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Old 03-03-2021, 12:26 PM #1
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Jump Start, then dead. What did I do?

OK, I think I did something bad. I'll explain what I did & saw, and hopefully someone can fill in the blanks.

My car: 2003 V8, battery is 1 month old

My neighborfriend knocked on the door, asking if I could give her VW TDI a jump start. I tried my little jumpstart box, but it didn't have enough power, so I drove over and got out the jumper cables. Kicking myself because part of the reason I bought the jumpstart box was so this kind of thing WOULDN'T happen.

She said that she left her interior light on all night, so the battery was completely dead. After idling while connected, hers started. Drove back to my driveway, everything seemed normal. When I shut the engine off, I heard a muffled "pmmph" noise from the subwoofer, like a cardboard box had fallen over in the back so I didn't pay attention to it. But when I hit the remote to lock it, nothing happened.

Got back in to start it back up, and it was like there was no battery connected. Total dead. Went inside to get my tester and charger. Battery tests completely fine & full. For whatever reason turned the key to "on" again, and it was acting normal. Chimes, etc. So I thought maybe there was a thermal circuit breaker, and the jumpstart with glow plugs and such pulled too much power. Turned the key a little more to "start" and it went completely dead again -- gauge needles froze in place.

I'm going to do some searching and looking once I'm able, but are there any known things I should check first?

Right now I'm looking to find a "main fuse" or circuit breaker.

Last edited by Montego Murph; 03-03-2021 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:36 PM #2
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May be a dumb question since your battery is pretty new, but are the terminal clamps clean and tight? If so, remove them for a few minutes and re-install, might reset things.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:42 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thennen View Post
May be a dumb question since your battery is pretty new, but are the terminal clamps clean and tight? If so, remove them for a few minutes and re-install, might reset things.
Great minds think alike. I should have added that I disconnected the battery while I'm searching for info.
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:07 PM #4
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Epilogue:

Disconnecting the battery for 20-30 minutes resolved whatever was wrong. Connections are verified clean and tight, rear window is recalibrated, and radio buttons are set.

So now that my blood pressure is back down... what happened? I wonder if the combo of high compression/totally dead battery/glow plugs on the TDI was just too much draw for the source and caused a thermal overload of some sort.

Last edited by Montego Murph; 03-03-2021 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:18 PM #5
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Is there a thermal fuse anywhere in the system? The noise you heard makes me think something tripped and had to be reset (or cool off). The time it took to unhook and let the system sit with no power may have reset that fuse/breaker.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:24 PM #6
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Sounds like it could have been the battery connections.

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