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Old 11-27-2018, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit Michigan
2,886 posts, read 755,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kluch View Post
I'm taking the van to a shop in about an hour and they're going to diagnose and see if something is up with the alternator (or elsewhere). Once that mystery is solved I'll jump the VW and see how that goes.

Now you’re talking buy the time you do what others on here are say the problem could be fixed already. If you’re not a mechanic and don’t know what you’re doing don’t guess just take it in like your doing. I’ve seen people spend so much money on different parts and equipment just to not fix the problem and end up taking it in anyway after spending all that money for parts that they didn’t need.
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Old 11-27-2018, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,540 posts, read 1,201,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easy62 View Post
Now youíre talking buy the time you do what others on here are say the problem could be fixed already. If youíre not a mechanic and donít know what youíre doing donít guess just take it in like your doing. Iíve seen people spend so much money on different parts and equipment just to not fix the problem and end up taking it in anyway after spending all that money for parts that they didnít need.
Battery and charging problems are, even on modern cars, about one step above paint scratches in difficulty to diagnose and repair. The Jetta needs a battery. The van needs an alternator output check and something between a tightened belt and a new alternator. Shrieking and waving your hands is not helpful.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:10 PM
 
1,069 posts, read 350,563 times
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"Is that possible?"

yes.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Sarasota FL
6,575 posts, read 8,705,056 times
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When the dash 'bat' light comes on it could be a broken belt, a loose belt, bad voltage regulator [hardly ever is it the alternator] But since the voltage regulator is in the alternator and can't be replaced, the alternator/voltage regulator has to be replaced as one.
When your car gets a battery boost, it's not getting it from the other alternator, it's getting it from the other battery.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Elgin, IL
592 posts, read 421,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easy62 View Post
Now youíre talking buy the time you do what others on here are say the problem could be fixed already. If youíre not a mechanic and donít know what youíre doing donít guess just take it in like your doing. Iíve seen people spend so much money on different parts and equipment just to not fix the problem and end up taking it in anyway after spending all that money for parts that they didnít need.
lol it was a free check that took 10 minutes. Revealed alternator is working fine but the van battery is only 2/3rds charged which means it's slowly dying, though it's good enough to start it and do the daily functions (for now).

Still need to jump the Jetta, will try that at some point tomorrow hopefully (if time allows).
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:02 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,212 posts, read 1,378,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
If the van's alternator is not charging the battery, jumping the Jetta will drain it noticeably, yes.

A battery charger might be a good investment. A good "jump box" even more so. One or the other will get you through this situation and be a nice reserve to have on hand for next time.

Batteries often fail "suddenly" due to temp changes or a collapsed cell. My rule, hard-learned, is that once a battery over a few years old fails once, replace it. Trying to ignore it or pretend it was a one-time thing will just lead to more strandings, in places less convenient than your driveway.
I agree. I don't waste time with batteries. If it's 5+ years old and there's any hint of a problem, I replace the battery first. Then if there's still a problem, I'll look into it further and just consider the new battery to be good maintenance. 95% of the time it's just a bad battery or crusty cables.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
7,162 posts, read 5,325,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kluch View Post
School me on this. Is it possible to jump start a car with cables using a different vehicle who's alternator (possibly) isn't working as well as it should. Situation. My daily driver (a 2006 jetta) wouldn't start this morning, the starter was clicking but no engine turnover, not even a little. It started fine yesterday and ran for over 30 minutes no problem. It was real cold last night though (in the 20s) and I wonder if this somehow caused the battery to drain...?
Anyways, had to drive our van to work. Shortly after it started the battery light on the van then came on (and then off and then on again, and then off again) but currently remains off. I stopped by advanced auto to have them check the battery. The vans battery is good based on their reading but is low on charge (though I have had no issues starting the van). So my guess is the alternator might be going which stinks since it's probably toast on my Jetta daily driver too.
I want to jump the jetta tonight when I get home but I fear I'll drain the Vans battery in the process. Is that possible?
How old are the batteries in question? You're probably right about the alternator in the van. I'm not so sure the Jetta. When a battery is on its way out, the first cold snap will let you know.
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Old 11-28-2018, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Watervliet, NY
3,725 posts, read 1,248,199 times
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Here's an idea, how about replacing the battery and/or the alternator? Problem solved.

Seriously, winter is coming soon. It's idiotic to let these things go. Car Winterization 101. I made sure to get a load test on the battery on my 2011 Focus (bought last April) to make sure I had better than a 7 year old battery under the hood. The battery is at 75%, so it is fairly new.
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Old 11-28-2018, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Happyville, North Carolina
2,494 posts, read 2,060,165 times
Reputation: 3654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
If the van's alternator is not charging the battery, jumping the Jetta will drain it noticeably, yes.

A battery charger might be a good investment. A good "jump box" even more so. One or the other will get you through this situation and be a nice reserve to have on hand for next time.

Batteries often fail "suddenly" due to temp changes or a collapsed cell. My rule, hard-learned, is that once a battery over a few years old fails once, replace it. Trying to ignore it or pretend it was a one-time thing will just lead to more strandings, in places less convenient than your driveway.


I also learned this decades ago. And dont be cheap when purchasing a new one. To be honest. They arent that expensive compared to the headaches they can cause when buying a cheap battery.
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,483 posts, read 43,043,899 times
Reputation: 11645
Quote:
Originally Posted by turkey-head View Post
I agree. I don't waste time with batteries. If it's 5+ years old and there's any hint of a problem, I replace the battery first. Then if there's still a problem, I'll look into it further and just consider the new battery to be good maintenance. 95% of the time it's just a bad battery or crusty cables.

Good point. Particularly, suspect the connection where the main ground attaches to the engine or transmission. This is a copper to iron/steel connection and so it is subject to some galvanic corrosion, and it can be in a place where oil can get soaked into it, and/or heat/cool cycles can make it loose over time.



Very good "low hanging fruit" type of check, a pro may or may not look at it because there is no money to be made cleaning and tightening connections.


Of course if the battery terminals are "furry" - as I see occasionally on a "non-car-guy" rig - clean that crap up, that could be most/all of your problem.


The partially charged battery may just be from making short trips, mostly at night, at low speeds, in winter - this maximizes the discharge for cold cranking, and minimizes the duration and amps of recharge. I had this going on with an old air-cooled Bug, which has a generator. Battery was weak, but nothing wrong with the car - had to remember to "take the long way home" at least a couple of times per week - an alternative would be to apply a trickle charger like a Battery Tender, although, if you are not fully charging your battery, you are not getting your oil up to proper temperatures either. Short trips in cold weather are bad ju-ju, period.
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