2009 Jetta TDi possible electrical issues

  #1  
Old 01-09-2015, 12:46 PM
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Default 2009 Jetta TDi possible electrical issues

Hi, I've been browsing the web to see if I can find information that will help me to provide as much info to the VW Dealership when we take my daughter's new to her 2009 Jetta TdI. I do not like going to dealerships personally but for this case I'm going that route.


Bought the car the end of October 2014, used, from a VW dealer. Car was originally purchased in California, traded in at an Iowa dealer, we purchased from this dealer. It has approximately 75,000 miles. It is the car my 20 year old daughter wanted as her boyfriend and his friends are big into diesels.


All was working well until the weather got colder in December. She does have an unheated garage at her apartment complex that she parks in when it gets really cold. At first, she would have the steering wheel warning light and the traction control warning light come on. Both were solid yellow. They would not go off. After about a week, she had a dead battery. Battery was only 2 months old. But, we realize that you can have a bad battery. So, we replaced the battery. No codes when we plugged in the car at Auto Zone. Tested Alternator and it tested fine with the correct voltage being outputted (I do not have the paperwork with me, it is with my daughter at her apartment). So, replaced the battery back the middle of December. Those two warning lights went off... for a week, then came back on again. At that point I made an appointment at our local VW dealer but it was a month out. Appointment is on Tuesday of this next week. As of Monday, her car has now refused to start. Her headlights/taillights and radio do come on when she turns the key. She is hearing clicking noises. After getting it jump started, it will start after being off for an hour or so (after a short 30 minute drive) but longer than that time would require another jump start. With the 2 warning lights that come on, I'm assuming it is not the starter. But, with the alternator checking normal, (which would be my next thought), then it seems to be a more serious issue. Up to the point that it refused to start, nothing noticed except for the 2 warning lights (that had been on for weeks prior). My worse fear is that the entire electrical system will need to be replaced, which would be $$$ which I then have to balance out if it is worth it. Maybe the rectifier (what converts the alternator voltage to the battery voltage, I'm sure I spelled it wrong)? No corrosion on the battery terminals. No blown fuses. It doesn't make sense - but I don't want to pay $$$ for the dealership to piddle around and come up with no answers (that is my complaint with dealerships, unfortunately, they take their time and $$$ and you still don't have the issue resolved). I already know that we have probably fried this battery as well; and I've called the dealership to try and get in sooner, but I am stuck with the appt we set up over a month ago. I'm thinking of trying to find a voltage monitor that we can plug into her cigarette lighter socket so we can monitor the voltage. But, if I can provide a list of everything we have noticed and tried to the dealership, I'm hoping that I at least give them a starting point (my day job, I'm a business systems analyst so detail and analytical, that is me).
 
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:53 PM
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Welcome to the forum Laura. Name:  VWwelcome.gif
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Its hard to say without knowing the vehicle but I would suggest you need to get your motor scanned (preferably with VAG-COM\VCDS) for any error codes logged in the ecu and post them, that will save a lot of guessing.

I believe AutoZone will do a free scan in the hope you buy something of then then post any the error codes found?

https://volkswagenforum.com/forum/ne...gnature-34185/
 
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:05 AM
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Default 2009 Jetta electrical issues

It has been plugged in and scanned for codes twice; both times after having to have the car jump started in order to even drive to a place that they can plug it in (early December was the first scan, right before Christmas was the second scan). No codes are registering at all. Not one thing there to even help us diagnose this, which makes this even more perplexing.
 
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:42 PM
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Default TDi issues

Well, it spent 4 days at the dealership. This is why I do not like dealerships. They first called and told me that they figured out the problem, it was a dead battery. So, I had to remind them of the write up when I set up the appointment, that the 2 warning lights came on and then after about 3 weeks the car wouldn't start without jumping (as I figured by then the battery was fried). Talk about telling me the obvious.


So, got the car back on Friday night. They wrote up the following:
"Vehicle will not start diagnosis had to jump vehicle to get it into the shop. I ran a battery test and vehicle has a NAPA battery in it with a CCA rating of 600CCA. Testing the battery it is at 11.74V but the CCA rating was 0. Replace battery. All other charging systems ok.. starter test also lists battery needs replaced. Charging was normal with load off reading at 12.77V and load on at 12.49V. There was 11.83V at the battery and I tested the charging voltage of alternator/generator at the component and I got a solid 14V meaning I was losing 2V from the alternator/generator to the battery. I removed air box and notice burnt and melted grounds from the power steering rack harness and the ground strap for the trans/engine. Both need replaced. Replaced the ground strap and the wiring harness and tested for voltage loss between alternator/generator and the battery no voltage lost. Tested charging system and it's operating as designed. I put on diagnostic machine and test drove. All parameters are normal and vehicle is operating as designed. No DTC's present. Returned vehicle to customer. The battery was also replaced. Total cost to the wallet $823.57 (Iowa). We picked it up on Friday night (around 6 p.m.) and gave it back to my daughter later that evening.


My daughter took the "bad" battery back to NAPA on Saturday morning and they tested it and it tested just fine (volts and CCA). So now we have two batteries (the one that was supposedly bad and the one that they put in the car).
 

Last edited by Laura Riedesel Pfab; 01-22-2015 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Added more info
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:48 PM
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Now, on Saturday midday, my daughter calls me to tell me that the 2 lights in question are coming back on. The steering light comes on and then goes off once you put the vehicle in drive (so if you reverse out of your driveway or out of garage, it stays on until you put it in drive, count to 3, then it goes off). The traction light comes and goes, nothing seems to work. The traction control button is not controlling when this light comes on or off.


I took my vehicle and went out of town for training. I called the dealership on Monday morning telling them it wasn't fixed and that I was bringing it back in once I got back in town.


Switched cars with my daughter last night and I watched what it was doing as well. Took it to the dealership this morning. And they just called - -


The alternator tested fine on Friday afternoon but now it isn't testing correct so we need to replace the alternator at the cost of just at $1000. No codes are being generated. They can't say if that will fix the problem as well.


Personally, I think they are grasping at straws. I told them to wait before they do anything as I need to do some checking on my end. Is there not some sort of warning light that would come on if there were problems with the alternator?


I'm just really wondering about the integrity of this dealership (it doesn't help that they kept saying last week that the car would be fixed that day, only to tell me at the end of the day that the parts didn't come in that morning (so they knew at 9 a.m. that the car wouldn't be fixed).


Thoughts from those of you who are more knowledgeable with VW and maybe even the diesel aspect? Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:12 PM
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Hi Laura.

Originally Posted by Laura Riedesel Pfab View Post
that the 2 warning lights came on and then after about 3 weeks the car wouldn't start without jumping (as I figured by then the battery was fried).
Which warning lights came on?

Originally Posted by Laura Riedesel Pfab View Post
Testing the battery it is at 11.74V but the CCA rating was 0. Replace battery. All other charging systems ok.. starter test also lists battery needs replaced. Charging was normal with load off reading at 12.77V and load on at 12.49V. There was 11.83V at the battery and I tested the charging voltage of alternator/generator at the component and I got a solid 14V meaning I was losing 2V from the alternator/generator to the battery. I removed air box and notice burnt and melted grounds from the power steering rack harness and the ground strap for the trans/engine. Both need replaced. Replaced the ground strap and the wiring harness and tested for voltage loss between alternator/generator and the battery no voltage lost. Tested charging system and it's operating as designed. I put on diagnostic machine and test drove. All parameters are normal and vehicle is operating as designed. No DTC's present. Returned vehicle to customer. The battery was also replaced.
I don't quite understand the battery diagnosis readings.

11.74V is that terminal voltage without a load?

That should be around 12.4 minimum. When you crack a diesel engine the voltage shouldn't drop below 10v. When the engine starts you measure the charging voltage when the charging current drops below 20 amps then it should be 13.8v-14.2v.
 
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:02 AM
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The battery info was word for word quoted from the Invoice Description that the dealership gave me.


The same 2 warning lights as noted in the original post, the Steering Wheel light and the Traction Control light. Both solid yellow. No flashing. The Steering Wheel light will go off about 3 seconds after you put the vehicle in drive (so if you decide to reverse out the garage/driveway and then part way down the block (as I live on a dead end street so I could do that safely) the steering wheel light comes on until you put it in drive and then count about 3 seconds). The Traction Control light comes and goes with no rhyme or reason. When it does go off, nothing is pushed to make it go off.
 
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:22 PM
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As stated "You need to get your motor scanned (preferably with VAG-COM\VCDS) for any error codes logged in the ecu and post them, that will save a lot of guessing."
 
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:16 AM
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As also stated - it is at the local Volkswagen Dealership and they HAVE scanned for codes and NONE come up. It doesn't make a difference now - I had them replace the Alternator/Generator and we will see if it makes it a day before the lights (see OP) come back on.
 
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