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Pelican Technical Article:

ECU Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0 to $300

Talent:

***

Tools:

Small screwdriver

Applicable Models:

VW Jetta GL (1999-05)
VW Jetta GLS (1999-05)
VW Jetta Wolfsburg (1999)

Parts Required:

ECU

Hot Tip:

Be sure to disconnect the battery before removing the ECU

Performance Gain:

A car that runs again

Complementary Modification:

Perform a tune-up

The electronic control unit (ECU) is the main computer that controls the operation of the engine. Over time, ECUs can go bad and may need replacement. In this article, I'll show you how to replace the ECU.

Keep in mind that the new ECU must be coded to the car. This is something that can be done by your local dealer or VW shop with access to VW specific software. For those of you with the VAG-COM package, be sure to read out the codes for the old ECU to have on hand prior to removing the ECU.

The first step is to disconnect the negative terminal on the battery.
Figure 1

The first step is to disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. See our article on Battery Replacement for more information. With the cowl panel removed, you can see the ECU (green arrow) located near the center of the car near the windshield.

Use a small screwdriver to pry the tab (green arrow) out of the electrical connector leading to the ECU on the right.
Figure 2

Use a small screwdriver to pry the tab (green arrow) out of the electrical connector leading to the ECU on the right. These are locking tabs that will detach from the ECU as you pull them out.

Repeat the process for the left side electrical connector by prying it out (green arrow).
Figure 3

Repeat the process for the left side electrical connector by prying it out (green arrow).

Now get a firm grip on either side of the ECU (green arrows) and pull it straight out towards you.
Figure 4

Now get a firm grip on either side of the ECU (green arrows) and pull it straight out towards you. It may take a little effort. The new ECU installs in the reverse order of removal.

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Page last updated: Fri 7/28/2017 03:02:45 AM