My son returns from Tasmania in a few weeks after being gone for a year. As a treat I thought I’d have the headliner in his 2005 Jetta that’s been sitting in our driveway for the duration replaced. I did and it looked great, but the battery was dead when I picked it up. Battery indicator light had flickered on the way to deliver the car, but I thought maybe the battery was low and needed to charge up a bit.
The gentleman who’d done the work had a spare battery we used to jump start the Jetta and it started with no problem. As soon as we disconnected the clamps, however, the car ran for about 30 seconds and died despite the fact I was compressing the accelerator in a lively manner. Now I’m thinking very dead battery in tandem with an alternator that’s not charging and causing the electric fuel pump to die. Off to the parts store and back with a new fully charged battery (old one was indeed shot, but was from the factory and nearly 10 years old; full marks on the battery VW).
Here’s where it gets wild. Hooked the new battery up and as soon as the connection was made it seemed like everything in the car energized: fans, wipers, headlights, the works. None were switched to the on position, though, and there was NO KEY IN THE IGNITION! Additionally, when the key was inserted it wouldn’t turn over.
So, twistoes and twistetts, do you think that:
A) East Tennessee rodents have chewed through the wiring harness over the winter in a place I can’t see (like behind the dash) leaving me with an electrical short powerful enough to melt that 110 amp fuse on the battery (which it did) and a 25 amp engine control fuse (which it also did).
B) The nice old guy that did a bang up job replacing the headliner accidently mashed some wires together in the process.
C) The alternator/voltage regulator is shot, but not before it managed to fry things.
D) None of the above. This is just proof that no good deed goes unpunished.
I’ve checked for the dreaded coolant migration into the harness wiring and there appears to be none. Ideas?