1999 Volkswagen Beetle dies during driving

I have a 1999 VW Beetle (yellow) that dies during driving. I thought it was the alternator so I changed it out, but it still happens. There is still some electrical power via the done light after it dies (after the new alternator was installed). Please help! I need my car.

You did this work yourself? Do you own a voltmeter? Why did you think it was the alternator?

Let’s start by giving us some more data other than the car is yellow. How may miles on it? Is the check engine light on? When it dies, how do you get it home? Does it re-start after it cools? Did you change the alternator and it started right up? Did you also charge the battery? How old is the battery?

Answer all of these and maybe we can help.

My wife thought it was the alternator and changed it. I had no idea and tried to discourage her from doing that before getting advice. It has about 200K miles on it, the oil light flashes before it dies, we can jump start it after it dies, and I’m not sure how old the battery is (might be the original). It started up after a few minutes charge from a jump start.


OK, so your wife just guessed that the alternator was faulty. Expensive guess that didn’t solve the problem. That is pretty much how that goes.

I seriously doubt the battery is original. Car batteries don’t last 19 years. 6 would be seriously pushing it.

Based on your wife’s track record, I suggest you drive the car to a good independent mechanic so they can check the electrical system and actually find the problem.

How you tell your wife this - well - you are on your own!

Other than that, which I will delight in telling her that because I informed her to get it checked before just doing it herself, no other possible inklings to what it could be?

That would be speculation on my part with virtually no information about the car. It sounds like an alternator but it has been replaced so that is unlikely. The control feed to the alternator may not be telling it to turn on, the belt may be slipping so much the alternator can’t charge the battery. That may be made worse by a weak battery. There may be a short draining current needed by the battery. All speculation on my part without voltmeter readings and a visual and audible from the car.