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Old 08-25-2010, 02:23 AM
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Post Battery Keeps Dying, Please Help.

Hello, Everyone. Please help me here. I tried to find the similar problem on this forums, but I could not find.

My beetile is 1.8 Turbo 2001. 56000mi.

My beetle started giving me a lot of troubles these days.
Battery keeps dying for a month. I visited VW specialist in SanFrancisco already 3 times.

1st - They replaced to a new battery (Died next day)
2nd - They replaced a fuse panel. (Died in a day and half)
3rd - They replaced Trunk Latch actuator because they suspected dome light might be staying on and draining battery. (Died in 4hours)

They kept my beetle for a few days (outside) just to make sure battery doesn't die before returning it to me. They said it did not die. But every time I drive it back to my underground parking garage (indoor), it dies. I have to jump start it everytime I need to go to see mechanics. My car just starts fine and runs fine too.

Any ideas or the same issue?
Please help me. I am completely lost.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:28 AM
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Sounds like you could have an electrical drain. Have you had your alternator checked?
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:34 AM
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Thank you for quick reply.

I will ask mechanics to check alternator tomorrow.
I just picked up my car this morning...
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:03 PM
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I just got an estimate price to replace Alternator + cable.
$850. (Alternator $390, Cable $80 + Labor Fee for 2 hours $380)
This sounds very high to me. Is this something I need to expect? or ridiculously high.

I already paid this much amount of money to fix electronic issue, still not fixed...

1st - $166 replacing to a new battery (Died next day)
2nd - $366 replacing a fuse panel. (Died in a day and half)
3rd - $238 replacing Trunk Latch actuator because they suspected dome light might be staying on and draining battery. (Died in 4hours)

and $850 this time.

Please advice.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoken007 View Post
I just got an estimate price to replace Alternator + cable.
$850. (Alternator $390, Cable $80 + Labor Fee for 2 hours $380)
This sounds very high to me. Is this something I need to expect? or ridiculously high.

I already paid this much amount of money to fix electronic issue, still not fixed...

1st - $166 replacing to a new battery (Died next day)
2nd - $366 replacing a fuse panel. (Died in a day and half)
3rd - $238 replacing Trunk Latch actuator because they suspected dome light might be staying on and draining battery. (Died in 4hours)

and $850 this time.

Please advice.
That was the dealership wasn't it?

You should go to an independent vw mechanic. Look in my signature to find a trusted mechanic near you.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:09 PM
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It is an independent vw mechanic, not dealer.
Top rated VW mechanic on Yelp in South Beach area in SF.

Thank you, I checked a link from your signature, but the closest one (San Jose) is like an hour away.
So I guess this $850 is rediculous...

Last edited by shimoken007; 08-26-2010 at 11:19 PM..
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:00 AM
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I found this older thread about changing Alternator. This gives me an idea about price.

Changing Alternator
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:27 PM
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Default Battery dying

I had the same problem and it turned out it was the after run coolant pump. It is only suppose to run for 5-10 minutes after you shut the engine off. The one in my VW would run continuosly draining the battery after a few hours. It was a circuit board that had to be replaced. The next time you shut down your VW open the hood and listen to see if you hear a pump motor running. If it runs for more than 10 minutes this may be your problem. The run on pump motor is inline in one of the water hoses. Hope this helps.

Last edited by cblankin; 08-27-2010 at 11:59 PM.. Reason: wanted to add more info.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:37 PM
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Sounds like alternator to me as well. They should be able to check the alternator to see if that is the problem before charging you to replace it. I would go back to the same dealer and see if they will cut a break on the labor seeing as how you have already paid for several repairs that obviously didn't fix the problem. You may have to get a little ugly towards them, but when it comes to dealers I have no problem getting ugly with them...
It may help that I'm a crazy looking dude with a beard...
Throwing them the "stink eye" usually works
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:55 PM
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I would also agree with listening for the water pump to quit and maybe take a listen for the fuel pump with engine off and key out as well. It has to be an electric motor of some kind draining the battery that quick, absent a hot wire shorted to ground.
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Old 08-28-2010, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mydaisy View Post
I would also agree with listening for the water pump to quit and maybe take a listen for the fuel pump with engine off and key out as well. It has to be an electric motor of some kind draining the battery that quick, absent a hot wire shorted to ground.
What does that sound like? Because wayyy after I shut my car off, there's always a faint sound like water trickling or something, and I've had problems with something draining my car for ages. Never thought of this...

It only dies when it's hot out, though.. when the weather startes getting cooler, it stops. (I've dealt with a dying car for almost a year now.)
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:04 AM
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It sounds like a faint clicking sound coming from infront of the motor around the fan area. After the next time you drive your VW and shut the engine down open the hood and see if you can hear a clicking sound. After about 10 minutes is should stop. If you are careful not to get burned you can feel around and locate the run on coolant pump (Engine not running). I went thru 2 batteries before I figured what was wrong. I was not available at the time to work on the VW and had to have it repaired at the dealer. They replaced a circuit board and one electric fan. Hope this helps.

Last edited by cblankin; 08-28-2010 at 01:12 AM..
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:12 AM
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As fast as you say your car battery is going dead, the only way that the alternator might be the culprit is if it is not charging and you are doing all night driving or if a cable is shorted to groun d somewhere.

Start the car, take a voltmeter a set to DCV, put the negative to the negative post and the positive to the positive post, you should see about 13.8V - 14.5V.

You should also check for any fault codes in the ECU.
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblankin View Post
It sounds like a faint clicking sound coming from infront of the motor around the fan area. After the next time you drive your VW and shut the engine down open the hood and see if you can hear a clicking sound. After about 10 minutes is should stop. If you are careful not to get burned you can feel around and locate the run on coolant pump (Engine not running). I went thru 2 batteries before I figured what was wrong. I was not available at the time to work on the VW and had to have it repaired at the dealer. They replaced a circuit board and one electric fan. Hope this helps.
hmmmm.... I'm pretty sure I DID replace a fan shortly before these problems started last summer... I wonder if that has anything to do with it..
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:33 AM
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With the engine "OFF" and all accessories "OFF" you can remove the positive battery cable, take a good volt meter set to current reading and connect the meter between the battery positive post and the battey positive terminal end.

This will tell you how much cuurent is being drawn by the vehicles systems, this information can be helpful in knowing just how bad the problem is and possibly give an idea as to where to start looking.
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