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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old March 24th, 2020, 14:00   #1
mandrake slink
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Default Help chasing electrical parasite

So, with all this extra time not driving anywhere lately and a 2003 Jetta just sitting parked, the electrical parasites drained my battery dead within a week or so. I got it all charged back up and began testing today.



When I connect the meter in-line from battery to the (-) post, after 10-15 seconds it reads 400 mA constant. When I disconnect the interior relay on the battery fuse box. there is no current draw.



Using the TSB 27 08 04, moving to the interior fuse box and with the door open, but latch closed (2 clicks) and doors locked by remote, I am reading that FUSE 14 has 2.3mV drop. This is the only interior fuse that shows any voltage reading across the fuses. The TSB matrix diagram I interpret as meaning 327mA current draw. This fuse 14 is interior lights, central locking system. I keep my interior lights switch in the middle "off" setting, and they usually don't come on at all.



My question is, Now What?!? I assume these results mean that some light somewhere is shorting out? Do I just pull them all out one-by-one until the V drop goes away? Better plan or way to run this troubleshoot? Any comments or links are appreciated. Thanks in advance. Plenty of time to finally figure this out over here...
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Old March 24th, 2020, 14:13   #2
BobnOH
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I would check as much connects and wires on that circuit. Just pulling bulbs won't find a short, but it will find any that are turned on w/burned out bulb, which you may have already ruled out.
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Old March 24th, 2020, 14:26   #3
WildChild80
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Are you having issues with switches in your door locks?

Every now and then I'd see one of my map lights barely lit, sometimes I would have to start the car and shut it back down to cure it, cycling the key didn't do anything usually.

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Old March 24th, 2020, 14:50   #4
BobnOH
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Yes, I would think Central Locking is a likely suspect. IDK enough about it, but if you can disconnect any of that, might give a clue.
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Old March 24th, 2020, 14:58   #5
mandrake slink
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Glovebox light was off when i opened it. I also worked on the glovebox not long ago. Disconnected the light after taking box out and the V drop went away. Battery (-) terminal in-line detection with 10A setting shows 10mA after 10-15 seconds. Thanks, guys.



New question though. I don't detect any voltage in the connector to the glovebox light, car locked or not?! Is the connector shorted then? Can you buy new ones if I cut this one off to test the wires directly? I tried sticking the voltmeter in the back of the connector where you can see some metal on the wires as they go in the plastic, but no 12v detection? its like it died further upstream or something?


EDIT: There is weird locking behavior. I was just sitting there and car seemed twice to just lock on its own. Keys were in my pocket, but I don't think I pushed it accidentally.
EDIT 2: Yeah, car is just locking itself after 15-30 seconds now. Hmmmm.... now what? Is this a CPU reset of a feature from being dead battery long time?
EDIT 3: It is exactly 30 seconds after unlocking, the car locks itself.

Last edited by mandrake slink; March 24th, 2020 at 15:09.
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Old March 24th, 2020, 15:33   #6
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Are you opening the door before it locks back? That is a safety feature if the door isn't opened. My old Beetle would do the same thing with or without opening the door. The computer doesn't see that the driver's door has been opened. If I opened the passenger door everything would play nicely. Check that the door switch is reading that the door is opening. I think you can check that with VagCom. My wife's vert had a issue like that but couldn't find the problem even after changing the door lock unit. It wasn't until the window motor went out in the passenger door and found water intrusion in the computer card in the door motor. New motor and everything started working like magic.
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Old March 24th, 2020, 15:35   #7
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If the computer/module doesn't detect that you've opened the door, it will automatically lock it, I guess as a theft deterrent. This is usually a bad switch in the door module (look up the $3 door fix). However, since you also have a drain, it may be something else wrong with the module or wiring. Alternatively, you have 2 problems.
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Old March 24th, 2020, 15:37   #8
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EDIT 3: It is exactly 30 seconds after unlocking, the car locks itself.

That's normal, unless you open a door before the 30 is up.
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Old March 24th, 2020, 16:01   #9
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You'll save yourself a ton of effort if you track down the official VW Technical Service Bulletin in my sig and narrow down the parasitic drain step-by-step with your multimeter.

The "ammeter in series with the battery" method is challenged at best on CANBUS cars with sleeping convenience modules.

EDIT: missed the middle where you were using the TSB... good on ya!
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VW's TSB for scientifically tracking down parasitic current drains

Last edited by Vince Waldon; March 26th, 2020 at 13:13.
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Old March 26th, 2020, 09:22   #10
wonneber
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Turning the ignition on and off will also prevent the re-lock.

If the driver door switch that indicates open is bad that's what causes the re-lock.
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Old March 26th, 2020, 12:38   #11
Vince Waldon
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Another take on the TSB:

https://youtu.be/lRcj1fQcWwU


EDIT: missed the middle where you were using the TSB... good on ya!
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Canadian Grizzly's excellent low-power/limp mode troubleshooting guide
VW's TSB for scientifically tracking down parasitic current drains

Last edited by Vince Waldon; March 26th, 2020 at 13:39.
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Old March 26th, 2020, 13:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonneber View Post
Turning the ignition on and off will also prevent the re-lock.

If the driver door switch that indicates open is bad that's what causes the re-lock.
Or opening a door that doesn't have the door lock module problem. My driver rear door doesn't so I end up opening that.
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Old March 26th, 2020, 13:02   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandrake slink View Post
So, with all this extra time not driving anywhere lately and a 2003 Jetta just sitting parked, the electrical parasites drained my battery dead within a week or so. I got it all charged back up and began testing today.



When I connect the meter in-line from battery to the (-) post, after 10-15 seconds it reads 400 mA constant. When I disconnect the interior relay on the battery fuse box. there is no current draw.



Using the TSB 27 08 04, moving to the interior fuse box and with the door open, but latch closed (2 clicks) and doors locked by remote, I am reading that FUSE 14 has 2.3mV drop. This is the only interior fuse that shows any voltage reading across the fuses. The TSB matrix diagram I interpret as meaning 327mA current draw. This fuse 14 is interior lights, central locking system. I keep my interior lights switch in the middle "off" setting, and they usually don't come on at all.



My question is, Now What?!? I assume these results mean that some light somewhere is shorting out? Do I just pull them all out one-by-one until the V drop goes away? Better plan or way to run this troubleshoot? Any comments or links are appreciated. Thanks in advance. Plenty of time to finally figure this out over here...
Do you have an aftermarket radio?
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Blue tint aspherical tinted mirrors | Turn signal convenience | Euro Light Switch | Rear Fog Light | DrawTite Hitch | HIDs | 520 injectors | Engine Cover mod | Homelink visor
VCDS-HEX/CAN available Houston metro area.
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Old March 26th, 2020, 14:53   #14
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Here is an excellent video by a forum member on how to track down a parasitic drain. You really need to be looking at amperage draw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNTmrwiPe6g
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Blue tint aspherical tinted mirrors | Turn signal convenience | Euro Light Switch | Rear Fog Light | DrawTite Hitch | HIDs | 520 injectors | Engine Cover mod | Homelink visor
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Old March 26th, 2020, 17:19   #15
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Another direction is the radio amp. My son's Beetle has a problem with the Monsoon amplifier. If he doesn't pull the fuse to it, dead battery in no time.
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