Broken Down Enroute


Active member
Mar 30, 2010
Enterprise, AL
2003 Jetta Wagon MT
It looks like I will not make it to TDIFest after all. My son and I were about halfway to Lexington with him driving the A4 wagon when we heard a horrible noise and the alternator light came on. I am retired USAF, and since it was Friday night on a holiday weekend the only hope I had for getting it fixed was the Redstone Arsenal Auto Craft center in Hunstville, AL. I had it towed to Redstone, stopping at a parts store for a serpentine belt. With the car on the lift, we removed the Panzer Plate and found the alternator pulley on the pan. A reman. Bosch alternator was found with one phone call to the nearest O'Reilly's. On Saturday morning we got to the craft center when it opened at 9 AM. This was not a quick alternator change. We did not have my Bentley book but it was obvious that the AC compressor and belt tensioner had to come off. We also needed to drain the coolant which I had to catch and reuse since no G12 was available. After much cussing and a coolant bath or two we got the old alternator off about 1230. We got back to the shop with the re-manufactured alternator about an hour later with 2.5 hours to get it on before the shop closed at 4PM because of the holiday weekend. The two long alternator bolts bottomed out with the alternator still a bit loose, but there was no time to troubleshoot. We got everything together with five minutes to spare, paid them thirty bucks for the lift plus twenty-five for a lost Snap On socket and were on the road before nightfall.

I hope there's another TDIFest within a day's drive in the future. I had really been looking forward to comparing notes with all of you and showing off my Jetta Wagon.


Veteran Member
Dec 3, 2007
2001 Jetta TDI
Sorry to hear of the trouble, but at least you are OK and on the road again.

There will always be another Fest that you can make it to, we'll be happy to see you and hear the stories :D