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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 May 11th, 2016, 20:22   #1
JettaTDlie
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Exclamation 99.5 ALH won't start, won't crank...?

So I started my car this morning and pulled it out of the garage for the first time in a while. It had been on an automatic 2amp trickle charge for a few days. Ran fine while it idled in the driveway. I changed the interior dome light to an LED bulb, and attempted to change the visor, drivers door, and trunk light to LED as well. Trunk light wasn't working for me, so I shut the trunk, tried to reopen it with the drivers door release and, nothing. So I shut the car off, went to restart it, and nothing. No clicking, no noise, just dash lights come on and then just the battery light stays on.

Both key remotes won't unlock the doors or trunk, window controls don't work, headlights do, radio does. All the fuses I can see are fine (drivers dash, and on top of battery). Battery connections are clean. Car wouldn't start with a jump, and I know the battery is good anyway. No immobilizer as its a 99.

Any ideas? Clutch switch? Help is appreciated as I have no idea, ran fine up until now.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 07:16   #2
steve6
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Theres a couple fuses close to the CCM, up around the brake pedal, you probably blew a couple.

I didn't think those fuses would stop from cranking but maybe there's some lingo issue here. If its cranking, but not starting you should get a glow plug light when you turn the key on, if not there could be a relay 109 issue or a power related issue for that.

"seeing" fuses is pretty useless, gotta test them with a test light to be sure.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 07:18   #3
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Bad ground maybe or dodgy connection between the battery cable clamps and the thick wires.
Another thing to check is the ground wire connection to the trans mounting bolt.

Google or Youtube "voltage drop testing" ....assuming that you have a multimeter.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 07:40   #4
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You got a trunk light?
Car doesn't start w/jump. Does it crank when jumped?
Always check the big wires and their connects.
Are LED bulbs a close match for current draw(amps)?
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Old May 12th, 2016, 15:58   #5
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No interior lights now work, and window controls/remote unlocks also do not work. I can lock the doors manually, but the alarm doesn't arm. Car doesn't crank, or act any differently when jumped vs attempt to start by key. LED bulbs don't have resistors, so unlikely that they draw comparable amps.

I will check the fuses close to the CCM, and relay 109. Unfortunately I won't be in the same city as the car until Saturday morning.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 16:08   #6
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Anytime you are working on electrical issues you always check the source voltage first, never assume it is "good". After that check at the terminals and check voltage drop on both sides (control & load) of the starter circuit.

Why was the battery on a trickle charger?
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Old May 12th, 2016, 16:15   #7
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My mother-in-law's Infinity had a similar issue a couple of weeks ago, she pulled into Sonic to buy a bag of ice and when she tried restarting the car it just started flashing random dash warnings. I got there with my voltmeter and jumper battery and the battery showed 5.6v. I had to disconnect her battery for my jump pack to even turn the engine over. Shorted cells in the battery. New battery and all is fine.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 16:15   #8
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Quote:
Quote:
Car doesn't crank, or act any differently when jumped vs attempt to start by key
By "jumping", do you mean that you used another car to jump your car, or do you mean that you jumped the terminals on the start solenoid?
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Old May 12th, 2016, 16:31   #9
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*Disclaimer - I'm a noob when it comes to electrical.

By jumping, I mean from a running car to the TDI.
Battery was on a trickle charge as it was dead before from having the trunk and hood open for a few weeks while I worked on the car - hasn't been driven much since I bought it in March, been doing bodywork.

Before I left town yesterday, I disconnected the battery ground in attempt to reset when I reconnect Saturday. Am I able to check the battery power before doing so - I have a voltmeter?
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Old May 12th, 2016, 18:08   #10
stamp11127
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You can check battery voltage at anytime as long as the engine isn't running, running will give you charging voltage. Check voltage at each post and also at each battery terminal - ideally both readings should be 12.6 volts @80F for a fully charged battery. If you have a difference greater than .2v the posts / terminals need a good cleaning.
Each time a battery is drawn down to a "completely" discharged state the plates inside will sulfate. Some of this becomes so hard it will not be removed during the charging process. Over time, multiple deep discharges will "sulfate" a battery to the point of death. Sulfation will slowly reduce the cranking capacity of the battery. In English - a new battery is bad ass and will start the world, sulfation turns your BA battery into a little garden tractor Walmart battery that can barely light one bulb. But both read 12v when charged.

So when you get a meter, check the battery voltage as it sits with out charging.
State of Charge:
100% = 12.6v
75% = 12.4v
50% = 12.2v
25% = 12.0v
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Last edited by stamp11127; May 12th, 2016 at 18:14.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 18:45   #11
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Will start with that on Saturday. Previous owner claimed the battery was replaced a few months before I purchased it, and it "looks" new/posts are clean... but worth checking.
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Old May 13th, 2016, 21:57   #12
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Checked the battery tonight. Crappy harbor freight multimeter reads 12.76. Ground wires from battery seem good, will check again in daylight. Battery posts are clean. Gave the starter a good smack. No change. Will check fuses near brake pedal tomorrow, leaning toward relay 109? Weird things like window controls and trunk release don't work, but gas door release and radio does...

In doing some reading... going to follow these steps best I can, very helpful thread:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.p...54&postcount=5

Last edited by JettaTDlie; May 14th, 2016 at 16:45.
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Old May 15th, 2016, 20:53   #13
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Check your voltage at the battery as you try to crank the engine.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 13:58   #14
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Stays at 12.68.

Started checking fuses with my multimeter, from obvious to non-obvious. Fuse #14, interior lights, was visibly blown. Replaced it, car runs like a top now.

Last edited by JettaTDlie; May 16th, 2016 at 15:25.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 15:56   #15
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If it's staying at 12.68, then nothing is happening. I would expect it to drop a volt or so. It's not engaging the starter solenoid at all. With all of the other things dead, you have lost power a main power or ground. Your best friend will be a wiring diagram. If you don't have a Bentley, you might be able to find something through your local library.
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