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2013 Volkswagen Jetta is killing me in repair costs


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My daughters 2013 Volkswagen Jetta is killing me in repair costs. First it was an Ignition Switch for $800 then a new Alternator for $600 and now it is dying while she is driving and the battery light shows up on the dashboard. We had the battery tested yesterday and they said it was bad, so we bought a new one for $205 yesterday. The same issue happened again after the new battery. I know it can be several different issues. Any way to narrow it down quick and cheaply. I am a single mother who can't keep affording these huge repair bills on this car. She is a new and young driver and this can be a huge safety problem for her while driving.  Any help is appreciated.   Thanks Cheryl 

3 Answers

Have it scanned for codes for free at any major auto parts store.  Report back with the codes.  Thanks.


the battery light

Is it just a battery light or does it say anything on the infotainment display? (if equipped)


I'd recommend scanning it with a scan tool and reseting the battery health monitor.

(Usually the battery light means there's not enough alternator voltage but it's a VW so it can mean other things)

But you probably should connect a regular OBDII scanner and look at live data, is there something like a "desired alternator output" and a "Actual alternator output" data field? 


I'd say that most likely it's a bad alternator, replacement unit quality if often poor (both OEM and aftermarket)


After repairing the car, while car prices are high, please consider dumping it -

when these begin to fall apart it gets real bad real fast.


Dump it ASAP while the used car market is still inflated. 

This is the wrong vehicle for somebody who needs dependable transportation (2012 Passat as an example) -