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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

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 August 28th, 2008, 11:32   #1
mavapa
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Default Pulsing lights

All of the lights on my '01 Golf pulse while the engine is running - headlights, dash lights, dome light if it's on, everything. It's a fairly high frequency, maybe a couple or so pulses per second. It is most noticeable at idle or at low speeds. They do not pulse with the engine off. Could this be the voltage regulator, or what?
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Old August 28th, 2008, 12:03   #2
puter
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I would suspect the battery.

The battery would be used to smooth out the current, if it can't maintain a very good charge then you would see pulses from the alternator.

I'm a CE person tho, not a mechanic, so it's just a guess.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 12:45   #3
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My buddy that rebuilds alternators says it's probably the voltage regulator. Not sure on these if it's internal to the alternator or inside the ECU (many new cars are now this way).
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Old August 28th, 2008, 15:47   #4
2004STARWARSTDI
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Lightbulb pulsing lights

Take car to autozone or advanced auto parts. They will check charging system to include alternator, voltage regulator & battery for free. This will save you $$$ just replacing parts blindly. I once replace voltage regulator to find out the alternator was bad. Lost $$ on voltage regulator because they won't accept electrical items back!
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Old August 28th, 2008, 20:43   #5
VinW
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Default Pulsing lights

I've got something similar but it only happens when the car is cold and the gears (auto tranny) switch. The interior/exterior lights all dim and return to normal all the same time as the gears switch?? As soon as the car is warmed up problem gone?? Anyone got some answers on this one? Is it the same thing just not as far gone?

...Thanks in Advance
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Old August 29th, 2008, 09:01   #6
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VinW:

I have had the same problem on my 99 Beetle forever. It goes away as soon as the car gets up to running temperature. Car has 105K and has many electrical quirks.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 09:46   #7
mavapa
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I had been leaning towards the voltage regulator. 2004SWTDI, I think your suggestion is a good idea.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 13:56   #8
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I'd wait for it to get worse. Some alts just cause more flicker then others, IME.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 16:01   #9
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I wouldn't wait. You have a lot of expensive electronics in this vehicle that could be harmed by the rapid fluctuation of voltage and current. Could it be the clutch pulley on the alternator is slipping a little bit? I think the alternator should be thoroughly checked out.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 14:51   #10
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I looked into replacing the voltage regulator on mine when it started going south but it cost around $90 with a 90 day warranty and the entire alternator (rebuilt) with a lifetime warranty was $130. For the $40 difference I think I am just going to go ahead and do the entire alternator.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 17:27   #11
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You can replace the voltage regulator without taking the alternator off (which is a PITA).
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Old September 5th, 2008, 07:48   #12
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I just got my Jetta running. I have a similar issue. I would say that I get about 1.5 to 2 pulses a second. I've checked the voltages, and they fluctuate to 12.5 (off pulse) to 14.1 (on pulse). You can see the tach drop 100 RPM when the alternator loads, then it goes back up when the alt. unloads. I think I'm going to replace the voltage regulator and see what happens.

I know that you can replace the regulator without pulling the alt, but how on earth does the alt. come out? I got my car with a bad engine, and as I was doing the swap, I tried to pull the alt. in frame, and couldn't figure out how it comes out, so I left it in and swapped it on the stand before putting the new engine in.
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Old September 6th, 2008, 07:52   #13
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Can't say I've tried it, but here's a how to from the TDI101 'how to'
section:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?p=932019
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Old September 7th, 2008, 09:30   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinW
I've got something similar but it only happens when the car is cold and the gears (auto tranny) switch. The interior/exterior lights all dim and return to normal all the same time as the gears switch?? As soon as the car is warmed up problem gone?? Anyone got some answers on this one? Is it the same thing just not as far gone?

...Thanks in Advance

I forgot to mention a "click" noise from what seems to be under the dash around my right knee at the same time that the light dims and the gears shift?
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 04:23   #15
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i get the same pulse with click on my 99 golf, thought it was auto trans but did a 5speed conversion and still does it when rpms drop down at shifts. this proves its not only on auto trans cars. definately a relay on the fuse block. could this be the glow plug relay giving glow plugs a little heat when rpms drop??? can someone help us out
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