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Intermittent ESP Light Flash and Lack of Power

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by pippo, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. pippo
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    pippo New Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a 2002 a3 1.8t quattro sport 180bhp with the ARY engine. I have an intermittent problem when pulling away under normal conditions, where the esp light will flash and all power to the engine is cut for a few seconds, it then goes off and allows me to accelerate. This is not due to harsh driving/wheels spinning. It doesn't do it all the time however it seems to be after sitting on the brakes then pulling away and turning at the same time for example after sitting at traffic lights then turning left/right.

    I took the car to a car park and drove the car on full lock left, the esp light was flashing constantly and I could not accelerate past around 10mph even with foot to the floor. This would not stop no matter how long I tried (nearly made myself sick lol). When I tried the same thing to the right it was all OK, no light and I could go as fast as i dare.

    Some googling and searching on here seems to point me towards wheel speed sensors and/or steering angle sensors however from what I gather, these usually give constant esp light rather than the intermittent problem I have (I could be wrong here). For this reason I am inclined to believe it is a more mechanical fault and the sensors are just doing their job as they should.

    I have noticed that the lower ball joints have been replaced at some stage as it has new bolts and retaining brackets attached to the lower arms. This, in conjunction with a steering wheel which sits very slightly to the left when driving straight, suggests maybe the car needs alignment/tracking done. Would this cause the faults that I am experiencing ?

    I also cleaned the rust off the abs rotors all round and cleaned the tips of the speed sensors. I did notice when doing this that the front sensors were very close to the rotor (would probably fit a folded piece of paper between them and no more) while the back off side was probably double the distance away compared to the front and the rear nearside was further away again. Could this be causing the problem ? If so I would have expected the problem to be constant. Should I try tapping these in further or am I likely to damage them ? There is quite a bit of rust around them.

    I am thinking of using a local German car specialist to do a diagnostic check however I am concerned that they will not find anything due to the intermittent nature of the problem. Would they be able to hook up the tester and drive it full lock to the left and read why the esp is cutting in ?


    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Pippo
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  2. Geoff-R
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    Geoff-R Member

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    Get the car alignment done and recalibrate the g85 steering angle sensor.
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  3. pippo
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    pippo New Member

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    Geoff,

    That is the answer I was hoping for. Will ring round tomorrow. Any ideas how much I should expect to pay to get this done ? Will probably use the German car specialist mentioned above as I believe they do 4 wheel alignment rather than go to the main dealer.

    Thanks

    Phil
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  4. Geoff-R
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    Geoff-R Member

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    Go to the specialist you mention that will be fine. I got mine aligned and calibrated the steering angle sensor myself with a copy of vcds lite. It literally takes a minute but you need to buy the cable and software. When you take it to the specialist get them to read the fault codes. As you mention the steering wheel is off centre it will most likely be the steering angle sensor.
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  5. pippo
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    pippo New Member

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    Cheers Geoff.

    I didn't think VCDS Lite was capable of performing any calibrations so that's good to know. I will definitely be purchasing the cable now. How much was the alignment? I'm thinking in the region of 50-100 ?
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  6. Geoff-R
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    Geoff-R Member

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  7. pippo
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    pippo New Member

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    Ok,

    I had the tracking done today. Steering wheel is now perfect and the car drives nice and straight. I have got myself a cable and registered VCDS Lite. The scan is only showing faults for the stereo front speakers and the alarm horn. All the rest is fine.

    I have performed the basic settings for:
    Sensor for steering angle G85
    Lateral acceleration sensor g200
    Brake pressure sensor g201
    Longitudinal acceleration sensor g251

    as described here: VW Golf (1J) Brake Electronics (MK60) - Ross-Tech Wiki

    And I have checked the measurement blocks and all are ok. I also checked the 4 wheel speed sensors and they are all reporting equally.

    Problem still exists. I'm a bit stumped now. The esp light only flashes in first gear and it stays on constant when doing a full lock left turn.

    Could this be a drive by wire fault ? (only in first gear)

    Another possibility is sticky brake/s, before the car was MOT'd she sat idle for a while and the brakes got rusty, I took her for a decent drive on the way to MOT station to clean them up. It was enough to pass however the MOT cert stated that the hand brake efficiency only just passed due to corrosion.

    I was driving around with the windows open earlier and sometimes after braking there is a metallic scoring sound like a brake sticking. Could a sticky brake be tripping the esp ? And if so why only in 1st gear and why on full lock turning left ?

    cheers

    Phil
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  8. pippo
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    pippo New Member

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    Further to my previous post, I noticed I have a clutch pedal switch (blue) is it possible that this is faulty? Would that show on vcds lite ?
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  9. Geoff-R
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    Geoff-R Member

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    Hi Phil, that's a bit baffling! I have a similar ESP issue at the moment with mine. Since my gearbox was rebuilt (1st-2nd fork broke) I have a problem with my ESP kicking in on left hand turns. Never on right hand turns just left hand ones. I'm wondering if this intermittent problem is somehow linked to yours. I recently fitted a new G85 sensor and slipring so I'm going to discount them as giving incorrect readings to the ESP system especially if there is no fault reported and calibration can be done.
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  10. S3 Sly
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    S3 Sly Member

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  11. pippo
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    pippo New Member

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    Well, took her to the Independant vag specialist and he managed to work out that the near side rear sensor was intermittent. His logs showed it at zero km/ph when the ESP was kicking in. This is the one I mentioned in my first post as being further from the rotors than the rest. Managed to chap it in closer to the rotor and it has cured the problem. I can pull away safely and go in left hand circles till my heart is content. :)
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