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2001 Volkswagen Jetta GL 4dr Sedan Manual

2001 Volkswagen Jetta
Trim Info:
Front-Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan GL, Compact
24 mpg city / 31 mpg hwy
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January 15, 2013, 9:01 am


Question: Did my mechanic scam me? Battery issues.

I bought a brand new battery from my mechanic 2 weeks ago. It had been running just fine with no problems, and I'd been driving daily. The other day, I was driving it around town and stopped for an errand that was under 10 mins. When I came back to my car, it was flat-lined dead. Absolutely nothing happened when I turned the key.

A friend tried to jump it for me, but it wouldn't take a jump. Called a tow truck who was able to jump it with one of those heavy duty jump starters, and I drove home, driving around for 30 mins to get the battery charged up. As soon as I got home and turned the car off, it instantly flat-lined again as before, with a little buzzing sound as it died.

My mechanic is two blocks away, so the next day they towed it and worked on it. (Same mechanic that I bought the battery from.) They told me that my dome light was having an issue and drained the battery. The invoice says they charged the battery, checked the charging system, and cleaned the cables. They then charged me $135 for the work, including the tow.

My friends are saying they scammed me. How can a dome light drain a battery entirely in the 10 mins I was on an errand? And what did the mechanics do to charge up a battery that would not hold charges the day before, after driving for 30 mins after the super charge? Is it likely that the battery was a bad one, and the mechanic just replaced it without telling me, charging me $135 in the meantime?

January 22, 2013, 7:24 pm

Richard W
Expert Mechanic

It could be that the battery connection was bad. That would make the car go dead. But some times thing happen. So it's hard to say if he scammed you.

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