1998 Volkswagen Passat 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 150000 miles
I had a new battery installed in my VW Passat yesterday because it died twice times in the past few months. Today, the engine turned off while I was making a turn, and the battery light and the check engine light came on. After several tries, I was able to get it started. The check engine and battery lights are no longer on, and my mechanic can't find anything.
I'm nervous to drive my car again. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I used the remote clicker for automatic start, which I do in cold weather. And then I put the key in the ignition after it's warmed up and I drive it away.
First, if you would please let me know if this is a Passat Sedan, Syncro Sedan, Syncro Wagon or Wagon. Also this is a 2.8L. Correct?
Just a couple of questions so we are on the same page. Why did you elect to have the battery changed, did it test bad?
When the car died in the past since this time you were in a turn, were you coming to a stop, just driving, sitting --- can you be more specific was each time the same?
I need you to do a couple of checks for me. Please go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and for FREE they can pull the codes to the car. Most important: Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for FREE also they can bring their tester out and check your battery, alternator and starter. I know you just put a battery in it but I need to know about how it is acting charging your alternator.
If this happens again before you get back with me, we need to figure out if it is electrical or fuel related. Make sure you have something in the car to do this with. When it stops, pull a plug wire off of the spark plug and insert something into the end of it and have someone try to start the car and have the metal object really close to a piece of metal on the engine and see if you are getting a good strong popping blue spark. Don't have your hands on any part of the metal! If there is no spark, then it is electrical. If you are getting good spark then you need to get a fuel pressure check on the fuel pump to ensure it is putting out okay.
Please get back with me with the above info so we can get this thing a little more trustworthy.
November, 21, 2008 AT 9:21 AM
Hi, this is a sedan.
It happened when I was making a turn, so I was stepping on the breaks at the time.
I had it checked out, and the check engine light is off and there are no codes. They can't figure out what happened.
The only thing I can think of was that I used the automatic start button.
The reason I had gotten a new battery in the first place was because the original one died and AAA was able to jump it, but advised I get a new one. In this situtation, I had also used the automatic start button from the remote clicker and the engine worked. About 10 minutes later, I went to get into the car and the alarm kept going off. I finally just tried the key in the ignition, and it started clicking. So I called for a jump.
I picked it up last night from getting checked out, and it seems fine. Nothing on the dash to indicate anything wrong. But I'm still nervous that it will happen again.
The mechanic told me that sometimes it takes a few cycles for car to get used to the new battery. But if engines turned off on everyone driving with a new battery, I think that seems a little ridiculous.
Sorry, I'm not sure about the 2.8L question.
November, 21, 2008 AT 8:28 PM
Let's look at a couple of things.
My question is why did the battery die in the first place. It was just old and time - - it wasn't getting enough charge from the alternator? Please do as I suggested on the previous post and run over to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and for FREE they can pull the codes to the car. Most important: Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for FREE also they can bring their tester out and check your battery, alternator and starter. I know you just put a battery in it but I need to know about how it is acting being charged from your alternator and if your alternator is charging it okay.
Again, the nice thing is all this is free and it will help me know certain things are working as they should on the car to better assist you. Then make sure you let me know what they say at Auto Zone or O'Reilly's.
Did it die in the past when you took your foot off the gas and was braking? Checking the above will maybe direct us to a Throttle Position Sensor, Idle Air Control Valve or something like that.
Did the mechanic say what he checked? Did he check the fuel pressure as I suggested? I want to try to limit your checks and trips to mechanic to save you some cash. We still may need the fuel pressure checked but my advice is please don't go back to the mechanic yet until we narrow it down better or need him to do a check that you can not. If you do have to go to him make sure he tells you everything he does, and if he talks say, codes, then I need to know what the code numbers are and what he sees. This will help me better help you.
Why was the alarm going off on your car. Was it supposed to? I guess you started the car by remote to let it warm up. Went to get in and just opened the door and that set the alarm off? Then you put the key in the ignition. And the car wouldn't start. Did the car shut off when the alarm started? Then the car wouldn't start. You called AAA, they arrived and jumped the car. It started. Is this how it all went?
This is the factor remote. Yes?
When you had the battery changed you lost your radio. Did you provide the code to recode it so it will work?
When was the last time you changed the battery in the remote? There is a technical service bulletin out on the remote batteries being weak and then being intermediate.
Okay - depending on the last time you changed the remote battery, I would change it.
Robin22, I really need you to run over to AZ and let them do the checks I need. I can better advise you. I really at this time don't think anything is wrong with your remote or it is the problem with your car. I will know that more once you answer my question about why the alarm was going off.
I have a remote on my car. They are made to start the car. It is doing like it is supposed to based off what you say. Now if the car is not as it should, the battery, alternator etc, that won't send the proper info to the PCM and cause a problem. Anytime the cars electrical system is not working up to speed you are going to have weird things happen.
Takes a few cycles to get use to the car. Well, not sure what your mechanic means here but I don't see that. I checked two technical manuals for anything special about changing the battery in your car. Do you have to reprogram or reset something. Do this or that. And no you don't. Once you drop it in the car it is there and happy. The only thing you have to do reset your radio.
Sometimes on the alarms. Like your radio for instance. You have two try's to put the code in. After that it shuts down for 1 hour. On my alarm. If it thinks the car is being stolen it will not even work with the key for about 5 minutes. It is a safety thing. That is why I was wanting step by step on why the alarm went off, were the doors unlocked after you started the car and got in etc. All that may be depending on what you tell me, the car working like it is supposed to. It thought someone was steeling it and shut down. And was waiting. But the clicking is the battery ----and so I want to make sure your alternator is doing just fine and was charging the battery it was just time to go.
So, please do the above, answer back the questions as best and detailed as possible and while you are at AZ they can tell you your engine size. It is normally on a decal under the hood.
November, 24, 2008 AT 10:11 AM
Thanks for your help. I will check the engine size later when I get home. All I know is that it's a v6 right now. Yes, I did have to reset the radio with a code.
What originally happened was I clicked the automatic start button and left it for about 5-10 minutes and then went outside to get in the car. I tried to click the unlock button on the same clicker, and the alarm started going off. I tried clicking again a couple times, but the alarm kept going off so I just proceeded to put the key in (I believe the alarm going off turned off the engine). I turned the key to try and just turn the car on manually. And that's when I heard the clicking of a dead battery. Even though the engine was on before I tried to unlock the car.
AAA showed up, and it took a couple tries in order to jump it. The battery was from 2000, so the AAA man advised me to get a new one. He said that the cold weather may kill the battery again in the coming season. I went to the mechanic that afternoon and the check engine light popped on. They replaced the battery, and checked for codes, but couldn't find anything wrong. No codes. I drove it away and everything was fine. About 24 hours later, I clicked on the car with the automatic start button for about 4 minutes before I got in the car. And then I drove the car for about 10 minutes, and it just turned off while I was making a turn. The check engine light and the battery light went on. I tried to restart it several times. It actually turned back on after about 3 times. I drove it down the road to my house, and then had it towed back to STS. It was working again at this point, no lights were indicating anything wrong on the dash. STS couldn't find anything wrong.
Since then, everything has been fine. No check engine or battery lights or anything of the sort. I just want to know why it happened because I'm nervous that it will happen again.
November, 25, 2008 AT 12:06 AM
Hello - robin22
I am not sure if you did a couple of checks I suggested as they are not in your last post. So I need to know that to better assist you.
I know you just put a battery in it but I need to know about how it is acting being charged from your alternator and if your alternator is charging it okay. I also know you are taking it to a mechanic and is this STS a mechanic?
If so I need to know if the alternator is good and charging the battery and if the starter is good. If they can not tell you this then go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and they can check these for free. Let me know what these are.
Did the mechanic say what he checked? Did he check the fuel pressure? We need that checked.
I do think based off what you said, the AAA guy is correct there, the battery was bad. But, with 150K on the car I want to make sure the alternator is good and strong also.
For this part here: "What originally happened was I clicked the automatic start button and left it for about 5-10 minutes and then went outside to get in the car. I tried to click the unlock button on the same clicker, and the alarm started going off. I tried clicking again a couple times, but the alarm kept going off so I just proceeded to put the key in (I believe the alarm going off turned off the engine)." Is it possible that you put your foot on the brake a split second prior to putting the key in to turn it? If so that may have been what shut the engine off.
You can check this yourself. Start the car with the remote, don't have the key in the ignition and step on the brake. Did it shut off?
Also, your timer to let the car run may be set to 5 or 10 minutes then automatically shuts down. You can set mine for 5, 10 or 15 min run time.
You may have had just one more start in your battery the day it died. It does happen that way. I am still not thinking the remote. Or what you are doing with that. Based off the info you have provided I don't see it pointing to that.
With 150K it could be a fuel pump or something else going bad. I am leaning to the fuel pump which is why I need the fuel pump pressure checked and tell me what it is.
When the mechanic says they check it out. Have they checked the fuel pump pressure - if so what is it?
There is a check for the plug wires and coil I can send you. But. Did they check these things out?
I would like to say next time it dies if you haven't' done the above. Take a can of starting fluid and spray doing the intake of the Throttle Body and see if it starts.
Any time he car shuts off many lights will come on, that is somewhat normal. It is the same as turning the key to start the car until you have dash light.
Okay, we need the above info to go on
November, 26, 2008 AT 11:17 PM
Hello - robin22
I wanted to do a follow-up to see how the vehicle was coming along....also, looks like you may have some recalls on your vehicle. The dealer may fix these for free. Please contact the dealer service department, give them the VIN number of your car and have them check on these to see if they apply to you.
I hope you and your family have a nice Thanksgiving.