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    Exclamation Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    I have a 2003 VW Jetta GL 2.0 (early body model) with about 121,000 miles on it. Recently, I was not able to start the car up. I was able to get it jump started using a booster pack. I took it to a nearby auto parts store, where I was told that the alternator, starter, and battery were in good shape. The person at the auto parts store told me that there is something wrong with the electrical system in my car that is causing a drain on the battery. He suggested that it was a faulty module somewhere in the car. Roughly how much does it cost to fix something like that? I do not want to go to a dealership mechanic because they are ripoffs in uniforms (big surprise there). But I also don’t want to go to some shady mechanic who will overcharge me for the job. I don’t know enough about cars to do this type of thing myself. Can one of you guys help me out here? I want to have a ballpark estimate so that if I go to a few places I have an idea of what’s reasonable and what is fraudulent.

  2. #2
    Asshat Patrol WishingBig is on a distinguished road WishingBig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Well start off simple..
    Check your battery wires try tightening them up.
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    LIFETIME VIP billh1012 is on a distinguished road billh1012's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have a light or something staying on when it shouldn't be. I would look around in your car to see if there are any lights on when the car is off like the trunk or glovebox. Does your radio turn off after you remove the key or does it stay on? I have heard that issues like these can be a pain to find what's causing it.
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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    I had a problem just like this. Auto store said that all my stuff was running up to par as well. Then I hooked it up to a VAGCOM and found out the batter actually had a dead cell. So, I'd start by getting a new battery or finding a VAGCOM and seeing how many volts the car is running at. I think it needs 15 volts to start, if I'm wrong someone will correct me. hope u find the problem! Let us no any more results
    Now the drop is changin' colors like Sammy Sosa

  5. #5

    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Funny, same exact problem, same exact year car. Just had a new alternator put in a week and a half ago. Brand new battery a day before that. Car died yesterday and in the shop now. Now, I had a radio put in about a month ago. This radio could turn on without the key being in the ignition. I took out the radio fuse two days ago. Car still went dead yesterday.

    Any help?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Quote Originally Posted by JWishnok View Post
    Well start off simple..
    Check your battery wires try tightening them up.
    Just to be sure, I checked this morning to make sure the battery cables are nice and tight. They are hooked up correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by billh1012 View Post
    It sounds like you have a light or something staying on when it shouldn't be. I would look around in your car to see if there are any lights on when the car is off like the trunk or glovebox. Does your radio turn off after you remove the key or does it stay on? I have heard that issues like these can be a pain to find what's causing it.
    I will have to check out the thing with the lights. The radio does not stay on, but there have been a few times when I would turn the car off and I would hear something still running under the hood. One time when I opened the hood up to see what it was, I saw the fan in the front still spinning. Also, on other occasions the car alarm would randomly go off (even though were was nothing noticeable that could have set it off).

    Quote Originally Posted by pete6810 View Post
    I had a problem just like this. Auto store said that all my stuff was running up to par as well. Then I hooked it up to a VAGCOM and found out the batter actually had a dead cell. So, I'd start by getting a new battery or finding a VAGCOM and seeing how many volts the car is running at. I think it needs 15 volts to start, if I'm wrong someone will correct me. hope u find the problem! Let us no any more results
    Unfortunately, I don't think it's the battery in this case. When I got the car used, there was a new battery put in it that was drained after a few months. Then, I got the current battery which is in the car now and that is also finished. It's hard to believe that I got 2 bad batteries in a row. Does VAGCOM only test the battery? Or is it able to detect other things as well?

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    Senior Member Sosculero is on a distinguished road Sosculero's Avatar
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    Fan SHOULD be running after u shut off car. When its hot and shit off the car, it turn s on to cool it down a bit. That is normal. It lasts a few seconds or 2-4 mins
    2 bad batteries in a row doesn't phase ppl anymore. Ppl set standards at like 3 or 4 nowadays.
    Vagcom has a feature called auto scan and well it scans ur car from front to back. Everything. Lists ur modules and if any faults are found

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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Bad ground? Could b corroded, check the one connected to the frame
    Now the drop is changin' colors like Sammy Sosa

  9. #9

    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Quote Originally Posted by Sosculero View Post
    Fan SHOULD be running after u shut off car. When its hot and shit off the car, it turn s on to cool it down a bit. That is normal. It lasts a few seconds or 2-4 mins
    2 bad batteries in a row doesn't phase ppl anymore. Ppl set standards at like 3 or 4 nowadays.
    Vagcom has a feature called auto scan and well it scans ur car from front to back. Everything. Lists ur modules and if any faults are found

    I sent this thru the Intranet™
    If VAGCOM is that thorough then I will definitely ask for it when I try calling up shops tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by pete6810 View Post
    Bad ground? Could b corroded, check the one connected to the frame
    I looked at the grounds. Neither of them appear to be rusty. Is the one connected to the frame the positive end or negative end?

  10. #10
    lowness and dopeness Marc1987 is on a distinguished road Marc1987's Avatar
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    Grounds connected to frame is the back end. Not really negative or positive when referring to grounds.

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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc1987 View Post
    Grounds connected to frame is the back end. Not really negative or positive when referring to grounds.
    How do I find the ground? Do I have to remove my battery to get to it? What does it look like? Sorry if I'm asking a lot of really obvious things, I'm a noob and I don't know much about this stuff.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Anyone?

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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    yout battery grounds going to runn off your neg terminal to the frame just trace the neg cable and see where it leads, any aftermarket stuff? (subs, lights?) is your alarm oem or aftermarket? anything hooked into any cig lighter or power supply?
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    You have to take out the battery and tray, there is a picture for all the grounds, Google it. I don't have the diagram on my phonr

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    UPDATE: I'm not 100% sure, but I think I found out what caused the drain. When I used a battery booster pack to start up my Jetta last night, the door locks were opening and closing every few seconds. I drove the car around a bit so that the alternator would replenish the battery. The entire time when I was driving around the door locks were opening and closing every couple of seconds. What could be causing the problem with the locks? Is it a short somewhere in the car? Or is this an issue with the computer?

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    I know that a bad alternates can make your car act really funny.


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    *alternater. Damn autocorrect lol


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  18. #18

    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Quote Originally Posted by cadsbie View Post
    I know that a bad alternates can make your car act really funny.
    I already got the alternator, starter, and battery tested at an auto parts store and they told me all of those things work fine.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Eurotrash is on a distinguished road Eurotrash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Simple statement those who can wrench do those who can't sell parts. We charge 95.00 an hour to find current draw s usually doesn't take more then an hour no more then 2 Good luck

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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    BTW mark has a good point always check ground points probably not your problem. But should check anyways

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    Senior Member cadsbie is on a distinguished road cadsbie's Avatar
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    IMO you should prolly get the charging system checked somewhere else besides a parts store. Since parts stores have a very generic machine and most the people at them don't usually know what they are even looking at.


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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurotrash View Post
    Simple statement those who can wrench do those who can't sell parts. We charge 95.00 an hour to find current draw s usually doesn't take more then an hour no more then 2 Good luck
    From your experience working on stuff, is a faulty alternator the likely cause of causing the locks to open and close every few seconds? Or is it likely that the computer caused the locks to open/close, causing the drain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurotrash View Post
    BTW mark has a good point always check ground points probably not your problem. But should check anyways
    I'm going to check the grounds around noon today when I get a chance. Not sure exactly what I'm looking for (tried googling it, but didn't find any pics of it), but I'll take out the battery like someone suggested and see what I find.

    Quote Originally Posted by cadsbie View Post
    IMO you should prolly get the charging system checked somewhere else besides a parts store. Since parts stores have a very generic machine and most the people at them don't usually know what they are even looking at.
    I have an appointment schedule with a local independent shop this Thursday, so they will probably run a more advanced test. Ideally, what type of machine should I get the charging system checked with?

  23. #23
    Senior Member Eurotrash is on a distinguished road Eurotrash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    low voltage can cause really weird stuff to happen also an alterator with a bad diode allowing ac current through

  24. #24

    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    I took my car to a mechanic on the 7th and he examined it for 2 hours. Basically, he said there was a parasitic draw of over 300 MA. He was able to isolate the draw to the power supply circuit for the comfort system control module. He told me that he would have to finish the diagnosis next week because he had other appointments to tend to today. He would have to check if it's the comfort control system control module that's bad or some of the other stuff connected to that circuit. Any thoughts on this?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Eurotrash is on a distinguished road Eurotrash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    ive never replaced a comfort module doesnt mean its not bad but not likly probably something connected to it oh and to check for draw on vw u need to lock it so the car goes to sleep otherwise all computers stay awake

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    lowness and dopeness Marc1987 is on a distinguished road Marc1987's Avatar
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    It's under battery tray

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  27. #27
    Senior Member Eurotrash is on a distinguished road Eurotrash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Comfort module is inside car bad grounds don't typlically cause a current draw and the ones under the battery cause problems with ecm along with other modules and almost always car has driveability issues

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    lowness and dopeness Marc1987 is on a distinguished road Marc1987's Avatar
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    Oops was thinking fan control module lol

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  29. #29

    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurotrash View Post
    ive never replaced a comfort module doesnt mean its not bad but not likly probably something connected to it oh and to check for draw on vw u need to lock it so the car goes to sleep otherwise all computers stay awake
    How much does a new comfort control modules cost? How many hours of labor should it take for an experienced mechanic to install a comfort control module? Is VW the only one that makes them or are there afermarket comfort control modules available?

  30. #30
    Senior Member Eurotrash is on a distinguished road Eurotrash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical Problems Draining Battery???

    comfort module has to be flashed by dealer. most likily not the cause of your current draw. find someone good at vehical electronics or this will cost u way more then it should we usually charge 1 - 2 hours labor to find current draw any quilified tech should be able to find the location of the draw in this time

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