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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a '99 GLS and quickly began having issues. Driving home from the dealer, ALL of the dash lights came on. The dealer had the sepentine belt and battery replaced. Seemed to work but last week my wife noticed the gas mileage diminish significantly. Around the same time the check engine light, battery light, and brake light came on. I took it to a VW dealership and they said the throttle body needed to be replaced. They tore it down and cleaned it first. Due to the cost, I haven't replaced it yet. Then this morning I started it up to warm it up, and after about 15 min. it sputtered and stalled. Now when I try to start it all I get is the starter solenoid clicking. As a side note, sometimes when I start the car the starter makes a whirring noise. Am I looking at a starter issue or an alternator issue causing the no crank issue?
 

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Have a load test on your battery and test the output of your alternator. The starter needs a strong battery to crank and the motor needs sufficient power to run all of the electronics IE: ecm, sensors, injectors, etc. Could explain why it cut off.
 

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The problems you report are often related to bad connections in the fuse panel above the battery. Check and make sure the connections are all good. See this DIY for photos:

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

The last photo is of the connections in the fuse panel. Make sure the nut circled in the fourth photo is tight. Once all this checks out, measure the battery voltage with the engine idling as shown in the fourth photo. You should get over 14 volts if the alternator is good. Often the only problem with an alternator is worn brushes, which are much cheaper to replace than the entire alternator. At this point a '99 should have had its alternator brushes replaced already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The problems you report are often related to bad connections in the fuse panel above the battery. Check and make sure the connections are all good. See this DIY for photos:

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

The last photo is of the connections in the fuse panel. Make sure the nut circled in the fourth photo is tight. Once all this checks out, measure the battery voltage with the engine idling as shown in the fourth photo. You should get over 14 volts if the alternator is good. Often the only problem with an alternator is worn brushes, which are much cheaper to replace than the entire alternator. At this point a '99 should have had its alternator brushes replaced already.
So I started the tests that you linked to. Had to jump start it first. Once I got it started, Battery voltage was 10.3:thumbsdn: and when I tested the PCV terminal, I got the same (battery voltage). After a few minutes of running I again checked battery voltage and watched it drop from 10.3 down to 7.2 in about five seconds. That sure sounds like a bad alternator to me, but is there some quirky thing about Beetles that may give the same result? Thanks.
P.S. I wasn't able to complete the tests since engines tend to not want to run at 7 volts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just picked up a Haynes manual for the alternator removal. Are you kidding me! ? Remove the front clip? ?? Fabricate special tools with threaded rod? Memory saver? Please tell me it's not this much of a PITA. No wonder we have a love/hate relationship with these cars. I can't even test the alternator without disconnecting the battery, and can't do that without a memory saver. Anyone have any ideas or tips? Thanks in advance.
 

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I just picked up a Haynes manual for the alternator removal. Are you kidding me! ? Remove the front clip? ?? Fabricate special tools with threaded rod? Memory saver? Please tell me it's not this much of a PITA. No wonder we have a love/hate relationship with these cars. I can't even test the alternator without disconnecting the battery, and can't do that without a memory saver. Anyone have any ideas or tips? Thanks in advance.
Look on YouTube for a removal video on a 2.0 Beetle, Jetta, or Golf. I don't think you need to remove the front end, Good Luck!
 

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No need to remove the front clip! It will come out with some maneuvering. It is challenging with the tight quarters but it will work in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I still need a memory saver right? And will the memory saver eliminate the need to re-program throttle body and other settings?
 

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I don't use a memory saver. The radio will remember its presets and there isn't anything that critical on the engine. I haven't had to reprogram the throttle body unless the battery has been disconnected overnight. Reprogramming is easy to do without any tools anyway: just switch the ignition to run for 30 seconds without starting the engine. That's it!

Here is a good video that I found on replacing the voltage regulator and brushes on the alternator:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtyP7AyZxwg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
So I bought a battery charger/jumper that has an alternator test feature. I charged the battery (reads 12.4v:)) and then tested the alternator. Showed the alternator was no good. Keep in mind that this car has 157K but the alternator has clearly been replaced. Coming from a used car dealer, I am postitve they used a reman. unit. So here are a few pics to show that you can't always trust a reman. unit OR the previous owner.
Even with the crappy picture you can "clearly" see that the slip rings have been worn through the copper.

When I removed the voltage regulator, one brush was worn 2x as much as the other.

Then I pulled on the brushes and the short one came out. I thought they were supposed to be attached?

And yes that is snow behind me. Why can't cars crap out in nice warm weather??
At first I was going to replace the voltage regulator as per Red's earlier suggestion, but now it looks like a NEW alternator is in order. Am I on the right track? Also, isn't the belt tensioner supposed to have a spring of some sort and be able to pivot to adjust for belt stretch, or is the tensioner on the Beetles a one piece, solid, non-moving part?
 

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Battery replacement

Hi guys, today when I tried to start the NB i found out battery was dead, it last more than 3 years, so I asumed it must be replaced. So I did it, but now I´m having problem starting the car, I have to push acelerator a little to star, whith the shift in park RPM goes from below 500 to 800, and when I turn the Air condition on, simply the car shut off. I rode for about 20 minutes and the car goes excellent, no hesitation and no problems at all, but when i stopped, either in drive or park, RPM´s start to goes form 500 to 800. Mine is a 2001, 2.0 AEG engine with cable driven throttle body. I disconnect the battery again and waited for 30 minutes, but nothing happens; still I´m having the same problem.what it could be? unfortunatelly here in Venezuela where I live there is only one service with the VAG scanner and they are extremmely expensive.
 

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I would clean the throttle body and align the throttle body, see if that helps. You might consider; some of the inexpensive code readers for volkswagens on Amazon (search "vag scanner"); many are less then $30 U.S. Dollars. On these modern Volkswagen computer controlled cars; reading the trouble codes, is crucial to figuring out what is wrong with these cars.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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When the battery has been disconnected for a period of hours the ECU can forget the throttle body settings to make the engine idle properly. I have been able to reset the throttle body on my 1999 AEG without a scan tool. Turn the ignition switch to "run" without starting the engine. Wait 30 seconds and then switch off. It should be good after that. Hopefully that will work for you too.
 
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