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i have a 2001 vw beetle and the battery keeps dying!

replaced battery! replaced altenator! the dealer removed my radio completely and almost 1,000.00 later it keeps happening! the dealer is clueless saying maybe the radio drained the brand new battery so they are charging it overnight but i am unconvinced any ideas??? please!!!!
 

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5/23/10 <3
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How often is it draining? Do you have a monsoon system?

What engine?
 

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Sounds like there might be an excessive current draw on the battery that they haven't been able to track down.

One way to tell is to get a multimeter that can show amperage draw and disconnect the ground cable and set the meter to the 10 amp range and put the two meter leads in between the negative cable and the negative battery post. If the amp meter reads more than 50 milliamps constantly, then there is most likely excessive current draw.

If that's the case, start isolating electrical system circuits one by one by disconnecting fuses one at at a time while watching the amp meter to see if any one electrical circuit reduces the power draw to 50 milliamps or less. If one fuse removal does the job, then identify which devices that fuse runs to narrow down the possible causes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dead battery daily!!!

I'm not a mechanic wish i was but I have a 2001 beetle 4 cylinder not turbo has engine. As for the draining it is everyday I jump it and it runs no issue and can sit for a little while 5-6 hours but if left over night when I put In the key nothing happens no lights completely dead!!! After trying the battery I took it to the dealer who replaced the alternator and disconnected the after market radio. Now it's back there with my radio sitting on the passengers seat! And they can't find the drain i am at a loss for 115 hr they should know what they are doing!!! They are charging my brand new battery overnight hoping that the battery was not fully charged and disconnecting the Glove light since i told them i noticed that it was on when i drove the car home yesterday!! It's wet and snowy here but not a monsoon just damp and cold cold cold!! I really appreciate the responses thanks
 

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Hey CCamilo, just so you know, I'm a retired auto mechanic.

The fact that it starts fine for up to 5-6 hours suggests to me that the alternator is charging...a voltage test at the battery terminals using a voltmeter after the car has been running for about 30 minutes should show anywhere from 13.0 to 14.6 volts...less 13.0 volts while running is not good.

Since you noticed that the glove box light was on, and if this were to occur all night long, it can certainly drain a battery to the point of a no-start the next day. Please let us know if that resolved the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
replaced altenator

hi,

i replaced the alternator but the battery is still draining :( the dealer who charged me 830.00 to replace altenator and serpentine belt has the car originally they were going to keep the car overnight and recharge the battery after they disconnected the glove box light but then they called saying they noticed the ac (fan or compressor not sure which it was) was starting on its own!? they disconnected it overnight to see if that was the drain but i told them we noticed that if the air is on it remained on after shutting off the car unless we turned it off manually they said that was normal and changed the altenator and removed my radio completely saying the radio was installed incorrectly and draining the battery now i have to find someone to reinstall it properly as they say they dont do radios!! after we figure out what is killing the battery....im so worried because i feel they are grasping at straws and they really dont know whats wrong although it seems to make sense if the fan/ac is th drain since it runs after the key is out! i just dont want to pay a ton of money and not get the problem fixed!! any comments?? and does anyone have an idea what it should cost to fix the ac/compressor or do i even need to fix it? can we just disconnect it and live without ac? i bought this as a graduation gift for my daughter and she was sooo happy!!! but i have fixed the alternator, got a new battery, replaed the radio and speakers and had recently replaced the vaccum manifold, sensor, some coil and mounting brackets which put me back almost 700 alone!:mad: thanks for your help and comments bc im clueless
 

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hi,

i replaced the alternator but the battery is still draining :( the dealer who charged me 830.00 to replace altenator and serpentine belt has the car originally they were going to keep the car overnight and recharge the battery after they disconnected the glove box light but then they called saying they noticed the ac (fan or compressor not sure which it was) was starting on its own!? they disconnected it overnight to see if that was the drain but i told them we noticed that if the air is on it remained on after shutting off the car unless we turned it off manually they said that was normal and changed the altenator and removed my radio completely saying the radio was installed incorrectly and draining the battery now i have to find someone to reinstall it properly as they say they dont do radios!! after we figure out what is killing the battery....im so worried because i feel they are grasping at straws and they really dont know whats wrong although it seems to make sense if the fan/ac is th drain since it runs after the key is out! i just dont want to pay a ton of money and not get the problem fixed!! any comments?? and does anyone have an idea what it should cost to fix the ac/compressor or do i even need to fix it? can we just disconnect it and live without ac? i bought this as a graduation gift for my daughter and she was sooo happy!!! but i have fixed the alternator, got a new battery, replaed the radio and speakers and had recently replaced the vaccum manifold, sensor, some coil and mounting brackets which put me back almost 700 alone!:mad: thanks for your help and comments bc im clueless
You are correct in noticing that the A/C condenser fan will run for a few minutes after shutting the engine off when driving around on a hot day with the a/c on. This is normal. But it should not come on afterwards all by itself. That will need investigating.

There might be a thread on NewBeetle.org that you can search for regarding "fan keeps running killing the battery".

And Yes, the A/C compressor can be left inoperative if you don't want to use it. It's a refrigerant pump that is driven by the engine belt. The cost to replace an A/C compressor by a VW Stealership dealer would be well over a thousand bucks in my estimation. The A/C compressor only serves to cool down the passenger compartment, no other purpose. And it sounds from what you are saying that it worked OK before all of this.

The fact that they said the fan runs on its own for no reason is disturbing. Which fan was it?

There are two fans at the front of the car and one is mainly for cooling the engine at higher temps, and the other is mainly for A/C condenser cooling when the A/C is running.

Did they disconnect one or both fans? And which one, if only one?

You have to make sure that the engine cooling fan is still operational or else you will have major overheating problems when the cold weather passes!!!

The engine cooling fan gets turned on when the engine temp sensor reaches a certain point. So in deep cold winter you can sometimes drive all day and not have the cooling fan come on at all. But as soon as milder weather hits while in traffic at a stop light and idling at full operating temperature, you'll need it to keep the engine from overheating.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for all your help

hi all!!

i really appreciate your comments so here is where i am at this juncture! after i bought a new battery and it kept dying i brought it to the dealer who replaced the altenator and serpentine belt and said the radio was draining the battery but that wasnt it so now the battery is sitting on the passengers seat (so glad i replaced it in august!) when i brought it back i told them i noticed the glove light was on when i drove the car home eventhough the glove box was closed? so they disconnected the glove box light and were going to recharge the battery overnight but they then called and said they noticed the ac condensor was coming on intermittenly when the car was off!?! so they disconnected the ac condensor so now after paying the dealer 830.00 and sears 160.00 the car is starting just fine but i have no radio installed (i suspect that wasnt the drain at all) no glove light and no ac!!! the heat although is working fine thankfully. the dealer said it would take alot of time and therefore money to trace the lines and reconnect it properly but i dont trust them after their 3 failed attempts nor do i want to pay them 115.00 and hour to try to trace the line. so far the car is starting without issues now that the condenor is disconnected and it has been pour rain and hail here so it looks like the issue is resolved for now but i am still unclear as to why it occured in the first place and i would like to reinstall the radio at least but i am scared it will happen again! i told the dealer upon my first dropping it off the we noticed the air remained on after the key was removed from the car if we didnt manually turn it off i dont know if that was an indication of the issue or not but i feel robbed by the dealer and i also need to get someone to at least attempt to reinstall the radio any thoughts or comments are gladly accepted my husband (who is as clueless as i about cars) is afraid to reinstall it :( thanks again to you all for your comments
 

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ccamillo, if the Radio unit is the factory one, you will need the security code to get it working again. Other than that, have your hubby plug all the connectors in the back of the radio and and it should work. can't really hurt anything.

Here's a You tube Video just follow in reverse to reinstall.

Volkswagen New Beetle Radio Removal and Repair - YouTube

If you don't have the security code, I came across this info on an older thread.

"Tired of your local stealership charging you $45.00 for your radio's security code? This could be a problem when you change your battery, or if your battery dies and you need a jump. You'll find that your radio is in safe mode and needs a security code to work. Well here's what I "stumbled upon". If you open your hatch and remove your spare tire, you will see a sticker on the left (driver's side) that has the exterior paint code, interior code, etc. And on the side of the paint code there will be a 4 digit code with no label. This 4 digit code is the radio's security code! Enter this code and hit scan, the scan on the passenger side. Bingo.. your radio will be enabled again!".

If it's an after-market radio, it could hard to guide someone that's inexperienced.
 

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hi all!!

i really appreciate your comments so here is where i am at this juncture! after i bought a new battery and it kept dying i brought it to the dealer who replaced the altenator and serpentine belt and said the radio was draining the battery but that wasnt it so now the battery is sitting on the passengers seat (so glad i replaced it in august!) when i brought it back i told them i noticed the glove light was on when i drove the car home eventhough the glove box was closed? so they disconnected the glove box light and were going to recharge the battery overnight but they then called and said they noticed the ac condensor was coming on intermittenly when the car was off!?! so they disconnected the ac condensor so now after paying the dealer 830.00 and sears 160.00 the car is starting just fine but i have no radio installed (i suspect that wasnt the drain at all) no glove light and no ac!!! the heat although is working fine thankfully. the dealer said it would take alot of time and therefore money to trace the lines and reconnect it properly but i dont trust them after their 3 failed attempts nor do i want to pay them 115.00 and hour to try to trace the line. so far the car is starting without issues now that the condenor is disconnected and it has been pour rain and hail here so it looks like the issue is resolved for now but i am still unclear as to why it occured in the first place and i would like to reinstall the radio at least but i am scared it will happen again! i told the dealer upon my first dropping it off the we noticed the air remained on after the key was removed from the car if we didnt manually turn it off i dont know if that was an indication of the issue or not but i feel robbed by the dealer and i also need to get someone to at least attempt to reinstall the radio any thoughts or comments are gladly accepted my husband (who is as clueless as i about cars) is afraid to reinstall it :( thanks again to you all for your comments

so... do all of your inside accessories work when you take the key out and open the door? They shouldn't..

You should hear a click when you take the key out of the ignition switch. IIRC the radio can stay on as long as the door is shut but I'm not sure about the fans. (As long as you mean the fans for climate control inside the car and not the fans that cool the engine down.)

If the fans that cool the engine down run constantly check your fusebox on top of the battery.

Sorry but it sounds like the dealer ripped you off.

I would be pissed if I paid 830.00 for something they said would fix the problem and didn't..

Where are you located? Maybe someone on here is local and can help you? There's lots of people on here that will gladly help. I scan with VAG com for beers and/or good company if you're near me :)
 
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