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Thu Nov 03, 2005
The black Golf had a state inspection appointment for Tuesday of this week (that was November 1), so my plan was to drop it off at the garage (Car Works) after dark on Monday. That would lessen the chance of being pulled over for driving an uninspected vehicle. My dad offered to follow me to the garage and give me a ride back. Anyway, we went to start the Golf Monday evening, and the battery was weak enough so that the starter wouldn't crank. Kind of a pain, but no big deal - we jump-started the car and drove down Route 125 to Car Works. When we got there, I opened the door to get out of the car, and the alarm started going off! The factory VW alarm simply blares the horn over and over - the sound slices right through you. The normal way to turn off the alarm is to insert the key into a door lock, and turn it. I was frantically unlocking and locking doors to shut the thing up, to no avail. The alarm simply would not deactivate. By this time everyone at the shop was wondering what the heck was going on outside. I had to run inside and borrow a wrench so that I could disconnect the battery. We spent a good 30 minutes there in the parking lot trying to figure out what the heck was going on - the alarm goes off when the battery is disconnected then reconnected (that's normal behavior for VW alarms), but we had no way to turn it off. I will spare you the painfully long version of the story, but we finally managed to get me into the driver's seat of the car, with the alarm deactivated, so that I could drive it back to the house (the car won't start if the alarm is active). After hours of investigation without getting much of anywhere, we started to get desparate and were checking everything that was even remotely related to the alarm and central locking systems (not only was the alarm acting up, but the central lock function seemed to stop working as well). This car has the vacuum pump for the central locking system located in the same housing as the central lock control module. We tested the vacuum pump to see if it was working, and it was dead as a doornail. Just for the heck of it, and because the central locking system is sort of related to the alarm system, we decided to see what would happen with the central lock control module and pump disconnected. Sure enough, the alarm behaved normally again. Going back to the central lock module, my dad pried the cover off the box, and some water poured out. The module itself is just a small circuit board, and it was extremely corroded and stank of burnt electronics. We got the car back to the garage around 11:00pm.

I got a call on Tuesday from Car Works, saying that they didn't like the amount of play in the front strut mounts. I had replaced the bearings in the mounts, but not the rubber bushing that takes up the space between the bearing and the body of the car. So I took the car back that night, spent a couple of hours replacing those bushings, and the next morning I made arrangments to drop the car off again. It is now back at the shop, waiting for a sticker.

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Date: 07/11/06, 09:22:17 PDT
From: owens
Comments: We're currently having the same problem, where is the vacuum pump located in teh car for the central lock system?

Date: 07/13/06, 07:09:00 PDT
From: max
Comments: Hi owens, The module and pump assembly is encased in a removable styrofoam shell, so it will just look like a chunk of styrofoam with an electrical connection and vacuum connection going into it. In A3 Golfs, the pump and module are located next to the passenger side tail light , just peel back that carpet lining a little bit and you should see it. In A3 Jettas it is in a different location - it is wedged inside the body panels in the rear driver side of the car. You can get to it by opening the trunk and pulling off the carpet lining on the driver side of the trunk. Look along the side, getting close to the rear seats, and the module should be there somewhere, wedged between the outer body panel and some inner structural metal. I have another post related to VW alarms that may have some other useful info for you here: http://www.digitaldownpour.com/blog/general/12-12-2005_factory_alarm.html?showcomments=y -Max

Date: 11/28/06, 20:09:31 PST
From: rick
Comments: hi, i have a 96 vw gti 2door hatchback and i disconnected the batt and now the factory alarm goes off when i connect the neg pole..similar to what happened to you, i disconnected the cntrl lockng systm and the alarm still acts up..i dont know what else to do

Date: 11/29/06, 06:31:19 PST
From: Max
Comments: Rick, by design the factory alarm will go off when you reconnect the battery. If you are reconnecting the battery, the alarm will go off and you must silence it by unlocking the car with your key (or using the remote key fob, if you have one).
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