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Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old March 16th, 2017, 19:17   #91
romad
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Order placed this evening.
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Old March 23rd, 2017, 08:40   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romad View Post
Weird, I just measured my starter cable and it is about 14.5" - 15"
I suppose it doesn't matter as long as it's long enough to reach, but not so long that it's getting in the way.
I think he's using braided cabled now instead of solid, so bending it into shape shouldn't be overly difficult.

My in-laws are back about the 10th of April, so I still have a bit of waiting to do.


Hey, (this is a general question to all)...
Does anyone know why disconnecting the battery resolves the odd electrical issues for a while.
You would think that if there was a bad ground that the problem would be constant. But instead, disconnecting the battery fixes the symptoms for a while. Mine start to come back about every two weeks now.
...I'm really looking forward to getting the new cables.
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Old March 23rd, 2017, 09:51   #93
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I suppose it doesn't matter as long as it's long enough to reach, but not so long that it's getting in the way.
I think he's using braided cabled now instead of solid, so bending it into shape shouldn't be overly difficult.

My in-laws are back about the 10th of April, so I still have a bit of waiting to do.


Hey, (this is a general question to all)...
Does anyone know why disconnecting the battery resolves the odd electrical issues for a while.
You would think that if there was a bad ground that the problem would be constant. But instead, disconnecting the battery fixes the symptoms for a while. Mine start to come back about every two weeks now.
...I'm really looking forward to getting the new cables.
I contacted Gary and told him so he added the 15" option to the TDI package. Many posts in this thread said they had found the 19" too long and hard to put in position.

Disconnecting the battery clears all volatile memory so if there is a bad setting there it disappears and everything is hunky-dory when the battery is reconnected. Have you run a VCDS scan when you are having the problem?
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Old March 24th, 2017, 09:32   #94
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Mine was just under 19" so it should hopefully be okay.

I wouldn't think that clearing the volatile memory would resolve the electrical issues.
eg. When the issue is happening, if you brake, turn on the signals, open or close the door locks, play with the windows, turn the seat heater on or off, etc. Any lights that are on dim for a second. This would seem to be outside of the ECU or CCMs influence. ...right?

The ECU shows different issues from time to time for this problem.
Terminal 30 issue
ABS issue
Intermittent electrical faults.
(And I've looked into all of those over the years, doing a lot of work that probably didn't need to be done.)

It all depends on how long I let the problem continue. The problem gets worse over time.
Disconnecting the battery solves it....for a while. If I clear the codes, nothing new gets logged until the problems starts coming back.


After disconnecting the battery, the problem is reset, and everything is back to 100%. But after about 2 weeks the problem starts to show up again, and gradually gets worse over time. The lights dimming a bit when any new load is put on is the first sign. Maybe the radio has some extra static. After a few more days a few minutes after first driving the car in the morning there might be a major dip in the power for a second (lights almost going out not just dimming) followed immediately by three beeps. (This is usually when I get the ABS error) After another week or two I might start having issues locking or unlocking the doors. etc etc.
But I disconnect the battery, and all the problems are totally gone. Like the grounding issue doesn't exist.
Rinse and repeat.

It's totally a grounding issue. And these symptoms and the temporary fix are common among different brands of vehicles. I just don't understand why disconnecting the battery seems to fix it for a while. You would think that as long as the grounding issue exists that the problems would be constant.

I'm just curious why this is.


PS: When I replace those cables, I'll be giving that ground under the windshield another look too. (It's been years since I last had a go at that one. I'll be giving it some extra TLC this time to help protect it going forward.)
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Old March 24th, 2017, 10:33   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
Mine was just under 19" so it should hopefully be okay.

I wouldn't think that clearing the volatile memory would resolve the electrical issues.
eg. When the issue is happening, if you brake, turn on the signals, open or close the door locks, play with the windows, turn the seat heater on or off, etc. Any lights that are on dim for a second. This would seem to be outside of the ECU or CCMs influence. ...right?

The ECU shows different issues from time to time for this problem.
Terminal 30 issue
ABS issue
Intermittent electrical faults.
(And I've looked into all of those over the years, doing a lot of work that probably didn't need to be done.)

It all depends on how long I let the problem continue. The problem gets worse over time.
Disconnecting the battery solves it....for a while. If I clear the codes, nothing new gets logged until the problems starts coming back.


After disconnecting the battery, the problem is reset, and everything is back to 100%. But after about 2 weeks the problem starts to show up again, and gradually gets worse over time. The lights dimming a bit when any new load is put on is the first sign. Maybe the radio has some extra static. After a few more days a few minutes after first driving the car in the morning there might be a major dip in the power for a second (lights almost going out not just dimming) followed immediately by three beeps. (This is usually when I get the ABS error) After another week or two I might start having issues locking or unlocking the doors. etc etc.
But I disconnect the battery, and all the problems are totally gone. Like the grounding issue doesn't exist.
Rinse and repeat.

It's totally a grounding issue. And these symptoms and the temporary fix are common among different brands of vehicles. I just don't understand why disconnecting the battery seems to fix it for a while. You would think that as long as the grounding issue exists that the problems would be constant.

I'm just curious why this is.


PS: When I replace those cables, I'll be giving that ground under the windshield another look too. (It's been years since I last had a go at that one. I'll be giving it some extra TLC this time to help protect it going forward.)
But if you've already checked the ground connections, perhaps there is a broken wire inside a wire loom?

To make sure that it isn't the battery terminal/cable connection, use a terminal brush to get both the lead terminal and cable connector inside nice and shiny. Next apply a good coat of dielectric grease to the terminal and connector, then make sure to tighten the connector very tight on the terminal. If the problem was terminal/cable corrosion, the fault should NOT return. Also it is a good idea to do the positive connection at the same time.

At the various chassis grounds besides cleaning both connector and ground points to bare metal, use a wire bush on the bolt threads, then use dielectric grease on them along with the connector (top & bottom).
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Old March 24th, 2017, 14:28   #96
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Also, you might check your alternator output for spikes, if the new battery cables don't fix the issues.

I agree with cleaning the grounds, both under the battery tray (all 3 or 4) and in the windshield plenum, where the grounds for the ECU are located.
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Old March 27th, 2017, 07:11   #97
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Yep, the alternator is new, and the battery is also fairly new. The both terminals are and have always been very clean and tight.

I'm pretty sure that the problem is in the main cables. Which will be replaced as soon as I receive the new ones.

For the heck of it I rechecked the grounds under the windshield this weekend. Been a few years since I was last in there.
The dam windshield wipers were a PITA to remove...were stuck on there but good. I was worried that I'd break them, but I got them off.
I cleaned the cabin filter too....and found a screwdriver in there next to it...not one of mine.

I put dielectric grease on most electrical connections that I work on. Oddly the ground didn't have any on it, although I'm sure that I cleaned that one a few years back. There was a bit of corrosion on one of the wires. I cleaned them all, put it back together, painted it, and put grease over that.
I also checked the connections on the ECU. Still as clean as ever. Although the locking mechanism of one the connections wasn't snapped on all the way. I found that some of that cloth-like insulation wrapping that they wrap the bundles of wires with was in the way. Probably wasn't a problem, but all good now.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 14:25   #98
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I picked up the cables from the in-laws last weekend. And started doing the work today.
Taking my time to clean everything up good. I'm using a dremel with various wire polishing brushes to clean the connections, and Isopropyl alcohol too.

Just taking a break for some food.

Oh, the instructions still mention connecting the 8 gauge ground cable to a spot on the cylinder head. Except there is no 8 gauge ground cable included in the TDI cable set. Apparently this is included with kits for cars with spark plugs, which the TDIs don't use. So not a problem. But just FYI if anyone gets these cables and is wondering what that instruction is talking about.
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Old April 9th, 2017, 13:47   #99
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So the new cables are now in the car.

I cleaned and maintained the three ground connections under the battery, the battery terminals, the fuse box connections (the box on top of the battery), and anywhere the cables connected.

As others have mentioned the car starts really fast now. It always did start really well, but now it starts the "instant" that the key is turned. The radio sounds better too.

Hopefully this resolves that reoccurring grounding issue.

I also cleared the ECU codes. Had one for an ABS electrical issue...likely related to the ground issues, and one for the Airbag that was related to my having the seats out the other week for reupholstering.

The only issues with installing the new cables were:

There is a little plastic cover that covers the starter cable connection on the starter, that no longer fits 100%. I used some silicon on it to help hold it on. Just nice to keep that connection clean if I can.

The negative connection at the battery was a bit of a pain to position so it connects, but it wasn't too bad.

I'm feeling pretty good about this upgrade.


Edit: First time out since upgrading the cables this morning on the way to work. I noticed that the headlights seem brighter than usual. I'm starting to think that this upgrade is a must have for all MKIV owners.
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Last edited by That Guy; April 10th, 2017 at 09:38.
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 16:42   #100
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It's been over 2 months and no more problems. Not even a hint of one. Normally the problem would have had it come back by now.

Happy times
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