Question about 2005 Volkswagen Jetta

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I have a 2005 Jetta Tdi and both of my headlights and tail lights went out at the same time. I replaced one bulb in the tail light and all of them began working again, for about a week. Then I replaced the head lights because they stopped working again. This lasted for about 2 weeks, now all of them are out again. I have checked fuses and they are okay. Any suggestions?

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Ljohnston: I reviewed all the technical service bulletins for the two Jetta turbo diesel's offered for that year and neither had listed any problems answering your description. I can offer you some suggestions as to where to start looking based on past experience in general on many makes and model cars I have worked on.
1st, check the charging system to make sure it is not over charging. Excessive voltage will burn the bulbs out fairly fast.
2nd. German cars were especially bad about ground problems. Most German cars including yours, use BROWN wires for the ground circuits.Additionally the actual tailight fixtures in which the bulbs fit in on may of the German cars we pretty poorly designed leading to connection problems. People sometimes thinking a bulb was out would replace it and even though the replacement bulb worked, it was actually the act of moving the fixture that made the light bulb work. Problem being bad grounds. Some of the grounds even lead to the connections getting hot and in certain situations actually melted the fixtures..
To clean the connections, you can get steel wool, fine sand paper or scotch brite. Scuff the mating surfaces and reconnect them.
As for the main ground connections I would look at, here are their locations: Under the battery tray, the main ground cable. Keep in mind, thee alternator looks at the demand from the electrical system and the state of charge the battery is in. Electricity doesn't travel through the wires, it travels around the outer surfaces of the wire! Corrosion on cables take place on the outsides of wires. Do the math. If the alternator has poor connections or a floating ground, you can get voltage spikes which could potentially blow bulbs and other components.
you have a few grounds located near and on the the fire wall. One is located on the left apron jest behind the shock tower. You have a ground inside the car down near the left lower pillar just near the front door opening. Inside the trunk, look to the left of the left trunk hinge on the inner structure. There are other grounds in the system, but these would be the primary ones I woulc be going after based on the references I have. Another thing which is food for thought: There are bulbs being sold which are "CHEAPLY" made in China and other Asian countries. There are good quality ones made by the Japanese, Germans, other European countries and the good "OLE" USA!
BUY QUALITY! The cheap ones are quite prone to vibration failure and also have much shorter life spans.
I hope I might have helped some in your quest to solve your problem. Let me know hope you make out. If you need more input, I'll be happy to give you more.

Posted on Apr 09, 2009

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