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VWDoc, Independent VW Shop owner
Category: VW
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Experience:  20 years of experience working with VW's. Independent European shop owner and technician.
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2001 vw beetles: we shut it off the bettery is dead again

Resolved Question:

my 2001 vw beetles battery will not stay charged. When we charge it runs . When we shut it off the bettery is dead again
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  VWDoc replied 5 years ago.
Ok, let's work on the basics. When you charge the battery fully, meaning you've got a full 12.6 volts static at the battery, and at least 600CCA available, and you check charging voltage when the car is idling, what is your voltage reading at the battery? How long does the battery stay charged? Have you done a key-off parasitic draw test?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
we got a jump start and car ran then . we shut car off and tried to restart it would not. the battery will not take a trickle charger. this is the third battery in about 6 month. there is a drain some where
Expert:  VWDoc replied 5 years ago.
Ok, that makes more sense. Now, before I go through the draw test procedure, do you have a mutimeter that will read milliamps (mA)?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

no i dont where do i get one


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

what is the draw test procedure

where do i get a mutimeter


Expert:  VWDoc replied 5 years ago.

Most brick and mortar parts stores will keep them in stock. Actually a better option would be Sears. They tend to have a good stock of decent multimeters. Just make sure the one you choose has a fuse-protected amp circuit that can handle 10A.


Ok with that said, here is your procedure: Open hood, and then manually latch the hood latch using a screwdriver or similar, so that the alarm ECU "thinks" it's latched. Then do the same with the driver's door. Remove the negative cable from the battery, and connect one lead from your multimeter to the negative battery post and one to the negative battery cable. Set your multimeter to the A or mA setting. You should see at least 50mA if your battery is dying that quickly. Then open the fuse panel on the driver's side dash, and keep the multimeter display in view. Remove fuse 1 and watch to see if the amp draw drops significantly. If not, reinstall fuse 1 and move to fuse 2. Repeat until you see the meter reading drop. Once you find the fuse that makes this happen, you know the circuit that is staying powered for some reason. Refer to the fuse legend, and you'll find anywhere from 1-4 components on that circuit. You might need to go further by disconnecting individual components until you find your culprit.


Let me know if I can explain further.

VWDoc and 2 other VW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
this is no easy fix it is it . it could be very expensive
Expert:  VWDoc replied 5 years ago.

Honestly, the draw test procedure is quite easy, and somewhat interesting, once you start doing it. Could it end up being expensive? Yes, that's entirely possible, if for example, your instrument cluster is not going to "sleep". Could it be ridiculously inexpensive? Yes, that's possible also. If, for example, your glove box light is staying on, it could be a 5 dollar switch.


However, if you're more comfortable having the draw test done for you, most independent VW shops will do this for about an hour's worth of diagnostic labor ($80-$100)

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