My Westfalia

A Volkswagen Westfalia Camper Van Blog – VW Bus

My Westfalia

Does this sound like a dead battery?

April 24th, 2008 · 8 Comments

This has never happened before: Lucy won't start!

I don't think it's the starter… those tend to go over time. When I turn the key, I can hear a bit of a hum near the engine but nothing mechanical is happening.

Dead battery? I only have one functional headlight and it appears to be out. I do have hazard lights and the internal light. Does this simply sound like not enough juice to get the engine started up?

I don't know how I could have drained the battery. I started Lucy up just a few days ago. Nothing was left on.

I do have a battery charger, so I guess it's time to get my hands dirty! 

Tags: Repairs

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Candice // Apr 29, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Hi there! My fiance and I also own a red VW Westfalia, bought it in Oct 07. We took her out for her first camping trip this past weekend. We decided to name her: Lucy!! Go figure!?! Then Eric found your blog. Too funny!!
    We are also in BC, Lower Mainland area.
    Our next planned trip is for May long weekend to Tulameen. What is your next trip?

  • 2 Sam // May 12, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you for your comment, Candice! Neat, there's another red Lucy out there! What year? Any photos online? Our next trip is probably to the mechanics'. Once I get the dead battery and flat tire dealt with I'll probably take her for a couple of spins, but I want to get her into the shop for some more major work so that she's in better condition for a couple of festivals this summer.

  • 3 Chris // May 13, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I am working on my 74 bus. I was jealous of your post about your first "trip/ overnight."
    Viva VW

  • 4 Sam // May 13, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Hey Chris, Chaquita's looking fine!!

    My main reason for bringing Lucy into my family was for festivals and concerts. She needs some work before I can take her out on the '08 festival scene, but we'll surely hit a few good parties this summer together. So far, I haven't taken her very far from home, and I don't plan to until I drop about another $4K into her mechanical restoration. V-dub owners have to master the art of patience it seems–a good life lesson!

  • 5 Stephanie // Oct 9, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Awww….make that THREE red Lucys out there. I just got mine yesterday and I'm very excited…she's a 1971 with poptop. I can't say I'll need to do as many trips to the garage though..it's in quite good shape thanks to the previous owners. Just a few things on my to do list before a cross-canada trip!

  • 6 Sam // Oct 9, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Your Lucy is beautiful, Stephanie!

    We have a couple of other things in common too: I went to public school in Ottawa, and I work in IT as well. And, being 30 (and over) isn't as bad as it sounds ;)

    If you come west next summer, and make it as far as the Gulf Islands, let me know!

  • 7 jason // Oct 27, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    sounds like you could have what's known as a bald spot on your starter. Push it forward or back a bit, and then see if it starts (if it happens again)

  • 8 Sam // Nov 23, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Jason! That totally sounds like the problem. I've got Lucy all wrapped up for the winter, but I'll certainly investigate this on the next sunny day when I do a little maintenance on her.

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