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Discussion Starter #1
This one is pretty frustrating. Started with the battery being dead upon trying to start the vehicle.

I replaced both the Alternator after some initial testing. Got it from Schucks.

Connections all looked good, no corrosion. Started up and voltage was only about 12 - 12.5. After one trip by my Daughter, it was dead again.

Replaced Battery. This time it ran for about a week before it happened again. Doing some more testing, it seemed that the alternator would be charging intermittently (sometimes 13.8V and then sometimes nothing). Tried all types of different loads while running (fans, radio, lights, etc) to see if it made any difference. Nothing definitive. Seemd to be the luck of the draw after startup as to whether it would be charging or not.

After about three more dead battery stints, I finally took it to the shop.

They claimed the alternator was bad, so they replaced it. The new one went bad while it was still in the shop. They also said there was a parasitic drain associated with the trunk latch which connects to the alarm. This is currently disconnected.

They finally put a Bosch alternator in it. It dropped out as they were backing it out of the bay to return it to me.

Then magically, the next day they said it was fixed, they had found a "cracked" wire that was shorting the alternator out.

One week on the road, and we are at ground zero, my daughter was driving it and it basically died of electrical shutdown as the battery drained while it was being driven.

Its back at the shop, not sure I trust these guys though. Help?

Eddie :mad:
 

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hi there eddie. Its seems that the problem is with the dealer. Because if it was your alternators going bad, then a replacement could have fixed it.. But in your case, the guys at the shop seem to be unsure of what is the real problem with your car. I guess you should go to another car shop and get their second opinion. Maybe they know better..
 

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:( This can be a be problem since if it cuts battery OFFthen it also causes modules like engine management to drain what was in memory such as the average for fuel trims and also cause all internal EPA smog tests to be defaulted back to "non complete" state which means the car would fail smog tests if taken in before all the tests completed which could take days.
Also things like seats, etc with memory settings would be lost and todays cars have their own networks where they have to send state of health frames so if a module was cut off by power then false error codes would trip. further detail please visit OEM auto parts
 

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Hi - Has this alternator / battery issue been resolved? My 2003 Jetta VR6 have had 2 aftermarket rebuilt alternator in this car and I am going work on installing a newly rebuilt Bosch alternator. I think I am done with an aftermarket alternator. I am too didn't trust the shop since they claimed (2nd time around) that they couldn't duplicate the intermitten charging issue over along weekend that they had the car.

So, I am going to do it myself with the fresh rebuilt Bosch alternator from a real locally alternator shop.

Jay
 

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alternator problem

Make sure you do a voltage drop from both battery positve to alt and from ground. I have seen a lot of problems with the cables draining the battery. Sometimes the cables are the problem. Many techs only perform a volatge test from the battery. That could lead to misdiagnosis.
 

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Monkeywrench - Thanks for your response. How do you go about checking the voltage drop with the positive battery cable to the alternator? All I did was to check the voltage before and after the motor started. What other tools will I need it besides, the voltage meter?

Please help!

Thanks,

Jay
 

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voltage drop

put meter on V. checking ground wire- put one lead to negative battery cable and the other to the case of alternator. whatever reading you get is how much voltage you are losing through that side of circuit. Checking power side of alternator-one lead to positive battery and the other to the power wire on back of alternator(the large one that has a nut on it) An acceptable voltage drop on the ground side is .3 volts. For the positive I would use .2v
Be sure to take readings when vehicle is cold and when warm. Sometimes the you will see an increase as vehicle gets warmer. Hope this helps
 

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One last question. Would I do this while the engine running or off?

Thank you so much for taken the time to educate me and others on this forum.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Final resolution

Hey guys probably should have posted the final solution long ago. The solution was a zero dollar 20 min fix.

The ground cable bolt to the engine that sits under the battery tray had come loose creating inconsistent grounding. Tightened the bolt and whalla! All was good and all the other crap was for not. The tech should have caught this. I was pissed!!!!

Eddie

And then my daughter totaled the car a few weeks later for good measure!
 
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