[Vwdiesel] Electrical problem

Erik Lane eriklane at gmail.com
Thu Apr 2 21:01:32 PDT 2009

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Fortunately (or unfortunately??) I
managed to find the problem before I came back to the computer to see
everyone's input. I haven't had many alternators apart, but it surprised me
to hear you say that an alternator can't have bad sections in the way that I
was thinking, Loren. Although if it has just constant rings like that I
guess it makes sense. I was thinking of it more like a DC motor like a
starter I guess.

It turns out it was the glow plugs. The contacts in the relay were halfway
fused shut. I say halfway because I was able to force them apart and they
now have a slight gap, but the thing is definitely not trustworthy! The one
contact can wiggle around some in the housing, and neither contact looks too
good - one is pitted and the other has extra material on it. At one point
water got in there and caused some corrosion around the microchip as well,
but it still worked good with that.

So I pulled the brand new relay out of the car I'm getting ready for the
road and put it in my driver so all is good again.

That's quite a relief!!


Good call, Terry! Although I have a load tester I can borrow from my
neighbor, so I could have done that myself. But I didn't have the battery
charged enough yet. (I still wouldn't do it now, but the car will start
solidly so I have it out of the shop and ready to drive to school tomorrow.)

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