Car died while driving

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
OK, so I am lost. I was driving to work this morning after about 40 minutes into my drive. I turned the climate control knob from defrost to another selection so I can activate recirculation mode via the button to prevent any air entering through the vents from outside. Once I turned the knob my car shut off while I was driving. And it would not start back up again, the battery light also was on. I had the car towed home, and removed the battery and had it tested. Two different AutoZone locations deemed the battery was bad. I purchased a new battery and installed the new battery car still cranks, but does not want to start. Also, the battery light is still on. I have checked all fuses that I thought would pop from the last time this happened and all are good. I am stumped and could use some TDI guru pro help from all you folks, any and all advice is much appreciated!
 

Mpaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Location
Europe
TDI
Caddy 2005 1,9 105 ps; Polo 2015 90PS Bluemotion, T5 2.5 5cyl
just disconnect the cable on the alternator and see if it runs then.... could be the regulator or something else electrical, timing or fuel.
Any fault codes?
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
Do you know the mileage on the timing belt system?
I do not know if or when the timing belt has been replaced. I have checked it in the past. It looks relatively new feels great. It’s tight when you touch it with your fingers. It doesn’t leave any black residue as if it were going bad.
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
just disconnect the cable on the alternator and see if it runs then.... could be the regulator or something else electrical, timing or fuel.
Any fault codes?
I will try this today. Do you think the car will start with a fresh new battery and the alternator unplugged?
 

turbodieseldyke

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Location
Free Mustache Rides
TDI
98 jetta
Something bigger than the fan fuse got blown, you just have to track down the dead part. If the old battery still cranked ok, probably didn't need replacing. With the alternator disconnected, you can drive 100 miles on a fresh battery (with headlights off).

Also, make sure your glow plug light comes on when the key is turned on.
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
Something bigger than the fan fuse got blown, you just have to track down the dead part. If the old battery still cranked ok, probably didn't need replacing. With the alternator disconnected, you can drive 100 miles on a fresh battery (with headlights off).

Also, make sure your glow plug light comes on when the key is turned on.
Well, I had two different stores test the battery. And both stores said the battery was bad. It also is coming up on its five year mark from being manufactured November 2019, so makes sense that it is time for a new one.
 

KLXD

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Lompoc, CA
TDI
'98, '2 Jettas
But a battery isn't going to suddenly going to go bad while you're driving and kill the car.

That light indicates a problem with the charging system, not the battery.
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
just disconnect the cable on the alternator and see if it runs then.... could be the regulator or something else electrical, timing or fuel.
Any fault codes?
So I tried this theory by disconnecting the connector on the alternator. And that did not make a difference.
 

turbodieseldyke

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Location
Free Mustache Rides
TDI
98 jetta
How about your glow plug light, is that lighting up? Or it might be the Check Engine Light, i dont have an ALH. One of those lights indicates the ECU is getting power.
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
Both of them are illuminated. That is because it is throwing a code for the quantity adjuster saying the upper limit has been attained. It’s been like that since I bought the car a year ago. It idles rough at idle, but runs and drives just fine. But the glow plug light and the check engine light stays on constantly
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI, 2012 Audi Q7 V6 TDI, 1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
OK, so I am lost. I was driving to work this morning after about 40 minutes into my drive. I turned the climate control knob from defrost to another selection so I can activate recirculation mode via the button to prevent any air entering through the vents from outside. Once I turned the knob my car shut off while I was driving. And it would not start back up again, the battery light also was on. I had the car towed home, and removed the battery and had it tested. Two different AutoZone locations deemed the battery was bad. I purchased a new battery and installed the new battery car still cranks, but does not want to start. Also, the battery light is still on. I have checked all fuses that I thought would pop from the last time this happened and all are good. I am stumped and could use some TDI guru pro help from all you folks, any and all advice is much appreciated!
Look at your serpentine belt...
 

J_dude

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Location
SK Canada
TDI
2003 1.9l “Jedi”
I do not know if or when the timing belt has been replaced. I have checked it in the past. It looks relatively new feels great. It’s tight when you touch it with your fingers. It doesn’t leave any black residue as if it were going bad.
I just want to mention that the belt itself is rarely the cause of failure, so a visual inspection really won't tell you anything useful. Typically the water pump or a pulley bearing goes bad and seizes up and that's what takes the belt out.
If you have any doubts whatsoever about the age or condition of any of the components in the timing belt circuit, replace them all.
 

STDOUBT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Location
Portland, effing Oregon
TDI
dos jettas
I do not know if or when the timing belt has been replaced.
The AC and the heat do not work.
it is throwing a code for the quantity adjuster
It idles rough at idle
the glow plug light and the check engine light stays on constantly
It quit on you because it's not feeling the Love.
any and all advice is much appreciated!
Buy VCDS, a (good) set of timing belt tools, make sure the engine's physical timing is set at TDC.
Find out why the gp and CEL lights stay lit (VCDS) then read here on this site how to fix the problems.
Driving these cars in a neglected state is a great way to destroy them.
Making a hobby out of doing your own work and keeping them well-tuned is the only way to keep them in the long term.
If you just don't want to do the work, have it towed to a Trusted TDI Mechanic:
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI, 2012 Audi Q7 V6 TDI, 1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
Both of them are illuminated. That is because it is throwing a code for the quantity adjuster saying the upper limit has been attained. It’s been like that since I bought the car a year ago. It idles rough at idle, but runs and drives just fine. But the glow plug light and the check engine light stays on constantly
Ah... now this could be a clue...
Do you have vcds?
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
Ah... now this could be a clue...
Do you have vcds?
Yes, I do, and I have tried to figure out the issue in VCDS. But I do not have the registered product so I don’t have the full access to all of the features. Don’t exactly have the money to pay for that right now.
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
It quit on you because it's not feeling the Love.

Buy VCDS, a (good) set of timing belt tools, make sure the engine's physical timing is set at TDC.
Find out why the gp and CEL lights stay lit (VCDS) then read here on this site how to fix the problems.
Driving these cars in a neglected state is a great way to destroy them.
Making a hobby out of doing your own work and keeping them well-tuned is the only way to keep them in the long term.
If you just don't want to do the work, have it towed to a Trusted TDI Mechanic:
So I actually purchased this vehicle from somebody in the condition it’s in. I have given this vehicle more love than it has seen in many many many years. I am trying to get it back to running properly so I can continue to drive it for 100 of thousands of more miles. It is a decently steep hill that I am steadily climbing with the issues that have been wrong with it. So far I have replaced four sensors, the exhaust/turbo manifold because my turbo went out. I have replaced the battery, the glow plugs and glow plug harness, new suspension front and rear, new front, lower control, arms, and bushings. New brakes, new tires, new EGR valve. I paid $500 for the vehicle and I have put about $1200 in parts into the vehicle so far. I’m working on it OK! Lol
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
2004 VW Touareg V10 TDI, 2012 Audi Q7 V6 TDI, 1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
Yes, I do, and I have tried to figure out the issue in VCDS. But I do not have the registered product so I don’t have the full access to all of the features. Don’t exactly have the money to pay for that right now.
You can look at measuring blocks though, right? Look at group 1 and the injected quantity while cranking.
Also set the engine at the tdc mark and then see if the pump pin lines up.
I have seen several with a similar issue lately where it was the pump timing that slipped or jumped. Have you done the timing belt on it yet?
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
I can’t
You can look at measuring blocks though, right? Look at group 1 and the injected quantity while cranking.
Also set the engine at the tdc mark and then see if the pump pin lines up.
I have seen several with a similar issue lately where it was the pump timing that slipped or jumped. Have you done the timing belt on it yet?
I can’t remember to be honest. I’ll have to check again when I get home later and see. And I’ll try that to see if it’s off for my idle issue. I guess I’ll take the alternator off and take it to get tested first before I try to replace.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Oh Jesus, so much misinformation and misdirection here...

Get the battery and alternator out of the picture for a minute.... if the car CRANKS normally, and won't start, it isn't the battery. And it certainly isn't the alternator. If you were driving down the road, and the battery light came on, it would (eventually) quit running. Because it drew the battery down. The engine needs electricity to run. Did this happen? Or is the battery light on when you turn the key on (which is normal).

Either way, you're chasing your tail here it sounds like. The ALH needs very little to start and run. It needs a crank signal (can be seen with a scan tool), and the fuel in the pump, along with the correct cam/crank/pump timing (the belt).
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
Oh Jesus, so much misinformation and misdirection here...

Get the battery and alternator out of the picture for a minute.... if the car CRANKS normally, and won't start, it isn't the battery. And it certainly isn't the alternator. If you were driving down the road, and the battery light came on, it would (eventually) quit running. Because it drew the battery down. The engine needs electricity to run. Did this happen? Or is the battery light on when you turn the key on (which is normal).

Either way, you're chasing your tail here it sounds like. The ALH needs very little to start and run. It needs a crank signal (can be seen with a scan tool), and the fuel in the pump, along with the correct cam/crank/pump timing (the belt).
OK, so normally when I first turn the key to start the car, the battery light comes on and then immediately shuts off. When this issue came about and the car died while I was driving down the road, the battery light came on and stayed on but the car shut off while I was driving. And then would not turn back on again. The car cranks like it wants to start, but will not. But what’s confusing me is why would this all of a sudden happen and be an issue just from turning a knob for the climate control? Because the car was driving fine and when I turned the knob, the car shut off battery light came on and stayed on and the car died and now it won’t start.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
The battery light will come on when the engine is not running. That is normal. If the engine quits running, the battery light will come on.

If the battery light came on WHILE the engine is running, and you continued to drive the car, it would.... EVENTUALLY... kill the battery and the engine would stall.
 

Ethanb89

Active member
Joined
May 2, 2023
Location
Clarksville, TN
TDI
2001 VW Bettle 1.9 TDI
The battery light will come on when the engine is not running. That is normal. If the engine quits running, the battery light will come on.

If the battery light came on WHILE the engine is running, and you continued to drive the car, it would.... EVENTUALLY... kill the battery and the engine would stall.
Well yes. That I know
 
Top