Q – My 2001 Cabrio has developed some weird electrical oddities. The door lock on the driver side automatically locked itself when I put the key in the ignition a couple times. When I drive the car, the seat belt / key in ignition chime goes on at random. John
A – John, I got out my crystal ball and determined that your car is possessed. Electronic demons are attacking! But seriously the common denominator is the ignition switch and these are known to fail. The switch is the same as the one in many late model Audis. The trouble is, without a consistent fault, you are trying to find a needle in a haystack. I suggest that you disconnect the battery and let the car sit overnight. Reconnect the battery the next day and drive the car. I have done this and it worked for me.
I am sure that someone reading this can explain this phenomenon but I can’t. It just works and when you find the solution to your problem, naturally you stop looking. If the symptom continues after dumping all those errant electrons, I would lean toward the ignition switch. My logic is based on likelihood of failure based on history and the price of the switch (very low). Not long ago, a car just like yours had the ignition switch melt in the “on” position and the poor guy could not shut the car off! One thing I have noticed is that sometimes when engaging the starter you really have to rotate the switch very hard to get it to engage. I think this might be a clue. If yours works like that and if there is sometimes a pause before the starter begins to spin, bet on the switch. MC