VW Dealer Sounds fishy



My brother has a 2005 VW GTI, a few months ago he installed a pair of

aftermarket H.I.D. headlight bulbs that draw 55w, same as the stock bulbs.

About a month 2 months ago he heard a noise while steering and took it into

the dealership. The problem found was the rack and pinion boot was tore and

it had failed, this was fixed under warranty which took 1 whole week. The

day of getting the car back we were driving in it for about 4 hours when the

radio suddenly began emitting a stratchy static noise, then all the guage

needles dropped. We immediately drove it back to the dealership where it

sat for a month before he received a call. They stated that the

after-market headlights burned up the entire main wiring harness in the

vehicle. After about a month and a half of sitting in their shop they gave

an estimate of around $8,000. I told the man “wouldn’t the headlight fuse

of blown before the harness burned up?” He told me that the new lights had

the same wattage but drew more amperage, and thats why the fuse didn’t blow.

My understanding is that fuses are rated in amperage so wouldn’t that blow

it immediately? Also this was in such close proximity to them repairing the

car that the whole thing sounds fishy. It has now almost been 2-1/2 months

without receiving the car back. They said they are still waiting for the

new harness to arrive. Please Help!!!


Sounds more like the notorious unreliability of VW cars to me.


If the bulbs are indeed just 55 watts (Chinese manufactures lie about things like that) the pair of them should pull 8 amps through the headlight circuit, which is protected by a breaker, not a fuse…Many of these “HID” bulbs are simply 100 watt off-road halogen bulbs dyed blue then repackaged and marked “55 watt output” That means the blue dye absorbs almost half the light.

You can remove the bulbs and connect them to a 13.5 volt source and measure how much they draw. 4 amps is 55 watts. 100 watt bulbs will pull 8 amps each…

$8000 to repair the car? You are being ripped off on a grand scale…I would check the alternator before I did anything. I would also ask the service manager to SHOW YOU some damaged wiring…


Get away from that dealer; you’re getting screwed.


Wattage is the rating of how much power is being outputted.

Amperage is a measurement of the amount of current flow, current being the actual flow of free electrons through the circuit.

Voltage is “potential”, the difference between the amount of free electrons on one side of a power source and the amount on the other. As electrons flow through the circuit, that difference becomes less and less, leading to a dead battery…unless there’s an alternator or some other source to keep replenishing them.

Wattage is the current times the voltage, P=IxE.

HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights do draw much more current than incandescent (filament) bulbs…quartz-halogen bulbs are just old fashioned tungsten filaments in a halide gas enveloped in a fused-quartz bulb. The gas allows them to burn hotter (brighter) and the fused quartz withstands the heat better than normal glass with all its impurities. HID bulbs work by maintaining an arc between two spaced metal posts. That takes a lot more current flow to support than just heating up a filament.

Real HID lamps have been known to fry standard electrical wiring, even though it should have been protected by a fuse. It is possible.

But for $8,000 you can bet your burley white buns that I’d (1) get a second opinion, and (2) get a competing quote. It sounds like the dealer wants to rip out the entire harness and replace the whole thing rather han do a repair.


Take it to an independent shop. Let them splice in repair wiring. Save thousand$.