Question about 2001 Volkswagen Golf

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2002 golf . replaced battery 18 mounths ago now

2002 golf . replaced battery 18 months ago now back to not enough power to start every fews days need a jump . battery checked okay . what next ?

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You need to check if some accessory is drawing power when the car is not running.
About any inexpensive digital multimeter will have a 10 Amp unswitched range. You would need to detach the negative (ground) cable from the battery and put the meter in series with the leads plugged into it to access that range. - Do NOT turn on anything while so connected! It will fry the meter. Normally, there will be a very small amount of current flowing even with everything 'off.' This is normal as there are things still 'on' even though the car isn't running; the ECU will draw a tiny bit, your radio will too and any kind of clock that keeps time will also draw some current.
If you find anything over 1 ampere, you have a problem which must be found as this will drain any normal battery over a two-day period.
One item may have a failed part and cause this; your alternator. It has semiconductor parts in it (normally 6) called diodes and if one has been slightly damaged, it can draw current from the battery with the engine off and not light the warning light on the dashboard.
Good luck-

Posted on Sep 28, 2009

Testimonial: "thanks for the info. just had my son get the battery checked at another place and they found a bad cell.original place of purchase showed it was good"

  • Steve Allison
    Steve Allison Sep 28, 2009

    Forgot to note: I have had a name-brand battery fail in 10 months of installation without any problem caused by the vehicle; the battery was simply defective.
    Any auto parts store will have a tester which can determine if the battery is not performing as it should.


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Posted on Sep 28, 2009

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Battery is discharged

If she turns off the radio and the battery stays up, it is easy enough to fix. But I do not think enough power is used to completely discharge the battery overnight.

Intermittent shorts are very hard to find, so you really can not blame the repair facility for not being lucky enough to find the problem. It is really a hit or miss situation to catch the defect when it occasionally happens.

There are a few cheaper parts to guess with as causes. A bad ignition switch may not turn off when the key is in the off position. Relays for the ignition, fuel pump, or electric cooling fan may not release when the ignition is switched off. Rear defrosters will silently drain the battery.

What you are looking for is something which does not blow a fuse, yet uses enough current to kill the battery. Bad diodes in the Alternator can easily drain a battery, have the Alternator tested for Diode function.

Can't say how much power the Alarm system is suppose to use. It is one of the few systems which operates with the car turned off. Again, whether it can draw that much power in a short period of time is questionable.

You can get free wiring diagrams at after registering your car. They also provide Relay box diagrams.

You can safely use an Ohmmeter on the circuits when the battery is disconnected. The idea is that the positive and negative wire leads are suppose to be separate. If you find a positive wire that is letting the Ohmmeter ground to the negative side, you have found the short. The 2 charges do not mix in things that are turned off. It means that the positive wire is touching the frame somewhere or powering a lightbulb or electric device instead of breaking a fuse.

I hope my solution helps you. Since you paid someone to fix this and some States require at least 30 days for repair Warranties, take it back.

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The battery light usually comes on when the alternator is not putting out sufficient voltage equal to or above the battery voltage. Sometimes the alternator can be generating enough voltage to make the light go out but not enough current to recharge the battery properly especially when driving at night with lights etc on. Eventually the battery will not have enough charge left to start the engine. The most common cause of low output is worn brushes but your description tends to suggest that the electronic regulator inside the alternator has an intermittent fault. An auto electrician will be able to diagnose the problem fairly quickly and probably offer to fit an echange unit.

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