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Old 10-14-2005, 08:45 PM
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Question Secondary Air Pump and other questions

Okay, just got back from the dealer. Quick overview of what's happening and what's been done. For the past, oh, 6 months or so, the car has been randomly shutting down while driving. All electrical systems are working, as well as the starter. Eventually, after 5-15 tries, it starts (while setting in the middle of the road). So far, MAF, throttle position sensor, and vaccum lines have been fixed/replaced. The last time a "fix" was done, the car was symptom free for around 2-3 months. However, the symptoms are now back. The check engine light wasn't on until about 3 days into the latest problems. So, what the heck, I went to the dealer...

Apparently, my Secondary Air Pump is triggering the codes, and on inspection, looks like crap. The mechanic states that this could be causing the problems, but that might not be the only thing. Of note, I refuse to spend any more significant $$ on this car, so unless a cheap fix is made, this is goodbye. So, my questions to you are:

1) Does it sound plausible that the Secondary Air Pump can cause this problem?

2) I'm thinking of buying the part online and doing it myself, to save a potential $600+ from the dealer. Is this very difficult? And more importantly, the mechanic said after installing a new one, the computer, etc. will require resetting/readjusting <--is this true?


Thank you,
an unhappy VW owner
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:57 PM
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1) maybe? it does kick on sometimes during driving. (well, at idle mostly)

2) yes but nothing that the computer won't eventually learn on its own.

Do this one on your own w/o their help.

To be honest, it sounds like you should be pissed off at your dealership for not yet fixing this problem. This is a major safety hazzard, (hello, powersteering? what happens if your car shuts down mid turn?... power brakes? how bout while rolling up to a stoplight?) and it sounds like they're just guessing. Are they even testing the parts they're replacing before replacing them?

Maybe you should call your regional representative and see if they want to step in here, it's not like you haven't tried to get this taken care of time and time again. And they should have access to the records to prove this.

Might want to check to see how much a cam position sensor is too, it's right there and easier to replace than the air pump. (this is ME throwing darts at the problem, if the sensors expensive, have it tested).


So hey, welcome to the Org, sorry to hear you've had to find us because of problems, but maybe there's something on here that'll help. What part of the country are you in anyway?
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:08 PM
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Thanks for the reply. The car was bought used, and did not include a warranty. The majority of the time, including the beginning month or two with this problem, I take my repairs to a guy I really trust who works out of his own shop - always done a great job, has an OBD setup, etc. He worked on it at first and replaced the throttle position sensor. This fixed it for a while. I now live about 2 hours from him, so the next time, I had to get it fixed where I live (Louisville, KY btw). The dealer was an option, but after reading the online horror stories as well as particular ones concerning my local dealer's service dept., I decided on a well-respected import group. They replaced the MAF and worked on the vacuum hoses - this led to the longest fix to date. However, they were going to charge me $150 just to inspect it again, even though it was under their own 1-year warranty! So, I found out about another local VW dealer that was a little farther out of town, but with a much better rep. I returned from there today, where I learned about the Secondary Air Pump problem. Basically, I don't want to spend another whatver on this problem, just to have it happen again in a few months.

Concerning the situations, it more commonly happens at sub-20 mph speeds, when say approaching a red light. Also, it's usually within the first 5 minutes or so from startup. However, it has happened going 40-50 mph before. Fortunately, no dangerous situations have arisen yet. But, the possiblities that you posted are the reason for wanting to get rid of the car. Sure, I could keep driving and dealing with it like several people I've read about with the exact problem, but the risks and unreliability are too much. Again, thanks for the info. Hope my description leads to any particular problem thoughts.
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:43 PM
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2ndary air sounds more likely w/that information.

But to be honest, I've never heard of the PUMP causing it to stall.

My thoughts run from the O2 sensor; to vac lines; to MAF; to ... well what else controls idle. :/ Unfortunately, I see most of that has already been done. And now I see why they're not really TESTING things, they probably don't have the necessary information TO test these things. (like what voltage a Throttle position sensor should read, etc)

I guess I'm no help here, I can just give you some information.

MAF is god under that hood. It feeds the most important information to your ECU(which then mostly based on MAF's input, judges when to fire each cylinder, and how much fuel to pump, etc). Your pre-cat O2 sensor is MAF's main man... this O2 sensor gives some input that can sway the ECU's decisions, but not as strongly as MAF. (you follow here? or am just talkin' in riddles like a madman)

All the vacuum hoses are essential; since they're new I'm assuming they're okay. But these help control fuel pressure, wastegate openning, (and probably something else I can't think of).

Something is wrong that's causing this problem for sure... without the OBD helping, it'll be hard to specifically find what.

If the pump is running then it's doing its job; perhaps it's something that tells the ECU to adjust when the additional air is being injected....

I completely understand your untrust of the car if it keeps shutting off on you. The fact that it hasn't stopped doing that after several repairs only makes that worse.

Good luck w/the cure; I don't think I have anything else that'd be helpful. Maybe someone else does.
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:34 PM
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My bug did the same some months ago when cold it never started so I plugged my Vag com and dived into unknown territory becaause everyone was telling me different things.

HOW TO CHECK YOUR SECONDARY AIR PUMP___________

In fact is quite easy. start your engine in the morning (COLD ENGINE) start it and open the hood (be sure the brake is engaged) put your ear close to the intake manifold (remove the engine cover first) and wait...
within 5 minutes while the engine is warming up you will hear a small motor engaging for 15 to 20 secs and then shutting down. this will happen until the engine is warm, if there is no electric motor noise your pump is:

disconected.
the internal fan of the pump is stuck
the motor of the pump is dead (and its going to cost you dearly.

check the hoses from the pump to the intake and filter for broken, or leaks.

IN MY OPINION the Seconday pump will NEVER SHUT down your car just gives you a CEL light on the dash.

FOR NON STARTING and shutting down engine CHECK THE WATER TEMP SENSOR.

it must be the green top NOT THE BLACK because blacks are known to be trouble makers.
I guess all your troubles are related to temp sensor because if it breaks near open the engine will shut down because it wont know if its overheating and as a precaution it will shut down

the part costs no more than 30 bucks and can be ordered at www.ecstuning.com it can be changed by a mere mortal (PROVIDED THE ENGINE IS COLD).

Change the sensor most probably that is the main trouble and best of all its a very cheap piece that you need to change anyways...

check the pic to cahnge it remove the metal lock take out the old sensor put in the new be careful not toget the rubber ring that seals it all skewed (because it will leak! when hot), put the metal secure ring and reconect it and you are set.


check pic
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Old 10-18-2005, 04:41 AM
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Default Car just dies...

I hope your alternative dealer has a tech or two that knows how to properly use the VAG-COM scanner. A simple scan when done according to VW protocal will almost always produce codes that will direct the tech in the right direction or to the faulty component that needs replacing..To get the engine to just stop just like that may indicate a loose connection to the speed sensor. The secondary air injection system would not cause this abrupt engine stoppage. This engine speed sensor plug connector is located just to the right of the oil dip stick so you can check for tightness. Another culprit could be the fuel pump relay that could be faulty. It may over heat causing the fuel pump to stop working and after the engine ignition is shut off, it may be resetting it self. Most all other input sensors to the engine control computer, when faulty will only trigger the CEL or will also put car into limp home mode..
Like I said earlier, any qualified VW tch that really knows the VAG-Scanner and has the nessesary mechanics skills to logically follow the suggested routes to probably components could diagnose your car in about 10 to 15 minutes tops...Enough guessing, get a good complete scan by VW... JK
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