1987 VW Golf (USA, gasoline, manual transmission)

The upshift indicator light on the dashboard came on while in 5th (highest) gear on level freeway at 60mph. Two days later, it seems to not be coming on at all.

Otherwise, the car seems to sound and perform normally.

I remember it is tied to something else so might be a clue to another problem, but don't remember what. According to this discussion, it is linked to "vacuum connections" but I am not very knowledgeable about technical issues. My lovely mechanic is on vacation for a while, so I am wondering if I should be concerned about driving it before he gets back, or not.


This problem will not affect the performance or safety of the car so please don't worry about that.

The likelyhood is that it is vacuum related. There is a vacuum pipe which I'm pretty sure goes to the back of the instrument binnacle and the other end will be attached to the inlet manifold which may have become disconnected or holed. That's the first place I would start.

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    If the hose for this sensor has become holed or loose then there would be a vacuum leak, wouldn't that affect the performance of the car? I had a vacuum leak in a car that caused engine stalls at highway speeds, which definitely did compromise safety! – GdD Feb 23 '17 at 10:46
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    Yes, although it may be that it's simply loose. It's a very tiny capillary tube and the only sensor it's used for is the MPG / shift light sensor which would start to play up if it weren't connected. Were it something like the vacuum advance tube or the choke flap tube, it would be a very different story. – Steve Matthews Feb 23 '17 at 10:49
  • I see your point, it makes sense now. – GdD Feb 23 '17 at 10:53

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