My '73 Beetle will not start. Generator light comes on when you turn the key but It does nothing. I am able to jump start it though. Once I turn it off it is dead again. Any ideas of where I shoul

Asked by Jun 08, 2015 at 10:25 AM about the 1973 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

5 Answers

21,735

Forget generator, you need a 50 amp alternator, they came out in 1973. Generators are for ancient "bugs " and you don't want it , they were crappie. You're definitely going to need a new one. You cannot run a car on the battery alone, not possible. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=56Z1VcG- N4XTsAW14YKgDw&url=http://www.vw- resource.com/alternator_generator.html&ved=0CCcQFjAC&usg=AFQjCN HIXf8gT_qc57cR192jbVA7nKMGLw&sig2=A5mOep65F33J83Sqa0u0cg

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
23,215

If you can jump start it, fine- and it runs for awhile? sounds like a bad battery or connection- these are basic vehicles and a good one to start learning about how cars work- buy some tools and a workshop manual and go to it-

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
21,735

If you're lucky, it will only be the battery. Here's an easy way to tell. Go for a 1 hour drive and see if the battery gets recharged by the alternator while you're driving. If the alternator is working it should charge up your system a little and allow you to restart your car once you stop and turn off the engine. If, your alternator is dead, you'll never even make it for an hour, the battery will die and your car will quit. You need an electrical charge for your car to work properly. As an alternative, you could call AAA if you have their service. They have a battery service and will come to you, check your car's system including the alternator and tell you exactly what's wrong. They sell batteries and they're great with a 3 year unconditional guarantee. Remember, you've got to keep your power up to stay on the road. Good luck.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
55

If the car will not start right after shutting it off, its your alternator not feeding the battery. if the car sits for a day or even a few hours after shutting it off, most likely its your battery. Gen light will come on because you not producing enough power because the battery is weak.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
21,735

There's a symbiotic relationship between the battery and alternator. In 1973, VW'S switched over to alternators, really depends upon when your car was made , see this link. So, your car may still have the old generator. http://www.vw-resource.com/alternator_vs_year.html The battery needs to be replenished by the generator or alternator while you are driving. If I were you, I would definitely see if you can upgrade to the alternator if you have the old generator in your car. It's a better system.

Your Answer

Beetle

Looking for a Used Beetle in your area?

CarGurus has 7,568 nationwide Beetle listings starting at $1,000.

ZIP:

Volkswagen Beetle Experts

  • #1
    tenspeed
    Reputation
    1,780
  • #2
    Chris Billings
    Reputation
    1,550
  • #3
    Tom Demyan
    Reputation
    1,360
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Civic
818 Great Deals out of 73,280 listings starting at $1,400
Used Ford Mustang
730 Great Deals out of 38,316 listings starting at $895
Used Volkswagen Golf
108 Great Deals out of 5,126 listings starting at $1,950
Used FIAT 500
89 Great Deals out of 6,191 listings starting at $3,900
Used Volkswagen Passat
397 Great Deals out of 20,701 listings starting at $1,495
Used Toyota Corolla
919 Great Deals out of 57,563 listings starting at $1,488
Used Chevrolet Camaro
417 Great Deals out of 30,789 listings starting at $3,550

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
6 Great Deals out of 2,510 listings starting at $12,995
2016 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
24 Great Deals out of 428 listings starting at $11,022
2015 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
41 Great Deals out of 608 listings starting at $8,291
2014 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
29 Great Deals out of 631 listings starting at $7,500
2013 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
44 Great Deals out of 689 listings starting at $5,995

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.