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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2014, 07:12 PM
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Enumclaw, WA, USA
Car: 2001 GLS
Default Immobilizer Defeat

Does anyone have information about Reflect Tuning? The web site says that they will perform an immobilizer defeat on my 2001 Beetle 1.8l Turbo ECM for $50. Revo Tech wants to do a performance up-grade with the immobilizer defeat for about $450 I really do not want or need a performance up-grade. The automatic transaxle probably wouldn't handle it anyway. I have been unsuccessful in having 3 different dealers here in the Seattle area re-program the immobilizer in a used gauge cluster. My original gauge cluster is defective. So...the $50 with Reflect Tuning to defeat the immobilizer sounds very reasonable. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2014, 09:25 PM
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Why are you trying to defeat the immobilizer? Because the reader doesn't work or because you don't want to deal with programming the key? If the reader still works, all you need to do is attach an RFID chip from a working key near the ignition switch. I can give more details if you would like to try it.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:49 AM
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there are actually countless reasons to immo delete, but that isn't what the OP wanted. the $50 sounds reasonable for any tune like that if you do not know the people. However I would see if they will guarantee it so it isn't a waste of $$$. IMMO delete's and those types of tunes are normally pretty cheap, egr del cel light is another cheap one that people do a lot.

a lot of tdi guys use malone tuning Malone Tuning Ltd with good results they do the 1.8 as well. might be worth seeing if they have someone in your area.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:59 AM
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OK. Read more closely this time. Sounds like the used cluster that you got is either the wrong part or defective. There were several generations of immobilizer used in the New Beetle so you would need to be careful about getting the right part.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:33 PM
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Car: 2001 GLS
Default Immobilizer defeat

Thanks. The gauge cluster that I purchased was from a 1.8l auto same VIN series. The seller said that it was a functioning gauge cluster. I'm done screwing around with these VW dealers. I am willing to spend some $ but they are not willing to help me with this problem. Have been told by 3 different dealers here in the Seattle area they cannot/will not reprogram a used gauge cluster, or even attempt to make it work in my 2001 Beetle. That said, an immobilizer defeat is my last resort to get this vehicle back on the road. And I do not want to have a performance upgrade just to add stress to an already short-life automatic transaxle. So...Reflect Tuning is where I have sent my ECU. I will post when I get it back and have tried it out. Thanks for the reply
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:03 PM
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Just some added thoughts. I do believe that the Volkswagen/Audi immobilizer is a good anti-theft feature. It is well designed. However, when a problem arises with any of the components involved (the ignition switch coil and wiring, the speedometer cluster, the engine ECU) the end result is much pain and suffering for the end user. Be prepared for towing costs. And in the case of these Beetles, they no longer sell new gauge clusters, so be prepared to feel that hopeless feeling if your original gauge cluster fails. If this immobilizer defeat is successful for the cost of $50, an end user could effectively use the funds that they would have spent at a dealership for repairs, to purchase a great after-market alarm system, complete with a remote start feature. The end user would then also have full control over that system. Sounds like a great plan. The average Joe like me doesn't want or need to purchase the hardware & software necessary to work on these immobilizer systems. And most of us do not have a friend who works at a VW/Audi dealership who will "borrow" the tools out the back door to make the necessary repairs. I am totally dissatisfied with this feature of these cars, to the point where I will never have another one.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:34 PM
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Default Immobilzer defeat

OK. Good news. I received my ECU in the mail yesterday from Ian @ Reflect Tuning in Greensboro NC. The turn-around time was awesome. I put my ECU in the mail on Monday, Feb 3rd. It took less than a week and the cost to Ian was a mere $55 including shipping! I installed the re-programmed ECU today along with the used gauge cluster that I previously purchased for $75. Everything works great as it should. I am forever grateful to Ian @ Reflect Tuning for helping me with this immobilizer issue. I hope that someone else can use this information. Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to spend a little time cleaning this vehicle up, and then I'm going to list it for sale.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:37 PM
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D'oh. I should have realized that was Ian that you were sending the ECU to! He is a great guy. We've known of him for years in our local VW group, but only met him for the first time a few weeks ago. Helped us get a key matched to the immobilizer in my husband's Audi. Glad he got you sorted!
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:45 PM
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I'm dealing with my own immo issues; do they physically remove the chip from the ecu board or just program it out with the software? Does the immo icon still flash in the speedo cluster? I've narrowed my troubleshooting down to what I believe is a cluster fault/failure, debating whether to defeat the immo or replace the cluster. By the way; have you heard, what specifically in the cluster fails? I have been trying to see; if the clusters can be repaired by a vendor, many list typical failure of the gauges but no one has mentioned the immobilizer aspect as much. Any info appreciated!
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:14 PM
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I am very interested in this string of posts because I have the immobilizer since replacing a bad ECU. If the light goes off, I am perfectly ok with sending it off to get it done. Any other downsides other than the obvious regarding the anti theft?
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:24 PM
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jkuzzy, tell us about your problem before the ecu swap; what were the issues you were having and what are you experiencing now (after the ecu replacement)? Where did you get the ecu and what procedures were done to "match" it to the car (keys, ecu, etc.); from what I understand, you need to match the new part to the car with the factory scan tool or a program like VCDS.

You might email the vendor; to hear what they have to say about the defeat and what issues, you may end up with.

Reflect Tuning :: Home

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Reflect Tuning :: CONTACT
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:27 PM
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I believe we asked Ian about immo defeats when we saw him and he said that his tuning would not have the light blinking. I thought about having it done, but he pulled our key PINs for us and we have VAG-COM so we can match keys. Woo!
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billymade View Post
jkuzzy, tell us about your problem before the ecu swap; what were the issues you were having and what are you experiencing now (after the ecu replacement)? Where did you get the ecu and what procedures were done to "match" it to the car (keys, ecu, etc.); from what I understand, you need to match the new part to the car with the factory scan tool or a program like VCDS.

You might email the vendor; to hear what they have to say about the defeat and what issues, you may end up with.

Reflect Tuning :: Home

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I initially had a bad throttle body and I found the cable for the O2 sensor was dragging on the ground. I had issues after replacements when it comes to revving. It didn't rev at all and codes wouldn't go away. After replacing the computer. I could clear all codes, but (of course) had the immobilizer issue. I replaced the computer with the exact part number.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:13 PM
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jkuzzy, where did you get the ecu and did you have it adapted to the car with a factory scan tool or vcds; if you have a new throttle body, I would also try adapting that with VCDS as well! I'm wondering if having the keys and ecu matched would help solve your problem? Which scan tool are you using and what codes are you getting?

Last edited by billymade; 02-11-2014 at 12:51 AM..
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billymade View Post
jkuzzy, where did you get the ecu and did you have it adapted to the car with a factory scan tool or vcds? I'm wondering if having the keys and ecu matched would help solve your problem? Which scan tool are you using and what codes are you getting?
I found the ECU off of Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market and it came out of Florida. You are exactly right about having the codes matched. I am not in front of the car right now so I don't have the scanner handy. It wasn't one of the expensive ones, however.
Jeff
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:07 AM
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I'm thinking; that it maybe possible, that you need to have your components matched to the car. Here is some info; to try and troubleshoot your problem.

google search: "technical Bulletin Anti-theft Immobilizer On Board Diagnostic (OBD)" this is a vw tech bulletin that has a step by step flow sheet to help you diagnose the problem.

To understand and diagnose, the immobilizer in a easier to understand way; check out this site:

VW and Audi key, remote, and immobilizer FAQ and troubleshooting

Immobilizer FAQ and troubleshooting for VW and Audi, with key replacement tips | VW TDI forum, Audi, Porsche, and Chevy Cruze diesel forum

There is more in depth info; to access that info; you need to join the site and post up one thread, like in the intro section.

We discussed quite a bit about immobilizer issues in this thread as well: immobilizer problem
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:03 AM
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To billymade...the immobilizer defeat is done with software only. The light in the dash will need to be dealt with also. In my case I simply took the gauge cluster apart, put a dab of black silicone over the led for the immobilizer and re-assembled it. My original gauge cluster problem was with all 3 of the gauges (tach, speedo & fuel) being intermittent. I purchased a used gauge cluster from eBay and discovered the immobilizer feature when I installed it and attempted to start my engine. This led me down a long, dark path of searching on-line looking for a solution. I was willing to spend the $ at the dealer to help me with programming the immobilizer in the replacement gauge cluster. Only one dealer out of three that I went to here in the greater Seattle area was even willing to try. They were not successful, and I was told that I had a defective replacement gauge cluster. After discovering Ian @ Reflect Tuning I sent him my ECM for the immobilizer deafeat. This same replacement gauge cluster that I was previously told was defective and would not connect with their computer now works fine and all is well. Ian saved my bacon big time.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:45 AM
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loosegravel, thanks for the info; so, it sounds like the immo idiot light would continue to blink with the software defeat. I have been researching allot; vcds and vagtacho seem to be needed to do the matching without the delete in the ecm, a used speedo would have to be programmed to the "new" car. I have also heard; that the dealers factory scan tool is unable to match used clusters... whether this is true or not; I don't know but might explain the problems the vw dealers had, attempting to code yours. As with so much of this stuff online; everyone, puts in their two cents and all the info may or may not be true.

More and more; I am hearing these clusters are failure prone and seem to be a primary cause of these immo issues.

By the way, with the immo delete; does the security system and remote unlocking system still work? I guess you won't ever have to deal with the immo; ever again!

Just for now useless info: here is how you code a cluster with vcds. You need to have the SKC code to do this; this can be retrieved by a program like vagtacho (software/cable on a windows pc). I suppose; your new used cluster could have been fine but just not adapted (thus, the immobilizer issue), in this case vcds would have been able to do this (if everything was ok; hardware wise).

here are some videos and info about the adaptation process:

ECM and cluster swapping for Immobilizer 3
ECM and cluster swapping for Immobilizer 3 - YouTube

immo #2
Ross-Tech: VCDS: Immobilizer 2 Instrument Cluster Swapping

key adaptation
Immobilizer 2 and 3 Key Adaptation - YouTube

overall immobilizer overview and procedures for VAG cars with VCDS:

http://wiki.ross-tech.com/wiki/index.php/Immobilizer

Last edited by billymade; 02-13-2014 at 04:10 AM..
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:02 AM
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Default Immobilizer defeat

One other thing that I have discovered along the path of my gauge cluster/immobilizer issues. I'm sure that many of you already know about this feature and forgive me if I am providing old information. But I haven't seen any information here about it. All of these vehicles come with a SKC (secret key code) which is unique to each vehicle just like the code for the radio is. In the case of immo2 in my 2001 Beetle, it is a 4 diget code. I have learned that this code can be manually entered into the gauge cluster using the trip meter button. Apparently in the event of an immobilizer activation for what ever reason, the input of the SKC into the gauge cluster will allow the engine to start and run, thus preventing the need for a tow. I have tried to get this SKC for my car from the dealers here in the Seattle area. They have all told me that they no longer have access to this information. Apparently the code can be retrieved using the VAG tools...the ones that most of us do not have.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:06 AM
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The key fab still works as well as the alarm. These are not associated with the immobilizer, two seperate systems apparently. Thanks for the provided info too!
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