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2001 Volkswagen Beetle Electrical & Lighting Problems



  • Could someone please give me some directions on how to change the headlights on my buggie! I found some excellent directions for another year, but they didn't work for mine! Please, please help! I really don't want to have to take it to the dealer to get this done! Also, the wonderful guy at NAPA couldn't even tell me which headlights that I needed to buy. I want the brightest ones around! :shades:

    Lore from MS
  • If a battery loses a charge within such a short period of time it most likely is one of two problems:

    1. Battery is old and near the end of its useful life. If it is about 4-5 years old, you may want to consider getting a new battery.

    2. A short somewhere in the car, whereby the battery is being drained when the car is not running. This could be almost anything.

    Best bet is to take this to a shop such as Pep Boys or Sears or somewhere that sells batteries and have them check the electrical system. They will tell you if the battery is old and not holding a charge properly. They can also look for a drain on the battery, if that is happening when parked.

    Good luck.

  • John had same problem 99 NB; had a recall on it too. Turns out to be a short in tail light assembly. Sure enough found burned bulbs in driver side tail light but only after going through two batteries. Even with the recall VW would not refund the cost of batteries claiming electrical was not covered! Check those bulbs for hot burn spots. Hope that helps
  • I just experienced the dash lights and gauge blackout that I’ve read about on other forums. I’ve been told that the coolant overflow reservoir can leak onto the electrical harness and cause shorting. Well I can believe it now! Lost all lights tach and speedometer and all engine failure lights came on. Lucky I didn’t get all the warning sounds or I would have gone nuts.
    Anybody had this happen or heard of it?
    Also been told to drill a small hole in reservoir bulb to allow this overflow to travel elsewhere.
    Any thoughts friends?
  • UPDATE: I blew out the ALT on the trip home from work. No head lights, dash lights, tach, speedometer, radio, horn and all indicator lights on. Repaired @ $850. All A-ok now.
  • where do the wires go from the positive side and the negative side of the coil ? I just purchased this for a project car and the wiring was all disconnected. I know the ign wire goes to positive side of coil but what wires go to the negative side????
  • I have a 99 bug, and when i lock it, 9 times out of 10, i cant unlock it. The door will unlock, but the standard security system wont shut off, so when i put the key in the ignition the alarm goes off, i mean, there have been days that i just cant drive my car because the feature wont shut off. Someone suggested I get my battery checked, i did, and its fine. its annoying as hell! fix it! :cry:
  • swineswine Posts: 2
    have you replaced the batteries in the key?

    I have similar problem: mangled switch in key sender drained key's battery.
    Now replaced battery and disabled alarm, but car still won't start.
  • I have a 2002 vw beetle and my fog lights stopped working recently. I tried replacing the bulbs but they are still not working. I also tried the fuse and fuse is good. The switch inside the car also shows that they are on when i turn the switch to turn them on but they are not working. Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone know what could be wrong? :confuse:
  • It can be one of two things. First you might have a short in your electrical system or two (which was what happened to my bug) the wires that go from your batterie in to the power supply may be lose causing you to randomly lose power.
  • That happened to me about a year ago and i called the dealer the guy told me that whenever that happens you have to reset the alarm system. I dont know if it works the same for a 99 bug i have an 02 but just manually unlock and lock the car with your key, repeat 3 times and then you should be good. It worked for me and it hasnt happened since. Hope this helps.
  • lady8uglady8ug Posts: 1
    i just bought a used 2001 vw bug. and the other day my wipers, lights, a/c and just stopped working. i checked all the fuses and none are blown. could anyone please help me. i need to know where else to look! thank you :confuse:
  • decher123decher123 Posts: 1
    edited June 2010
    Need to know the fix (relay?) for headlight,windshield wiper motor/fluid,driving lights,fog lights,defrost,a/c heater blower moter,horn, and turn signals not working! Have checked all fuses and breakers, and battery conections. Someone out ther knows the answer please help!!!!
  • pam41pam41 Posts: 1
    Hi there, I know your post is old but we are having problems with a headlight randomly dimming in our 1005 beetle turbo. Have called the dealer and they have never heard of the problem. When we had the car in to two other places it didn't replicate the problem. Any luck finding out the cause?
  • it sounds to me that you might have a problem with a loose ground on those lights or loose connection.
  • hercsmomhercsmom Posts: 1
    I just bought a 05 Bug every time I turn on the headlights the buzzer will not go off. Can anyone help me?
  • swineswine Posts: 2
    sounds like one of you door-is-open switches is confused.

    Try this check:
    does the interior light stay on when doors & trunk are "closed"?
    interior light is 3-position switch (off / on-when-door-open / on-always)
    and if that comes on in 2 positions, not just 1, it suggests the door/trunk switches might need wiggling/wd40/replacing. they're little rubber bumps on door frame surface that door pushes in when it's closed.
  • perezdnjperezdnj Posts: 1
    My beetle was working fine, well as fine as it ever was...I just replaced front and rear rotors, brake pads and rear calipers. the ABS light stays on and the brake light with its annoying bell comes on whenever it wants to. I took it to AZ and they cleared the codes in the system, thinking that might help. I drove for an hour. no such luck. then when I went to start my car a few hours later, the entire system is dead. no lights, no turning over nothing. I can't lock it because the remote wont work because there is no power. (Don't ask about the tumbler in the door. doesn't work). I jump started the car to get it home and once started, no issues. I got home, turned off the car, and again, nothing. no lights, no motor, nothing. any ideas?
  • ttarpttarp Posts: 1
    I am having the same problems, would love to know if anyone has some advice?
  • wmalotwmalot Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 TDI new beetle. It has had for the last 3 months, electrical problems with the turn signal, head lamp, driving light and fog lights. They will work, then not work (only one bulb at a time goes out, not all listed). Then I may turn the car off and back on, or tap the break, etc and all works well again for a time and then something goes off. Any ideas?
  • We have a 2000 Beetle w/ 2.0 engine. Went out start it and had low lights and just clicking. Jumped from another car and started right up. Let it run for about 15 minutes to recharge the battery. Seemed to be OK. A couple of days later, the same thing happened. Replaced the battery. The car started right up. Another couple days, no interior lights again. Turned the key and got nothing. Used a test light to check the battery. The battery checks fine. Checked the positive terminal to a fender bolt and checked fine. Checked the junction block to the fender bolt and checked fine. Tried to start one more time. Hit the starter with no result. Turned the key off and upon pulling it from the ignition, all of the lights came on. Thinking there's a fusible link somewhere that need to be replaced. Any ideas?
  • my 2002 bettle a/c,wipers,headligths and turn signal stop working i need help.
  • jenn24jenn24 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 VW beetle. When I turn my car on and have the lights switch set to "off", the headlights are on. However, when I switch the lights switch to "on", the headlights and running lights go out, but the tail lights still work. Any ideas? Something that also happened the same day is that my power steering fluid was low. I am unsure if it is related or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  • vw_ddvw_dd Posts: 1
    When I see my daughter driving in the early morning sometimes I see her lights on and other times not. What is strange about this is that she has the light switch turned to auto. Just today I saw her tail lights out on her way to school. I called her and had her come home and by the time she came home they were on. This problem is definitely intermittent. What would cause such strange behaivor and what should I look at first? Also, a couple months the automatic door lock on the driver's side quit working (key fab no longer locks door). I'm not sure if this is a related electrical problem or if the door lock needs to be replaced.
  • mandmsmandms Posts: 1
    I would never buy another beetle. I have a 2002. I have had every electrical problem that is mentioned in this blog. I have replaced the turbo twice. Once under warranty, once at 60,00. Now I know to have the wastegate cleaned when it stops working. Now my turn signals work inttermittantly. My airbag light is on, and I have a $450 sensor out in the airconditioning. Evidently the moonroof leaked when I parked it for the winter and it is moldy and wet in the drivers side back seat. It only has 94,000 miles on it. Mechanically it runs great and gets 40 mpg on hghwy. Not worth the rest of the issues. Selling as soon as I can get the dash warning lights out. Anything but VW!!!!
  • I checked, bulbs & fuses. what should i check next before taking it to the shop? thx jd
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    Maybe the switch is shot, or could be a relay.

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  • I bought my used 1999 about a year ago, the wiring went insane. my Locks wont work anymore, i ad to turn all of my lights off inside my car or else they will all stay on if im driving!! I brought my car to the dealership where i bought it and they couldnt figure it out. I was oing to get a new automatic locking system put in but since there was this issue they didnt know if it would fix it! What in the world is wrong with my car.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,294
    edited November 2011
    With these cars it is very important to use the correct motor oil, which while it used to be VW 502, the car is much better protected by an oil that meets VW spec 504. Do you know for certain what oil has been going in this when the car has been getting serviced?
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