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1999 Eurovan Camper - Engine Battery Problem



 
 
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Old November 26th 06, 07:45 PM posted to rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled
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Default 1999 Eurovan Camper - Engine Battery Problem

We just purchased this vehicle as an upgrade to our 1987 Westie. We got
the Westie about a year ago and were having so much fun with it, we
decided we wanted the safety & technology that came along a few years
later... airbags, ABS, Traction Control, AC... horsepower... and so
forth.

So, we pick up the beast in New Hampshire (white: 58,000 mile;
Winnebago conversion) . It runs like a champ through the 400+ miles to
Pennsylvania, slides into the garage by 1/100 of an inch and sits for a
week until the title work and registration catches up with it. I then
drive it for a day (pretty heavy rain) and about 140 miles, averaging
22mpg, and no sign of difficulty at all. It sits in the driveway behind
my Volvo XC70 (more later on this "good" luck) all night. Next morning,
the battery is stone dead. Nothing. Not even the odometer digits show.
So, as it happens the battery in the Volvo is in the rear deck, so
jumping the VW is no problem. It starts HARD. VERY hard. Crank, catch.
Runs a few seconds, dies. Finally after a few minutes of feathering
from fast idle down to 'idle', it catches but at a low RPM. Driving, it
surges and dies.

I changed the fuel filter after ascertaining based on the undercoating
that it was OEM (!!). That cured both the hard start and the surging,
and the low idle. Drive it for a few miles, all seems fine. Next
morning, stone dead battery again. So. I connect the jumpers and hear
what sounds like a small motor rev up under the hood. As soon as I
disconnect the jumpers, the motor (and everything else) dies. Start the
care (instant start this time), that little motor is still sounding.
Facing the engine, it seems to be very slightly to the right-of-center,
and at the bottom of the engine. As there is a skid-plate underneath, I
cannot determine its location more closely right now. It DOES NOT sound
like the ABS pump further to the right. Nor does it sound like either
washer-fluid pump. And it is much more quiet than either fan motor.

Anyway, I started it, drove it, and shut it off. No motor sound. Then
some 20 minutes later, it comes on a few seconds, then stops. I am
guessing this is killing the battery, but I have no clue at this moment
other than intuition what it might be. My considerations include:

a) A bad fuel pump relay causing the pump to run even with the engine
off?
b) Some other pump or motor?
c) Something else?

Right now, I have it sitting with the fuel-pump fuse (20A) pulled. If
it starts tomorrow, I will go right to the relay... but I thought I
would avail myself of any accumulated wisdom here as well.

Thanks in advance.

Peter Wieck
Wyncote, PA

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