scratches and erosion of the black finish. I am seeing more of these problems on my dash and on the rubber and plastic components around the glove compartment. Any advice on these finish problems because I am not sure what to do but know it will only get worse!
  • manuelormanuelor Member Posts: 1
    I understand that the slider must be pulled up in order to release the assembly. However, the passenger side light refuses to pop out. I have tried everything in the instructions and it just doesn't work. As far as the Hanes manual...it isn't that useful.
    Do you have any suggestions?
  • jriegerjrieger Member Posts: 8
    I know what you are going through if you haven't seen the inside of the headlight system. If your headlight has popped out enough (it should when you move the lever)to get you finger tips under it, have someone pull and wiggle the assembly while you push from the rear. The assembly is accessable and open in the rear.
    I think the wiggle while pushing and pulling is the answer. Once you get it out, I advise you to lube all moving parts for future removal. After you see how it works, you will be an expert headlight mechanic.
  • shapiroshapiro Member Posts: 3
    I followed the instructions to replace the driver's side headlamp, found it really difficult to pull hard enough on the black plastic lever to release the headlight assembly, was careful to set the assembly on the two tracks before pushing it back in, and can not get the assembly to latch back into place. Any suggestions for this 2003 VW New Beetle Turbo? What kind of lubricant can be used on the gray plastic tracks on which the assembly slides?
  • jriegerjrieger Member Posts: 8
    I think this system was really a good setup when it was new and clean. However, the dirt and filth that get into the mechanism is the culprit.
    Try to remove as much as you can. I used a dry spray but I guess about any slick product will work. The secret to getting the unit back in is about the same as removal.
    While your pushing up? on the lever bump the front of the light with the palm of your hand rapidly. Your trying to vibrate the track system while pushing in on the light.
    Hope this helps!
  • ricktrick3ricktrick3 Member Posts: 2
    I have same trouble with 98 Beetle. Have you had any luck finding the cause?
  • shapiroshapiro Member Posts: 3
    JReier was correct - it's the dirt. The seal around the headlamp is not tight, and allows a tornado of dirt to enter the internal tracks of its housing. The dirt does not blow away, and sticks to the mechanism of the locking ring, preventing the motion to unlock it. It was extremely difficult to remove the headlamp assembly, but once out, it is relatively easy to clean all three tracks inside the cavity, and possible but not easy to clean the locking ring so that is rotates freely. Once all is clean of dirt, mire, grit and gunk, and well lubricated with a compound that will not degrade the plastic, you have to line up all three protrusions from the headlight assembly with the corresponding tracks inside the cavity, push the assembly in until it rests on the tracks, remove the cover over the fuses, push down hard on the lever on the locking mechanism to align its internal opening with the locking pin on the headlight assembly, push this assembly into the car to engage the pin with the locking mechanism, then pull up HARD on the lever while pushing the headlight assembly in until you hear a click. Replace the fuse cover.
  • ricktrick3ricktrick3 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 99 beetle that headlights, turn signal,heat/ac blower,wipers,parking brake light are not working. fuses and fuse block on top of battery are ok. I would like to repair myself if possible, please help. thanks Ricktick3
  • olufsks22olufsks22 Member Posts: 2
    I was number 10 in this string of VW Beetle light issues back in April 2007. I have still not found out what the problem is and it is still ocurring. Recently I have had my red oil can light set off a loud siren which continues on a regular basis for hours - similar to the one that goes off briefly when you need gas only - louder and more obnoxious. It always occurs when my temperature light stays on instead of going off - which is always blue. I took it in and numerous times to Bill Jacobs VW dealer on Ogden in Naperville IL. I paid for a new signals around $400.00. Still not working - they kept it for over 2 weeks while I had a loaner. No luck! They can not replicate the issue. So the day I go to pick it up they told me that I need my water pump and oil pan replaced for 1,300. I told them I want a second opinion and the second opinion told me that it those parts did not need replaced. I was treated badly at Bill Jacobs and do not recommend anyone going to them for service. The service manager Mike Jozwiak treated me horrible because even though he had my car for two weeks, he did not know the what was going on and just kept defending this position that his mechanics said that the water pump and oil pan needed replacing. He finally offered to take off 300 to have them replaced and I refused.
    I would drive far to a VW Dealer who could fix my car! I love my 2001 Beetle and it only has 58,000 on it! I am suprised that the Beetles have so many problems with this and VW has done nothing to correct this issue! Help!
  • beans31beans31 Member Posts: 1
    When I bought my 2001 used beetle similar things happened. The battery needed replaced. It was making the electricle system do strange things.
  • decarp3decarp3 Member Posts: 2
    i have a 99 beetle and i have changed the mass air flow, twice and now the mpg has gone down tremendously . i have replaced the plugs and wires, fuel filter also, but the weird thing is that my buddy has a nice computer and when he hook it up, it was showing the car was doing 91 mph while in idle position.Has any one ever heard of this.Please give me some insight of this..Thank
  • abtabt Member Posts: 1
    '63, 1300cc:6 volt batt. are $$$$,hard to find (none @ wally world),and short lived(10 Mos.).
    Converting to 12V is a hassle too.
    Why can't I put in an 12 volt batt.(under-charged at 'say'at 6-9 volts.Will not the generator maintain the batt.at the gen. output volts of (8.2 v)?I'm tempted to try it. What's your thoughts?
    TIA al
  • deniseucfdeniseucf Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 beetle with about 6000 miles and while driving home today at about 65-70 mph my battery light turned on my stearing wheel went completely stiff almost impossible to turn and then my oil light started blinking I had the oil changed about 1000 miles ago the engine was also making a whining noise.
  • sancho101sancho101 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Beetle 2.0, blower quit working. Removed the blower resistor, replaced with new, still not working. I noticed that the a/c button next to the circulation light does not illuminate when pressed, could this be of any effect. Has anyone had this same problem, any ideas on what to check next. Have checked all the fuses on the left end of the instrument panel, and battery all seem to be okay.
  • shapiroshapiro Member Posts: 3
    The driver's side taillight is much dimmer than the one on the passenger side when the brakes are applied. Thinking that there might be two bulbs in the tail light, I took the car to AutoZone to purchase a new bulb and to ask how to get the old one out. When I opened the trunk, there was no access to the tail light assembly, even after removing some of the lining of the trunk well.

    I searched this forum but found no information, so have to ask, "How do I replace the tail light bulb?" The AutoZone salesperson had an older Beetle, and said I may have to remove one of the body panels to access the tail light. Is that true?

    Thanks for sharing the light replacement procedure with me.

  • ocbeachgrl16ocbeachgrl16 Member Posts: 4
    Did you ever find out the probelm with the VW beetle... I am having the same problem now, and we are tring to figure out what is wrong... please help!? :confuse:
  • ocbeachgrl16ocbeachgrl16 Member Posts: 4
    Did you ever find out the probelm with the VW beetle... I am having the same problem now, and we are tring to figure out what is wrong... please help!? :confuse:
  • ocbeachgrl16ocbeachgrl16 Member Posts: 4
    stopped working:
    Horn, Turn Signals, AC & Blower, Vent controls, Winshild wipers & Fluid controls, Head Lights.

    still operating correctly:
    Radio, Brake Lights, Running Lights, Pwr Windows, Pwr locks, Pwr trunk, Pwr gas door release, Car starts and runs normal !
    BUT ... The hazard flashers work, the momentary bright lights when you pull back on the turn singal works.

  • riogreyhoundriogreyhound Member Posts: 5
    Go over to www.thesamba.com they are all about air cooled bugs and have a great forum for tech issues. I am a member and have gotten help with my '72 Bug.
    good luck! ;)
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