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Car dying in the midst of driving? Help!

1431 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  y2kreflexbeetle
I am a new Beetle owner and a new car owner in general, I just got my license back in October so I've never owned a car before but my parents bought me a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible. Everything was going fine for the first few months that I had it up until January and then I started having battery issues. Battery was replaced but at the end of March, I started having issues where my car would just die on me in the midst of driving. Luckily it never happened on the road but scary nonetheless. Took it to the mechanics and thought it was fixed only to find that it just died again when I pulled into my driveway.

It will act completely normal and startup if I give it some time. Radio and windows still work when it dies. Car has been in good repair until now. EPC light will occassionally come on as well as battery.
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I am following this thread! I have the same issue, I replaced the fuse box on battery, alternator, and battery and it is still not charging. On an other thread they said the alternator wiring harnesses are known to go bad. I have one on order and will be here Wednesday.
Lemme know what happens if you would! I'm really nervous cause I heard someone say it could be an electrical problem and I really love this car, hoping for something that's not a major problem
Sorry, to hear; you are having problems. Diagnosing a intermittant problem (that doesn't happen all he time); can be a real challenge but as a owner, sometimes it helps to do some testing and troubleshooting yourself.

The first thing to do, is always check for trouble codes with a vw compatible scan tool; these can be purchased on amazon and you can keep it in your glovebox, to check for codes when a light comes on in your speedo cluster. There are many cheap vag scan tools on amazon; then obdeleven a wireless plug in wireless device which runs on android phones/tablets and finally ross tech bcds which runs on a wondows pc or portable device like a tablet, notebook, etc.

Troubleshooting problems is like being a detective and typical "clues"; come from trouble codes and rhen, you can look up the meanings of the codes, to digure out, what might be the cause of your dying problem.

If you do not see yourself working on the car yourself; then, i would contact the shop who did the work last and tell them, what is going on and have them complete the repairs.

Let us know, how you want to proceed and approach your car problems. Plus, let us know; if there is a friend or family member who is mechanically inclined, willing to help you work on your car and we can go from there. Thanks.
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I had a similar problem and it was the alternator. There's a video on youtube showing how to test it using a voltage meter.
Agree with y2kreflexbeetle. If the battery light is coming on, you need to have the alternator tested. If that tests o.k., I'd have the wiring related to the alternator and battery checked as well.
Snorkel, imo you're on the right track.
Veepveep, to be clearer on my issue being similar: driving along fine, esp and battery light come on, car shuts down. Windows etc still work. Let it rest a bit and repeat process (until the battery finally was too low to power it up and sustain it, then I needed a tow.)
As mentioned, I found the alternator was at fault, replacing it fixed it.
My limited understanding of what was happening: the alternator wasn't producing enough voltage to power the car during operation. The battery can do it for some time but can't sustain it. It still has enough power to work windows etc. After sitting a bit, whatever magical properties happen within batteries enables it to operate again after a short rest but after I did that twice or thrice it couldn't anymore (So don't do it or you'll prob get stranded.)
Other thoughts on the issue as mentioned by senior poster include the associated wiring harness, other posters have mentioned bad grounding contacts, and my last thought for now is something electrical is drawing so much power that the alternator (even if ok) can't keep up with the demand (y'all didn't install multiple amp stereos or something did ya??) I'm curious veepveep what the mechanic fixed. Seems a good bet that they charged the battery up while there which would have made it act fine for a while.
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