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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old December 16th, 2009, 17:42   #1
Nico3d3
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Default Car won't start troubleshooting (again)

Here we go again, we hear a lot about people claiming a TDI can easily start in the coldest temperature but I fail to see how it will happen on my car. After three years and lots of money thrown into it, I still get the same problem, it's getting ridiculously frustrating. After a starter replacement (replaced with a rebuilt OEM Bosch starter) and then, a battery replaced twice (group 49, 1000 amp, 80 ah battery), I fail to see where is the real problem?

Last year, I saw a mechanic specialised in Volkswagen who claimed there was no problem whatsoever with the alternator, or the starter or the battery, he tested all of them. He even claimed that using, his little electronic testing device, he was able to determine there was no faulty ground or bad wiring, so he didn't look further and he didn't check visually any grounds or anything. How come he doesn't see any problems if the starter isn't cranking at temperature below -15C? I tried this afternoon and it was barely cranking, then I plugged the FrostHeater for 3 hours hoping it would help, but amazingly it was even worse when I retried in the evening, the starter isn't cranking at all, I can only hear the clicking solenoid but still, I have an almost brand new battery and I replaced it for the second time last year.

There's no corrosion at the negative and positive battery connexion but I can't look any further while I'm stuck on a cold dark night. I know there's a ground on the transmission and there are grounds below the battery too but I have no idea how to test them.

I'm in dire need of a REAL mechanic who could check visually all wiring and grounds, and check if there's anything draining the battery. I can't continue throwing money at it without finding the real cause and unfortunately, I don't have access to a heated garage where I could check all of it by myself. The brand new battery helped me last year, I was even able to start it at -30C but suddendly, it's not working anymore after one year, ***? I'm currently in Quebec city.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 18:20   #2
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Did you get a good rated battery for your car? The connections under the battery need cleaned. You can do it yourself. Do you try recycling the glow plug light twice before trying to start when that cold? Do you have a multimeter?
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Old December 16th, 2009, 18:36   #3
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Given your description of the problem, I would want to test the battery voltage while cranking, or see if the car starts with a boost.

Clicking while engaging the starter tells me that the battery voltage is not sufficient to turn the starter.

which leads me to beleive there is either high resistance in the starting system, or that the battery is being drained by something.

If the battery is low, and starts the car after being charged, then I would check the car for parasitic drains.

Malheurisment, I'm not going to be in Quebec any time soon, but you're more than welcome to come on down to Toronto, and I'll check things out for you...
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Old December 16th, 2009, 21:29   #4
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I know this is no comparison, however, it will illustrate how outside temp affects the ability of your car to start.

I live in Southeast Kentucky (basically upper south).

I'm going into the 3rd winter with a "gasser" rated Wal-mart battery (I think it cost about $45.00). It starts my TDI just fine. It was an emergency purchase in November of '07. The coldest temp thus far it has had to face was about 10 degrees fahrenheit.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 22:19   #5
Nico3d3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyBees
I know this is no comparison, however, it will illustrate how outside temp affects the ability of your car to start.

I live in Southeast Kentucky (basically upper south).

And your point is? Basically, I knew right away I would need a beefy battery, when I bought the car because I'm living in a reeaaallly cold area. I also knew I needed something rated at 80 amp/hour for the glow plug, I bought a battery following those requirements and still, I'm stranded and it happen every damn winter. Maybe it's time to buy another ****ty japanese car?
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Old December 16th, 2009, 22:34   #6
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Is that 1000 cold cranking amps? or just cranking amps?
Check your posts and battery connection. Also, after trying to start it, carefully feel your positive and negative battery cables. If they are hot, you're getting a dead short on that side.

My guess would be a bad ground, but that's only because that was my problem in a previous situation.

Keep in mind that, **** happens in winter and, no car in the world is specifically designed to operate in the stupid temperatures we get.

You can only laugh when the plastic door handle on your brand new car comes off in your hand in -40...
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Old December 17th, 2009, 13:12   #7
Nico3d3
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Yeah right, no car is designed to operate in these stupid temperature but still everyone I know who own a TDI, are telling me it's even easier to start than a gasser. There's definitely a gremlin in mine and I hope I'll be able to find before I get frustrated enough to replace it with a Toyota.
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 04:09   #8
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Default audi 2002 a4 2.5 tdi wont start

i have a audi 2002 a4 2.5 tdi wont start, it looks like a relay because of all the alarms buzzing when i switch the car on, can someone tell me which relay is the one that supply power to the ecu etc ? The engine turns over but the globe plugg light doesnt show ?
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