View Full Version : Please Help Electrics then engine dying. Flooring accelerator helps

19-02-2009, 01:07 AM
My first post, I hope somone can help.

I have a 92 Passat CL estate that has had an intermittent problem for the last couple of years, I think only in cold weather.

Whilst driving, the electrics will suddenly die completely and the engine will lose power quickly and stall. The first time it happened it would not restart and I had to call the AA out, they checked battery etc and could not find the cause. A mechanic has also checked and cleaned up battery connectors and earth leads. A new battery was fitted last spring and it was fine for ages but now winter again and the problem has returned.

Stalling can usually be avoided by quickly slipping into neutral and flooring the accellerator hard which will bring the electrics back to life (dashboard light, petrol gauge) and the engine springs back to life.

Sometimes the engine will feel sluggish and the petrol gauge shows lower than it should. My wife is not so good at the accelerator technique, the other day she drove into town and the car would not start when she returned after shopping. I had to cycle in and roll it (backwards) to jump start it.

Again the mechanic can not find a problem but as soon as I started it tonight I realised the dashboard lights were not as bright as they should be and petrol gauge was on 1/4 tank. Flooring it in neutral brightened the dashboard lights, headlights and the petrol gauge moved up to 1/2 tank which is correct. This happens every time I start it now.

I had never thought to search the internet for a solution before but found this forum and others with similar problems. I found lots of references to replacing the 109 Relay which looked promising but now i'm not so sure if this applies to a CL as it appears to be mentioned in relation to TDIs. I just looked on and around the fuse box (with a torch) but could not see a 109 so my hopes have been deflated.

Has anyone any idea what is going on or if a CL has a Relay 109 (or different code?).

Apologies for rambling! :o

yours hopefully


19-02-2009, 11:05 PM
Try removing and cleaning the wires on the starter motor and on the alternator. Bad connections can give a high resistance. It does sound like an earthing fault. Was the body to engine earth strap removed and cleaned. When it next plays up, feel round the battery and earth connections. A poor connection will feel warmer.

22-02-2009, 01:16 PM
Thanks Martin, I have done this but all wires seemed Ok and problem still present.

Will there be another earth wire from the engine to the body somewhere apart from the one connected to the battery?

I can't get it back in the garage for over a week but my wife needs to use it this week and is nervous about being stranded again.

22-02-2009, 04:11 PM
Should be an earth lead from the engine to the chassis. The battery earth lead usually goes to the body/chassis, not the engine. Have you by any chance had the clutch changed.

24-02-2009, 12:14 PM
Should be an earth lead from the engine to the chassis. The battery earth lead usually goes to the body/chassis, not the engine. Have you by any chance had the clutch changed.

The only earth lead I can see goes from the engine to the battery (negative side) but is also connected to the body half way along. Is this not normal?

I haven't had a new clutch but it was 10 years old when I got it so it's possible.

04-03-2009, 11:32 AM
Apparently it's the dashboard panel. The alternator light was off but knocking the top of the dashboard brings it back on. I need to find a replacement panel from a scrapyard in or near Birmingham if anyone can help?