Who are you guys?

Volkswagen golf tachometer

Anyways when we first bought the car the tach would bounce around for a bit randomly when I started it. It was normal after that for a few months with no problems but this week the tach quit altogether and the oil light just flashes and flashes.

The oil pressure is fine. (i had the problem before with the oil buzzer and light going off around 2000 RPM but i switched to thicker weight oil and that solved that problem) Its definalty some electronic problem. seems like a common thing with VW's.

Also when this happens (no tach and oil light flashes) the tranny wont shift out of 3rd gear. (not sure if this is related or not but it started doing it once i lost the tach lost its signal. It will stay in 3rd gear ALL the time unless you turn the key off and on then it shifts normally again. Sucks cuz it revs too high on the highway and is slow as a old dog off the line untill you turn off/on the ignition.

I have a spare cluster as well and i tried swapping that in, but same thing (no tach and oil light flashes). I know its not the cluster thats the problem anyways so the problem lies somewhere else.

Normally im a Mitsubishi guy. but i really like the MKIII jettas and golfs. Very reliable besides all the electrical gremlins that plague them. tons of room for the kid in the back seat and a HUGE trunk so i can stuff lots of dead bodies in there. HELP ME FIX MY MKIII!

a HUGE trunk so i can stuff lots of dead bodies in there. HELP ME FIX MY MKIII!

lol i like that line. and yeah my manual golf gl does this and stalls out on me sometimes. and i slap the steering wheel and it pops starts it self

well today my wife said she noticed some SMOKE coming from the steering collum area (near ignition sorta) and a bit of a electrical burning smell. It only did it for a second. and then it went away and the car drove like normal for a bit. the tach intermitantly worked, and then did not work. THe tranny was randomly shifting into 3rd gear at 80 MPH so it was ANNOYING and not really super safe as its a hard shift. Then the tach starts working again (and oil light stops flashing) and the car is completely normal again.

After the problem "magically" dissapered again for the following month and then came back again last night i did some more diagnostic time on her. Replaced the ECU. nothing. still no tach and oil light was flashing.

Then i got under the dash and started wiggling the connectors on the back of the BIG fuse box on the drivers side. BINGO. One of them was a tad loose and i pushed it back into the fuse box and the tach instantly started to work again. I could actually grab the connecter and pull back on it and it would loose the tach signal again and the tach would bounce everywhere. Clipped it back in like it should be and no problems anymore!

The design of the box is questionable beacuse people with big feet can actually catch the connector(s) under the dash and easily unclip it from the holder and pull it back with their foot. causing all sorts or wierd electrical problems!!

Well just thought i would update this post so if anyone else has a similar problem they know what to do!