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Dim Battery Warning Light showing

stew

stew

Messages
46
Location
Switzerland
Vehicle
T5 Beach 4Motion
Hi,

The 'Battery' warning light on my T5.2 is lit up but only very dimly. I noticed it since it has gotten cold (-4C overnight). With the ignition on before starting, the light is very bright, so the bulb is working fine.

I fully charged the battery overnight and it still shows.

With a multimeter, the voltage across the battery when the engine is running shows 14.55v and at rest, the battery has shown anywhere from 12.38v to 12.56v (all times at least 3 hours after stopping the engine). Strangely, if I keep the multimeter probes on the battery, the volts gradually increase, about 0.1v every few seconds...

From a little bit of googling, this appears to show that the alternator is at least working and the battery is not yet bad, but not in peak condition either. It is the original one and at least 7 years old.

Does anyone have a clue why the light should be on, albeit dim? Does this signify something other than when it is bright? The manual says nothing about varying levels of brightness.

Thanks!
 
calikev

calikev

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Sounds like it could be a bad earth somewhere
 
VW Guru

VW Guru

Messages
562
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Hi have a look st your dash when it’s dark are there any other lights dim we have had quite a few instrument clusters fail causing dim lights on the dash
 
Ethel Van Man

Ethel Van Man

Messages
183
Location
cambridge
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Hi have a look st your dash when it’s dark are there any other lights dim we have had quite a few instrument clusters fail causing dim lights on the dash
Had this on my Skoda Octavia, common problem apparently, new light cluster and quite pricey!
 
sidepod

sidepod

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T4 PopTop
Classic Mk4 Golf issue. Caused by increase in temperature/cluster PCB deforming.

It’s fixable if you take the van off the dashboard!!
You toob is your friend.
 
stew

stew

Messages
46
Location
Switzerland
Vehicle
T5 Beach 4Motion
So I checked at night and also noticed that more than one light shows dim in different circumstances...
  • Battery bulb is dim when...
    - Drivers seatbelt not in
    - Left indicator is on (blinks in time with it), doesn't happen with the right indicator
    - Hazard lights are on
    - Traction control is disabled

  • Low Fuel bulb is dim when...
    - Drivers seatbelt not in

  • Right Indicator bulb is dim when...
    - Cruise control is enabled (the green Cruise Control light is bright, as normal)

  • Bulb Failure shows when...
    - Rear foglight is turned on
I made a short video here

Does this change what the problem can be?! :)

Cheers,
Stu
 
VW Guru

VW Guru

Messages
562
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
So I checked at night and also noticed that more than one light shows dim in different circumstances...
  • Battery bulb is dim when...
    - Drivers seatbelt not in
    - Left indicator is on (blinks in time with it), doesn't happen with the right indicator
    - Hazard lights are on
    - Traction control is disabled

  • Low Fuel bulb is dim when...
    - Drivers seatbelt not in

  • Right Indicator bulb is dim when...
    - Cruise control is enabled (the green Cruise Control light is bright, as normal)

  • Bulb Failure shows when...
    - Rear foglight is turned on
I made a short video here

Does this change what the problem can be?! :)

Cheers,
Stu
Hi that’s definitely a failing instrument cluster unfortunately.
 
Loz

Loz

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4,393
Location
Berkeley Gloucestershire
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
I made a short video here

Does this change what the problem can be?! :)

Cheers,
Stu
Looks like earth fault on one of the tracks on the circuit board to me...
If this were mine and faced with a replacement cost, I would be tempted to take it apart and set to it with a soldering iron :)
But first I would unplug and replug all the connections and the earth point behind the instrument cluster.
 
jts46

jts46

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Derbyshire & Lot et Garonne
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T5 SE 130
Looks like earth fault on one of the tracks on the circuit board to me...
If this were mine and faced with a replacement cost, I would be tempted to take it apart and set to it with a soldering iron :)
how do you remove instrument cluster?
 
Loz

Loz

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Berkeley Gloucestershire
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
how do you remove instrument cluster?
I dont have the 2006 manual but the 2016 shows.
upload_2019-1-18_9-32-5.png
Removing
  • – Move steering wheel to rearmost and lowest position. Use the full range of the steering column adjustment for this purpose.
  • – Switch off ignition.
  • – Store the ignition key outside the vehicle to prevent the ignition from being switched on unintentionally.
  • – Remove dash panel insert trim
  • Remove securing bolts -1-
upload_2019-1-18_9-33-54.png
  • Pull out dash panel insert - KX2- -2- until it makes contact with steering wheel.

  • – To separate electrical connector on back of dash panel insert, press locking detent -1- and swing retaining clip in direction of -arrow-.

  • – Remove dash panel insert - KX2- from between steering wheel and dash panel.
 
stew

stew

Messages
46
Location
Switzerland
Vehicle
T5 Beach 4Motion
Looks like earth fault on one of the tracks on the circuit board to me...
If this were mine and faced with a replacement cost, I would be tempted to take it apart and set to it with a soldering iron :)
But first I would unplug and replug all the connections and the earth point behind the instrument cluster.
Thanks. Is there anything important to be aware of before unplugging connectors like losing some coding or important configuration?
 
sidepod

sidepod

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As stated, search on Golf Mk4 dash faults and you’ll find a method of sorting it.
 
stew

stew

Messages
46
Location
Switzerland
Vehicle
T5 Beach 4Motion
As stated, search on Golf Mk4 dash faults and you’ll find a method of sorting it.
Thanks, I tried a variety of searches and didn't find anything obvious either on Google or Youtube.
e.g. 'Golf mk4 dash fault', using other terms such as instrument, cluster, mkIV, dimming, errors, PCB, deformed, etc.

Do you have a link to the method you are referring to please?
 
stew

stew

Messages
46
Location
Switzerland
Vehicle
T5 Beach 4Motion
FYI, removed the cluster and re-plugged it in, but no change.

There was one connector on the back, took it out, put it back in. The wiring bundle from the cluster snakes back much further behind the dash so I couldn't see if anything was amiss there, without taking apart more of the dash it seems.

For those wanting to know how to remove the cluster on a T5, here are pics showing which screws to remove - https://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showpost.php?p=1934744&postcount=7

With a long enough screwdriver, I could easily undo the two Torx screws holding the cluster without removing any other part of the lower dash (removal of the lower dash to get at the screws is documented here).

I thought the screws would fall down and get caught in the the dash either side of the steering wheel, but both fell onto the floor. Even if they got caught, there should be enough room to fish them out.

I levered the cluster out a little using a screwdriver from underneath as shown in the pics, I still couldn't get any purchase on it from within the dash, so I raised the cluster up at the bottom using a screwdriver and slipped the fat end of a cable tie under the bottom of the unit and then pulled it out with that.
 
sidepod

sidepod

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This is what I’m guessing it could be.

 
BikerGran

BikerGran

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In the original post I'm not sure but it sounds as if the ignition warning light is glowing faintly when engine is running, NOT before starting. If that's the case I'm surprised that no-one suggested a possible failing alternator - this happened on my Passat.
 
calikev

calikev

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In the original post I'm not sure but it sounds as if the ignition warning light is glowing faintly when engine is running, NOT before starting. If that's the case I'm surprised that no-one suggested a possible failing alternator - this happened on my Passat.
the original poster tested the battery with the engine running and it was showing over 14 volts indicating the alternator is working
 
BikerGran

BikerGran

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Yes mine was still working - I was told that I could keep driving it as it was till the light showed brightly while driving. Unfortunately that advice wasn't entirely correct, and the light was only a little brighter although I'd done a fair bit of driving, when the alternator failed completely on the Redbridge roundabout in Southampton. Very embarrassing and not a little scary!
 
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