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I have a 2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI with 55,000 kilometres. I took it to the dealer for an emissions fix. Part of the fix was reprogramming the transmission. I am very dissatisfied with this aspect, as the truck shifts very poorly before the transmission is fully warmed up, and in some gears, the revs are too high before shifting. I spoke to them about it and was told this is normal now. I have read many articles of other Touareg owners complaining of the same thing. Is there a way of getting the old transmission program reinstalled? Thank you. – Paul

Unfortunately, when you signed off on the fix, you did so with the understanding that the driving characteristics of the vehicle would be different, including the way the transmission shifted. Documentation also said to expect a decrease in fuel economy and an increase in consumption of the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). Regarding your specific question about going back to the old transmission program – why would you want to? I am sure some skilled computer tech out there has hacked the system and figured out a way to undo the programming. However, modifying that factory programming in any way will void the extra warranty that Volkswagen has just added to your vehicle. If you can’t live with the way it drives now, my only suggestion is to sell the vehicle and move on to something different.


Hi, Lou. Last winter I bought a 2011 Grand Caravan that had about 118,000 kilometres on it. It runs well, but the check-engine light comes on in humid, rainy weather, then goes off again when the sun comes out and dries everything up. I’ve sent it in to the local dealership several times and more recently a repair shop specializing in engine diagnostics, but of course the light always goes out again before they can figure out the problem. Any ideas about what could be causing this? I live in a dry part of the country, so this isn’t happening more than once every four to six weeks, but it’s annoying. – R. Potter

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You didn’t mention anything about any stored codes within the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). Some code(s) should be present regardless of whether the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) – also known as the check-engine light – is currently on or off. Having nothing stored would be highly irregular, but also might be a clue. Without the presence of any code, I would be looking directly at the PCM itself, its wiring and main connector. The PCM is located adjacent to your vehicle’s battery and also susceptible to moisture-related problems. While the under-hood area is not directly exposed to the elements, it is also not nearly as isolated as any electrical item located within the cabin would be. The examination of the PCM and wiring has to be thorough, as even the slightest amount of corrosion can cause an intermittent problem such as one that you are experiencing.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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