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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old September 15th, 2017, 13:35   #1
Searcher2
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Default Ignition key no start (intermittent)

Problem started today. When I try to start the engine, there is no response when I turn the key to start. I cycle the key to off to start a couple of times and it then starts. Anyone have an idea what the likely culprit might be? I know there is a clutch interlock, but are there any other interlocks I need to check? Thanks for any help. 98 Beetle AGR 5 speed.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 14:31   #2
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Start basic diagnosis- Turn on headlamps, turn starter, nothing happens, if headlights dim considerably it means it's getting signal to the start circuit, just not enough oomph to turn over, could be bad wire, low battery, that sort of thing.
If headlights just flicker or do nothing, it's not getting signal to the start circuit. ignition switch, damaged wire, non-existent ground, and things of that sort. Will also do this if a control like the clutch switch tells it the wrong thing.
Always check all fuses, especially the slow-blows on top of the battery.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 17:40   #3
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Almost sounds like an ignition switch issue.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 18:11   #4
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While turning key to start position, have a friend move the battery cables around. Had this happening intermittently and it was a broken wire within the plastic coating, so you could not see the break. Sometimes it would connect, and sometimes it would not...
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Old September 15th, 2017, 19:18   #5
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One of the common issues with starter switches is that people think they need 1 lb of additional keys and do-dads hanging off the Fob. How about yours?

That is one sure way to destroy the key switch, which is replaceable without changing the lock. Naturally, that is only after eliminating clutch, starter relay, etc.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 20:37   #6
Fahrvegnugen
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I am now having the same issue. I don't have any corrosion I can see, except a little green on battery to starter connection. Tried a different key which didn't change anything. I think I can feel a need to twist the key farther in the tumbler. I keep the key ring light. I'm probably going to try a new ignition switch. It sometimes will turn over if I hold the ignition on all the way, but usually I just have to try several times.
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Old September 16th, 2017, 02:53   #7
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DIY Ignition Switch swap:


http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?2466896
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Old September 16th, 2017, 18:53   #8
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I appreciate all the replies. I got a chance to look at it tonight and naturally I couldn't get it to repeat the failure sitting in the driveway. I am sure it will wait till I am 50 miles from home and then fail on me. I wanted to check for lights dimming when it failed but I notice that my headlights are off when the ignition is off, on with ign. in run and off with ign. in start, so I guess I'll have to place a voltmeter in line to check power drop. I know what you mean about the heavy key rings. Only thing I carry with my vehicle keys is my house key. I don't even put my remote on the ring because of the weight.
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Old September 18th, 2017, 21:22   #9
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When the situation comes up remember to look and see if the glow plug lights will com on when you turn the key to run position. I just went through this today on my 98 bug, and it ended up being that the 109 relay that controls the ecm went out and I ha d ano start condition, all lights would come on but the gp. Swapped it out and it started right up. I guess the black 109 is prone to cracking inside and will give start when it is cold and no start when hot. Good luck
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Old September 19th, 2017, 17:43   #10
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Thanks turbosuzi. I will remember that. I keep a spare 109 in my parts box (hopefully good) in the hatch. I almost hope it fails again so I can find the culprit and make the Bug reliable again. Anyway the Jeep is getting a workout hauling the wife to her appointments every day. Thanks for the reply.
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