Volkswagen check engine light

I have a 2000 VW Beetle with about 95,000 miles on it. This morning we drove it with the spare key that we haven’t used in months. It ran a little rough, and when I turned a corner it seemed to make a creaking-like noise (mostly during any weight shift). This afternoon after driving it during the day a few times and putting gas in it, I drove it home from work on the highway, about 1 mile from home at a stop light the car sputtered and the check engine light went on. It continued running and I drove to the mechanic and had the code read, it came out as 1612. They said it was possibly something with the ECM… no idea what this means? Thoughts? Is it just a coincidence that my spare key was being used? Is it a misfire? Something with the electrical system…

P1631= Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor High Output.

Have them replace the APP sensor.


Here’s more info on code P1631:

The ECM is the main computer that runs the engine (engine control module).
Note that the problem could also be with the accelerator pedal or a bad connection in the wiring harness.

Be sure that the mechanic checks the accelerator pedal and the wiring connections first before assuming it’s a bad ECM.

Sorry it was actually 1612*** Just edited the post

Then that’s the ECM. (computer)


P1612 ECM incorrect coding;

A 5-character code must always be displayed during the Control Module identification.
•The Control Module must be re-coded if the appropriate coding is not displayed or the ECM has been replaced.

If the Engine control module will not retain the correct code after an atempt of recoding, the ECM will likely need to be placed.

Has this car been jump started recently? Or used to jump start another car?

No. The mechanic said it was the ignition coils and spark plugs causing the problem.

Got quite a high estimate for the repairs.

If it is plugs and coils the labor charge should be reasonable .

Yeah, when you use the spare key, it actually starts the spare engine. That spare engine probably hasn’t run in a while, and that’s why it ran so poorly.

J/K. The key likely had nothing to do with it.

VW had a problem with many of their ignition coils of that era. They replaced probably hundreds of thousdands of coils under a voluntary replacement program (though it was technocally not a recall). Check with your local dealer to see if your VIN qualifies for a free coil replacement if it turns out the coil(s) are un fact the problem.

How did the mechanic get from P1612 to ignition coils? Your symptoms go together well with a diagnosis of ignition coil problems. But the code does not.