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Pete, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 29096
Experience:  17 years automotive training and experience.
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Volkswagen Jetta GLS: I have a 2004 VW Jetta GLS 1.8T with

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I have a 2004 VW Jetta GLS 1.8T with burning smell. Seems common issues around Alternator, Regulator, Fuse Box and wire to box. Wondering if Valeo regulator is the cornerstone issue and if replacing with Bosch would solve?
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a professional here at Just Answer/Pearl. I noticed that your question was not getting a response and thought I would see if you still need help with this.I apologize for the delay and I hope I can still assist you with this here.

The technician is correct,if there is a loose or poor contact at any of the fuses with their terminals or wires this will cause excess heat due to the poor contact and eventually start to burn like this causing this smell.I don't have any info on which wires or components at this fuse box are the cause as this would need to be further inspected which may require removal/disassembly of the fuse box to locate any hot spots and damaged wiring or terminals then it can be repaired or by passed from there to correct this issue.

If this does not correct the fault or if you do not locate the fault I have seen alternators cause this smell usually due to a regulator starting to act up/fail.I don't recommend replacing it with one that isn't designed for your vehicle as the correct parts should be used.

Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Another possible solution I've seen floated about is to replace a Valeo regulator with a Bosch brand. This car was made in Mexico. I heard that, if made in Germany, the myriad of problems reported on VW's is avoided. I don't know which alternator brand I have but I did find a Bosch brand for this model listed in Also wondering if the sound system is too hot for the Jetta's and Beetles (subwoofer in Monsoon sound system). Another idea is to get an after market voltage stabilizer and grounding kit, I.e. since it seems no one has found a conclusive solution to the electrical issue(s). Everything has been replaced - for many, many owners as I have read on numerous forums - even a class action suit in the making. If I can stabilize and even out the AMP draw this may be the catch all for what seems to be intermittent electrical demons all around......thoughts? If that doesn't solve it then back to the first solution I mentioned - but it seems someone would have identified that solution by now. I've seen, 1, 2, 3 and more fuse boxes replaced and no final solution with that.

Bosch is a better brand then Valeo and I have run across issues with Valeo alternators as well as some of the other components they make.If you do go Bosch make sure you replace the entire alternator and make sure it is one that is compatible with your vehicle here.

You might start with replacing the alternator if you suspect this is causing voltage issues as well as the smell you have.This would correct all of these issues if this is the case.

Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If I replace the alternator with the Bosch and it does not stop the smell, do you think the voltage stabilizer and grounding kit is a reasonable catch all attempt to even out these issues?

If you still have this smell after the alternator is replaced then I would first inspect to make sure there is no damage to the fuse box wiring and terminals as this would need to be corrected.Then if the smell is still present after this has also been done then this kit may be the way to go to stabilize this.

Thanks Pete
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I am following up with you to see if you still needed help with your question you had asked.If my help didn't satisfy your question please let me know so we can continue.

Thanks Pete