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Q: Diagnostic Issue-Check Engine & Airbag Lights - 04 New Beetle Conv - 60k miles on 2004 Volkswagen Beetle

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Check Engine & Airbag lights both have been on quite awhile (15K miles) although it hasn't seemed to effect performance or MPGs. Took it for bi-annual smog check and although it PASSED the "emission" test it FAILED the "visual" insp due to "Check Engine" indicator light being on. Took to VW Tech who wasn't able to access/read codes from OBDII monitor because of "Link" error and "Proprietary Information" issue???

Wondering if anyone else has ever experienced this?

Ultimately, was told I'd have to take it to dealer to get diagnosis/repair. Read previous posts relating to check engine light issues and should mention I DO NOT have an aftermarket stereo or electrical components of any kind installed. Car is the same as when it was delivered new to dealership.
Prior to the above events, I had its very first diagnostic eval done on 'check engine' light soon after I first noticed it (during a regular servicing). At THAT time, the Tech was able to obtain OBDII codes, however was reading more than one code, so he reset the light and wanted me to drive it until the 'check engine' light reappeared. Said he could re-check for codes then, and would likely narrow it down to just one. Sure enough, not too long after, the light reappeared and at the time I wasn't able to get it back over to the Tech to re-check. I'm not sure what could have happened between the first check and the second, but I'm hoping someone out there can suggest what I should do next? Take it to dealer? Not looking forward to spending that kind of money during the holidays. Still, I have to get it to pass smog for DMV registration by the end of the month. :( Please help!
I feel like I'm running in circles... it's terribly exhausting. :/
No car image 94a1663db56199c5353592009e34aaa51078a2469bed068bb8d6f0ba43accf97
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Basically, your tech does not have a complex enough diagnostic tool. VW's have a more complicated architecture for their code retrieval than most. That's what he means by "link error and proprietary information issue".

Unfortunately, not only will you need a professional diagnosis from someone who has the right equipment for your car, you also will need some sort of repair to fix the emissions system issue causing the light to come on.

Here's a link of some shops near you. Call around a few and see if they can help diagnose your concerns. The dealer, of course, will also work, but yeah - probably will cost you a bit more.

Best of luck.
You need the actual codes. No one can guess as there are over 300 possible codes that will set off the CEL. Go here to see some of them and these are just the generic codes there a more vehicle/manufacturer specific codes.
Find Out Why Your Check Engine Light Is On
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