2008 VW acts really weird with dead battery - Fuelly Forums

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Old 07-09-2009, 06:41 AM   #1
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2008 VW acts really weird with dead battery

This is what a 2008 Volkswagen does if the battery is dead. This is not while attempting to start the car or operate anything; this just the car sitting there parked. There is no way to open the hatch because it doesn't have a manual latch handle. There is no operating the locks. Whether the key is in the ignition or out has no effect on this weirdness.

Note: Seeing the dust in this video really makes it look awful. If it looked like that in person I'd have cleaned it. I think I'll clean it now, that's icky.

Edit: You'll want to have your volume up to hear the car clicking and dinging randomly (and some birds singing).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO13PSzxyOc
[yt]yO13PSzxyOc[/yt]
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:48 AM   #2
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I had a 2001 Impala that did the same thing
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:13 AM   #3
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Are you sure that's not the signal to clean the instrument glass? It is a safety concern, after all. I know how cameras magnify that stuff. Took a picture of a moose in my yard through a picture window and it looked like it had recently been buried in ash.

Maybe the flashing intended as some sort of indicator that the battery's flat? By hatch did you mean trunk or hood? Not being able to open the hood with a dead battery would be pretty crazy, so I assume you meant trunk. You can't open it with your key?
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:32 AM   #4
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By hatch I meant the rear hatch, it's a hatchback and saying "trunk" sometimes gathers criticism.

There's no keyhole and no mechanical latch handle for the hatch. The only way to open it is with the handle on the hatch (which is the VW logo); that handle is merely an electronic switch that operates a solenoid a few inches away that unlatches (but does not pop) the hatch.

That handle switch is disabled when the car is locked and enabled when a separate hatch switch inside the drivers door is operated, or when the unlock button on the remote is pressed repeatedly. The VW came with lots of little annoyances like that behavior, so I reprogrammed mine to allow the hatch switch after a single press of unlock on the remote.

Anyway...Did you hear the dinging and clicking? That's not something you might expect a dead battery to cause. I've dealt with dozens (probably hundreds) of dead batteries in GMs and Fords and never had anything like that.

While I'm ranting...VW really designed the car to help a careless driver leave the lights on and drain the battery. Most cars for the past 15 years have come with a feature that prevents battery run-down; you'd think with all the overprotective overengineering VW did, they'd have done that too. Instead, they make it so the headlights turn off when the car is off, but the parking lights stay on. So as I'm walking away, the headlights that might catch my eye don't and I don't notice the parking lights...
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:51 AM   #5
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Had my hearing protectors on when I checked your post (took a break from some nail gun operation), so I didn't actually hear it. That's really strange!

That parking light thing is crazy. I've never understood the entire headlight operating paradigm. Have them go off with the key, then have an override switch on the dash to keep them on if you want. Maybe it's a road regulations thing?
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:57 AM   #6
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Personally, I'm a fan of old-fashioned direct control. If the switch is on, the lights are on, end of story. Then there could be a warning ding that's different from other warning dings if the key is out of the ignition and the door is open.

The VW, BTW, doesn't have a setting on its switch for running the parking lights without the headlights. The European-market version does. The Euro switch is $60 so I just use the headlights or no lights.

It also turns off the high beams (and switches the low beams back on) when I key-off for EOC. The low beams stay on with the key off as long as the car is rolling, once it stops they shut off (but again, they leave the parking lights on).

If my next car is a beater and it's not old-tech with the headlights, I'm going to bypass its systems and wire it up my way.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:07 AM   #7
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Marvin has a "possessed by a poltergeist" mode under low voltage conditions, believe it's common to all chryco cars 85ish to 95ish, relays and lights flash randomly and sometimes even the locks and wipers will half actuate.
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