Immobilizer - 2001 VW Jetta TDI won't start



Hello! My car was running fine last night and this morning. Later in the morning, when I tried to start it, the car would turn over and catch, but then die. The little “car and key” icon continues to flash on the dashboard, which means that the anti-theft device (immobilizer) is active.

I’ve tried the following:

- disconnect the battery and touch the leads together for 20 seconds

- open all doors (hood and trunk), close them all, reactivate the alarm

- try several keys (I have three keys that have been “paired” to this car)

- insert key in door lock, turn to left and hold, turn to right and hold, unlock.

Nothing is working and I can find no information on the Internets about how to disable the immobilizer. It’s now at a service station in Brooklyn and will be looked at on Monday, but I fear that they’re not going to do anything and I’ll have to have it towed again to the dealer. Advice?


Try a spare key, Some vehicles have a chip in the key if it has burned out the car will start and run for 10 seconds and die. this may be as simple as getting a new key.


Hey, FB.

I have three keys… I tried them all, but no dice.

Any other suggestions? I’ve tried just about everything I can think of.


I highly doubt there’s a method of disabling the immobilizer available on the internet. It can be done by using a ECU specially made at the factory which you cannot get.

Sounds like a ECU failure. Give it a dope slap.


Do you have an aftermarket Alarm or keyless entry, even one the LAST owner may have put in, and not told you about ?

You can have a locksmith scan the car for, and clear any trouble codes, and reprogram the keys back in.

But the problem may be deeper.

City Lock
Boulder CO