My battery keeps draining and my car won't start in the morning.

Asked by Nov 04, 2014 at 04:28 PM about the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I've had my car into the dealership and they say the battery and alternator are fine.  
They also said the parasitic draw test showed nothing.  I'm suspicious of the radio.  It
died about 10 weeks ago and the battery started draining 6 weeks after that.  I've read
that dead radios can drain the battery.  So I had a new radio installed by Car Toys, but
the problem did not stop.  The mechanics said they found nothing with the radio that
would be draining my battery.  I've tried locking the car at night.  I've been over
everything and there aren't any lights left on or no chargers left in or anything like that.
The mechanics say they are at a loss and have no idea what to do.  Any ideas would
be greatly appreciated.

28 Answers

80

i drained my battery by the trunk light,,might want to check that..

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
10,990

I know you had it to the dealership, but check your battery connections. and make sure the ground is good on both ends, clean and tight. Also have the battery load tested, autozone or a major autoparts store can do that.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
60

I have a 2010 Jetta tdi and radio died AND battery has now died as well got a new battery and it went dead in 90 days. I never had radio repaired but now am wondering if there is a defect in the 2010 tdi model. It's at dealership at $130 an hour to diagnose problem.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
60

Funny, me too. 2010 Jetta TDi.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
80

Me too , exactly . 2010 Jetta TDI . Battery drain for over 2 yrs now . Had brought it to VW in Delray & coconut creek . Each time handed an absorbent amount of money , but the problem persists . Anyone find the solution?

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
60

Due to the recent discovery of the emissions cheating software, I don't have the confidence I once had in Volkswagen or my Jetta. Two weeks ago, every time I went to start my car the battery was dead. Literally, I met a friend for lunch & upon leaving my car wouldn't start. I went to three different places to have my battery & alternator tested. I was told that the battery was good, but needed charged, and the alternator was failing. The alternator tested at 13.77 volts, and barely failing. Two days later it showed a reading of 13 volts. I purchased a new alternator, as well as a new battery. The battery was replaced first- and the car started up just fine- without the new alternator. The original, 'failing/failed' alternator then passed the test. Truly bizarre.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
30

2010 Jetta TDI here. Radio touch screen stopped working about 4 months ago. Car has been not starting in the morning for the past 2 months, off and on. I am going to have battery tested today. Currently cannot afford an alternator, so I hope that is not necessary. Seems to be only when it gets super cold outside.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
10

Same problem, It happened in the past before the radio went bad and they replaced the battery cables, will be taking it in to the shop in the next few days to see what they say.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
70

My 05 Jetta will not start recently without being jumped. I have had it in the garage 3 times and they claim they can't find a problem. So frustrating!!!! Help

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
130

My Jetta New 2005 drained 2 batteries (took 45 minutes to drain a brand new battery!)and then the diagnose was: the latch on the passenger back door was draining it! It was disconnected and I am fine but drive with 1 unlocked back door. On a test it used 0.140v and it should have been 0.025v.

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.
80

It was my 1999 Mercedes SL 500>.Mileage is 62,000.The batter is one year old,,So my honey took the batter back to auto part store and Thankfully they r replaced it,,You usually get a 3 yr warranty with new Batteries ,,BUT always Check before you purchase..Thanks to All for Your HELP..ox

90

On my 2011 40k Jetta Sportswagon TDI there is a continuous (measured for 20 mins) drain of 2 Amps from the battery. All doors closed, hood shut, ignition key out. Dealer said "bad battery", 3 x auto parts shops said "battery OK". VW Dealer refused to investigate further. Car sitting in garage with battery disconnected. When is buyback actually going to happen? Given other issues, this has been a car experience like no other.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
57,005

If you think it is the radio then remove the fuse for a night to see what happens.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
60

Radio disconnected from battery resolved issue. The bigger problem, I hate not having a radio or hands free!!!!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
57,005

If you can replace the radio or install a switch to turn off all the power to it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
90

Thanks for your answer, but a radio should not pull 2A + it is unbievable that VW does not identify the fuses even in the handbook. Looking forward to the buyback. I have never had a car like this. At the 1st or 2nd service I told the dealer of bearing noise in front drivers side wheel. Then at end of 3 yr warranty they agreed that the bearing was bad. By that time the tires were shot / chopped. Had to replace @ 30k. Then this issue with the battery drain , dealer says bad battery. NEVER VW AGAIN!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
57,005

Two amps would kill the battery fast. This is clearly a bad radio.

20

I have a 2002 Jetta TDI. Started having battery issues. Took to dealership. They told me the 2002 had electrical / wiring issues. The replaced battery. Also replaced generator. Timing belt, water pump you name it. Thousands of dollars. Then they told me the driver's door latch was draining battery. They said the ignition is somehow related to the radio. What a cluster! Battery replaced in July 2014 Battery replaced again in Feb 2015. New battery problems started again with recent cold weather. Called dealership who told me battery only has 12 mo / 12 mi warranty. I asked for part number, year, make of battery etc. Said they would have to look in their files. OMG Another battery nightmare! No issues starting the car during warmer weather. So now I am ready to call VW Corp. What a cluster!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
20

Afterthought - I had a feeling that the battery was being drained by the factory car alarm system. I stopped using it and it seemed to help. This was last winter 2015. Whoever designed the electrical on the Jetta TDI must have been on drugs! It is also a diesel 2.0 so it doesn't like cold weather anyway.

90

I was (retired) an electronics/electrical design engineer for +45yrs. If I had designed a system without layout I would have been fired. Sold my VW Jetta back last week. Never had a car like it and never again VW. VW Service Dealers here in Houston (3x I worked with) are incompetent and con men. Measured a 2A continuous drain on the battery with all systems shutdown but they told me battery was bad!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
20

The electrical / wiring issues are insane! And when I ask the dealership for the diagnostic codes they never provide any helpful information! Plus, I have read that dead batteries and bad fuses can mess with the codes anyway. Dealership is arrogant, rude, sarcastic and incompetent. Can't afford a car payment but going in debt with all these repairs / batteries only under warranty for 12/12 - Since when is a battery only under warranty for one year?

90

Ha! My son's battery (2 yr old Passat) was dead. Took it out and to nearest dealer in Houston. "Can you check this battery?" Dealer - "You will need to get a service appointment, and we can't take you today". "Ok, can we get warranty replacement" . Dealer "you'll need to take it to where you bought the car". Son " I get the car serviced here." Dealer " The battery warranty is only pro-rated over 3 yrs, you wouldn't get much discount. But the replacement / same battery is 4 yr warranty". Never VW!

20

Holy cow! The ridiculousness is astounding! Since when are batteries not covered by a 3 - 5 year warranty?

57,005

Battery warranties like a lot of things are going down the tubes. I don't know if it is due to greed or poorer quality batteries.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
30

I have a 2002 Jetta with only 26K miles on it. The battery dies all the time even though I disconnected the radio. I have a 2003 Ford Ranger with 120K miles on it. No problems at all. Ford doesn't make the Ranger anymore. Lesson learned, never buy VW! Buy Nissan, Toyota or even Ford. Never VW.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
20

Guru I stopped using the car alarm system. After reading and researching for HOURS I learned that it could be draining the battery. I stopped using it and it has seemed to help alot. My batteries were being replaced every year. My last one lasted 2 whole years!

10

2010 Jetta that has been experiencing all of this: stereo died, alarm will set but car locks don't engage, and dead battery every morning. About a week ago I turned my overhead lamps to completely off, so it won't turn on when you open the door, and the battery issue has stopped. Obviously still not the answer but at least my car is starting in the morning! Also wondering if everyone had called VW directly? I did, and while they aren't doing anything to help a recall might possibly come out if the problem is reported enough?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

Guru I turned off the lights that come on when you open the car door. I believe they are above the rear doors. I turned them completely off awhile ago. It seems to have helped. Turns out that the dealership agreed to put in a replacement battery at no charge. I have Finally found a local diesel engine mechanic who is very honest and knows his stuff. He did testing and work on my car and told me the battery is not the greatest. I told him that the dealership just put it in recently. It is supposed to be the proper heavy duty battery specific to my make and model 2002 Jetta TDI. He said the testing said otherwise. With the warmer weather I usually have NO problems starting the car. I will keep an eye on it and get documentation from my new mechanic to bring to the dealership if things start acting up. So glad to have found a new mechanic and this forum as well. Cheers!

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