[T3] type3-vwtype3.org Digest, Vol 103, Issue 17
j_jonik at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 15 19:16:49 PDT 2019
Battery problem may be solved.
Hitherto unnoticed, was that the ground connection to the battery was a mess. It actually moved, by hand, though tightened previously with two 13" combo wrenches...one to work the nut, the other to hold the square 13" other side of the bolt.
Took off the ground cable connection, ground and hack-sawed the link to better situation, re-installed...and bingo...all is well. Apparently problem was an old, worn, distorted ground connection clamp....the part that goes onto the battery terminal. This wasn't some prob that needed testing tools after all. It was a prob that relates to OLD VWs...with worn parts...stuff that isn't covered in the manuals.
I just hope the car starts, and goes, if any prospective buyers stop by for either the car, and/or also the ton of T-III VW mechanical and body parts also looking for new homes. Trouble is...not that many T-III restorationists Back East. They all seem to be Out West.
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2019 23:49:05 +0000 (UTC)
From: "J. Jonik" <j_jonik at yahoo.com>
Is there a way to check to find what, if anything, in a '71 Sqbk, might drain the battery in five or six days???? It was fully charged about a week ago...went for a nice drive with prospective buyer, but now, after sitting parked for most of a week, there's no cranking or anything.? Dashboard lights work.
Or is this just the battery's fault...easy to find out, I think, at local Auto Parts store?
But, just curious to know if something in the car could be draining the battery...and if there's a way to test to eliminate that question.
Jim Adney reply:
There are 3 questions that you need to answer here. The first is,
"Was the battery actually fully charged when I shut the car down?"
The second is, "Was there something draining the battery while it was
parked?" And the third is, "Is this battery any good?"
It's easy to assume that the first answer must be yes, but that's not
necessarily true. To answer that, you need to check your charging
system, to make SURE that it's working correctly. The fact that the
generator light went out when the engine started does not guarantee
that the system is working.
To check the charging system, you need a voltmeter and know how to
use it. The system voltage needs to be up around 14 V whenever the
engine is running at medium RPM or higher. At lower RPM the system
voltage can sag as low as the mid 12s. If you never see the system
voltage rise much above 13 V, something's wrong with the charging
system. If it doesn't get above 14 V the battery won't ever get fully
charged. The voltage must be above 13.5 V for the FI to operate
To check for a drain while parked, you can leave the car parked with
the battery ground strap disconnected. If the battery then stays
charged, you may assume that disconnecting the ground strap
eliminated some leakage current.
Of course there's always the possibility that the battery is shot. If
it seems to need a recharge after sitting unused for months, put it
on a trickle charger for a week. In that time, it's voltage should
slowly rise. Do NOT try to speed up this process by charging it at a
higher current; that will damage the battery. If the battery voltage
drops below 12 V after it's allowed to sit, disconnected, for a few
days, it has a shorted cell and it's shot.
Lots of FLAPS have the ability to test batteries to see if they are
in decent condition, or at least if they are in a good charge state.
I'm often skeptical about these tests, as they tend to be designed to
sell batteries rather than actually tell you where the actual problem
I have a charging system faq that I'll send you. If you're able to
follow those more detailed instructions, that will allow you to check
out your charging system and determine if it's working correctly.
Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
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