Does your alternator light work? In other words, does it come on when you turn on the key, before starting the engine? If the alternator light circuit is broken, the alternator is deprived of the "tickler current" it needs to initially energize its field windings and start producing power. It may eventually get going anyway from residual magnetism, when revved up high enough.
I've also found, at least on VWs with Bosch alternators, it's a normal condition for the alternator light to stay on until the engine has been revved above 1000 RPM. 3500 rpm definitely sounds excessive, though.
posted by 64.81.163...
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