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Hi all! After looking through this site you guys seem very informed about bugs and vw "s in general! So I am new to the site because my daughter had to have a new beetle and she just turned 16 and got her license today! So my bug is a 1999 with a 1.8 liter turbo and a 5 speed! I was noticing the car turned over a little slow so I decided to check the voltage at the battery and was getting a 12.7-13.0 at the battery at idle and 13.9 volts at the back of the alternator! I was wondering if this may just be a weak battery or maybe a faulty battery cable? Or maybe something else someone has experienced with there bug? Any feedback would be great as I am pretty mechanically inclined and don't mind delving into a vw which I am not to familiar with!

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Andrew from seattle
 

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Could be a number of possibilities; I would run by a automotive parts store (kragen/Autozone, Oreilly's etc.) and they can run a diagnostic process, with a charging system tester; the testing service are usually free and can quickly tell you how the charging system is working. This type of testing is nice; because all the components are in the car and that way you do not have to remove anything and every part of the system can be diagnose in one shot; for free. Sometimes; when the starters are going out, they start dragging... before totally failing. They should be able to do a voltage drop test; with the starter as well (this will indicate if it; passes or fails and whether it needs to be replaced).
 

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I would start by checking the fuse panel located on top of the battery. This is a known weak link with issues of the plastic melting due to heating caused by poor connections. The alternator connection will come in and go through the 110A fuse and then on to the battery + terminal. Check all the connections here, including the ones going from the fuse panel to the battery lug connector.

A minute after cold start the battery voltage should be 14 to 14.5 volts if everything is well. It may drop somewhat as the engine warms.
 

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Thanks for the input! I will be trying differnt things to resolve this on the weekend!

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Andrew
 

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New issue with the starting/alarm system! My daughters car will not start, and the alarm is going off! could this be due to a weak battery with low voltage setting off the alarm?
 

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Low battery voltage by itself shouldn't cause alarm problems. The door latches are usually to blame. See this:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/questio...ms-new-beetle/59654-door-latch-resources.html

You said you measured a higher voltage at the alternator. Try measuring the voltage drop along each cable in the charging circuit to look for the one with the bad connection.

If you still haven't found the cause of the low voltage, it could be the alternator brushes are worn. You should be getting more than 13.9 volts. The brushes are part of the voltage regulator assembly on these cars and cost around $70.
 

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Thanks for the reply! I was able to get it started by using the the alarm system work around!I had to open the drivers door,unlock the back hatch and open it and that was the trick that worked so thank you very much red99!After looking into the charging system it looks like I need a new cable from the alternator to the battery cause I am loosing about ,1.0 volt from the alt to the battery! I guess I will be looking at replacing the door module as well cause my daughter has a bad habit of slamming car doors shut!

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Andrew p
 

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Glad to hear you got it to start!

The problem with the latch is usually solder connections on the circuit board inside. Not too hard to repair and saves a lot of money compared to a new latch. The instructions are in the links from the previous post.
 
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