B5 VW Passat Door Locking Problems

Using ideas and technology obtained with the acquisition of Audi in 1964, Volkswagen began producing the Passat in 1973. Forty years later, the Passat has become a consumer favorite that VW has kept updating for six generations. The Passat B5, produced from1996 to 2005, won numerous automotive awards and introduced an independent suspension system to its powerful front-wheel drive technology. A common complain of B5 owners revolves around door locking problems.

The B5’s locking mechanism is situated inside of the door, and is composed of two distinct components: an electronic portion that contains a circuit board and four micro switches, and a mechanical portion holding things like latches and cables. When something goes wrong with the locking module, the door may lock and unlock at random moments, or the car might not recognize when the door is open. Conversely, the car might say the door is open when, in fact, it is closed, or the door could relock itself while open, causing the alarm to go off.

These issues—and others resembling them—all point to a problem within the locking module. It could be that one of the micro switches isn’t operating correctly (sending faulty signals, or not sending signals at all), resulting in a system-wide confusion. Another likely cause lies in the soldering holding the harness connector to the circuit board. Over time, the solders can become cracked, leading the module to give intermittent connections if the connection occurs at all.

Obviously a car with a faulty locking system poses a severe security risk. Taking care of the locks in your car is a top priority, and anyone experiencing the problems outlined above should schedule an appointment with a nearby VW service expert as soon as conveniently possible.

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