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1COOLBUG
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Discussion Starter #1
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I am having a battery drain issue. Even though the vehicle is off there is a constant drain. We removed all the fuses in the Ineterior Side panel one by one to test different items that might be on and the battery was still showing a draw while all the fuses where removed. In the picture above there are four red wires and one black wire and when we disconnect the black wire the drain stops can someone tell me where these wires lead? Does anyone have a wiring diagram showing were these wire lead to. Or have any other suggestions. I am open to all thoughts. Thanks!!
 

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no longer use this site
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1,594 Posts
does the car have a draw with the doors locked?

it will always have a draw unless it's locked, locking it puts it in "sleep" mode.
 

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Something inside me wants to say starter....I can go check where it leads on my car during lunch though. The reason I don't think it is a ground is because all of those wires are coming off the positive lead of the battery...(and all modern cars, including the beetle are negative ground). I'll edit this post when I find out what it is for sure.
 

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1COOLBUG
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Discussion Starter #5
does the car have a draw with the doors locked?

it will always have a draw unless it's locked, locking it puts it in "sleep" mode.
Good question it sits in the garage so i probably don't lock it. I will lock it and then check for a draw after a few mins. I will check it out this evening and let you know if this works. Thanks
 

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1COOLBUG
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Discussion Starter #6
Something inside me wants to say starter....I can go check where it leads on my car during lunch though. The reason I don't think it is a ground is because all of those wires are coming off the positive lead of the battery...(and all modern cars, including the beetle are negative ground). I'll edit this post when I find out what it is for sure.
Thanks i appreciate it. The owners manual dosn't even show it and didn't show fuse diagram either. Thank goodness for this website thats were i found the fuse diagram.
 

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Senior Member
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The only way to tell if you have current drain is to measure the battery current. You will need to insert a ammeter in series with either the ground or hot lead AT THE BATTERY TERMINAL. I would suggest using the negative lead, its safer.

:mad:Remember when you disconnect the battery the radio and other parameters will be reset as you were changing out the battery.

Normal draw is 0 to 100 milliamps. Anything above 500ma indicates a problem. (per Bentley) So I suppose between 100 and 500ma is questionable.

Once an ammeter is in the battery circuit, remove fuses one at a time to find which circuit is causing the excessive current. Then troubleshoot that circuit for the problem, sometimes not easy.
 

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Richey Rivers - '99 Turbo
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36 Posts
Referring to the pic on the first post, I disconnected all of the wires in the block and tested them individually by touching the lead to the + post. Starting with the black, I get pretty good sparks from the black, and the next red one (the biggest red one). The spark is pretty substantial from the red one. None of others pull enough to spark. I have not measured the draw, but obviously, those 2 are pulling.

Can anyone tell me what those 2 wires operate (before I go disconnect them and see what fails to work)?

When I got the car a year ago ('99 NB), no electrical problems. After a few months, the battery began draining overnight. Then, it stopped doing that for some reason. I recently replaced the electrical block in the photo because one of the fuses had burned/melted before I owned it (it had been wired around). It worked fine for a few days, and now the drain has started again.

A little friendly knowledge about those 2 wires is appreciated. Thanks

BTW, I have not tried the door lock idea, but it's just funny that the problem comes and goes. That's what makes it frustrating.
 

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Richey Rivers - '99 Turbo
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Still dead

Dead again.

Thanks for the pic of the electrical box. That gets me started. I jumped it and drove it 2 thirty minute stints on Saturday afternoon. I locked the doors, as suggested Saturday night. I started it Sunday afternoon to see if it would start, and it did (started it and killed it, no driving). Lockedit again. Monday morning - dead. The interior lights and locks, etc. work, but the motor won't turn over. Jumped it again. I suspect if it sat longer, all of the small electrical would be dead, too.

I will watch the secondary water pump to see if it ever shuts off, but I never notice it running.

I've got to get this thing resolved, as my daughter will be driving this car soon as her first car. Can't leave her stranded.

Thanks again. The quest continues.
 

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Jitterbug
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1,086 Posts
Well the black wire is going to the generator (altenator) according to the wiring schematic posted above, and you have stated that if you disconnect the black wire the drain stops. Ergo it looks like you have a busted rectifier pack/diode/regulator in the altenator that is giving you a short to ground from the battery via fuse 5 in the battery fuse box (that you have a picture of).

Unless things have changed you need to swap out the altenator as I can't see that the regulator is seperately available.
 

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Have you checked to make sure the battery is still good? I still had enough power from it to run lights, the radio, etc. But it wouldn't be enough to turn on the car. After I jumped it, I could still turn it on a few times without having to jump it again.
 

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Richey Rivers - '99 Turbo
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I have not determined if the drain stops when black is disconnected. What I did was disconnect all of the wires on the battery-top block, then connected one of them back at a time, and touched the feed wire to the battery terminal. I got fairly big sparks from black (S177 - Alt/Gen) and 1st red (S176 interior relays)

When you refer to "fuse 5 in the battery fuse box (that you have a picture of)" what do you mean?

Thanks for your quick response.

Richey
 

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Richey Rivers - '99 Turbo
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battery replaced

When this first happened, I replaced the battery (twice I think). It continued, then stopped. Now has started again. I will have the battery checked again after I get it charged up good. If it sits overnight, then it's dead (usually). If I start and run it during the day multiple times, no problem. but will have the battery checked again. Thanks
 

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Richey Rivers - '99 Turbo
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36 Posts
simonsi - it was another poster that had determined the draw stopped with the black was disconnected,but I might have the same problem. Will check it out.

thanks
 

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German Engineering
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Well the black wire is going to the generator (altenator) according to the wiring schematic posted above, and you have stated that if you disconnect the black wire the drain stops. Ergo it looks like you have a busted rectifier pack/diode/regulator in the altenator that is giving you a short to ground from the battery via fuse 5 in the battery fuse box (that you have a picture of).

Unless things have changed you need to swap out the altenator as I can't see that the regulator is seperately available.
This could be a possibility and would be intermittent although I would expect it should trigger the charging warning light when the car is running, not always. To eliminate the alternator as the problem, get the battery charged and then have the alternator output tested (Sears/Autozone). You need to confirm the alternator is always running everything electrical in the car when it is running AND always giving you a full charge back into the battery.
 

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Jitterbug
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1,086 Posts
I have not determined if the drain stops when black is disconnected. What I did was disconnect all of the wires on the battery-top block, then connected one of them back at a time, and touched the feed wire to the battery terminal. I got fairly big sparks from black (S177 - Alt/Gen) and 1st red (S176 interior relays)

When you refer to "fuse 5 in the battery fuse box (that you have a picture of)" what do you mean?

Thanks for your quick response.

Richey
OK, the security system et al runs off S176 so you would expect that to have some draw when the car is shut down but the black wire into S177 is coming from the altenator into fuse 5 (where it is bolted to a silver strip, that is Fuse 5 - rated at 110 or 150 amps). Disconnect the black wire with the car shut down (doesn't matter if locked or not), and meter the resistance between the end of the black wire and ground, should be VERY high but I suspect is not.

Sorry about the poster confusion, kinda happens when troubleshooting two problems in one thread :)
 
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