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Old 11-02-2010, 12:00 PM
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Exclamation Battery Light - Others Flashing

This will be vague, I apologize ahead of time.
My wife just called me. She has a 20 mile commute to work in the mornings and was pulled over nervous about her Beetle. She said two lights flashed at her, twice, then went away, and her battery light came on.
Her battery light remained on, but she couldn't tell what the other lights were, and now they are not on.

My only guess is that maybe the connections on the battery are a little loose, but still have no idea what the other lights could have been that would have gone off at the same time.

I'll probably have to go out there later this afternoon to have a look at it while she is at work, but if anyone has any ideas of what else I should look at, it would be helpful. I'm only somewhat knowledgeable about cars.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjebert View Post
This will be vague, I apologize ahead of time.
My wife just called me. She has a 20 mile commute to work in the mornings and was pulled over nervous about her Beetle. She said two lights flashed at her, twice, then went away, and her battery light came on.
Her battery light remained on, but she couldn't tell what the other lights were, and now they are not on.

My only guess is that maybe the connections on the battery are a little loose, but still have no idea what the other lights could have been that would have gone off at the same time.

I'll probably have to go out there later this afternoon to have a look at it while she is at work, but if anyone has any ideas of what else I should look at, it would be helpful. I'm only somewhat knowledgeable about cars.

When you have the battery light, that most likely means your alternator has died. The "manual" name for that light is actually called the "Generator Light". The other lights all come on as a result of really low battery power. Same thing happened to me not too long ago on a road trip.

Autozone carries our Altenators!! They come with a long warranty and only cost about $120-$200, depened on if your car has the 90 amp or the 120 amp. You have to take yours out first to see which one you have. But in any case, i have a 1.8T and i had the 120 amp.



Also, you should check the fuse box on top of the battery and inspect the condition of the black wire (goes to alternator) as well as the entire thing for signs of burning or melting. If anything looks suspect to you, go ahead and replace the entire thing.



Mine has a little ghettorigging there from when I bought the car, but it has been a year and some with it and no problems there.

If it is indeed the alternator, Go ahead and buy a new battery now anyways so the car can still be driven. I had to drive about 45 minutes north with no A/C, no headlights, and no Radio and the car's new battery had plenty of battery power left when i got there.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:20 PM
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The thought of it being the alternator did occur to me. I am hoping that is not the problem, however, since of course I had the alternator replaced two years ago at a shop in Belgium, while we were living overseas. It has a three year warranty, but it will not do me any good being over here in the States again... sigh...

Thanks for the info though, I'll be sure to check all those routes this afternoon.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:39 PM
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Certain Toyota's were notorious for this same scenario.
Everyone called it the alternator soon to fail warning. You would get a battery light (and possibly other lights depending on what your car was equipped with) That would flash then extinguish. The closer you got to a complete failure the more frequent the flashing would occur.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:16 PM
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You can take the car to an Autozone and get the battery and alternator checked, as well as scanned for codes (in case it was a Check Engine Light that blinked). That would be where I'd start.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:15 AM
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All the cables looked fine when I checked it at my wife's work. The battery/generator light remained on after starting it and running it for a bit, so I called the VW dealership nearby to make arrangements for them to look at it the following morning.
On the way home, not to far from her work all the lights came on, and then the car locked up, thankfully I was going slow and through and intersection. If we were on the freeway it could have been very bad. I pulled over and all the electronics shut off with the car running. At this point I am assuming it has to be alternator related.
I called our insurance and had it towed to the dealership that was expecting us the following day. We'll see what happens tomorrow...
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjebert View Post
All the cables looked fine when I checked it at my wife's work. The battery/generator light remained on after starting it and running it for a bit, so I called the VW dealership nearby to make arrangements for them to look at it the following morning.
On the way home, not to far from her work all the lights came on, and then the car locked up, thankfully I was going slow and through and intersection. If we were on the freeway it could have been very bad. I pulled over and all the electronics shut off with the car running. At this point I am assuming it has to be alternator related.
I called our insurance and had it towed to the dealership that was expecting us the following day. We'll see what happens tomorrow...
Ohnoes. Thats is going to be expensive. The car is drivable with the generator/battery light on the freeway at 75-80mph. Just depends on the strength of the battery. No AC and such would have been fine.

You should have listened to smileybug and had them check your alternator at Autozone or similar for free. Thats how I knew my alternator was bad. They just hook a machine up to your battery and scan the entire charging system. My alternator was putting out like 0.3 amps. The new one, when installed, was putting out 13.6amps.

My total cost of repair was $340. $100 to put it on, and $170 for the alternator. Then i got a new battery for $80.

The Vw Dealership that I called to do the work wanted $130 to LOOK at the car, $450 for the alternator, PLUS the labor at a $100/hour rate. That isn't even including a brand new battery.

You should have found a local shop

Good luck and hopefully don't maul you on the price.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:51 PM
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I wouldn't have even made it to an Autozone, made it only about 2 blocks from my wife's work...

A call this morning from the shop says the battery is completely shot, and it looks like a short in the positive cable running to the battery. They want $380 for parts and labor to replace cable and battery, then they'll be able to run a diagnostic and see what else, if anything, is wrong. Which I am thinking not, if a short was the cause of the whole issue...

We shall see.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:47 PM
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If the cable running from the alternator to the battery is bad, how exactly do they assume the battery is bad also?
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjebert View Post
The thought of it being the alternator did occur to me. I am hoping that is not the problem, however, since of course I had the alternator replaced two years ago at a shop in Belgium, while we were living overseas. It has a three year warranty, but it will not do me any good being over here in the States again... sigh...

Thanks for the info though, I'll be sure to check all those routes this afternoon.
would make for a nice road trip
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:47 AM
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its the alternator
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:41 PM
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A little late on this.

Got the car back, and after leaving the dealership and dropping my wife off at work the problem came back. We were driving into her work and the car shut off and came back on, two beeps with the lights lit up and then off with the battery light remaining on.

I drove back to the dealership, let them know the problem was back and they immediately put me in a loaner so that I could get to work and checked out the car.
Their initial diagnostic showed the alternator checking out, and this time it failed. (I guess this happens with alternators at times?)
They recognized my bringing it in before not solving the problem and replaced the alternator with parts and labor for about $550 instead of the $1050 quoted. Was very appreciative of this.

Car has been running fine now for a week, no problems.
Thanks everyone for your input/advice
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