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Volkswagen Jetta, Electrical, Sedan
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#245 of 305 2005 Jetta Flickering lights and occasional stall
Nov 03, 2011 (6:29 am)
So my 2005 Jetta TDI is in the dealership today after I had to tow it yesterday. For the last 3-4 weeks, I've been experiencing constant "flickering" of the headlights and internal lights while the car is on. Yesterday, the car seemed to be hesitating while accelerating. After about 45 minutes of driving, the engine completely shut off while it was rolling and all power lost temporarily. The starter still cranks, and all the internal electric were still operating after the stall, but the engine would NOT fire again, for at least an 45 minutes after the stall. I had a tow truck tow the car to the dealership and it was left on the lot. Later yesterday afternoon, I get a call from the dealership and they say the car is starting and running fine, no issues at all.
I had originally figured the Alternator could be at fault, but the dealership says the alternator was "fine". The battery is brand new and cranks hard. But I keep thinking and mentioning to the dealership the flickering light issues. I'm worried I have an electrical issue, obviously, but don't know what to do or to ask the dealer to do for me. They seem to want to give the car back to me, but I'm worried about taking the car back without getting answers to why the car wouldn't start for an hour yesterday. All I'm hearing from them is "we can't recreate the problem".
Can any electrical experts on this page give me some suggestions as to what you'd do in my situation? Car at dealer, running but with symptoms, and they are not giving me a clear picture of what the next step should be.
Thanks for any assistance.
#246 of 305 Re: 2005 Jetta Flickering lights and occasional stall [owenstc]
Nov 03, 2011 (3:43 pm)
Your dealership must be boneheads.... most automobile electrical systems can be easily troubleshot with a voltmeter.... heck, it is simply a 12 volt DC system.
With that said, I am not sure what you mean by the term "flickering" -- are you suggesting that all the lights are TOTALLY going out and back on... or are they simply getting dimmer/brighter ?
Does it happen with the engine OFF -or- ON?
Sittiing still -or- idling?
When reving engine?
when going over bumps?
....etc, I could ask 10 more questions to help isolate your issue.
If your dealership did not ask these questions, they have no clue what they are dealing with in the first place.
Also, VWs have voltage monitors all over the system built right in. One could hookup a computer to your car and DRIVE it while logging various key voltages in realtime.
Again, if your dealership has not done any of this - they are poorly-trained and not worth paying.
#247 of 305 Re: 2005 Jetta Flickering lights and occasional stall [owenstc]
Nov 04, 2011 (11:29 am)
I've been servicing my wifes 2004 GL 2.0 since new and been driving it (75K)since we got a newer car for her. She complained that the car would not start sometimes; but wait 45m- 1hr later no problems. This happened to me one sunday after driving 35 mi, stopping for 2 hrs and "no start". This happened actually twice. 1st time tried everything remove the inlet hose by throttle, checked elec throttle plate, checked battery and fuses. all was okay waited for 2 hrs, started with no problems. I changed the fuel filter (1st time since new) 2nd time same schedule and location "no start". This time I saw someone on YouTube unpluged the fuel pump fuse (by the driver door) and turn on ignition switch then reinserted the fuse. and re-started the car. I tried it; and it worked! So that told me this is related to the elec wiring! The third time; I notice that when I turn the ignition switch on I can hear the fuel pump come on "normal" #1 clue; when it will not start - no fuel pump noise = no power at the pump. I also notice the door light stopped coming on at night when I open the door (note if you use the remote entry key the light will come on), test this by leaving door open and testing the door switch #2 clue. I've looked at "ALL DATA" at the local library and notice that there's a special Fuel pump relay under the driver foot well, under the steering wheel area. VW wanted $400.00 to fix the door/interior light; which might be associated with this problem. I'm going to spend $45.00 on the fuel pump relay. Wish me luck. Next prob is fixing the traction control light- Dealer wants $600 to fix steering wheel sensor.
#248 of 305 Re: Interior Electrical Stops Working After Headlight Use [kes4]
Nov 04, 2011 (12:01 pm)
Update on my jetta electrical issues. Mechaninc found that battery was running mostly at 12.8 volts and should be 14.4. He removed our aftermarket radio and cleaned and tightened all connections- there was corrosion on wires under battery tray. After that, he found the battery was running at 14 which was much better. However, it still dips down slightly when car idles or decelerates. Investigation on web has shown that the ABS/traction control lights are sensitive to voltage. This was 3 weeks ago. All electrical problems have ceased. However, we have gotten the ABS/traction lights 3 times while idling. The mechanic suggested that I may want to replace the alternator if the abs/traction control gets worse. He suspects that will prevent the voltage from going down when idling or decelerating.
#249 of 305 Re: Interior Electrical Stops Working After Headlight Use [kes4]
Nov 04, 2011 (5:17 pm)
Have you tried removing/cleaning all ground connections you can find?
Additionally, the connections to the voltage-regulator should be removed/cleaned.
Also, I am formally trained in electronics. When someone says they measured xxx Volts, this is NOT a satisfactory statement. First of all... what are you using as your ground-reference point? (it may make a HUGE difference)
Here is a typical example of what I have found on several automotive electrical systems...
SYMPTOM: Voltage measured across battery terminals is less that 14 volts.
HOWEVER: The voltage regulator *thinks* it is properly regulating at 14.8 volts.
REAL PROBLEM: The negative wire between battery - and voltage-regulator has over 2 volts of 'drop' across it - hence, the 'reference point' for the regulator is off by 2 volts.... this is the reason the voltage at the battery is off by 2 volts.
BOTTOM LINE: if the alternator is putting out ANY voltage, a 'low voltage across battery' problem is likely NOT an issue with the alternator itself. Instead, consider troubleshooting the VOLTAGE REGULATOR. (which happens to be screwed into the rear of the alternator.)
Why is this? Because the voltage-regulator is really controlling the alternator and telling the alternator what voltage to put out. If the voltage is wrong, it is the REGULATOR which is likely the problem. (or connections to it!)
In rare cases, one of the rectifier diodes inside the alternator may fail... I believe these too are replaceable without having to pay for a new alternator.
#251 of 305 Re: Interior Electrical Stops Working After Headlight Use [bpeebles]
Nov 04, 2011 (5:25 pm)
Oh - You can purchase a "voltage monitor" from WalMart which plugs into your cigarette-lighter socket. (It is under $20)
With this device, you can leave it plugged in while driving around. Your PASSENGER can monitor it to see what your electrical system is doing while you drive.
Voltage should be over 14 at all times the engine is running. If not, locate where the voltage-drop is and fix it. (easier than baking a pie...which I could not do with 2 chefs at my side)
#252 of 305 Re: 2005 Jetta Flickering lights and occasional stall [bpeebles]
Nov 08, 2011 (7:28 am)
Thanks for addressing my question. It seems the dealership service center isolated it to a corroded battery terminal that wasn't getting proper voltage. They cleaned the terminals and things seem to be going ok since they did that. They also replaced the fuel filter to help with the hesitation, and things seem stable. Thanks again for your help.
#253 of 305 Re: 2005 Jetta Flickering lights and occasional stall [owenstc]
Nov 08, 2011 (8:00 pm)
It is good to hear your "flickering" problem was a simply dirty battery terminal. It is too bad they did not check for this simple thing initially.
I do not understand how corroded battery terminal caused 'stalling'... but I have seen stranger things than that. (Like bearings wearing out because engine was not electrically grounded - All the electric current was passing thru the bearings!!)
#254 of 305 Flickering Problem..
Nov 22, 2011 (7:59 pm)
Hello, I have a 2005 VW Jetta 2.5. I just bought the car two weeks ago and am trying to work through the few kinks it has. I am trying to diagnose the reason my climatronic system is acting the way it is. The temperature read-outs do not display and the lights do not light up, most of the time. It will then be noticeably flickering if you turn the headlights on and drive around. It seems that as the two weeks have gone on, the flickering has happened more often and just tonight, the temperatures started to display. I have no idea what is going on. I thought it was a faulty climatronic unit, until this happened tonight.
I believe it is likely some kind of electrical wiring issue or something. My headlights and overhead lights will occasionally get dim and then light back up to the original brightness. Also, for no explainable reason, once I turn the car OFF and have taken the key out, I can still click the power button on the factory radio unit and it turns on and plays just like the key were in.. Ideas?? I'm in desperate need of some help here!
Thanks in advance!