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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,
My 2001 1.9 TDi has an issue which I can't seem to pin-down.I had a loose + battery clamp and decided to replace it as the nut and bolt were so badly corroded. Too, the lead from the + post to the heavy duty fuse bus on top of the battery was on the verge of snapping also due to corrosion, so I replaced it too.

Now when I turn the key, sometimes it will start, and sometimes it won't. When it doesn't, it's like the whole car goes dead (electrically). All the dash lights and cabin lights go out, the odometer fades to blank, and the speedometer makes a click-click-click sound as the needle jumps up and down rapidly to about the 5 km/h mark. While this is happening, I can hear a relay under the dash clicking away as well, but I can't pin-point which relay it is.

This continues for up to one minute before it stops, even after the key is removed from the switch. Subsequent attempts to start it results in the same thing happening. I wait for an hour or two, then the car glows fine and starts right up first turn of the key. Let it run for a bit, and it might re-start again, or it might show the same symptoms as described above. I'm thinking a bad negative (ground) connection at the body? I did remove the neg. connector and clean it up, but that didn't seem to help. The battery is fine and holds a good charge, and no boost was given when it did start.

Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks :)
 

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I would check that your new cable from the battery + post to the fuse panel is good. This is the connection between the battery and most of the electicals in the car. Check it by measuring the voltage drop across the cable as I describe at the very end of my DIY:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/2-0-liter-gas/82833-diy-check-power-ground-connections.html

I'm not sure if the TDI engine has a convenient place to monitor the voltage at the engine like the 2.0 does, but that should give you an idea of how check voltage drops. The part about measuring the battery cable still applies. If you find a large voltage drop across the cable when you are having the problem then there is bad connection on the cable somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks red99. Sorry for the delayed reply, but I was away for a little bit. Turns out it was a bad Neg (-) cable. fiddled around with it for a while, and ended up replacing the post clamp. Had a serious corrosion problem right at the clamp even though there were no tell tale signs. All is well now :)

Thanks again.

Pugle1
 
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