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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there recently I bought a T5 2005 2.5 van with twin sliding rear doors.

On the dash are 2 buttons to electrically open the two rear sliding doors.

The right rear door (drivers side):
works electrically fine with the dash button, the physical door handles and the remote button.

The left door (passenger side):
doesn't work with the corresponding dash button. When you press it there is a beeping noise and a whirring sound possibly suggesting a motor or wire gone.
But it does open physically with the door handle easily.

So basically I treat one side as electric and the other mechanical. So that is fine for now. One day I might have a look at the door motor or wire etc.

So back to the question!

My key remote has on first inspection 3 buttons.
top - central locking unlock
middle - rear sliding door open/close
bottom - central locking lock

On closer inspection, on the side of the key there seems to have been a button at some point (that is missing).
I assumed this was to open close the passenger side rear sliding door! But looking at pictures of keys online this could actually have been a red PANIC button(?) at some point.
Seems like this is for locating your car when looking for it by flashing your lights so you know where it is.


So now Im confused!
I've got 2 electric rear doors one working fine electrically and the other mechanically only. But my key fob only has one button to open/close the rear doors.
Im not sure how the system was designed originally key wise?

Was the side button on the key remote originally a panic button or was it to open the passenger rear sliding door?
Im thinking of getting a spare key cut so Im unsure what to go for now?

Phew that was longer than I thought it was going to take to explain! Sorry!!


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Can't answer your question, never seen a fob with a button there but have you tried pushing what looks like might be a moving contact & see what happens?
 

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Hi, I have exactly the same four-button fob, your initial theory is correct in that for some unknown reason, Volkswagen put the passenger door button on the edge, the microswitch for that side button is quite far in so you end up pushing harder on that than the top buttons and as the battery ages, people press even harder resulting in the rubber perishing, on the later Caravelles, that centre fob button was split in two, a much better design.

Other Volkswagens like the Crafter for example, had a red panic button in the same location on the side which is probably what you're seeing in your web searches. Volkswagen don't sell the replacement empty fob cases themselves (from a dealer the half that includes the key blade cost me £77.26 and the other half with the electronics/buttons cost me £86.95 so £164.21 for a complete new key back in May, excluding VAT and labour to code it!!) I spent ages online searching everywhere to no avail, what you can use (as I have on my old spare) is the fob case from a certain model of Crafter, it will have the red Panic button that you've seen online unfortunately but the upside is that the button will now work, the case may take some fettling as the quality can vary, I've had two Chinese cases for my Audi that were perfect but the one for my Caravelle was ever so slightly narrow so I had to use the old top half but it all works as it should and I'm sure I could modify it to fit properly if I could be bothered.

Be mindful when asking for help online regarding these four button key fobs, I've seen all kinds of incorrect info given out on this specific type especially when it comes to replacement cases, it's like not that many T5 people have actually seen them and just assume it's a three button fob.

Now looking at your issue with your electric opening doors, when you say the left one opens easily enough on the handle can we clarify what you mean? are you saying it opens manually i.e with no electric assistance, and opens with minimal resistance like any normal sliding door? if that's the case then I would say that your cable has either snapped or if it's very easy to open then the previous owner removed it, my LH sliding door cable got tangled up around the plastic roller which ended up jamming the door so I removed the side panel and removed the old, damaged cable, when you try to manually close an electric sliding door with cables in good order the door requires noticeable effort to close it, you can close it but it's much, much heavier than a normal door without electric sliders, my other half can just about do it! or are you saying that the left hand door opens electronically when using the door handle? i.e you pull the exterior door handle and let go and the door slides open itself electronically? in which case you should get a diagnostic fault code reader on it (something like VCDS) to see if any faults have shown up.

Typical faults with these electric sliding doors (mine is currently suffering from both these faults) are the crush sensors fail, these are built into the weather seal that fits around the sliding door aperture and are designed to open the door if it meets an obstacle when closing in the same way anti-pinch works on electric windows, the door will usually open electronically but either require you to keep your finger on the close button which overrides the pinch sensors, or require manual assistance to close it OR the cables fray or snap, early signs are the door jolting and opening again when trying to close, and/or some horrible graunching/crunching noise when operating, if the cables snap they will usually jam the door at some point so again if it's all working nicely manually then there's a good chance the cables have been removed.

You can buy a repair kit off ebay for the cables, I bought one a couple of months ago, I think it was under a tenner but I've not finished it yet, it's the two cables and the two halves that make up the white plastic cable drum, you need to support the sliding door when doing it, something like a jack that won't damage the bottom of the door, there's a really good video on youtube that explains it. If you remove the side panels that cover the sliding mechanism then do yourself a favour and make sure you have some new clips for the side panel, there's seven on each side but if you have some spare that's a good contingency, don't pay silly money for them from a dealer, get them much cheaper off ebay and whatever you do, apply even pressure on those side panels, they're very easy to dent when you're pushing them back on...I did it myself! doh!

Link to youtube video:


This the plastic cable drum that the two cables wrap around when opening/closing, as you can see, mine had frayed, the symptoms were a graunching noise when opening and jolting and opening back when trying to close:
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This is underneath the side panel, here I've removed the white plastic cable drum as shown above and the small cover that protects it, the cables were a mess as you can see and I'll probably get round to replacing them at some point when the weather improves. I've used masking tape to protect the paint, another tip-top top-tip.
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I hope that helps, please keep us updated as to how you get on as hearing the complete story from start to finish can only increase our knowledge of problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Roger yeah actually I tried pushing the button on the side tonight as it happens and doesn't seem to do anything at all. No motors going or headlights going or anything.

Hey Pockets thats a lot of really good information man! Glad you explained all that to me. I still haven't seen a button online described with the door opener on the side. My suspicions seem to line up with what you are saying! So Im not going mad after all.

Yeah especially in that case, I think they have disconnected the passenger side door on purpose as it is really easy to open and close unlike the other side that works electrically and is hard to open close manually!

I am thinking of getting another key and needed a bit of info like this to help me decide before I do it.
So next I need to see if the motor is working in the passenger side door and decide if its worth trying to get both doors working electrically or just leave it as it is. I did see the video on changing the wire before and looks like something I could have a go at but first need to see if the motor is working and the dash button etc etc. Unless its a simple fuse?

I willl have a look. Again thanks a lot!
 

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No worries basscase, from what you’re saying I doubt it’ll be the motor, you said there’s a whirring noise so it sounds like it’s trying to work, I’m saying new cables in the left hand side and a new fob case and you should be good to go, obviously the dash button won’t do anything as there’s no cable to pull the door open so it sounds like the button is doing its job, incidentally, when there’s an electrical fault with say the crush seal, the button will change colour from red to yellow, and flashes yellow when you’re stopped to indicate an issue.

Here’s what your key should be like:
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And here’s a Crafter key case with the Panic button which can be used as a cheap replacement:
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Discussion Starter #6
Cool I've never seen one of those keys like that without the panic button.🤘Thanks a lot for that.

The other issue is that the electric rear door that does work is fine 70-80% of the time and I like it but I've read quite a few posts about trying to fix these problems which can be virtually unsolvable even with people taking the vans back to VW under warranty!! So maybe having 2 doors that only work electrically 70-80% of the time would be annoying?

The door that does work opens fine electrically but when closing, occasionally it will get part of the way closed and then open again. Seems to happen when the door judders (but definitely not always) so sometimes I just steady it with my hand and it works. Also seems to happen when the van is on a sloping road sometimes! Yeah similar to how you describe yours above.

Saying all that I think you are right in your diagnoses and are making a lot of sense. I think what Im going to do is order a spare key alone without a remote fob, just so Ive got one. Then investigate the non working rear doors cable. If I do get both doors working correctly I can oder a 4 button remote at a later date.
 
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