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VW Jetta Electrical Problems

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  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Joe: Check both the front and rear turn signal bulbs on your vehicle. If the signal is ticking rapidly on one side, it could be a burned out signal bulb on that side. If it is happening for both signals, I'm thinking it could be a defective flasher unit. I can't remember where the flasher unit would be on your car, but just google "flasher location" and the make/model of your car, and you will probably find an Edmunds or Bentley reference. Good luck...vwd
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    Ok VWD...since youve been so helpful, I have another question for you:) If I take my car to a VW service mechanic & I pay yet another mechanic to run a diagnostic on my car, could he possibly come up with a different list of problems than the previous mechanic? I just hate to keep forking out all this money that I dont have, to get the same laundry list of possible problems. And if they get the same list, im really in trouble because weve already tried a new fan control module & temp sensor control. I think that's all that was on my diagnostic report. My husband thinks it could possibly be a temperature problem, but he's not really sure himself. While driving, it sometimes takes longer than 3-4 minutes to get the temp up to 190. Most of the time it takes about 4 min, but there are times it takes longer. Another question for you, do you think I should take my car to a VW dealer mech or do you think it would be better to take it to a mech that specializes in VW/German auto's? Sorry, I know im a pain, but this is all so overwhelming! Wanna buy a car ?? :) :lemon:
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi Andrea: As long as we're getting into extended conversations, my real name is David. I have benefitted several times from the knowledge of other VW owners (who know a LOT more than I do), so I certainly don't mind trying to help you. Did I mention the "VAG" diagnostic equipment that a VW/Audi specialty repair shop SHOULD have? I took my Passat in last year to a shop that does general repair, (a GOOD shop, by the way). They do NOT have the VAG, and their diagnostic tool showed about TWELVE different possibilities. Being very ethical, they told me they did not want to proceed because they would essentially have to go through the list of items one by one, and they might end up installing several different parts and a lot of labor before finding the actual problem. They said I should go to a VW specialty shop and get a VAG diagnostic done. I did this, and the VAG pinpointed the exact problem immediately. This shop charged $125/hour, but worth it. I wouldn't suggest that your original shop was being dishonest, but I suspect that they might have been in over their heads. It doesn't seem right to put expensive parts and labor into your car without being absolutely sure this was the problem. All it did was sour your attitude toward what might be a very fine vehicle. In summary, I would say that for most VW repairs (brakes, AC service, normal tuneups, suspension, exhaust, etc.), a general repair garage is absolutely fine. However, when it comes to "check engine" problems, I would restrict my service work to a VW/Audi specialist. To further expand on this, I personally don't like to take my vehicles into dealerships. I'm not saying that they don't do fine work, it's just that they charge very high rates and I think if you look at the forums, a lot of owners suggest there is a certain arrogance, particularly among the German auto dealerships (also, you'll never actually get to know your tech, usually never even SEE him/her). My advice would be to find a good, trustworthy VW specialty garage in your area to perform your diagnostics (talk to other VW and Audi owners...they'll be happy to refer you if they know of a good one), one with which you can establish a strong RELATIONSHIP. I believe this is the key to having a happy experience with your VW. Your husband might be correct on the temperature situation, although four minutes doesn't seem too far out of line to me. Don't give up on your Jetta just yet...take it to a good shop wilth a VAG and let me know what happens. David
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    Thank you David, I do appreciate your help & knowledge. I did ask my mechanic last night if they use a VAG system to diagnose & was surprised to hear they did.(hmmm) They also said they have some other German diagnostic system as well. (Im not so certain I believe them). Its kind of funny, because yesterday they were supposed to remove the new fan control module & when I picked up my veh, they said the "cleaning person" accidentaly tossed out my old fan control module, so they left the new one in my veh, free of charge!! (im pretty sure they just didn't want to have to remove the new fan) They also did not charge me for labor! So all I had to pay was the $89. diagnostic fee. They had previously stated that the fan was a pain in the rear to get to & install. At any rate, you have given me some ammo as far as VW mechanics & I think I will call a local VW/German mech. We have a couple in our area & I feel better about seeing them than a dealer. As you stated, this is most likely a better idea. OK, im not going to give up on my Jetta just yet:) youve made me believe I should have some faith & so I will give it one more try before raising the flag...Thanks again! :sick:
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Good Morning, Andrea: Glad to hear you seem to be making some headway on this whole process and most of all, that you are open to giving your Jetta another chance. Also nice to hear that the mechanic has backed off on most of the parts and labor charges. I have to give them some credit for that, but the story about the "cleaning person" seems a bit fishy. I also wanted to relay another tidbit about VAGs. I had lunch yesterday with a friend of mine, an Audi freak (owns five Audis, and it's only he and wife!). He is also a techie, and owns his own VAG (he's going to hook it up to my Passat next week...I have my own "check engine" problem right now). He told me that even the VAGs occasionally provide more than one code, as the car's computer will sometimes "store" one or more previous codes, and those codes can show up when the VAG is hooked up. So...maybe your current tech was being straight with you after all. In the end though, I think it's still a good idea to use a VW or import specialty garage for diagnostic work. Also, don't hesitate to use the Edmunds (and Bentley Publishers) forums when you have a problem...as I said earlier, there are MANY helpful and knowledgeable folks there that put novices like me to shame! Let me know what happens, and good luck...I hope your Jetta turns out to be a gem after all! David
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    Good morning David, Well, the birds are singing & the cherry blossom trees are blooming here in Oregon..so it must be a good day right? :) Sorry to hear yout Passat is sick...I hope you get your cel problem figured out! Im tempted to just put duck tape over the light & ignore it, but now im so curious as to what the problem will be, it's actually turning out to be a fun challenge to see what they find out. OK, maybe not "fun", but my curiousity is getting the best of me now! Your friend sounds like an avid Audi nut...I love Audi's & would prefer one over a Jetta for sure....maybe someday:) One other thing I found interesting about my car is that when you turn the heat on high, the temp of the car goes down..so im wondering if it couldn't be a the thermostat that might be the problem..i'll mention that when I take it in to the mech.. Im just now waiting for the cel light to come back on & then i'll take my car in. Again, I appreciate your humble knowledge & continue to look forward to your thoughts. Thank you David! :D
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi Andrea: It's an equally awesome day in the Twin Cities...brilliant sunshine and pushing 70, which is for us incredible after a dreary, cold, windy Spring. Not many cherry trees here...we look for the crocus and tulip shoots as our official sign. I haven't been to Oregon for many, many years, although I SAW Oregon about three years ago. Specifically, Mount Hood, from a glacier at the 9,000 foot level of Mount Rainier...a "peak life experience", no pun intended. Yes, Audis are beautiful automobiles, but even more temperamental than any VW I've ever owned. Unless you do your own work, I think they are best suited to a person who can buy new, then trade in for a new one after 75-85k miles. I've replaced my radiator, timing belt and most of the front suspension on my A4 in the last year (only 90k miles), and if I didn't do my own work, I couldn't afford it. Glad you are giving the Jetta another chance. Keep me posted, I'm curious, too! Later, David
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    Hi David-So Minnesota?? burrrrr :) I hear its beautiful there. No wonder your ECL is lit up..it's freezing cold!!!!!!!! :)Supposed to be 75 here this weekend...Wow, Mt Rainier huh?-site seeing perhaps? Good to know Audis are more difficult that Jetta's...that's the last thing I need is one more thing to try to take care of. My son's pretty good w/cars, but he's in Iraq right now, taking care of more important matters I hope:) If I knew how to work on them, I would get one though, because I think their beautiful cars. Hope your enjoying your day..im playing hookie & working in the yard...talk soon.. Andrea :shades:
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    Hi David- yay! I got an apt for Tue. w/German Autowerks...which appears to be a great repair shop...Never thought I would be excited to get my car in for repairs! I'll keep you posted..thanks again... Andrea :D
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi Andrea: Sounds great...I hope they can resolve the problem right away so you can move on and ENJOY driving your Jetta instead of having to worry about it. Let me know how it goes! David
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    Hey David! Just got a call from the mechanic & it looks like its the thermostat..only downside is that he wants $250 for the labor! Plus $40. for the coolant/part & then another $40 for the diagnostic.. ugh! So I told him I would have my husband put it in. Do you know how difficult it is to put a thermostat in? They said it would be 3 hrs of labor, so it probably isn't easy to do. Or maybe its just that it's difficult to get to that area, so it takes awhile to get to it. I told him I was just so glad he found out what the problem was & that I would be back in to see him when I needed additional work on my car. Your right, it's nice to find a good mechanic that you can trust. Hey- did you ever get your CEL problem figured out? Take care! Andrea
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi Andrea: Good to hear you have made progress on this issue. I have not replaced a thermo on any of my Jettas ('99, '01, or '05), but my assumption would be that the average guy could do this, as long as they have reasonable mechanical know-how and basic metric tools. He should go to your local NAPA, Auto Zone, O'Reilly or whatever auto parts store, pick up the thermo, but ALSO get a basic Haynes or Chilton manual that covers the year of your Jetta (around $20...well worth the price). This will provide step-by-step instructions. I would assume that the Jetta would use only H12 antifreeze (ORANGE!! Do NOT use green unless the owners manual specifically calls for it). He can also get this at the store, around $15/gallon, probably won't take much more than 1 or 1.5 gallons, mix 50-50 w/ water).

    I haven't gotten around to checkin the CEL with Fred's VAG, but I'll let you know how that turns out. Keep me posted on getting your thermo replaced...good luck to your hubby! David
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    Hi David..Thanks for all the info...Im definately going to get a Haynes manual for my car. I had one for my Honda & it really came in handy & im glad that a new thermostat isn't so expensive..so im sure I can find one at Napa or Auto Zone..now if I can just talk my husband in to replacing it! AND, I wont go "green"! I'll be sure to use ORANGE :) Youve been so helpful & I appreciate it! I hope you get your CEL problem figured out..keep me posted, im curious. :D P.S....Hope it's not FREEZING cold in MN...it's balmy here! hehehe
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I think the coolant is called G12, not H12 and I thought it was blue, not orange :confuse:.

    Anyway, just be sure to not mix green and G12. Make sure you know for certain what is in there before adding anything other than water. If you are not the original owner you never know if a previous owner may have (unwisely) had the G12 flushed out and replaced with green.
  • andrea45andrea45 Posts: 15
    Hi David...man, figuring out what kind of antifreeze to use for your car sure seems to be complicated!...I was reading my owner's manual & I think you meant to say G12...that's exactly what my manual says to use as well...they also say that the cooling system was filled at the factory with a permanent coolant which does not need to be changed. it's a mixture of water & G12A8D- glycol based with anti-corrosion additives...The only part of the manual that mentions anything about the actual color of the coolant is when they state that you should never add an additive, like G11 with G12..and that you can recognize a red color in the expansion tank. But if the liquid in the tank is brown, then G12 has been mixed with another additive; in which case, you would need to change it as soon as possible. Heck, even my manual is complicated! It took me forever to find anything about antifreeze in the manual! That's Volkswagen for ya! Im off to get a Haynes manual & thermostat tomorrow..im so relived the mechanic found out what the problem was. I hope you get your CEL figured out..keep me posted! Thanks again..Andrea :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Ah, that's right G12 is pink. Prior to G12, VW had G11 which was blue (I think).

    Apparently there is now also G12+ that is purple.

    I think the orange coolant is similar to G12 and some think it is okay to mix with G12. If it were me, I'd not take chances and would just stick with the official VW product, G12 even if it may cost a few extra bucks.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi Andrea and jeffyscott: I think I accidentally hit the "H" rather than the "G" on my keyboard and didn't edit closely before sending. Yes, both of you are absolutely correct...G12 is what I meant. It IS a reddish-orange color, and jeffyscott is correct...NEVER mix the G12 with the green stuff...bad news. I'm not sure I would never change my coolant, but it seems the manufacturers claim the G12 is good for 100-150k miles. The previous owner of my Audi apparently didn't change the coolant, and my heater core got very plugged up. Of course, maybe THEY made the mistake of adding green to the orange. In any case, if your coolant reservoir contains a green (or worse, brown) colored fluid, I would have it flushed vigorously and immediately. Andrea...no CEL resolution yet...haven't had time to visit Fred, but I'll follow up. Let me know how the thermo change goes. D
  • whitgallmanwhitgallman Posts: 121
    2000 Jetta VR6 has the left front low beam head light out, so I replaced it. The new bulb didn't work either so I checked between the leads with an ohm meter and found both bulbs good. The high beam lights work fine on both sides. I checked the fuses and they were all good, cleaned their contacts.
    What else could be wrong? Could the 'day time running light' controller make the left low beam not work?
    Anybody have this problem and fix it?
    Any ideas?
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello whitgallman: When you state "checked between the leads", do you mean you checked the leads on the bulbs? I have owned several Jettas, never had this issue, but are you getting voltage at the connector that goes on to the bulb? If not, I would assume you're going to need to follow the wiring back from the connector until you get a reading on your tester. There must be a break in the continuity somewhere. Maybe someone else has a better idea, but let me know what you find. Good luck... vwdawg
  • joepeacejoepeace Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 Jetta and the battery keeps going dead I have replaced the battery 3 times and I just replased the alternator. What else should I be looking for?
  • bates2bates2 Posts: 2
    Have you had any luck finding the problem? I have a 00 Jetta doing the same thing.
  • bates2bates2 Posts: 2
    I have the same car and I'm having the same problem. Have you had any luck find out the problem?
  • joepeacejoepeace Posts: 3
    I wound up replacing the alternator and the battery. It appears that the batteries that sears sells are not appropriate for this car. I got a Bosch battery from Pep Boys. I have been monitoring it for the last 6 weeks. All seems OK now. I probably did not need to replace the alternator, but I figured that it couldn't hurt to shotgun the system. all is new allseems OK
  • I have a 2003 Jetta GL 2.0. It has about 108K miles on it. Recently while driving electrical power gradually drained until indicator lights came on as systems shutdown until finally the car rolled to a stop. I brought it to the mechanic who said I needed a new alternator. He installed a rebuilt alternator. That worked fine for about 120 miles of driving over the course of about two days. Then the same exact thing happened. All electrical systems shutdown and the car wouldn't start. The battery was drained. So, I assumed I got a bad rebuild. I brought it back for a new rebuild, this time from a different manufacturer (same re-builder though). About 100 miles and two days later, the same exact thing. This has cost me about $1000 in repairs, tows and hotel bills. Either I've coincidentally received two bad rebuilds in a row or there is something else going on. Has anybody else had this type of problem? Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot it?

    Thanks!

    - Jay
  • So, after my mechanic checked the car out, he found that the alternator is still good, but the 150 amp fuse in the fuse box mounted on top of the battery melted. He replaced the fuse and the car is working now. It is still unclear what the root cause was though of the original alternator failure. It may have been the old battery. I installed a new battery now and plan to drive the car this weekend to see if anything happens.
  • Hi. I replaced the battery in a 2005 VW Jetta this weekend. I had the battery disconnected overnight, then put the new one in and the car works fine. Now, when I take the key out of the ignition, the clock/odometer stays on, and the battery is slowly dying overnight again. I drove around for about 70 miles or so to reset the drive cycle but it's still staying on. What do I need to do?
  • alf944alf944 Posts: 1
    Having power window problems on 97 Jetta. The only way to get the windows to go up is by putting key in passenger door and turning key. Only problem is about 10 minutes or so the windows go back down on their own with one one near the car. If you go inside the car after using the passenger side door lock to put the windows up then the only way the windows go up and down using the window switch on the door is if the car engine is not running. After this the windows still go down on their own after you leave the car. Tried to find the power window fuse to pull it when the windows are temporarily up but can't locate the fuse. Rain coming tomorrow...Not a good thing.
  • I just bought a 1996 vw jetta. I bought just a few days agao and it has been sitting for around a year and the battery was dead and the steering was locked and wouldnt unlock, i was told to put a new battery in it and it would unlock for me....so i did and it didnt work.

    When i hook the battery cable up the alarm goes off for a while and the steering wheel wont unlock for nothing. I have jerked on the steering wheel pretty hard while trying to turn the key over...its stuck.

    Is this an alarm issue? the guy i bought it from said he just parked it last year and hasnt ever had it do that to him.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Not that it does any good now, but when you were told "put a new battery in it and it would unlock", the correct response was "no, you do that before I buy".
  • well i knew there was gonna be problems with the car when i bought it...it doesnt run and i gave $250 for it with a clean title....soo its not a big deal but i am just stoked on what the problem is.

    i am thinking i may have received the wrong key??
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