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

14,145

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

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19,725

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-

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14,145

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 out of 1 people think this is 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 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
14,145

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.

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