2007 Jetta Display Fading/Random Icons/Radio Died While Driving Yesterday

While I drove to and from the dog park yesterday - a total of 25 minutes - several alarming things happened to my 2007 Jetta (2.5L, 4 Dr, single owner = me). On the way there, a yellow icon popped up on the instrument display, and since I’d never seen it before, I looked it up in the manual after we parked and went into the park. It was the power steering icon - not low fluid, but your power steering may stop working, better get it checked. (!) Yellow is the warning, and red with noises is the serious problem level. But it also said sometimes that symbol shows up and then goes away. After 90 minutes in the park, I started the car and it wasn’t there. And I didn’t feel any problem with the steering. Then, after 3 minutes of very low speed driving, the radio display started to flicker, and the radio popped and then shut off by itself. Then the instrument display that shows the mileage, the tank mileage, the temperature and the time in red numbers started to fade, I noticed the A/C was blowing warm air, and three more icons showed up: the power steering one, the ABS brakes, and another one I didn’t recognize. I kept driving because I was in traffic, and then after about 2 - 3 minutes, the A/C got cool, the radio came back on, and the icons went away. I haven’t started the car yet today, but it drove all the way home last night with no weird episodes.
I was in an accident in June that required both drivers side doors to be replaced and a lot of cosmetic work on the back bumper, but no impact to the engine area or front of the car. Any thoughts on what’s causing this? I have a long freeway commute and I am worried about driving with things just cutting out like that. Thank you!

I would suggest that you have your alternator’s output checked, as wildly fluctuating electrical output can cause all manner of strange, transitory problems with most of the electronic systems on the car. And, I suggest that you do this a.s.a.p., because this type of situation usually takes place just before the alternator suddenly craps out completely.

Thank you! I should also mention that I have never replaced the battery, so the original Jetta battery is still in there, and it’s 7 years old. I’m going to get that tested at lunchtime.

Change the battery before it takes out your alternator or leaves you stranded. Clean the battery connectors too.

“Change the battery before it takes out your alternator or leaves you stranded”

…or vice-versa.
I hope that this didn’t happen to the OP, but driving around with an old, weak battery could have led to damage to the alternator.

At seven years I’m surprized that the battery has gotten you this far. Don’t bother testing it, just replace it, and maybe all of your other symptoms will be gone.