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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-19-2008, 08:16 PM
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Exclamation Check Engine Light and Air Mass Sensor

I took my wife's 98 VW in for service, 70K, and the check engine light was on, it needed a service, timing belt and brakes. Well after $1500, the check engine light came on after one day. I took it back and they said that it needs air mass replaced. I was told that it's $175, and I decided to write in here to get some advice. I can buy a Bosch replacement for $90. and it looks like I can find it easily.

Will the check engine light go off by itself it this solves the problem or does the light need to be reset?
Is there anything difficult in replacing this sensor?
If this doesn't fix the CEL, any other suggestions. The engine runs fine and gets about 30MPG running around town.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:19 PM
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Bosch is OEM replacement. Clean the old one before replacing it ( it's cheaper ). Mine was never replaced and I clean it every 4-6 months. No problems with it.

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Old 11-19-2008, 09:50 PM
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Default What cleaning method do you use?

Thanks for your post. What do you use to clean your Air Mass Sensor? Does your Check Engine Light signal you when cleaning is needed and once you clean it the light goes off? Thanks again
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:04 PM
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it's a contact cleaner.
Disconnect the MAF ( big black thing between air box and Throttle Body ). Remove the MAF sensor housing. Spray the hell out of a small thing behind the grid in the center of the housing. It will drip and squirt everywhere but let it dry for few minutes since it's a fast evaporating substance.
Put the MAF back and connect it again. Have fun

Here is what I use.
Never had any problems but... use it at your own risk.

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Good luck!
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:09 PM
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Thanks again. Does the check engine light need to be reset, or does it go off by itself.

I'm off to the parts store to find that stuff. Sounds better than the $175 I was quoted or the $90 for a replacement. Thanks for the tip
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockcarver View Post
Does your Check Engine Light signal you when cleaning is needed and once you clean it the light goes off? Thanks again
You will not get any indication that your MAF is dirty ( but nice idea ). Only code that you have misfiring, which can came from many parts ( O2 sensors, spark plugs, coilpack, wires... ). Code might go away if you are lucky, like me but they will come back if there is another problem ( me again ).

Clear the codes and let us know what happened.

Cleaning the MAF is cheap fix but most of the times it's the O2 sensor or coil pack that cause misfiring.

Good luck
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:21 PM
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I don't have an engine problem at all. The engine light being on is what bugs my wife, and so she feels like the car is in danger if the light is lit. We were first told it was an oxygen sensor and not to worry. It was fine for a season and then it came back on. When I took it in for service they said that there was a vacuum hose that needed replacing and that fixed the problem. Well it didn't and they then said that it needed the AMS, so that's what lead me to posting here.

As for the light itself, I don't know how to reset it.Is that easy to do? I'd like to solve this so my wife is happy with the Beetle. She loves the car. Thank again for your time and attention to my problem.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:41 AM
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Angry Cleaned the Air Mass Sensor-no change-Any suggestions?

So I went out and bought the cleaner and removed the sensor and sprayed it well, let it dry and reinstalled. No change in the check engine light even after a test drive. The car runs fine, it's like the light is always on, so if there was an engine problem, we won't pay attention to it, like the story of the boy who cried wolf and nobody believed him.

Any suggestions how to get a better diagnosis of the problem or is the problem that the light is too sensitive?
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockcarver View Post
So I went out and bought the cleaner and removed the sensor and sprayed it well, let it dry and reinstalled. No change in the check engine light even after a test drive. The car runs fine, it's like the light is always on, so if there was an engine problem, we won't pay attention to it, like the story of the boy who cried wolf and nobody believed him.

Any suggestions how to get a better diagnosis of the problem or is the problem that the light is too sensitive?
You need to drive the car for the computer to reset, also it will reset after so many start ups.

The MAF is super easy to replace by removing the clip and unscrewing it from the snowbox.



If you want the code cleared now, just take it to autozone tell them you just replaced your maf and ask them to clear it when they run the code.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:28 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I don't think we have autozone, but will check with Schucks or other part stores that sell the AMS. I bought the AMS cleaner there.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:04 PM
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unhook the battery for about 5 min and that will rest everything.. your check engine will go off.. but if it comes back on then there is something still wrong.
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:16 AM
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Angry Engine codes P0411 and P1128

Quote:
Originally Posted by abercrombiefit11 View Post
unhook the battery for about 5 min and that will rest everything.. your check engine will go off.. but if it comes back on then there is something still wrong.
Well now I've another problem. When I disconnected the battery terminal, and waited 5 minutes, I reconnected and started the car and the light stayed lit, so more to figure out. But now the radio doesn't work, I get the message SAFE, and I can't reprogram my stations or even get it to work.

What's up with this. I went to the auto parts store and asked them and was told that I had to go to the dealer to get the radio back. Any thoughts.

I had him recheck the Check Engine Light message and he got 2 codes: P0411 and P1128. Anybody know about these messages?
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockcarver View Post
I had him recheck the Check Engine Light message and he got 2 codes: P0411 and P1128. Anybody know about these messages?
SAFE is some kind of anti-theft system on the VW radio. Search the forums, or goto the dealer to have it reset. I think you need to enter a security code of some sort.

As far as the Check Engine Light. P1128 and P0411 can both be caused by a faulty MAF. But other problems might include:
- cracked/leaking vacuum hoses (at 50k+ miles, you should replaces your hoses)
- dying o2 sensors
- Mass Airflow Sensor
- secondary air pump dying (check hoses first!)

If you know someone with a VAG-Com, you can have them check the voltages of the o2 sensors and MAF and rule those out fairly quickly.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahma View Post
SAFE is some kind of anti-theft system on the VW radio. Search the forums, or goto the dealer to have it reset. I think you need to enter a security code of some sort.

As far as the Check Engine Light. P1128 and P0411 can both be caused by a faulty MAF. But other problems might include:
- cracked/leaking vacuum hoses (at 50k+ miles, you should replaces your hoses)
- dying o2 sensors
- Mass Airflow Sensor
- secondary air pump dying (check hoses first!)

If you know someone with a VAG-Com, you can have them check the voltages of the o2 sensors and MAF and rule those out fairly quickly.
Thanks for these ideas of what it might be. I solved the radio problem and have replaced all the hoses. I don't know the difference between, MAF and Mass Airflow Sensor, which I've cleaned-not replaced. As for the o2 sensor and the secondary air pump dying, I'm not sure what to do about these as I don't know someone with a VAG-Com to check them.

The last two trips to a mechanic to fix the Check Engine Light hasn't done much more than cost money. Each time I'm told that what they did was one of the many problems it can be, so come back in and we'll charge you more money till we replace everything. I'm suspicious and now don't have the time before the holidays.

Thanks again for your help here.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:11 PM
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Sniff around TDI club, there is a Vag list there. Or, get an Autonostics cable and download the Vag shareware, try it, and see if its worth investing in a full version for you.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beej View Post
Sniff around TDI club, there is a Vag list there. Or, get an Autonostics cable and download the Vag shareware, try it, and see if its worth investing in a full version for you.
Thanks, I think I need to find someone locally to help with me here. I'm on the short run until 2009, leaving my wife's beetle with the light on.
Looking for someone in Kitsap County west of Seattle. Thanks
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:27 AM
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Default air mass gizmo

Does cleaning the air mass gizmo often usually keep the idiot light quiet?
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:05 PM
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My light came on in october 2007, Mass Air Flow sensor code, cleaned it with no luck. Tell your wife it's just a beetle thing as my light is still on after 15 months and thousands of miles. The "check engine" light is short for WRITE a check, i believe.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:25 PM
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Default Check Engine light

Here in NJ I can't pass state inspection with the check engine light on. I have to try & clean my MAF as well.
I'm due for inspection this month & today is the last day.

I also have an exhaust leak sounds like it's off the manifold.
Sounds expensive.
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