Servicing The VW Touareg & Porsche Cayenne, 2003 – 2007

June 1, 2007
Don’t rush this job. Remember that you are working on an $80,000 vehicle

The Volkswagen Touareg (photo 1) and Porsche Cayenne are sister vehicles built on the same platform and the unlocking procedures for each are identical. These vehicles were among the first to use a new style of electronically activated locking system. This system is gradually becoming the standard system on new VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles. This system has no mechanical lock / unlock control inside the vehicle, and where a vertical button has been in the past a small red LED blinks when the alarm system is active. Occupants of the vehicle can lock and unlock the doors only by way of an electronic control mounted on the door panel.

In normal operation, the occupant can exit the vehicle simply by pulling the inside door handle regardless of whether the door is locked or not. Pulling the inside door handle will automatically override the lock system unless the alarm is active. Once the alarm has been activated, the inside power door lock control is disabled. As long as the key is not in the ignition, it doesn't matter how the vehicle is locked; after a few seconds the alarm will be activated.

To unlock the Touareg or Cayenne without a key, you will have to pull the inside door handle at least once with your tool. A stout under-window style tool can be used, but it needs more strength than the average tool. Another consideration is that the end of the tool will be pressed hard against the rear surface of the inside door handle, so you want to use a tool that will not scratch the handle. In this example, I'm using the Tech-Train 1035 tool (photo2) which has been designed specifically for these vehicles, but there are other tools that will also work.

Begin by inserting two wedges to open a gap into the door above the inside door handle. Using a shim, like the one that I am holding in the photo, as you insert the wedges will greatly reduce the likelihood of damage to the weather stripping. Insert the shim into the door first and then insert the wedge between the glass and the shim. This will prevent the lower layers of the weather stripping from being rolled under or being torn by the wedge.

Next, insert the tool into the door between the two wedges. Once again, using the shim will protect the weather stripping and make it easier to insert the tool (photo 3). After the tool is inside the door, work the upper bend of the tool under the base of the window glass and then pull up gently on the tool. When you see the tool begin to come up on the inside of the window glass, stop and remove the wedges. Removing the wedges will relieve the stress on the glass and make it easier to pull the tool into position. Not removing the wedges only makes the job harder and risks breaking or scratching the window glass.

Carefully work the tool up inside the vehicle until the tip of the tool is free of the weather stripping (photo 4). Then, work the tip of the tool down and behind the forward end of the inside door handle. Patience will be required to get the tip of the tool into the correct position without scratching the trim. Don't rush this job. It's important to keep in mind that you are working on an $80,000 vehicle.

When the tool is in position, use leverage to pull the inside handle out as far as it will go (photo 5). After the handle has been pulled and then released, the vehicle will be unlocked. At that point, you have the choice to either pull the inside handle a second time with the tool to actually open the door, or to pull the outside handle.

I prefer to pull the outside door handle (photo 6) to open the door for several reasons. It requires a lot more force to pull the handle a second time with the tool, which makes it much easier to scratch something if your tool slips. Also, opening the door from the outside simply looks more professional. If the door fails to open, this indicates that you did not pull the inside handle out far enough. If this happens, repeat the steps above and make sure that you pull the handle out as far as it will go. After you have the door open, you will need to use your shim once again on the inside of the door to remove the tool without damaging the weather stripping on the inside of the door.

Photos Available Soon