Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

VW Beetle Dead Battery

VW Beetle Dead Battery

Diagnose and fix VW Beetle Dead Battery issue

Shops are finding the root problem for a VW Beetle Dead Battery may be a fuse box corrosion issue, not a bad alternator as most people suspect (VW calls this a fuse bracket). The fuse box sits under the hood above the battery and can develop corrosion from road salt spray and battery fumes. As the terminals corrode, the fuse box develops excessive resistance and heat that can burn up the plastic frame, also resulting in a no-charge condition and a dead battery.

The problem fuse bracket can be found on all 2001-05 VW Beetle vehicles

vw golf dead battery
Dead battery VW golf

Don’t automatically replace the alternator

When the fuse block corrodes, it prevent field power to the alternator and that will test out as a bad alternator if you just rely on a voltage test at the battery. If you fall for that, you’ll replace the alternator and it still won’t charge properly.

Check the alternator fuse first

The high amperage power runs through the fuse bracket before going to the positive battery terminal. If the fuse bracket shows signs of corrosion, heat distortion or insulation melting, that heat can also burn the fuse terminals.

Check for corrosion in the fuse box

If you see any signs of corrosion, heat distortion, insulation melting or fuse damage, replace the entire fuse bracket. Conduct a voltage drop test. Voltage drop under load should be almost 0-volts. A voltage drop above 0.30-volts is a sign of excessive resistance. In that case, replace the fuse box.

Replace the fuse box

Disconnect the negative battery cable and then swap in a replacement fuse box. One product is the Dorman Products 924-680. It fits the following vehicles:

2006 Volkswagen Beetle L4 116 1.9L (1896cc)
2006 Volkswagen Beetle
2005 Volkswagen Beetle
2005 Volkswagen Bora (Mexico) L5 151 2.5L (2480cc); Mexico Region
2005 Volkswagen Beetle
2005 Volkswagen Beetle
2004 Volkswagen Beetle
2004 Volkswagen Beetle
2004 Volkswagen Beetle
2003 Volkswagen Beetle From VIN 1C3433166
2003 Volkswagen Beetle
2003 Volkswagen Beetle
2002 Volkswagen Beetle
2002 Volkswagen Beetle
2001 Volkswagen Beetle wo/80AH/380A Battery
2001 Volkswagen Beetle From VIN 9M1081201
2000 Volkswagen Beetle wo/80AH/380A Battery
1999 Volkswagen Beetle
Reattach all the cables and then apply a corrosion resistant dielectric grease or quick spray of Fluid Film

Dorman 924-680Dorman fuse box
©, 2019 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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