Your Volkswagen’s Digital Motor Electronics (DME) essentially serves as the vehicle’s brain, which means that if it malfunctions, it may lead to serious consequences. For example, without a functioning DME, your vehicle may experience engine misfires, power loss, decreased fuel efficiency, and even engine failure. Thus, it is vital that you know how to identify, prevent, and fix DME communication errors. To help you with this, we’ve created the important information below about the most common causes of DME failure.
Understanding the DME and Its Purpose
As your Volkswagen’s “brain,” the DME collects, processes, and transmits all of the data that your vehicle needs to function. More specifically, this component analyzes information about air flow, engine temperature, speed, throttle, acceleration, electrical system functioning, and more. It then redirects this information to the battery, fuel injection system, and ignition as needed. So, when your Volkswagen’s DME is functioning properly, it increases battery life and facilitates good gas mileage.
Causes of DME Communication Errors
Because the DME needs to manage up to 1,000 data items per second, it is a highly-complicated electrical component. As such, several factors may cause it to malfunction.
One of the most common causes of DME communication errors is faulty sensors. Your vehicle’s DME relies on a network of sensors to collect its information. If even one of these sensors becomes misaligned, it can have serious consequences for the entire system. For example, if a speed sensor is damaged, the DME will replace the missing information with preset data, which will interfere with your vehicle’s ability to accelerate or decelerate normally. Naturally, this can be quite dangerous for you and your Volkswagen.
Additionally, another common cause of DME failure is defective spark plugs. If your Volkswagen’s DME determines that one of the vehicle’s spark plugs is damaged, it will stop sending fuel to the related cylinder. Although this may prevent damage to the engine, it can also cause your vehicle to lose power, which can be quite frustrating, especially if the “defective” spark plug is not truly broken.
Other electrical issues, such as a corroded battery, can also interfere with the DME, as it is thoroughly intertwined with the rest of the electrical system. In order to prevent your Volkswagen’s DME from malfunctioning, you should do your best to ensure that the vehicle’s electrical system remains in excellent condition by having your mechanic check it as part of your VW’s routine service.
Fixing the Problem
No vehicle is infallible, and you may eventually find that your Volkswagen’s DME has malfunctioned through natural wear and tear. In this case, the first step is to verify that the DME truly is malfunctioning and that the problem is not stemming from elsewhere. To do this, look for common symptoms of DME failure including starting difficulties, engine stalling, and misfires. An illuminated check-engine light may also indicate DME communication failure, particularly if the light remains illuminated even after it has been reset.
If you notice any of these symptoms, either alone or in conjunction, then there is a strong chance that your vehicle’s DME needs to be fixed.
Once you’ve determined that the DME is the source of your Volkswagen’s problems, your next step should be to contact a professional mechanic to have the component repaired or replaced. The DME is one of the most sophisticated components of a Volkswagen, which means that if your vehicle’s DME is broken, you should not attempt to fix it on your own. Instead, you should bring your vehicle to our experienced technicians, who will examine and fix the DME safely and efficiently. In the long run, this will save you a great deal of time, money, and hassle.
Germany’s Best, Inc. for Your Volkswagen’s Longevity
If your Volkswagen’s DME is in need of repairs, Germany’s Best, Inc. is here to help. For over 25 years, we have provided top-notch service to German import owners in Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, and Oakland, CA.
German imports are our passion, and our ASE-certified master technicians have the expertise to resolve problems ranging from DME communication failures to faulty alignments. We would love to help you keep your vehicle running smoothly, so give us a call today or stop by the shop so we can inspect your car right away.
* Volkswagen Car image credit goes to: eugenesergeev.