Reader Question: Hi,
I recently went to start my 1993 Volkswagen Passat VR6 and it did not turn over. So, I took the battery in and it was completely dead. I had it charged and tested at two different places. Both said it was good.
I installed the battery and drove it in to Car Quest and had them test the battery and alternator. Both were good they then told me I had a drain on the electrical system. It has 62,000 miles.
That night I was going to go out in it and it would not turn over the Volts were at 9.56, also I heard a clicking noise in the door frame between the passenger seat and the rear passenger seat.
Also, my automatic front passenger restraint seat belt is not working any longer. Would like any help in solving this battery drain. By the way, I re-charged the battery. It still will drain it in the same fashion but I disconnected the fuse for the Anti-theft to see if that would eliminate the problem, no luck.
Why do I have this feeling you have a bad battery? I am not sure where you have been getting the battery tested, but Car Quest in Houston is an auto parts store not an auto repair shop so I would not put much credence on their ability to diagnose this type of problem.
The EASIEST thing to do is try a NEW battery or a known good battery and see what happens. You can install the new battery yourself. Therefore, this should be a cheap and easy test. Make darn sure your battery cables are clean and tight! A loose or dirty battery cable causes all kinds of electrical problems.
If you still have problems with the new battery, then go somewhere with a qualified mechanic and have them do a complete electrical system check ON the vehicle which should include:
1. Load test battery
2. Check alternator output – does the alternator properly recharge the battery
3. Check for a voltage drain – a good battery can overcome a small electrical drain if the engine is started daily 4. Check the battery cables, ground wire connections and the alternator belt
If the battery is truly dead, the headlights will be very dim or not working altogether. If the headlights are bright, and you still hear this clicking noise when you try to start the engine you could have a bad starter motor and not a battery issue.