My car is haunted

For the longest I’ve thought my 99 Jetta VW was haunted. With the key out of the ignition the sunroof will occasionally tilt open without the push of a button. I let it be as it happened rarely. I also have to have the battery changed frequently because it is always low. I’ve always suspected that something is draining it but i never leave the lights on. Yesterday, i was cleaning the dash and accidently hit the power button on the radio and the radio turned on and the key was not in the ignition! How can the car do that? I’m guessing that is why my battery always drains? Can anyone help me?

Traditionally, VWs have always been wired so that the radio is powered even when the key is turned off. Why VW designs their cars that way is beyond my comprehension, but unless they have changed this very unusual practice, yours is likely wired the same way.

You never noticed this previously in the X number of years that you have owned the car?

thanks, no, i never even thought to try to run any electrical components without the key in ignition. when i leave my car for a week and the battery drains, what is taking up so much electicity? i never leave the radio or light on?

You may have some kind of parasitic electrical problem draining the battery. Your mechanic can check for this.

I seriously doubt if the radio is the problem. Unless you have upgraded the radio you could run the radio for weeks without running the battery down.

You did not indicate that the charging system has been checked out and found to be functioning properly. I would have that checked first. Many auto part stores will check the charging system and battery for free. Most do a credible and honest job.

Yes VW does allow you to turn the radio back on after you turn the engine off, but, at least on mine, it goes off with the ignition and you need to turn it back on if you want to listen to it with the ignition off. Handy in my opinion.

I have seen that sunroof problem turn up before. Sorry I don’t know the cause, but if you do a Google search, you are likely to be able to find the cause.

Here are instructions to aid in finding a battery drain, for your “mechanic”, or for your mechanic:

The current drain on the battery along with the window may be happening due to a faulty ignition switch and faulty power switch for the window. The ignition switch may be shorting to the accessory position while it is in the OFF position. Replacing the switches may take care of the trouble. A good shop should be able to pin down these troubles without much trouble if these things are, or aren’t, the real trouble without too much cost to you.