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ECU tuning for ALH '98-'99.5 (early models)

Pricing: $380.00
5 5 1

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New KERMA chips will make you fall in love with your car all over again.

Every program is individually made-to-order by kerma's tuning department to best use your car's modifications and according to your desired driving characteristics.

The earlier TDI's can't be flashed over OBD with the Q-loader. On these earlier cars we need to do it the "old fashioned" way, which involves new chips.  Installing chip sockets greatly facilitates future upgrades, or returning to stock as needed.

We include a (free) extraction tool we with your future chip upgrades. Many of our customers ask for a complimentary retune when they buy new equipment from us, and they really appreciate the many details like this, which you will find only at KERMA.

The obsession with perfection carries forward into the actual programming you receive. The improvement is immediately apparent compared to stock. Many of our customers come to us after having tried other providers, and the sentiment is almost without exception.

"I wish I had found you guys before, this is how I expected my chipped car to drive."

You don't have to sacrifice refinement or daily driveabilty just to be "tuned" for more power. Our philosophy is: Just like a TDI, only better!

If your ECU is not socketed, please send us your engine computer for socketing. ($75 fee) Updates require opening the ECU to physically access the chip. We strive for same-day or next-day turnaround if you send your ecu. Otherwise consider our convenient "hot-swap" exhange option.

We can send you a pre-socketed ecu as a "hotswap" exchange, but this requires a fully refundable core deposit. Please write "core" in the "refundable core fee" option to add the refundable core charge to your order.

We have a good DIY guide on removing your ECU and swapping chips, this makes the job super easy!

After ordering, we will follow-up with the info regarding shipping and the details of your particular chips.


Q: How do I know if my car has an ECU that needs soldering?

The 1998-1999.5 TDI cars have ecus that need socketing. The 2000 and newer ecus can be reflashed over OBD using our Q-loader. How do you tell which one you have?


2000 and newer ecus will have a shiny stamped aluminum case, and the part number will end in 012. These older ecus will have a heavier cast aluminum case with a dull finish, and the part number ends in 018.


The 98-99.5 ecus under consideration here have this part number in common:


038 906 018XX


where XX is one or two letters


98 beetle = BD, M, N

99 beetle = BK

99.5 golf/jetta = EB


There are a few slight variations within these broader part numbers (software versions) but that's not a compatibility concern


You can see this part number in the engine controller screen of VCDS or else just look at the ecu itself.


There are a few cautions to observe when considering an ECU swap between models:

98 beetles don't have a can-bus, so no auto transmissions.

99 and newer have can-bus so they can support automatic transmissions and the newer models of anti-lock brakes.

While the 99-99.5 cars will start and run just fine with a 98 beetle ecu, and vice versa, if you use a 98 beetle ecu in a later car you may affect your automatic transmission, and possibly ABS. Therefore, the backward swap is not recommended. No problem to use the newer 99 -99.5 ecus in a 98 beetle, though.


The plug is slightly different between the Golf/Jetta and New Beetle. The difference is a small 1/8 inch tab on the inside surface of the plastic connector plug. If you need to use a 99 beetle ecu in a golf/jetta, just snip off this tab and everything is golden.


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Shipping Information

  • Item Requires Shipping
  • 1.0 lbs.
  • W5.0000” x H5.0000” x L5.0000”
  • Free Ground or Postal Service Shipping to the Continental U.S.