When you want to do some repair around a VW, Skoda, Audi, Seat, or other VW group cars, car you’ll have to know how to disconnect VW electrical connectors.
It’s a common situation that these connectors, also known as D-type connectors, may easily present a serious obstacle. Even to the point of quitting the whole repair.
This article will show you that this isn’t a problem and the only obstacle is lack of knowledge.
If you want to watch a video tutorial, go to the end of the article or watch it on our Youtube channel.
WHAT ARE D-TYPE ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS?
Before we start explaining how to disconnect VW electrical connectors, just a few words about them.
They’re called D type namely because of the shape of the connector. If you look at it from the front when you take it off, you’ll notice the d shape.
This shape has the primary purpose of preventing you from connecting it the wrong way and causing any problems with electric and electronic circuits.
Besides this, you’ll also see a clip on top of the connector that is meant to be pressed in order to remove it.
These connectors are known for their durability towards, vibrations, filth, moisture, heat, and other harsh elements that are present in the engine bay.
Within the connector is also a seal that prevents, to some extent, moisture and filth from getting to the contacts.
The downside to this is that, in order to be so durable, they have locking mechanisms that aren’t intuitive or very obvious to take off.
They have a certain system for disconnecting and if you don’t obey it, you’ll probably end up damaging or breaking the connector.
You’ll find these connectors on devices such as the throttle body, EGR valve, various sensors, and else.
If you want to read more about throttle body problems, click here for an article dedicated to that topic.
HOW TO DISCONNECT VW ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS?
1. PUSH THE CONNECTOR FORWARD
Take hold of the connector and push it forwards. You’ll feel, under your fingers, some minimal play. It won’t move much, just slightly.
2. PRESS THE PLASTIC CLIP ON THE CONNECTOR DOWNWARDS
It’s best to do this simultaneously when pushing the connector. So push and at the same time press the clip down.
3. PULL THE CONNECTOR OFF
Immediately pull the connector off. If everything is OK, the connector will come off without much resistance. It just slides off.
Sometimes there will be slight resistance because of the seal inside.
So, once more: push in, press the plastic clip, and take the connector off.
COMMON MISTAKES WHEN DISCONNECTING A D-TYPE CONNECTOR
The most common mistakes people make when learning how to disconnect VW electrical connectors are:
Using excessive force
Always remember that there is a system for taking these connectors off. If you don’t follow the procedure, you won’t take it off in one piece, trust me.
Lots of brute force used for pulling, budging, twisting, and else will not help or will only damage the connector.
Using inappropriate tools
These electrical connectors are meant to be taken off by hand. A common mistake is using pliers, screwdrivers, or else for taking them off. Just like with excessive force, the connector usually ends up damaged.
In some cases (like in hard-to-reach places) you can use certain tools but do so with caution and care.
Pulling the connector by the wires
If possible never pull or twist the connector by the wires, especially on older cars.
These wires are both thin (in most cases) and fragile if they’ve aged.
Lots of people, especially if they lose patience when removing the connector, rip off or damage the wires.
If this happens, know that a connector replacement has to be done. The procedure itself is not that much of a problem but it can be if the connector is not accessible.
Damages due to inaccessibility
When the connector is in a tight spot, a lack of patience and know-how may easily lead to damaging it.
Know that sometimes there is no other option for taking the connector off than to remove the surrounding parts. Either that or you’ll be forced to improvise with some tools.
Whatever you decide to do, try to make a good assessment first. Lots of times it’s better to spend more time fiddling with the connector or dismantling other parts than having to replace it.
The most important thing to know when learning how to disconnect VW electrical connectors is to follow the procedure from the manufacturer.
Anything else will lead to damage and further problems.
Use tools only when you have to and when there’s no other option. Even then be very careful to avoid damage.
On older cars, be extra careful as the plastic on the connector becomes brittle and fragile over time and is much easier to damage.
The same goes for the wiring on the connector. snaps easier on older cars and this means you’ll have to replace the whole D-type connector.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll see how practical this connector is and that it’s very justified for it to be that way.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO DISCONNECT VW ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS? YOUTUBE VIDEO