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John, ASE Master Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 608
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician, ASE Certified Service Consultant, 22 years professional experience
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VW new beetle had a dead battery. Before jump starting I

Customer Question

VW new beetle had a dead battery. Before jump starting I noticed the speedometer and tach bouncing and it sounded like something was engaging while the key was out. The bouncing went away after I jumped started it. The battery recharged quickly and would restart on it's own.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  John replied 4 months ago.

When the battery is very weak the gauges will often act this way. As the power supply drops below some specific threshold the sensors will glitch and act this way. If after recharging the battery everything is working okay then I do not think there is more of a problem that needs any attention. Does that help? Is that the info you were looking for?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It needed jumped last tuesday after sitting for a few days. It started every time after that with no apparent weakness in the battery. I let it idle for ten minutes after jumping this morning and it restarted fine five times in a row without trouble. Wondering if there is something I can check.
Expert:  John replied 4 months ago.

Okay, I guess I was thinking the battery died from leaving lights on or something. If you have any kind of volt meter we can do a basic battery and alternator test. I would suspect one of them is going out. How old is the battery? I see alternators get lazy on these cars a lot. Another option is taking it to an autoparts store to have them load test the battery. Sometimes their battery and alternator tests are not as accurate as they should be but without some kind of test equipment this might be your best bet. It sounds like the battery is weak for sure. The question is if it is weak because it is old or because the alternator is not charging it properly.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Had a auto part store check the alt and battery both were ok. I've been checking the voltage on the battery over the last hour or so. It's gradually dropping each time I check it. 12.23V to start down to 11.81V now. Is that normal? Can I check the current across the fuses or anything like that to see if anything is grounded? I'm going to continue to periodically check voltage through the day.
Expert:  John replied 4 months ago.
What is the voltage with the engine running? It should be close to 14 volts. If it is then I would guess the battery is just old and weak.
Expert:  John replied 4 months ago.

Hello, just following up to see how things turned out? Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance, or, if you have found my advice helpful then please leave a positive rating for me.

Thank you.