View Full Version : 2.8L Quattro died while driving and wouldn't accept a jump start?

12-13-2014, 07:53 PM
The car's voltage dropped really low when driving and the ABS, SRS, and Battery light came on. I lost power steering, slow acceleration, then eventually it just slowed to a halt. I tried to get a jump from a Ford Focus and it wouldn't jump even though the voltage was around 13.5v. The starter wouldn't turn over and I did hear the starter solenoid. Also, usually when I first start the car the battery light is on til I rev it a little then voltage rises then the battery light goes out. I'm thinking the alternator is the issue but I would like an explanation as to the SRS and ABS light, as well as not accepting a jump. Btw, new battery as of 3 days. And the car still had some power when it died, so the hazards, and the dash lit up. So maybe just not enough to supply the vehicle running?

12-13-2014, 07:58 PM
It's quite a big coincidence if you are having power issues 3 days after getting a new battery. Did you clean the battery connections really well? Check to make sure the connecters are still tight on the battery terminals?

12-13-2014, 08:16 PM
It's quite a big coincidence if you are having power issues 3 days after getting a new battery. Did you clean the battery connections really well? Check to make sure the connecters are still tight on the battery terminals?

I did. I made sure the terminals and leads were clean and had good contact. I also had some trouble getting it started before the new battery. It wasn't holding a charge and I got it for 35 bucks. So I said why not. Turns out it wasn't the battery. Has to be some other electrical fault.

12-14-2014, 06:52 AM
Did you double check your battery connections since you installed it? Have you tried tightening them again even if you think they're tight? What about grounds. Do you still have a serpentine belt :p? Your lights will come on if there isn't enough power/alternator isn't working. I would think it should still try to turn over though. Weird.

12-14-2014, 07:55 AM
Check body grounds.

Did you try push starting it? Might also be a starter issue.

12-14-2014, 11:51 AM
Sounds like an alternator to me. That sucks, but if your main fuse is still intact and connections to the battery are all good then most likely it's the alternator

12-14-2014, 12:37 PM
Most places like Pep Boys will also bench test electrical components such as alternators and starts so this could diagnose the issue if you have tested everything else/

12-14-2014, 02:08 PM
Check body grounds.

It's an auto so push starting is quite difficult. And which body grounds would I be checking?

I still have the serp. belt. And I checked the tension, about 1/2 inch of play.

Battery connections are tight and clean.

Really inconvenient if it's the starter and alternator going out at the same exact time.

12-14-2014, 05:14 PM
Not sure where it is on a 2.8. On the 1.8 its on the passenger mount and on the passenger side of the battery.

Possibly nothing wrong with the batt or alternator since jump starting didn't even crank. Assuming proper jump (for a completely dead batt. other car started, let charge for a few minutes, rev other car around 2-3k, start your car)

12-14-2014, 05:26 PM
Explain the loss of power steering. As long as the engine is running, you should have steering assist. Steering should only get difficult once the engine actually stalls and you are coasting.

If steering was difficult before that point, it would necessarily mean the belt was slipping. Possibly due to the alternator trying to lock up solid. That may explain the no-crank as well.

Maybe drop the belt and make sure everything turns. Then try to jump start without the belt.

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12-14-2014, 07:12 PM
I'm going to try to mess with it a bit more tomorrow. But I lost power steering right before it stopped completely. So the engine was probably off and I may have just been coasting. I'll try another jump tomorrow or I'll just charge the battery and see if it cranks with a good charge.

12-14-2014, 07:54 PM
My money is on the alt.

12-15-2014, 06:22 AM
It's interesting how drivers of manuals know exactly when their engine dies. In an automatic, a driver could sail for a bit of time before realizing the slush is no longer actually slush-ing.

Alternator could have failed as a dead short. Thus robbing all your jump-start go-juice.

12-15-2014, 01:58 PM
Okay so I rechecked the tension on the serp belt and it's pretty loose, when I checked it before I guess I didn't have enough leverage to give it a good push. But I can twist the belt at least 180 degrees and I can push it a few inches. Is there a way to actually tighten the belt? Because I know I can loosen it and tighten it when I hold it. But I want to lock it in a tighter position. Possible?

12-15-2014, 03:15 PM
Here's a video showing exactly what my car does when you start it.


12-15-2014, 03:27 PM
Looks like the brushes are bad in your alternator. Quite common to happen exactly at your mileage (120k+). Some make it to ~150k.

The good fix is to replace the brushes and keep your nice, factory, time-tested alternator (http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/358309-DIY-5-Alternator-Fix-replacing-brushes-%28Valeo%29). But hardly nobody does this anymore. They just get the chinese junk at the parts store (http://www.autozone.com/external-engine/alternator/duralast-import-alternator/audi/a4-quattro/2000/6-cylinders-2-8l-sfi-dohc/25044_125562_4447/). Or pay big bucks for a real Bosch reman (http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_A4-Quattro-V6_30v/Engine/Electrical/ES11643/).