Jetta driver dead battery

Asked by Nov 26, 2016 at 11:02 PM about the 2005 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have an 05 mkv Jetta tdi. It's dies all the
time. I suspect the brake lights because
they stay on sometimes after I turn the car
off and lock it up. Some times they won't
come on until after hours of it being
parked. So In the mornings it may be dead
or after a work shift it may be dead. So I
started turning the light switch completely
off so they won't be able to come on at all.
That resolved the problem. But it's now
doing it again. Today 11/27/16 it died after
being off for no more than an hour around
noon. Then just now at 21:45h it was
completely dead the only thing that would
give off any time of electric signal was the
alarm and a very dim cabin light. Being a
diesel and it cold outside I couldn't even
roll down our driveway and pop the clutch.  
Anyone got any ideas?

1 Answer

Something hinky is going on with Jetta battery circuits. My 2013 TDi is sitting in the driveway with dead battery, I have had two jump starts in the week before parking it. I rented another Jetta in Mexico recently--woke up to a dead battery one morning in La Paz, got blamed by the rental agency (Cactus, at Cabo airport) and had to buy a battery which wasn't reimbursed. The battery guy who sold me the new one said VW puts 1-year and 2-year batteries in their new cars. The web (and hemisphere!) is chock-a-block full of people trying to find the cause of their dead Jetta batteries--suspects are the radio, a short in the automatic door locks, probably a lot of other things like, in your case, apparently lights. All I know is, since it died at home this time, I disconnected the battery and tried to charge it overnight. The green eye was dark. Charging topped up at 12.5 and started losing charge immediately when I removed the charger. That battery is dead! I'm surprised that it went dead so abruptly, it didn't get weaker over weeks or months, it just went dead three times in a week. I think the problem is a drain, probably a intermittent short, that does the battery in quickly when it gets jiggled and shorts out. After charging I immediately wanted to start it (before it went dead). Having had two jumps this week it seems it can run with a dead battery, so I don't think the charging system is bad. As soon as I connected the battery to the engine cables, I could hear a click down low between engine and firewall. I put my ammeter between the (+) cable and battery-- it was drawing 2 Amps with EVERYTHING OFF. Battery was dead again in matter of minutes. It was far to weak to start the car. I think the click I heard was a solenoid, or maybe a relay. My car is keyless locks/ignition and depends on power for steering lock. It is pointed the wrong way in my driveway to be towed (pointed nose in) and the manual says do not tow with rear wheels lifted. I am trying to return this car to the dealer on the buy-back program, they say it must be in running conditions when they buy it back. In so may ways I love this car. But having this problem and seeing people describing the same basic problem here, going back 16 years!! tells me Volkswagen has its head wedged, they are rather badly gouging their loyal customers with expensive and inconvenient troubleshooting in each case, instead of fixing the bad design that is causing it.

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