Electrical issue?!?

Geordie23

New member
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Messages
4
I was driving home on the motorway last night and felt a loss of power - managed to pull over and put hazards on only to realise they weren't working! There was a slight burning smell and a buzzing noise coming from the speaker in the console unit on the passenger side

I managed to restart from the verge and got it to a safe place before being recovered. At this point the airbag light was on, hazards and indicators weren't working and i had the "bulb" light on but was waiting for a reverse light bulb before this happened.

Recovery guy immediately thought it might be an alternator issue but he couldn't get a read from his VCDS. He tested the alternator and said it was charging fine and there didnt appear to be any issues with it. He noticed some of the wires in the drivers door were shredded, said it was a common fault but then seemed to ignore that.

He tested and changed a few fuses and then went to switch the engine off but it kept ticking over even when the key had been removed (that was new and hadn't happened before). At some point (can't remember if it was before or after the engine) he changed the ECU fuse and it kept blowing as he put it in.

Eventually he said I could drive it home and he'd follow me just in case. Drove home about 20 minutes, combination of motorway and b roads and everything felt ok power wise. Airbag light was still on, no indicators working and there was a noise coming from the passenger speaker that was a constant buzzing that was tuned to the engine ie the pitch would change when i went up or down gear.

Got home and same issue with the engine staying on so i stalled it and locked the car (no issues). Spoke to a couple of places this morning and will get it taken in but just wondering if anyone had seen anything like this or knew of common faults that i could potentially look at first. Or any reputable auto electricians in the Co Durham area.

Turned the engine over this morning, let it run for a minute or so and then switched it off no problems. Weird!

Anyway thanks for taking the time to read.

#StaySafe
 

DaveAB

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Shaftesbury UK
Electrical problems can cause all sorts of weird and wonderful symptoms. Some will only pop up when the temperature changes ie driving down the motorway. From your description, you are losing many feeds to different units. Possibly a loose wire feeding the fuse panel (smell of arching in the cab) Or at least the battery to fuse panel side of the circuits. The noise from the speaker indicates normal RFI interference from engine alternator, the airbag light on indicates the battery or feed has been disconnected from airbag module. A common and annoying issue of VWs when the battery has been changed. The fact the breakdown guy couldn’t read any faults could suggest there was no voltage on the OBD port. This amount of faults SHOULD have logged lots of errors ( airbag module would have logged “ loss of voltage” for sure..
good luck.
cheers Dave
 

Geordie23

New member
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Messages
4
Electrical problems can cause all sorts of weird and wonderful symptoms. Some will only pop up when the temperature changes ie driving down the motorway. From your description, you are losing many feeds to different units. Possibly a loose wire feeding the fuse panel (smell of arching in the cab) Or at least the battery to fuse panel side of the circuits. The noise from the speaker indicates normal RFI interference from engine alternator, the airbag light on indicates the battery or feed has been disconnected from airbag module. A common and annoying issue of VWs when the battery has been changed. The fact the breakdown guy couldn’t read any faults could suggest there was no voltage on the OBD port. This amount of faults SHOULD have logged lots of errors ( airbag module would have logged “ loss of voltage” for sure..
good luck.
cheers Dave
Cheers Dave, I've got it booked in next friday (earliest I could get it in to a reputable auto electrician near me).

The car's driving ok, missing a couple of extra bulbs - it seems to be when i turn the headlights on at the switch that there is a greater issue (and also this is when the car continues to idle without the key!) it's fine when there are no lights on... weird!
 
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