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I have a 98 beetle it starts ok, everything works ok, and it runs fine. My problem is if it sits for more than three days without being driven, the battery will go dead. No problems as long as I drive it at least every other day. I have installed a new battery. Any ideas and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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You need to do a parasitic draw test on the car.

Battery Drain Parasitic Draw Testing

Open up the driver's door, hood and rear cargo hatch. Now roll the driver's door latch, hood latch and rear cargo latch shut so the car thinks these items are in a closed position. Arm the alarm, the horn should beep.

Wait about 5 minutes then set up your DMM to check for parasitic draw and see how many mA is being pulled. Under 30mA is your target. If you have a CD changer, I'd unplug it first since they are known for failing and draining the battery.

Then start removing fuses 1 at a time and watch the DMM until you see the draw drop. Now figure out what the fuse goes to and see if you have a wiring issue or a control module issue.
 

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battery drain

hi,
can anyone help,
i have battery drain of 0.1amps ie 100milliamps, we have had 3 new batteries, the the car works fine if used every 5 days however if not, dead nothing, i have followed suggestions and have checked discharge with doors locked, withdrawing fuses untill the amperage dropped to 20milliamps only when fuse for engine electrics is withdrawn. have unplugged everything i can see including alternator, starter motor still the same, can anyone point me in the right direction.
 

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You have a tricky one there Sarah, you need to continue until you find the problem component I am afraid. You will have some draw as certain components need a small amount, keep at it.

One thing not mentioned here is that although you have a new battery, has anyone checked the alternator output?
 

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I had a similar problem on the '98 we bought recently. It turned out that the ignition switch was not turning the car completely off even when the key was removed and it was draining the battery.
The garage that fixed it said it was fairly common problem on VW's.

If you shut your car off and don't put on the handbrake do the daytime lights stay on? that was a symptom on mine.

Cost about $150 to fix (parts & labor) and they reused the cylinder so no key issues to deal with.

Hope that helps.
 

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I have a 98 beetle it starts ok, everything works ok, and it runs fine. My problem is if it sits for more than three days without being driven, the battery will go dead. No problems as long as I drive it at least every other day. I have installed a new battery. Any ideas and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I say your alternator is the culprit. My 2000 Beetle TDI did the same thing. Battery would go dead if the car wasn't driven. I knew it was a parasitic draw but it wasn't a big deal because it took a full 3 days for the battery to die. I just made sure to drive it at least every 2 days and let the alternator charge up the battery. But it got worse as time went on. Three days became 2 days. Eventually the battery would go completely dead overnight. And this is "after" I put in a new "top of the line" battery (Optima Red Top).

So...I had a friend with a digital voltmeter test for amperage draw. He pulled all the fuses and the draw was still there. We concluded that the guilty party was the alternator. The diodes(rectifier) went bad and were sucking current out of the battery (yes, even when the car was off). I put in a new rebuilt alternator and problem solved.

However, let me say one more thing here. Putting in an alternator was gonna run me 400 bucks, which I didn't have. So to buy some time, I purchased this gadget that monitors your battery and shuts it down if its getting too low on charge, thus leaving you with enough power to start your car. Its called the Battery Brain (Gold) and it allowed my to manage my battery issue "headache free" for about 3 months until I accumulated enough money for a new alternator. So that's another option for you. :D
 
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