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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2k4 that I bough new. Almost as soon as I brought it home it had problems with the battery going dead if it was not started for a few days (4 or 5). I took it into the dealer and they could find nothing wrong. They charged the battery and two weeks later it was dead again. This time they replaced the battery.

This week, it died again (now about 10K on the car). It's consistent. If you don't start it for 4 or 5 days then battery is dead. I just dropped it off again -- after a jump -- at the dealer for them to look at again and this time I was told it was "normal" for this to happen!!?! I was told by the service rep that if you lock the car with the remote this will happen. He said that that I have to lock the car with the key (i.e. the key in the door) to put the car to "sleep". I was dumbstruck. I told him that I could not believe that this is true... that it was normal for the battery to be dead in a few days if the car was not "put to sleep". What kind of non-sense is that??

Has anyone hear of this before?? Sound to me like they just don't want to deal with this reoccurring issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The dealer said they checked and could not find anything. And since this has been an ongoing issue, I have been very very careful to make sure I don't leave the lights, etc. (though not sure how you could. I have never heard a more "insistent" chime in my life if you turn the car off with the lights still on).
 

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I'm not an expert on the subject but that doesn't seem to make any sense... I had my b5.5 parked at dealer parking lot for almost two weeks shortly delivery because of power steering leak :)cry:) but it didn't do any harm to the car's battery...

I would take the car to another dealer for second opinion...
 

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Ours didn't die until 3 years later. A week before I would intermittently get 3 chimes whenever I started up the car, and wondered what that warning chime was for...now we know!

/karl
 

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Did they check the trunk light? With the trunk lid closed, fold down the rear seat and see if the trunk light is on. If there is a short in the trunk switch, it may be draining your battery all the time.
 

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The dealer is messing with you. They probably didn't check anything. Swapping out the battery was just their way of making you go away. Someone needs to do a charging current test and if you pass that, you need them to check the power off current draw. This dealer doesn't seem interested in actually doing any real work on your car. Go to a different one if you can. BTW, they did more work in coming up with that bull explanation than they did in troubleshooting your ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yah, it's just about the craziest thing anyone has said to me to straight face. I asked him if they put this "feature" in there new brochures.

The long and the short is that I left it at the dealer and told them I was not going to pick it back up until they could explain the problem to me. (I live downtown and don't need it as a daily ride). I might call VoA too and see what they say.

As a side note, this is not the first time a dealer has told me the craziest thing with out blinking an eye. I was on a long road trip (about 900 miles -- DC to MI) and the far from home. The car started to miss-fire and the "Engine" light came on (this car has been in the shop *a lot* for a car the just rolled over 10K). I called the closest dealer and they had the grapes to tell me that I could drive it "for six months" like that with no problem. Just to drive it back to DC.. mind you I was in Michigan. Wow. I hung up and called VoA. To their credit, they told told that was total BS and they would "file a formal complaint" against the dealer (since if I did drive it 900 miles like that I could very well void the warranty). VoA has it towed and looked it a different dealer about 45 miles away.
 

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Escalate or go away.

Demand to talk to the service manager. If that doesn't work, and if you're still in the DC area, you have quite a few other service choices. Whoever gave you tha "normal" line was lying plain and simple.
 

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My battery lasted 5 years and ~93K miles. Last winter it was as low as -28*F. Your dealer is an idiot. :crazy:

Go the the owner of the dealership and the regional manager. If that doesn't work go to another dealer or start writing letters to VW.

You shouldn't get this kind of runaround.
 

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"Normal" should be easy to prove or not, it is very easy to get a parasitic drain voltage reading from a vehicle with only a multimeter. Ask the dealer for the "normal" operating range and then check it for yourself.

Remove the negative battery terminal.

Measure the voltage passing between the disconnected cable and the negative post of the battery. Place your + probe on the battery, the - probe on the cable. Note the voltage and go ask VW, or someone here probably knows.

BE CAREFUL, start your meter at a high voltage and work down or you can "pop" your meter.

Or just go slap around your service dept.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Guess i need to dig out my multi-meter. I bought a new car specifically so I would not have to do this kind of crap. Not much fun doing your own car maintenance on a city street (no parking space -- street parking).... maybe I will just start diagnosing it myself in the dealers lot! :D
 

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Dealers are something else...

Something has to be draining your battery or the dealer wanted you to go away and never really replaced the battery in the first place, which could mean a bad battery (it happens).

Im at 99k miles on my 98 B5 and still using the factory battery.
Works just fine though our cold winters (i'm an hour north of nyc)
 

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I had problems too with my 2004 battery, they had to replace it. More details in my thread if you care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, so the plot thickens a bit. Just got off the phone with the the dealer. They said:

1) Battery checked out / fully charged.
2) No excessive draw running or off.
3) Charging system OK.

Here is the odd thing. This AM, when I jumped it, the car was so dead that the clock/trip etc, was reset. The dealer claims that the battery was fully charged when they tested it. There is no way... it's only 5 miles to the dealer. He (the dealer) admitted that (a) they are stumped and (b) there is no way the battery could be fully charged from completely dead in 10 or 15 min/ 5 miles.

I did not think much of it at the time, but this AM when I tried to jump, it would not jump on the first few tries... nothing... no lights etc. I had to move the neg jump lead from the (-) terminal to the alternator bracket and still go nothing. Then back to the (-) terminal. Then it jumped. I would not be spending so much time thinking about this normally, the the dealer is stumped and I am starting to question my sanity. Maybe there is some sort of intermittent ground fault?? But why would that not show when driving??

We agreed that next time it happens that I will tow it in so they can look at it before I jump it. Crazy.
 

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Your dealer is useless. If those three points checked out, you would not have a dead battery.

It is possible for a battery to be so drained that it won't jump right away. All of the jump current is sucked up by the battery (to put it simply) until it gets a surface charge back and builds up some resistance. At that point, you will have the power to start the car with the jump. Next time, leave the jumpers on for about 3 minutes before you even try to crank.

I don't know why you are having the problem exactly, but I do know that it is a problem that responds to logical troubleshooting. It's just astounding that your dealer can't fix this. Seriously, stop wasting your time with this outfit and find another place.
 

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Good luck, if that doesn't work, the next time you go in, tell them bad checks are normal too...j/k... :crazy:
 

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4-5 days without a start draining the battery is bull. I have left my car for over 2 weeks without a start and in fact our Jetta was sitting for more than 3 weeks in the cold winter and it started right up.
 
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