'99 Beetle GLS cannot start without jumping and dies on a hill, help?


Asked by Dec 15, 2013 at 11:59 PM about the 1999 Volkswagen Beetle 2 Dr GLS Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi, I just bought a used 1999 Beetle. The second day after I bought the car I went to
start it and it would not even make any sort of response. I jumpstarted the car and
drove for an hour. I went to get gas and turned off the car, filled it up, and the same
thing happened - no response, did not start. I had to jumpstart it again. I then drove for
about half an hour and the car simply died on a small hill - no lights came on, just
stopped running. I jump started it again and parked it home.
Any idea what this may be? I am not sure if it is the battery. Also, the car has a
moonroof which does not work and the trunk opens only with a key.
Any help would be much appreciated.

8 Answers

yes the system ground is insufficient....clean the lug off the black 1/0 cable to chassis ground....clean the lug with a wirebrush and the chassis to to establish SOLID ground to components such as the fuel pump, ECU headlights and ignition relay...do think that your ignition relay is dropping out for lack of sufficient ground.....CLEAN the black cable to ground....also the battery should be newer then five because the new tin/antimony alloy batteries will degrade (stop taking a charge) ten percent per year...so check the month/year of your first charge as displayed at the top of your battery on the knock-off label~

the hill is just causing a component to "find ground" which is what your system desperately needs....may be a motor mount is wonky and allowing a part of the drivetrain to touch the chassis...do not know....but I know that clean ground ...and the 1/0 cable to the engine block (near the alternator) is paramount~


judge_roy, thank you for the response. How much do you think fixing this would set me back? I am taking the car to a shop tomorrow - what kind of questions should I ask them?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

What? a wirebrush and pliers or vicegrips under twenty...get a coarse one...not a brass for jewelry polishing but a clean the grill roughness~

Ask them to remove the semiconductor corrosion between the 1/0 battery lug and chassis ground....please~

then just shop labor of perhaps ten minutes and nothing else...they're already tooled up for this job...don't LET them sell you anything else...restoring the ground will solve ALL problems, thank you~


I was driving my VW Beetle 2000 when it just died and won't start.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

My car died but tried to start, engines cranks but does not start. After 10 minutes the car started and i can smell like sulphur smell, proceeded way home and after a quarter mile the car started to die again. I stepped on the gas and it continued running.

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