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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2001 Beetle with the 2.0L gas engine. The battery keeps draining down on me. Battery tests indicate the battery is good. When I put a current meter in series with the negative terminal I am reading about 0.5 amps. The reading seems to go up and down between .3A and 1A averaging .5A. Is this normal? Seems excessive to me.

When I disconnect the big red wire that goes from the positive battery post to the fuse box on top of the battery the current goes to 0.

Any help troubleshooting this is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is a how-to I put together on fixing your issue:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/questio...0356-how-test-parasitic-drain-new-beetle.html

Most common problem is the Monsoon amplifier if your car has the upgraded sound system. It is supposed to sense one of the speaker lines to decide when to turn off and sometimes that stops working and it stays on. Another common one is the glove box light.
I think I had a bad connection with my meter... With a solid connection I measure 0.039A... It's very sensitive with the connection to the battery post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is a how-to I put together on fixing your issue:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/questio...0356-how-test-parasitic-drain-new-beetle.html

Most common problem is the Monsoon amplifier if your car has the upgraded sound system. It is supposed to sense one of the speaker lines to decide when to turn off and sometimes that stops working and it stays on. Another common one is the glove box light.
Glove box light turns off when closed.

I don't even know if this car has the "monsoon" amplifier. How can I determine if it has this?
 

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I would think a poor connection should only cause a lower current reading, not a larger one. Try the resistor method in the linked article, it works well.

The Monsoon amp would be located in the trunk. I think the unit in the car may have a Monsoon label as well, I'm not sure.

Is your battery running down, or just not charging? The brushes in the alternator last around 120,000 miles. If the alternator is around that age it could have low output. Try measuring the battery voltage while the engine is idling. Measure on the battery post itself, not even on the clamps around the post. It should be 14-14.5 volts if the alternator output is good and all the connections are sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would think a poor connection should only cause a lower current reading, not a larger one. Try the resistor method in the linked article, it works well.

The Monsoon amp would be located in the trunk. I think the unit in the car may have a Monsoon label as well, I'm not sure.

Is your battery running down, or just not charging? The brushes in the alternator last around 120,000 miles. If the alternator is around that age it could have low output. Try measuring the battery voltage while the engine is idling. Measure on the battery post itself, not even on the clamps around the post. It should be 14-14.5 volts if the alternator output is good and all the connections are sound.
I will do the resistor method as soon as I get the resistor... Thanks...

There is a CD changer in the trunk... Never used... No Monsoon labels anywhere...

Battery seems to be running down... Car has 123,000 miles... With car running I measure about 14.3V... Turned on blower motor to max and headlights and voltage across battery dropped to about 14.0 - 14.1...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd say your alternator is good then. On to the parasitic drain hunt...
Good news... Thanks...

I'm a mechanical engineer for a microwave electronics company... Tomorrow I will try to hunt down a 1 ohm, 10W resistor... We probably have some power resistors in the company somewhere... The Radio Shacks here don't stock any, they just have them to order on the web...
 

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99 NB Parasitic Drain

Hey Red
It's been a while and I was pretty sure my drain problem was fixed, when yesterday the battery wouldn't start the car. I decided right then to do another (third one) parasitic drain check using your procedure. Once again nothing stood out as being a big draw. Then I read a few other forum chats where the problem pointed to the cd changer in the trunk. So I disconnected the cd changer and checked the connector with a test light and one of the pins is hot, checked with multimeter and it's 12.75 volts, same as the battery. Question: Shouldn't the power at the cd changer be switched power? Should there be that much voltage there with the car not running and the radio off? Could that be my drain problem? PS With the cd changer disconnected I turned on the radio (car not running and key not in ignition) and pushed the cd button and it beeped and the digital readout said "no changer". Wouldn't that indicate that only switched power should be at the changer? Thanks. KC
 
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