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Discussion Starter #1
I apologize if this is a long post...
I bought my 2005 Beetle GLS Convertible in April 2013. Everything seemed fine until a cd got stuck in the cd player in early October. A week or two later my battery was dead when I tried to leave work. We jumped it and it started. I had to jump it the next morning to go back to work but didn't have to jump it again that day. The next morning it wouldn't start, and the jumper cables caught fire when attempting a jump (I'm sure I had them on right). We replaced the battery and it ran fine for a few days but died again, so I started charging it overnight every 3 days.

About two weeks ago it was no longer able to hold a charge all day. It got so bad I couldn't charge it or even jumpstart it just to get it started. I replaced the battery just yesterday and it seems driveable again. However, I know there's something draining the battery. My sister looked up a fuse diagram for the 2005 Beetle GLS and according to the diagram, there are about 5 fuses that have the wrong number on them. Anyway, we located the fuses for the radio (37 and 42) and removed them; she thought that would cut the power to the radio and keep the battery from draining. When I tried starting my car, it wouldn't turn over. I put the fuse back in the 37 spot but had trouble getting the 42 back in. My car started, but the engine light came on and my car sounded like it might turn off. I tried again to put the fuse back in 42 and realized it would spark when I tried. Later my fiance came over and forced the fuse in. I cranked my car, and the engine light was no longer on and the car sounded normal.

Today as I was driving to work, I could hear a "tick" sound every few seconds in my driver door area. I'm afraid there's something sparking. I don't know what to do...doesn't seem safe to drive. Do I take the fuse from #42 back out? Should I replace all the other fuses that are wrong according to some diagram?

I feel like this car is going to either kill me or completely ruin my life. Someone told me to take it to a dealer, but I can't afford some kind of complex wiring replacement...please help! :(
 

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Sorry to hear about all your problems. For now, I'd leave fuse 42 out just to isolate the radio from anything else that might be going on. It sounds like there is a bigger problem than just the radio so I would start with basics.

First of all, the layout of the fuse box can be confusing. Be sure that the correct value fuses are in the right places. If your car is right-hand drive, the diagram may be mirror-imaged from the actual layout.

Next, check the condition of the fuse panel that is located above the battery. Here is a thread I put together on locating the source of a battery drain. It has pictures of the fuse box:

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

Be sure to check the connection from the fuse panel to the top of the positive battery post. If this is loose you will get an overvoltage in the electrical system and the battery won't charge. This could be your problem.

If that all looks good, check the battery voltage on the actual battery terminals with the engine off and engine on. You should get at least 12.4 off and 14.0 on if the battery and alternator are good. And it shouldn't be over 14.5 with the engine on, either.

After that, continue with the parasitic drain test from the link I provided.
 

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Fuse 42 shouldn't have prevented the car from starting or running, since it is the radio fuse. Also, a small spark when reinserting a fuse is not unusual if the radio is on (which it probably is, from the sound of things). You did not indicate that you corrected the stuck CD. If it's still stuck in there, I don't think the power to the radio can be completely turned off. The fuse #37 is definitely required to start and run the car.

Are you sure that the sound you hear in the driver's door area is not from the speaker? In other words, if you were sitting in the passenger seat, would it sound more like it was coming from the passenger door area? A frequent click or pop from the radio, heard through the speaker, would sound like it's coming from the speaker that you sit closest to, even when it actually is coming from all the speakers. And even if not that, it could be coming from just the one stereo channel. If the CD is still in the player, get it out. It is likely the cause of both the power drain, and the clicking you hear in the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much to both of you! Very helpful ideas!

And I got the CD out just now...never even considered trying to do it myself. Always assumed it was something really complicated like you just had to remove the whole cd player. Hopefully removing the CD will help somewhat.

I welcome any other ideas and tips! :)
 
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