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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently noticed an issue (that is getting worse) where I will hear a clicking noise (relay) below the dashboard near the steering column. This is completely random and does not get better or worse if I make any changes within the car (lights, wipers, auto features...etc).

The pattern is very random and at times can be several times within a few seconds of each other, but is now basically none stop while driving. If I come to a complete stop with the car running, it does not make a noise. Today I noticed the illuminated "Auto" on the headlight switch was pulsing slightly with the clicks...

I made an appointment with the dealer and will be taking it in Wed night but wanted to see if anyone has heard of this before.

The Treg does not have keyless entry/push button start and does not seem to be related to any HVAC functionality - only two items I could find on this website with similar symptoms.

2013 Lux VR6 with approx 24k miles.

Thanks!
 

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I am interested to find out what this is. While I have a different year and model, mine does this (from time to time) when it is cooler weather, and on short trips. Nothing seems to make it go away when it starts (at least that I know of for sure), but it will go away on its own after a few miles.

The last time it did it I wondered if it was related to defrost (climate control or electric rear windows or mirror defrost). Possibly heated seats??? No idea, but those features are always in use when it is doing its thing 100% of the time.

Both my V8 and V6 do this at random. Never looked into it, I turn the stereo on now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just picked it up from the dealer. I'm not sure how, but they claim were not able to reproduce the symptoms. They still ran it through diagnostics and found a fault code for the Infotainment system - most likely when I upgraded to V .711. They also stated there were other updates required that they applied to the vehicle while it was on the VW diag system.

After doing the updates, the technician and service manager drove it and verified there were no issues.

To my surprise, on the way home, I also noticed no noise or issues. Still a bit skeptical, but will feel better after driving it the next few days.

I think its time to purchase VCDS...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
VCDS won't be able to update any car with the latest software/firmware. Only the dealer's system can do that. FYI
Right - I should have been more specific. After dealing with the service department, I think I'll do my own fault reading if there are other problems down the road.

Disappointed with how they handled the situation in general...last night the service advisor claimed the tech reproduced the issue during a test drive and found updates that would be installed in the morning. Today there was another SA assigned, he said the tech could NOT reproduce the issue - confirmed with the tech when I picked it up. While signing off on the WO, I asked him what updates were applied. He gave me a blank stare and said they did not apply updates. I told him the previous SA said the VW diag equipment found updates that needed to be applied last night before they closed the shop. The SA then asked the tech and he confirmed there were "general module updates" applied this morning - took almost 2 hours to apply.

Would VCDS at least tell me what versions software/firmware were installed? I thought it does...

I love VW, but they need to get the crap together with customer service after the sale...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So the clicking returned.

Happened on may way home from the office...for atleast 20 miles... so I drove straight to the dealer. Literally 1 mile away it quit. The service manager still wanted to go for a ride in case it started again. Drove around atleast 5 miles and nothing.

The only variable I believe is tied to this is cold temperature. Seems to do it more on cold days...below freezing.

I'm starting to think it may be tied to the HVAC mixing valve that T1/T2 owners have reported in a few cases. Something I've noticed is that during the clicking condition, turning off the HVAC system does not stop it though...

Monday its supposed to be in the teens around here so hopefully I can start to pin point triggers and reproduce for a tech/service manager.
 

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Heated oxygen sensor relay? There is also a heating element in the PCV valve although I have no idea if it is on a relay...but the O2 sensors are...

Rear defrost? Mirror defrost? Heated steering wheel? My bet is something like that or engine management doing something in the cold that you may not know about...
 

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My bet is . . . . engine management doing something in the cold that you may not know about...
And, as we now know, VW are good at doing things like that!:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Heated oxygen sensor relay? There is also a heating element in the PCV valve although I have no idea if it is on a relay...but the O2 sensors are...

Rear defrost? Mirror defrost? Heated steering wheel? My bet is something like that or engine management doing something in the cold that you may not know about...
Those could be possible but cycling all of the functions above do not improve or worsen the situation - hvac, auto lights, heated seats/mirrors, auto wipers, cruise control...etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So the clicking has not improved and I finally got the dealer to hear it during a test drive the other day. Since I'll be flying next week for work, the dealer will have it the entire week to diagnose and hopefully repair. They could not find any faults or codes within the system and it does not make this noise while sitting at idle, so they will have to pull the dash apart and drive it around to isolate the problem. Below are a few things I was able to determine as well as a video showing the issues.

  • Seems to do this regardless of outside temp's (warm or cold). Does this on a daily basis and will start within 2 - 3 minutes of driving. Only occurs while vehicle is moving.
  • After driving for 45 minutes I pulled over for a quick rest stop - Treg was off for approx 5 min. When I started the vehicle, the issue did not return for the remainder of the trip (about an hour).
  • At its peak (clicking the most), I noticed the "AUTO" light on the headlight switch will flicker. The 12volt cig plug also seems to pulse power as indicated by my cellphone that was plugged in
  • Turning on the rear defrost will SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the issue (but not eliminate), but as soon as the defrost turns off, the clicking returns.
I've attached a video showing this condition. Location of "clicking" is below the steering wheel and slightly left. Must be relays behind there?


Any idea's????
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I should note that I have gone through every setting on the vehicle trying to eliminate the problem. The only item that temporarily improves the situation is tied to the rear defrost which works fine.

All functions and features work perfect - the only symptom is the clicking noise and when it is clicking at a very high rate, the headlight indicator and 12v power pulse. When it does not click as much, the headlight indicator and 12v power work ok.

Hope that makes sense.

:confused::confused::confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How old is your battery? It may be a low voltage issue. Have you had any hard starts or anything else lately? Your alternator voltage regulator may be crapping out.
Battery is approx 2.5 years old...never had starting issue...cranks over perfect.

Odd part is that it only does it while driving. If I bring up the rpm while in park, it will not do it.

Good suggestion though...I'll take some basic voltage measurements with my fluke to be sure.
 

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Yea, what made me think of it is when you mentioned the rear defrost. Defrost pulls a good amount of current, so if your alternator is going, that might be enough to pull more than it can push. Try bringing current loading to an absolute minimum - shut off all lights, the radio, vents, etc. and see if the issue goes away. If the alternator is good, something on that line could be pulling too much current as well. Good luck, let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yea, what made me think of it is when you mentioned the rear defrost. Defrost pulls a good amount of current, so if your alternator is going, that might be enough to pull more than it can push. Try bringing current loading to an absolute minimum - shut off all lights, the radio, vents, etc. and see if the issue goes away. If the alternator is good, something on that line could be pulling too much current as well. Good luck, let us know what you find.
When I turn on defrost it nearly goes away. Turning everything off does not help.

I hope the dealer figures it out next week!
 

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I wonder if the sound (in person) is identical or different than the sound made by the rear defrost relay turning on by pushing the defrost button...same location too. I turned my defrost on and off / and and off and noted that the sound is very similar. So I think at least it is a relay.
I wonder if the reason it does it only when driving is due to vibration and perhaps a defunct connection inside the relay where it will still work but when not engaged it rattles around causing it to ground when it is not closed...making the sound and drawing jolts of current that cause other dash receptacles to dim????

Crazy theory, but it was better than "sounds like Morse code."

Good luck with the dealer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I wonder if the sound (in person) is identical or different than the sound made by the rear defrost relay turning on by pushing the defrost button...same location too. I turned my defrost on and off / and and off and noted that the sound is very similar. So I think at least it is a relay.
I wonder if the reason it does it only when driving is due to vibration and perhaps a defunct connection inside the relay where it will still work but when not engaged it rattles around causing it to ground when it is not closed...making the sound and drawing jolts of current that cause other dash receptacles to dim????

Crazy theory, but it was better than "sounds like Morse code."

Good luck with the dealer!
Very similar "click" and basically the same spot near the steering column. It does get louder than the defrost relay click at times though...
 

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What I think your hearing is a defective relay. I know in the old Jetta's I had they would click and it turns out that the relay was attached to the back of the hazard light assembly even though they weren't on. I know that VW moved the relay but it could be something like that.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update...

Spoke to the service manager and they feel confident it has been resolved. What they found was a loose ground wire that tied to a bank of relays within the dash. Once they fixed the ground wire, they have not been able to reproduce the problem.

Since I'm out of town, they have it until Friday and they'll continue to test drive it this week to be sure.

Fingers crossed!
 
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