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Tim West
Tim West, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4638
Experience:  ASE Certified Service Manager for Bridgstone/ Firestone
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2000 VW Passat: started and all the lights came

Resolved Question:

I have a 2000 VW Passat and just replaced the battery 2 weeks ago. It has started fine since that time. Last night I tried to start the car and all the lights came on but I heard "click, click, click," and then everything shut off. The engine did not turn over. Any idea?
Submitted: 8 years ago via OnlineAutoRepair.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tim West replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for choosing JA,
It definately sounds like a battery to me, something is possible drawing power overnight.
I have heard of the factory stereo doing this, I have also heard of the glove box light switch.

Heres what to do:

1. When testing for a parasitic drain on a vehicle, an ammeter placed in series with the vehicle battery cable and battery should be used. Amperage draw is the only accurate method of determining acceptable parasitic load on the electrical system.

2. Place a shunt in series with the battery and battery cable (Note: It is advisable that battery power is never disconnected from the vehicle. The use of a jumper battery to keep the vehicle electrical system energized will eliminate problems with radio recoding, antitheft recoding and idle and transmission relearn issues). Place the ammeter in parallel with the shunt.

3. The shunt is used to carry the full electrical load of the vehicle until parasitic draw testing is started.

4. Start the vehicle and turn on and then off every electrical device and load on the vehicle.

5. Shut the vehicle off, close and lock the doors and close all windows and sunroof if equipped and then open the shunt on the battery. (Note: Be sure to disable any hood position or alarm switches on the hood if the hood is to be left open during testing).

6. Leave the vehicle undisturbed for a minimum of 30 minutes. This allows all onboard computers and processors to enter "sleep mode". After 30 minutes the vehicle should be at its minimum parasitic load.

7. Observe the parasitic load as indicated on the ammeter. 50 milliamps or less is the permitted parasitic load on the electrical system.

8. Should the load exceed 50 milliamps, begin pulling fuses from the fuse box one at a time until the draw drops below 50. Once it is determined which circuit the draw is on then use available wiring diagrams to locate the faulty component.

*shunt - A shunt (aka a current shunt resistor or an ammeter shunt) is a high precision resistor which can be used to measure the current flowing through a circuit. Using ohm's law we know that the voltage dropped across a resistor divided by the resistance of that resistor is equal to the current, therefore if we measure the voltage across a shunt resistor in a circuit, we can easily calculate the current.

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