VW Jetta Electrical Problems



  • andrea45andrea45 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 2
    Have you had any luck finding the problem? I have a 00 Jetta doing the same thing.
  • bates2bates2 Member Posts: 2
    I have the same car and I'm having the same problem. Have you had any luck find out the problem?
  • joepeacejoepeace Member 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
  • jayint32jayint32 Member Posts: 2
    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?


    - Jay
  • jayint32jayint32 Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • michaeltermichaelter Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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.
  • dan191dan191 Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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".
  • dan191dan191 Member Posts: 2
    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??
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    Ah, I see, only $250, that's only a little more than the scrap value, then. Does the key turn? If it does it must be the correct key, right?

    I wouldn't think it is an alarm issue. I don't think that would result in the steering wheel not unlocking, I could be wrong, though.
  • popadopolispopadopolis cnyMember Posts: 16
    Dan Give this a try. Observe which way the tires are facing. If they are turned left or right, give steering wheel a hugh FORCEFUL TUG towards the way the tires are turned and hold the steering in that position while attempting to turn key. Hopefully this will work. Goodluck :)
  • rayrizzle73rayrizzle73 Member Posts: 5
    : The problem that i am having is the car not starting ? What gets me is the car ran fine in the morning but when I went to drive it in the afternoon it would not crank You turn the key on and the ASL light comes on then immediately goes off and a relay clicks in the gear shift console. The gear indicator on the instrument cluster starts to flicker on and off and when I turn the key to start it ... absolutely nothing happens. battery also drains and gets hot after a few tries...plz help
  • rayrizzle73rayrizzle73 Member Posts: 5
    just wanted to know if you ever found a solution to your electical problems you were having with your jetta i seem to have the same problem. thanks
  • joepeacejoepeace Member Posts: 3
    I never officially found the answer. I replaced the alternator and the battery. It appears that the last 2 batteries I got from Sears were not a perfect match for the car. This time I replaced it with a Bosch battery for Pep Boys and have not had a problem since I did. If the problem returns I will be posting that here as well. All looks good.
  • rayrizzle73rayrizzle73 Member Posts: 5
    just wanted to thank you for the feedback replaced the battery and it started right up hopefully that was the problem thanks again...:)
  • iluha18iluha18 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 1998 vw jetta and for some reason the ignition coil burns out, than i put a new ignition coil and the new one burnsout too, i am tired of changing the ignition coils, what is the reason that ignition coil burns out??,
  • overleaunited1overleaunited1 Member Posts: 1
    you are prob grounding out somehwere
  • filipe_gfilipe_g Member Posts: 1
    has anyone experienced this?? (Jetta/yr 2000, 2.0 ltr, manual). the other day when i re-started my car after a brief drive/visit to a mall, the interior chime would not stop ringing even after putting on my seat belt. the interior lights would not go out (front centre lights + rear door lights etc). i had to manual turn them off, even though they should all fade out after a few seconds. Eventually, the interior chime did end, but only after about 2 minutes. also, if i now turn on my headlights, the headlight warning buzzer will sound and wont go off even while the car is running. it's torture driving around with your headlights on with this annoying buzzer. add to this, my key wont manually lock all the door locks as it used to (insert key in driver side door, turn key to lock all doors). also, my driver side lower door light wont go out.. it remains on no matter what. all this strange electical behaviour appeared at once. any ideas?? im stumped.
  • falfal Member Posts: 1
    02 jetta 1.8t tiptronic automatic the displays for clock, gears and milage are scrambeled??
  • rosy1420rosy1420 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Jetta 1.8T. About a year and a half ago I went through several very costly repairs and finally got my car back after a couple of months I began having a problem with the battery dying. I finally gave up on it and it sat for a year. I am now trying once again to get it up and running and the garage is having trouble diagnosing the problem. They have replaced the battery, but after 3-4 day the battery is completely dead. They have checked the output and it doesn't seem to have a power leak but it still ends up dying. I know that if I bring it to another garage they'll end up changing the battery again and I'll end up in the same place and this garage is willing to work on solving the problem (without additional cost) so I'm curious if anybody has any idea what it could be...any help would be appreciated.
  • pollo3pollo3 Member Posts: 1
    hi there...if you haven't fix your car yet it's driver side front door lock microswitch stack open.
    if you have little expe....you can replace it your self and that will solve your
    isue.one more thing..microswich is part of the door lock and you can only but
    it as one unit.good luck.
  • stephenstravisstephenstravis Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1997 jetta GT. It will not start. I bought the car and the person I bought it from said all it needs is a tranny. So I had another jetta and I switched the trannys. I tried to start it and it did not start. I put a new distibutor on it ($175). I put a diagnostic computer on it. New wires. I can not figure it out. I am getting spark to the distibutor but I get no spark to the wires doing to the spark plugs. Can some one help me with this?
  • eerfaneerfan Member Posts: 1
    After having an aftermarket stereo installed recently (which may or may not be part of the problem) my battery began to drain while the ignition was switched off. I took it to a dealership, who informed me that it was due to improper charging (the alternator is new), and charged me to clean the alternator grounds, which did not solve the problem. I used a multimeter to test the power draw for each fuse, and found that the draw is coming from the convenience system fuse, so I returned it to a different garage, who couldn't isolate the problem, only that the system draws excessive power for about 5 minutes after the ignition is switched off, and then the power draw reduces. At this point I am disconnecting my negative cable every time I park. Please help!
  • dhkayleedhkaylee Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 vw Jetta (new body style) and I have what I think are electrical problems. I will be driving and all of a sudden, my radio starts going in and out and my abs light flashes on and off then if i come to a stop like a red light, then my car will shut off. I must throw it in park and its starts right back up. I've also noticed that sometimes when I put my window down, my daytime running lights will flash as im putting my window up and down. My car is crazy,(since these things dont happen on a regular basis) when i go to a shop, it doesnt do any of things im describing so therefore they cannot diagnose the problem. I just got a rejection sticker for my emmissions the code that read out says it has something to do with my fuel. I am at my wits end, I cannot afford a new car right now and I dont no if my car is safe. PLZ HELP!
  • rayrizzle73rayrizzle73 Member Posts: 5
    try (maff sensor )they always go bad on these cars ...
  • stephenstravisstephenstravis Member Posts: 2
    that is the Mass Air Flow Sensor correct?
  • eemblemeemblem Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 97 Jetta, today I was cleaning the battery cables and when I re hooked them to the battery the security alarm went off and the trunk key entry won't work. I turned the alarm off by placing the key in the door and turning until it turned off. However the sound system went to safe mode and the key entry to the trunk won't work. I had not seen thid before, so I researched the service receipts from the previous owner, she had numerous issues with the security alarm going off by itself. She took it to the VW dealer on 3 occasions, they finally told her the trunk key entry was bad and was somehow interlinked with the security alarm. They charged her $150 and replaced the key entry. This was in May of 09, now the trunk key does not work and somehow the alarm triggered the event. Does anyone have a solution to the elusive alarm, safe sound system release and the trunk key entry?
  • rayrizzle73rayrizzle73 Member Posts: 5
  • dhkayleedhkaylee Member Posts: 2
    Thanx so much I appreciate the feedback.
  • skinny4skinny4 Member Posts: 1
    My son drives an 09 Jetta and today it would not start. Lights and everything is dead. He thought maybe a battery problem but he could not even get the car to turn over by jump start. Lights do not even come on when the car is hooked to another battery. Any thoughts. Dealer is closed on Saturday.
  • 77camaro77camaro Member Posts: 4
    did you ever get your jetta running I have the same problem on 2002 wondering if its the same issue. cranks fine no codes have fuel spark checked other key I'm lost
  • silverknightjsilverknightj Member Posts: 1
    when using my key to unlock the door the alarm stays armed but the door unlocks,when I use the remote everything works,anyone have this problem?
  • ecisn92ecisn92 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 VW Jetta,
    I pass charge from other battery to mine because it was dead, at the moment when I turn on the car all the indicators in the dashboard turn on, at the time when I drove this indicators turn off but the brake and the ABS indicators still flashing and noising on an intermittent way. I sent my car to a VW service, the car was tested with the scanner and no problem code appears on the test result, the people in the agency told me that the computer are ok but they can´t give me a an answer to fix the issue.
    Somebody can help me to have a guide to fix this issue?
    Thanks in advance
  • jdaniels17jdaniels17 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 jetta with a think to be an electrical problem, here's the deal: My car is not garage kept, i live in the north and it snows. There was a pretty bad snow storm and my car was covered in about 3-4inches of snow.*Will get to this later.

    A couple of weeks ago, maybe a month, my cars alarm system and automatic locks from certain key positions stopped working and my red indicator light does not show anything (normally it would blink red when activated), so i have been locking all my doors manually inside when out. Two nights ago i was going out to families and my passenger side door would not open so they climbed over from the drivers side. We just figured it was the cold and the lock was frozen when i hadn't been locking it at all and the door was not locked.

    Last night was when my car was covered from the above story, when we went to get into my car i opened my drivers side door (which hadn't been locked) and the car alarm which hasn't been activated from about a month started going off when ever we opened my door or the hood and the luggage compartment would not open at all. We popped the hood which also activates the alarm. My alarm apparently voids my ignition so just to get my car started i needed to hot wire my car by bypassing the ignition system.

    Now today, i went to try and fix the problem, and first thing was that i checked was if my drivers side door would open, it did, then i opened my door to pop the hood which should have set it off (the alarm shuts off after 4mins.) it didn't, so under the hood i taped up what i striped to hot wire it, then i opened my door a couple of times while slamming it and then it finally set off the alarm, since my side hadn't been working to lock the doors i went to the passengers side door to unlock all and it had shut the alarm off.

    My question is first: Has anyone had a problem remotely close to this? Second: And if so, what did you do to fix it. And third: Was this possibly just a short out of my alarm system getting wet?

  • goinjettagoinjetta Member Posts: 1
    I have a new battery, had the alternator checked and a new ground wire. When driving with the lights on and sitting at a red light with the turn signal on., the dashboard lights flashed on and then off again several times. I could hear a clicking noise as this was happening. Later, while driving, a red light appeared for just a moment in the speedometer and I heard 3 loud beeps.
  • andrea45andrea45 Member Posts: 15
    UGH! I have an 03 VW Jetta & had my car diagnosed about 8 months ago, (with a very reputable foreign car shop) because the CEL light was on. They said the problem was the thermostat. I just had the thermostat changed with another foreign car shop & the CEL light turned back on, just a few days after the thermostat was replaced. So now what do I do??!! What could be the problem? I also have another problem; ever since ive had this vehicle, when I take off from a stopped position, there's quite a delay & when I step on the gas to try to pick up speed, the car leaps forward. Any idea's? :sick:
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    It sure seems to me that there are a lot of electrical issues on these Jettas. I had heard from a friend in the business to stay away from these models of certain years but have never owned one myself. Well, my brother recently bought a '97 Jetta from an older woman and the car has around 90K on it he says. I told him about this site here at Carspace and that he should come in an browse the topics so as to give him a heads-up for things to come. He told me on Christmas day at our mother's home that the car already needed a transmission. He knew this when he bought it, and I'm sure he got the car for a good price. He found someone here locally who specializes in VW's and he's going to have this tranny replaced with a rebuilt one for around 800-900 bucks. He's getting rid of a big Chevy van that he's had for years and gets about 10MPG's on a good day. He's a privave duty nurse who works long hours and wants to benefit from a car that gets good MPG'S and is fairly reliable. Some of the commentary I've read here suggests that these Jetta's seem to have their fair share of gremlins! If there's anything in particular anyone can tell me to watch for with these cars I'd appreciate it and I'll pass this on to my brother, unless he comes in on his own soon. He's not fond of computers, but he does have one!! Thank you!
  • 05mkiv05mkiv Member Posts: 1
    so i got in my 05 GLI this morning and my headlights, turn signals, heater/ac, high beams, rear defrost, and windshield wipers wont work. the hazard flashers work and the high beams will work with the temporary function. I checked all the fuses and didnt see any problems there. has anyone had this problem or have any ideas? id greatly appreciate it.
  • dean02dean02 Member Posts: 1
    Well, I have a 06 VW Jetta TDI. Over the summer the entire climate control system just stopped working. I have the a dual zone system and everything lights up like it is working but no air blows from the vents. I've taken it in for repair 3x with no luck. Each time the #4 5 amp fuse was replaced which would later blow in a matter of days. The last time I took it in the AC pressure control switch was replaced and the fuse blew before I got out the parking lot. The owner of the shop basically told me he did not know what the solution was to the problem. So I am left with a care that does have have any heat or air unless I change the fuse just about everyday once the blows.

    Does anyone have any ideas about what the real problem is. It has to be electrical?? It was suggested during the last repair that the climate control module may have to be replaced.....

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