Question about 1999 Volkswagen Passat

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Fan continues to run/Battery goes dead

After car is turned off, it sounds like an electric motor or fan continues to run for several minutes. Any idea what this is?

Also, the battery goes dead. We're wondering if the two are related.

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  • Anonymous Feb 09, 2009

    I am having the same problem on my 99 Passat but its not the cooling fan that is running it is a fan or vacuum pump that pulls air from the top of the air cleaner box, when you put your hand on top of the tube it acts like a vacuum cleaner



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Hi Scott,
The electric fan should run, for a few minutes or more depending on how hot the cooling system is. ( normal )
I would suspect that the problem is the battery, Or the terminals are corroded or loose. Have it checked under load, Any auto parts store will do it for free.
Heat and vibration are the most common cause of battery failure.
Unless you are constantly draining it all the way down, with a car stereo. or some other voltage drain.
The average lifetime of a battery is actually about two or three years, Less in hot climates.
Good luck and Keep those Jumper Cables handy till you get it diagnosed.
Regards paul

Posted on Jun 13, 2008

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This is not a rare problem. usually it is resulted from a high temperature of water. so, when the water reaches high temperature it needs a cool and thats why fan automaticaly turnes on, nonetheless car is turned off or not. and when the temperature of water decreases (after several minutes) fan automaticaly turns off. I think you have to find the reason in the water sistem. One of the frequent reason of high temperature of water is when radiator spills water after wich water temperature increases. or, in easy event, radiator needs little water to add.

I hope my comment will help you to solve your problem

Posted on Mar 27, 2009

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On many vehicles the electric fan is designed to run for a short time after switch off this is dependant on temperature of the engine. items to check are as follows is the engine overheating ? if this is the case the fan will run more often in slow moving traffic.if the engine is not getting above normal and there is no loss of water ok. check the fan switch and relay . if the fan runs for a long time after switch off it is usuallly the relay that has stuck, disconnect to check if the fan runs for a long time it will flatten your battery but it wont flatten your battery in five minutes unless your battery is dodgy anyway. hope this helps

Posted on Mar 27, 2009

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In some designs, this is normal as it is intended for the radiator/cooling fan to have some sort of delay before switching off (even with the vehicle already switched off). On the battery issue, fan switch off delay of course would draw power from the battery. However, this has been taken into account when the electrical system was designed and expects the battery to be able to provide the fan power and still be able to start the car eventually. If the battery goes flat, it could only mean two (2) things:
1. the battery is nearing end of life and therefore would require replacement;
2. the charging system is not doing its job of fully charging the battery. The charging system involves the alternator and the regulator.

Of course, it would also help to check for possible loose wiring, connectors and others of the kind. It could not also be discounted that some other electrical devices of the car contributes to its depletion (with the engine off). If even with a new battery the problem persist, your best bet would be to seek the services of a qualified professional as it would be necessary to trace your electrical wiring/devices and determine which is the culprit (charging or consumers).

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Jun 13, 2008

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