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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old June 18th, 2017, 23:32   #1
floater62
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Default B4 cranking issues

I have a slow crank problem in the mornings. I did some trouble shooting this weekend. The car has 165k on it.
10-40ma draw on the battery when resting. Checked voltage drop on the fuses and they were all fgood.
14.3v when running. 12.6v after sitting overnight. Barely cranks in the morning( voltage drops below 10v when cranking the starter.
New battery (old one tested good but was 6 years old. When I started getting an occasional slow crank in the morning I decided to replace it.)
Did a voltage drop test. .13 on positive and .17 on the negative to the starter when cranking. After the first start of the day it starts fine. I can leave it for 3-8hours no problem. When it is left overnight or 3-4 days the trouble begins. Should I bring the battery back or do you think it is the starter? Wondering if there are other tests I can do?
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Old June 19th, 2017, 06:50   #2
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Is it dropping below 10v at the battery now that the new battery is installed?

The other test I would use would be to check the amp draw going to the starter.

... That said, you have reasonable voltage drops, the alternator is charging (I would want to check the amp output there as well) and a new battery - the only thing left would be the starter either the solenoid has a high voltage drop, the windings are breaking down, or the pinion bushing is really worn (or all of the above).
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Old June 19th, 2017, 07:34   #3
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so your one reading is 12.6v @battery perhaps over night should be a good reading. its the voltage dropping during morning cranking. id prob quickly pull that starter, and even a cheapie place like advanced or autozone can test starters. back in the day, be like roll up into the parking lot, pull out a couple of tools, pull it, bring in into store front, get it tested, can prob even get battery tested. one prob i doubt you can/or want to leave car in lot over night or longer, so pull starter, and have wifey and you make a little trip and get it tested.
the 12.6v battery, and 14.3v charging seems real good #er's.
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Old June 19th, 2017, 07:35   #4
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id rely on napa for/if its a replacement starter.
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Old June 19th, 2017, 12:43   #5
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Thanks, will do. I will pull it and take it to napa, will let you know how it goes
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Old June 19th, 2017, 17:54   #6
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yea,was saying, napa is for a new part, prefer bosch (rebuilt), think its advance &/or autozone with battery check, starter check, possibly an alt check. all out of car. maybe call 2morrow morning quick, and bring your part in. think a starter check goes quick.
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Old June 19th, 2017, 23:55   #7
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Of course after all my testing, my friends and girlfriend think I am crazy. I parked within reach of the battery charger, started taking video and what do you know starts just fine in the morning! I am going to get a recording every day I guess. Might as well do motor mounts with the starter, but somehow after taking off the solenoid wire for the remote starter and the draw test, it turns over and starts great! I will put some liquid gold(Napa ECH Ce-1) on the solenoid wire the next time the problem happens. We will see if that is the problem. Happy to save my $ for now.

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Old June 30th, 2017, 00:35   #8
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Just to update, I have left the car for four days and have not had a starting issue.I am dumbfounded about why it is better now. It used to be two days was pushing it. The only thing that I can think of is that when I hooked the remote starter up and applied voltage directly from the battery to the solenoid, something changed. Maybe it was the solenoid connection or maybe By applying voltage directly to the solenoid instead of through the ignition switch that got the solenoid in order again.No idea, the problem is gone for now. Will update later once it sits for a week or more.
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Old June 30th, 2017, 07:15   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floater62 View Post
No idea, the problem is gone for now.
key phrase above^, for now. could have been a bad connection, could come back, starter/solenoid may have taken a jolt and 'felt better', could come back as well.
or a loose connection(?).
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Old November 17th, 2018, 17:19   #10
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Well it has come back. Had some cold starting issues. Now when I send power directly to the solenoid I get nothing. New starter time....
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Old November 24th, 2018, 20:02   #11
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Well I attempted the starter replacement. Had the trans/motor jacked up. Got the top bolt in then the bottom wasn’t aligned. Removed the starter and aligned the bottom bolt by adjusting the jack. Replaced starter with bottom bolt and it went in just fine. Left it loosely tightened. Then fiddled around for about a half an hour trying to get the top starter bolt back in. It almost threads....Ran out of daylight. Going to try again tomorrow. Any advice? Should I remove the bottom bolt again and then get the top bolt in loosely and try to align the bottom bolt by jacking the motor/trans? Am I doing it wrong? Is installing the top bolt then bottom bolt the better way? I read that loosening the motor mount while jacking the trans/motor helps. Might try that first. Thanks!
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Old November 25th, 2018, 02:17   #12
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No need to loosen the mount, just jack where the motto/trains meet until it starts to lift the motor off the mount and the bolt will thread in by hand. It's a common thing referenced on here many times. I know I've posted about it, with pictures even. The car should be on all 4's when you do this to get the angle right.

Good luck.
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Old November 25th, 2018, 20:29   #13
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I really tried to get the bolt in by adjusting the height of the jack. No luck absolutely had to loosen the engine bracket and mount. In my case I think I had too much jack support when I removed the starter. The bracket had to go down to align the upper starter bolt. and the weight of the engine and transmission wasn’t enough. Loosened the bracket gave it a whack with a screwdriver and rubber mallet, bingo threaded in by hand. Still ridiculous at how hard the starter installation is on this car. I like my other VW’s where the transmission has a stud for starter alignment.. Probably took me 2 hours! I will say boy does it turn over fast! What a difference, you don’t really notice how slowly the starter was turning until you put a new one in.
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Old November 26th, 2018, 20:40   #14
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Right on.

Also, I must commend you on your original post and the thorough level of diagnostics you went through. You right off the bat eliminated everything but the starter. Pretty much how it should be done.

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