If you are a Volkswagen Jetta owner like me, you might eventually be faced with having to jump start your car. In my case it happened after I left my lights on at work (for some reason, the 2003 Jetta does NOT beep when the lights are on, so it is very easy to forget them on). Also in my case, I had to jump my car after work to get it running properly again. Little did I know that this caused a problem with my locking mechanism on the Jetta passenger doors (what is know as a double click open process, on the car dongle). This double click no longer worked, only the single click unlock worked for the drivers door. You would have to open the car door and click unlock inside the door for all the others to open.

I’ve jumped a few cars (not many, but certainly over 10 separate occasions), and I’ve never run into this problem. Basically my key dongle (unlock / lock / pop trunk) stopped responding for unlocking all the car doors. I was unable to double click and unlock the car doors on my 2003 Jetta. It was strange, my first instinct was that something got fried / damaged in the jump (later I learned while speaking with a VW tech, that I should never jump my Jetta, simply because I could fry all the electronics — I’m still not sure if that’s really true or not as my local VW dealership techs just want to make money off me for diagnostic hookups).

So I drove around with this problem for a few weeks, and my carpooling friend kept getting annoyed that I would need to open the car from the inside (auto unlock from inside rather). So I did some searching, and found some vague forum posts where people had the same problem. There was one person that fixed it tho, he solved it by getting in the car, then leaning over and LOCKING / UNLOCKING from the passenger panel (see photo).

This caused some kind of ‘passenger / rear door’ locking system reset, as it worked beautifully for me. So if you find yourself with a Jetta (or any other car that exhibits this problem), just get in the car, lean over and lock/unlock the door. What actually happened when I did it was the system made this ‘double click’ lock sound and then I found that the VW Jetta dongle was working as normal (locking / unlock / pop trunk).

Good luck, hope it helps someone avoid that VW Diagnostic $100 charge that they want to always get you in for.



One Comment to “VW Jetta MkIV (2003) Automatic door lock/unlock issue”

  1. Mikeottomo | July 12th, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Thank you very much. I had my alternator replaced, and had the same problem. It was driving me crazy for a month. You’ve made my week. Had no idea the fix was so simple. Greatly appreciate it.

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