Difficult to Diagnose Electrical Issues Are Typically Due to Ground Issues on Volkswagen Jetta

Electrical issues that are difficult to diagnose—and sometimes intermittent—are typically due to ground wiring issues. The most troublesome ground locations are under the battery or at the engine.

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Average mileage: 111,598 (17,000–300,000)
20 model years affected: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, more1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
80 people reported this problem
45 people shared problem details
Door locks stop working intermittently. Key always works but alarm doesn't always initiate. Remote for locks doesn't work and it isn't just due to a bad battery. Unlock button on driver's side door needs to be held down forcefully for a long time to get other doors to unlock, sometimes it won't work until the car is turned on. This is driving me crazy!
24 people like thisFlag inappropiate
The main source of my problems was the ground located under the windshield wiper cowling. Remove the cowling and there is a bolt with 3 grounds running to it. Remove and clean the grounds and it should help. I was getting a Cam Sensor Code. Car actually seems to run better too!
20 people like thisFlag inappropiate
I have changed the starter and alternator and my car still won't start what else could be the problem
18 people like thisFlag inappropiate
Light for hood up is staying on, windshield wiper fluid will not spray and wipers sometimes won't work, also having problems with car alarm going off.
13 people like thisFlag inappropiate
a/c fan does not come on when a/c is on. both fans have electrical power. also when hooked up direct both fans work
10 people like thisFlag inappropiate
headligh low beam went out . replaced switch. not it. now the lowbeeams on in the DLRunning light position . in the low beab position the headlights work but the dash board doesn't light up. RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
9 people like thisFlag inappropiate
1998 Volkswagen Jetta135,014
my windows all quit working, and my abs and cruise dont work as well. im assuming its wiring since they are notorious for the crappy job but i cant diagnose the problems exactly.
7 people like thisFlag inappropiate
Cost me a new fuel line system to realize it was a bad ground and that my fuel line was just fine..
7 people like thisFlag inappropiate
1996 Volkswagen Jetta175,000
problem with cluster, first erratic speed, gas gauge, no light or gear indicator. worked ground under battery and sensor, change top sensor under windshiled wipers. now all work and are right w. But work only intermittently. No answer for that.hen they work
5 people like thisFlag inappropiate
2.5 liter 2005 has had repeated intermittent engine light issues
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
Door locks,electric seats,lights etc
2 people like thisFlag inappropiate
I have a lot of trouble with fuses and electrical under hood. Trouble finding problems and still haven't fixed all.
2 people like thisFlag inappropiate
code p0340 cam sensor
2 people like thisFlag inappropiate
1996 Volkswagen Jetta224,000
car wont start if extra ground wire not attach to the enjin or body. wont swich off if extra ground wire is not disconnect. i check all the ground attachments and clean it
1 person likes thisFlag inappropiate
electronic keys won't work, dash light stays on when shut down, battery drains, running light system intermittently flashes, NO solution yet
1 person likes thisFlag inappropiate
1997 Volkswagen Jetta236,000
Windshield wipers do not work unless lights are in on position and high beam is held on, and then only drivers side works. Headlights do not work except when held on. Cruise control does not work. Air (heat or AC) blows on low in every position (0-4). Replaced multi function switch (cruise, high beams)-problem did not resolve. Sure this is a ground issue, but can not find where the ground is.
1 person likes thisFlag inappropiate
When I use the highbeams a different light will shut off and the indicator on the dash comes on saying I have a light out. Always 2 seconds after turning on the highbeams the a tail light goes out or the license plate light sometimes its the amber light on the front near the headlights. Uppon turning off the highbeams if I turn the headlight on and off three times whichever light went out comes back on and the indicator on the dash goes off.
1 person likes thisFlag inappropiate
2004 Volkswagen Jetta100,124
I had the same symptoms. It was a loose cable. Remove main battery cover. Remove the BLACK ground cable on the right side of the battery with 10mm socket or wrench. You will see a smaller box that the RED battery cable feeds to, with 5 smaller wires feeding out the back. Flip open the lid on the smaller box. Check the 5 smaller wires and make sure the connections are TIGHT with your 10mm socket or wrench. The first wire on mine was loose. Vibration from the engine would cause an arc and stall the engine.
1 person likes thisFlag inappropiate
Alarm works sometime remote only locks every door but the passenger
First the check engine light came on and two garages were unable to find an issue. About 18 months later the EPC light comes on after 10 - 15 minutes of driving and the car stalls if in first or second gear. Issues with acceleration when on the highway.
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