Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2008 VW Rabbit electrical woes

Lately we’ve been having quite a bit of issues with our car’s electrical features. For instance, sometimes when we start the car the radio presets, time, and mileage have been reset. We often have to try a couple of times to get the engine to turn over. Other times the automatic window feature (when you push up or down on the button for a couple of seconds and it rolls all the way up or down) doesn’t work on one or both windows, but if we hold the button it keeps going. Today we can add to the list… the door open light would not turn off even after double checking all doors; the turn signals were working on the exterior of the car, but the lights on the dashboard and the click click click sound wasn’t happening; some but not all of the ac features work but will not cool the car; and the radio would not turn off after removing the key from the ignition and opening the door. The battery was replaced about six months ago and the check engine light has not come on. Any thoughts??

Since you are losing the radio presets and the time and mileage resets are happening when you start the car, my thought is that the battery voltage is low. This could be caused by defective battery, an alternator that is not recharging the battery as it should, or dirty battery cable connections either at the battery or at the other ends of the cables. One thing you might do is obtain an inexpensive voltmeter. Measure the battery voltage before you start the car. It should be at least 12.6 volts. If not, then there is a problem. If it is 12.6 volts, have someone start the car while you monitor the voltmeter. If the voltage drops below 10 volts, there is a problem.
I would bet on a defective battery, but check things out.

A test of the battery and charging system is cheap, so I’d start there. I’d also make sure all connections are clean and tight, especially the ground. It’s not uncommon for VWs to have electrical glitches that are hard to track down, so let’s hope it’s something simple!

Advance Auto will check your charging system for free. And if you need a battery they will install it free also.