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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, everyone--
Could really use a little expertise. My 2001 NB is acting up. Starting yesterday, when I turn the key the lights on the dashboard flash and the car makes a clicking sound. The engine doesn't turn over. The battery and alternator were replaced in 2009. The radio says SAFE on it, followed by 1000.

Is this the battery? I'm hoping it's not the alternator again, because that was crazy expensive. I should probably also mention that the 'check engine' light was on for a little while and I continued to drive it...but then it went off a day or two before this happened.

Fingers crossed it's the battery! What do you all think? Thanks so much for the help--I'm always worried that an auto shop is going to take advantage of my lack of knowledge!!

You all rock!
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Sounds like the battery. Have you tried jump starting it?

Also, when you get a CEL, don't ignore it. Autozone and the like will scan the car for free and tell you the codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Could a bad battery have caused the CEL, or do I probably have more issues at work here? Thanks for getting back to me so quickly--appreciate it.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Doubtful its from the battery. But get it all checked out.

Try to jump the car. If you get it started, then its likely the battery. Get to Autozone and have them check the battery and alt and they can also scan for codes for you.
 

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The battery is definitely dead. So get it charged and then tested. Now there has to be a reason that it is dead. Perhaps it is a just worn out if you purchased a cheap battery to begin with. Mine is over 5 years old and still is going strong. Check the cable that runs from the alternator to the top of the battery fuse box. That cable is know to be weak and perhaps it is damaged or just old. I would replace that cable and you will get a better connection from the alternator to the battery.

If you have a PEP BOYS in your area they have the best deal on batteries for your Beetle! Whis week they have a $10.00 off Sale on all BOSCH batteries. They normally run $109 for the beetle and this week they are 99 bucks plus exchange.

I would still have the CEL scanned and let us know what the code says.

Good Luck!
 

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100% it's a dead battery, the clicking noise you hear is the pre-engage starter solenoid trying to engage. The dash lights/radio is because what is left of the power in the batter is being taken by the starter.

If you bought a cheap/under amp battery 3 years is about all you get, especially on a diesel. In winter I always put my batteries on charge for at least one night in both the NB and the Mitsubishi as winter time is the worst for batteries as everything that takes a lot of power is normally turned on like heater blowers/heated seats/lights (mine are auto on)

The battery really does nothing except start the car, after that the alternator takes over, to prolong the life of a battery always make sure that the last thing you turn off is the engine, remember the lights/wipers/heaters/heated seats and the like draw a lot of power. Make sure the first thing you turn on is the engine, then all the other goodies.

My advice is to first trickle charge the battery using an external battery charger, it is a myth that the alternator will charge the battery .. Of course it will but not to full capacity and as soon as you have a problem, the battery is flat again. Once you have done this you will know if there is another problem, hopefully the battery just got cold and tired.

Steve
 

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Of course the battery is dead. But a bit more research may be required to determine "Why" it is dead.

If the atlernator doesn't properly charge the battery while the car is operating than a new battery will suffer the same fate in a very short time.

Of course it doesn't have to be the alternator directly but it could very well be the battery cable to the alternator which has been known to be weak and insufficient in these older New Beetle's.

Definitely check the fuse box on top of the battery and look at the condition of the fuses as well as the Larger "Black" and "Red" wires. Those two in particular are suspect and if damaged or corroded should be replaced.

Good Luck and Keep us posted!
 
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