the end of the road..... - concrete

Well folks, some very sad news indeed. My trusty old Skoda is on the verge of going to the great motorway in the sky!!

Apparently a convenience module has failed and the brake lights no longer work, plus it has caused other niggly faults such as sticking locks etc. A new module is about £700 plus fitting, so it's goodnight Vienna! I have ordered a new car but delivery is not until March so I have time to think about how to give it the best possible ending.

I am cheered by the what the garage chap told me. Apparently these cars, especially with the 130 PD Tdi 1.9 AWX engine are much sought after. My car has some tasty bits such as full leather heated seats, Xenon headlights, sound doors and panels, it has Bluetooth and also a proper tow bar kit, plus loads of other bits a taxi fleet may find useful. The gearbox was re built by a specialist 2 years ago so that is in good condition too. I would rather it went to someone who is handy and will fix it and run it, but beggars and choosers eh! I will get my daughter to put it on E Bay tomorrow and see what happens. Pity as at 206K miles the engine is as sweet as a nut and uses hardly any oil between services and returns about 60mpg on a long steady run and about 48mpg running around. End of an era.

Off to the pub early to drown my sorrows now!

Cheers Concrete

the end of the road..... - RT

How can you be sad after 200,000+ miles sterling service - be proud and make sure it goes to a good home.

the end of the road..... - gordonbennet

It might be worth checking out BBA Reman and other companies who make a living out of fixing such modules, a browse on a Skoda or VW group forum should provide some reading of interest on this, then balance up the cost to fix versus expected higher sale price of fully working car, plus as a bonus you keep the car as a good runner till the new one arrives.

the end of the road..... - corax

It might be worth checking out BBA Reman and other companies who make a living out of fixing such modules, a browse on a Skoda or VW group forum should provide some reading of interest on this, then balance up the cost to fix versus expected higher sale price of fully working car, plus as a bonus you keep the car as a good runner till the new one arrives.

Yes, it only takes one small component in the module to fail to render it useless, and an electronics engineer can fix for far less. Sometimes it's just dry solder joints. Seems a waste if the rest of the car is still in good working order, especially if the gearbox has been recently rebuilt.

the end of the road..... - brum

As far as I know, brake lights do not depend on any electronics even though they are monitored (for currentl), faulty brake switches are very common on vag cars, and often causes other functions to stop working.

Have you checked the fuse??

In my limited experience ,with some exceptions, its very rare for vag electronic modules to fail. Has it been subject to water ingress? If not its more likely a broken wire in a loom or at a connector. There are lots of skoda convenience modules for sale on ebay from a tenner upwards.

Edited by brum on 20/01/2017 at 17:34

the end of the road..... - nailit

Concrete, have you solid proof it's the module and not coroded/dry solder joints within even the wiring looms? I ask as the symptoms are the same as in The passat b5, gets these gremlins and it's moisture in the looms every time in my case. Can be a pain repairing but it's just diy.

the end of the road..... - Steveieb
Such a hard act to follow concrete. I have the same engine in my A4 and when I run into big problems it will be the same again. Possibly the Superb but only with the 1.9 PD Tdi.

With fabulous pull from the engine , impressive fuel consumption and great ride, you are making a big big mistake not to get it fixed.

Find a repairer or get a second hand part from a breakers yard,, with a guarantee

Failing that get the kids to hold a torch in the back window.

These cars are known as Engineers Cars because it only connesuers that buy them.
the end of the road..... - Steveieb
Forgot to mention that a failing battery can kick up all sorts of electrical faults. Mine was a brake failure warning.
A quick check at the electrical wholesalers can provide you with a battery condition report.
the end of the road..... - 659FBE

Concrete, my dear fellow - you can't give up on the finest small diesel engine made without some expert (not VAG dealer) based advice on the repair of peripheral equipment.

As you may remember, I have the same car with fewer miles. Like yours, it goes like a train and consumes less fuel than most smallish petrol hatchbacks. It needs a new clutch because I've towed lots of heavy things with it. I'll pay up gratefully.

The more I see of current diesel engines, the less I would wish to own one. In the case of a 1.9 AWX Superb, I am of the view that for sensible money, the comfort x performance product in relation to its cost (and fuel/running cost) is still unbeatable.

We have the politicians to thank for legislating badly and hastily against the diesel engine. The consequence has been a whole crop of engines hastily developed which are either a liability to their owners or the subject of legal action.

The basic thermodynamic advantages of a turbocharged diesel engine are indisputable. A more sensible and measured approach to making it environmentally acceptable would have meant that we could still exploit its virtues whilst burning less hydrocarbon fuel.

A 10 year-old diesel will perform like new if cared for. I have a shed full of gadgets using the same battery chemistry as used in EVs. They're all half-capacity or scrap. What's the average age of cars on the road in the UK?


The brake lights are not electronically controlled. Fit a new switch for a few pounds from GSF or the like - 5 minute job, no tools needed. A frequent failure.

Edited by 659FBE on 20/01/2017 at 22:41

the end of the road..... - Avant

Great to hear from you again, 659: do keep looking in as your comments and advice are always the voice of experience and are hugely valuable.

I think the point about ill-considered legislation, usually made by people who are not experts in the subject, isn't made often enough. Diesels are less reliable now and it seems not much less polluting.

I agree - the VAG 1.9 TDI is one engine to cherish: so were the old XUD and HDI Peugeot/Citroen engines. A pity that the rest of the car tended to fall to bits long before the engine did.

the end of the road..... - concrete

Thank you all for your welcome comments. The brake light micro switch is new. It was replaced in the summer because the old one brought the brake lights when the sun on the car increased the temperature inside. The battery is only a year old too and in fine fettle. The bulkhead underneath the scuttle panel was apparently full of water which seems to have caused all the problems. My indie is great, with all the diagnostic kit and a fair bit of knowledge. It was his suggestion to offer the car for sale and he reckons a lot of enthusiasts(taxi firms) will be happy to take it on. It now needs someone who has the skill and inclination to fix the small niggles that are going to regularly occur. It does have the occasional gremlin in the electronics but it is approaching 12 years old. Considering all this and wishing to tow a caravan long distances SWMBO has lost confidence in the car for long trips, especially abroad. So a new vehicle is on order and the decision is made. If anyone on the forum is interested I would be pleased to see it in a good home, even for spares although the engine will forever!

Failing that E Bay it is and see what that brings. Some youth in the pub offered me £120 for it to use it for banger racing, but I politely declined, well not so politely actually!

Cheers Concrete

the end of the road..... - Steveieb
Dear Concrete.

Looking back through the history of the car it would be interesting to hear about the replacements,failures over the years e g cambelts clutches etc.

Thanks for solving the mystery of the cause of the failure, which sadly seems all too common and down to a design fault which requires removing the battery to clear the drain hole.

My previous Indy was nervous about taking out the plastic scuttle during winter as he had previously broken a windscreen when attempting to clear the drain hole in a Passat B 5.
the end of the road..... - 659FBE

I'm afraid rain water ingress changes the whole game - the car is not worth fixing.

These cars have a serious design flaw in that the scuttle drains become blocked with bio-crud as the car ages. The drain holes are incorrectly designed to deal with this. A poorly specified pollen filter holder seal (open cell foam which also splits) allows water into the car. VAG, in a fit of engineering brilliance, put the body control electronics on the floor under the mats. Gravity does the rest.

I'm really surprised that a competent and honest dealer did not point this out and carry out the approved modifications (VW TSB 443/06) which replaces the seal with mastic strip and removes the restricting drain bungs.

As checking the plenum drains is now a service requirement (included due to the hopeless design), you may have a case for getting the job fixed by your dealer - if he did the servicing work.

This is bad news - every joint and connector pole under the carpets (there are hundreds) will be green and corroded. Very sadly, a write-off.

The moral of this story is that with any vehicle - but especially one from VAG who are less than forthcoming with their design errors as we have seen - you should find the weaknesses and try to address them. Many of these weaknesses, this one included, need trivial amounts of work to overcome them.


the end of the road..... - Steveieb
Thanks for this explanation 659

Accepting the design fault in these cars would it be best to avoid drive through car washes in view of the volume of water showering down on the windscreen?
the end of the road..... - Steveieb

Just wondered if you were aware of this design fault and assumed your Indy attended to all matters service wide?
Also how often did you use high pressure car washes such as the drive through variety, which land far higher quantities of water into the scuttle than rainwater.
Sounds like the car is just like a sieve when it gets elderly.
the end of the road..... - 659FBE

Without flogging a "dead" horse, this is, in my view, a serious design fault which causes the plenum chamber to fill with water when (as is frequently the case) the drains block. No change of use or abstinance from pressure washing will then prevent this chamber from filling up - given the huge quantities of water which flow downwards from the windscreen when you drive in heavy rain.

Other than serious elecrical and trim damage, the flooding can cause the servo vacuum chamber to rust through, resulting in the loss of brake assist (which effectively amounts to brake failure for anyone less strong than a gorilla) and the possible ingestion of rain water into the engine. Petrol engines suffer water in the intake which can cause a hydraulic lock, whilst the diesels end up with water in the sump via the vac pump outlet into the crankcase. Either will write off the engine.

So, my advice if you are shopping for a B5 or clone is to inspect the plenum chamber very carefully (often a "tide mark" is in evidence, even if the chamber is dry if inspected in good weather). Then check the carpets most carefully for damp. The best place to look is adjacent to the rear floor air vent under the front passenger seat. The carpets and underfelt on these cars can hold gallons of water before an occupant becomes aware of rising damp.

All for a couple of bung removals and 10p's worth of mastic strip.


the end of the road..... - MikeM100

There are several websites that show step by step repair guides of the CCM and the wiring loom. E.g.

However this is no job for the faint-hearted and if I were a garage I would decline it. The wires internally, the terminals and the module itself get badly corroded with green verdigris.

I opened my Passat CCM module, emptied the water out, drenched it with WD40 and then prayed as I put it back un-repaired. I managed to bodge a couple of workarounds for failed central locking and boot lid opening and continue to pray.

It will undoubtedly be the demise of the car which is sad as otherwise it is fine.

the end of the road..... - concrete

The car was serviced by a Skoda dealer up until 2013, after that I used a VW specialist indie, then an indie when I moved to Kent who seemed familiar with VAG vehicles. The area in question around the battery compartment was drained only last year when a new battery was fitted. But there was water there when examined last week. The only electronic module affected is the 'convenience module', everything else on the vehicle works fine. I am sure an enthusiast could fix it cheaply, but I no longer wish to because I now want a more reliable form of transport for towing. I used to ask the dealer at service time to examine the panel in question and check for water ingress, this must have been done up until 2013. Also I garaged the car every night when I was home and lived in North Yorkshire. In Kent it sits on the drive. No mention of a design fix was ever made or offered. As far as I am concerned this module is the only fault and a good vehicle awaits someone who is prepared to put a bit of time and effort in for cheap motoring. I suppose it is all academic now because come hell or high water I will dispose of the car before the new one arrives.

Cheers Concrete


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