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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 November 4th, 2007, 09:14   #1
jesserobot
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Default Won't start and clicking noise???

So I am new to VW TDIs. I have a MB 300D which is overly simple to diagonose and fix, so I am kinda stumped about this problem.

Have had a 97 Passat Wagon TDI since January. Love the car, no problems what so ever till now. Had been running perfectly up until this issue. Tried to start the car and it would not turn over. Dash lights lit up as normal and the car would turn over but would never start. At moments it would act like it was about to run then would die. All this time there was a clicking noise coming from above the brake booster. It would click like a stop watch in the 2nd key position (accesory position). I tried to start the engine to no avail without melting the starter. I did wear down the batter a bit, have it charging to get it back up to 12v. In diagnosing the problem, I did test the glowplugs. None of them had an ohm reading when tested on a multimeter. That surprised me. The plug wires tested ok when I turned the key, reading the correct voltage. Can all the plugs go out at once?
Or is this looking lke a bigger problem? I am hoping it is a simple relay gone bad or a sensor or something. I don't have access to a VAG-COM and am hesitent to invest that much right now plus I can't take the car somewhere to get codes run, cause it's not running.

Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 11:19   #2
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I'm pretty sure it's a 97 Passat TDI wagon

But I agree with BigAndy. Most likely it's your starter. That clicking noise might be your N75 solenoid valve, but that's my guess. The clicking is normal if it's the N75.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 13:16   #3
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Yeah, so eventually I will get the VAG-COM. I had planned on it. Just thought this might be a simple issue to resolve. In the meantime, I have new plugs, and will check everything on BigAndy's list, especially the starter. I was thrown by the clicking noise, but if that is normal for the N75, I can eliminate that. It was strange that it would just click continuously with the key in.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 18:26   #4
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Was it from the N75, or that coolant glowplug module in that area?

There is a relay in that module. I have no idea what it does, though. When mine melted on the A3 Jetta, the car just stopped. I also lost the ECU at the same time. Did one take out the other? I dunno.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesserobot
Have...a 97 Passat Wagon TDI....
Eliminates BigAndy's #5 as a possible cause. No clutch interlock on the B4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesserobot
Tried to start the car and it would not turn over. Dash lights lit up as normal and the car would turn over but would never start.
Does it turn over or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesserobot
At moments it would act like it was about to run then would die. All this time there was a clicking noise coming from above the brake booster. It would click like a stop watch in the 2nd key position (accesory position). I tried to start the engine to no avail without melting the starter. I did wear down the battery a bit, have it charging to get it back up to 12v.
Eliminates BigAndy's #1 #3 and #4 as possible causes. The N75 near the brake booster normally clicks (dithers) when the key in ON, but it can't be heard when the engine is running.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesserobot
In diagnosing the problem, I did test the glowplugs. None of them had an ohm reading when tested on a multimeter. That surprised me. The plug wires tested ok when I turned the key, reading the correct voltage. Can all the plugs go out at once?
Or is this looking lke a bigger problem? I am hoping it is a simple relay gone bad or a sensor or something. I don't have access to a VAG-COM and am hesitant to invest that much right now, plus I can't take the car somewhere to get codes run, cause it's not running.

Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
6) Loosen the nuts at the top of the injectors by just a full turn (so you can remember how much to retighten them). Try starting the engine (since it apparently does turn over under starter power, even if it does not run on its own). Check for fuel dribbling when you quit trying to start and you go back under the hood to look. No fuel? Check the fuel shut off solenoid in top of the injector pump. There should be +12 volts between the wire terminal and any ground point when the key is in the ON position. Turn the key to OFF. Check for Ohms resistance between the same wire terminal and any ground point. No +12 volts with the key ON? Bad circuit. No continuity (open circuit) with the key OFF? Bad solenoid within the pump.
Not a certain solution, but it's something not requiring a VAG-COM that you can probably do where the car is now.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:27   #6
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Thanks for the imput LugNut. I did quickly check the clear fuel tubes this morning and there was a bubble in the line. There is plenty of fuel in the tank so I didn't run out of fuel. Fuel filter might need changing? Must be a fuel delivery problem? I will check the fuel shut off solenoid when i get home.

At least now I think it is fuel related. If there was insufficient fuel in the engine while trying to start could that cause the glowplugs to burn out?
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Old November 5th, 2007, 13:57   #7
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Low fuel causes glow plug failures? No more likely than running out of milk causes the fridge light to burn out.
The car will start without glow plugs, it is just harder to do so when it is cooler as this time of year. You may have had a few still working last winter and they failed over the summer when they weren't required by temperature. Now it's colder and you could use their assistance and they aren't there.
But glow plugs make hot-spots to aid in igniting fuel. No fuel, no assist from glow plugs. Check for fuel.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:19   #8
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Well for good measure I picked up a fuel filter. I will change that and the plugs and see where that gets me this weekend.
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Old November 11th, 2007, 11:01   #9
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Ok, so here is an update. My schedule hasn't been too kind lately so working on this project has unfortunately been sporatic. So here goes...

The battery was charged and back up past 12V. Replaced dead glowplugs. Replaced fuel filter. Tested for fuel coming out of injector lines while cranking. All squirted fuel when the line was cracked. All of this tested at a reasonible temperature (60 degrees F). The engine still cranks, then runs, but then dies after a few seconds.

I noticed that there were still bubbles in the clear fuel line, even after "bleeding" the injector lines. I have tried bleeding a few times. I am starting the wonder if there is a low pressure fuel pump that isn't working to deliver fuel to the injector pump? Now that I think about it, there used to be a whir or buzz when I turn the key on like a fuel priming pump or something coming from what I think was the rear of the car. I don't hear this sound anymore. Instead I have the constant clicking sound like a clock from above the brake booster. The clicking sound is still confusing me. I have never noticed it before when turning the key before this problem arose.
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Old November 11th, 2007, 13:52   #10
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Your TDI does not have an in tank pump. It relies solely on the injection pump driven off the engine to draw fuel from the tank.

If there is air in the lines it's from a leak somewhere. Could easily be the injector return lines or the plastic T fitting on the top of the fuel filter.

The clicking from above the brake booster has already been addressed as possibly the N75 or even the coolant glow plug relay. For the N75 at least, clicking is pretty normal.
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Old November 25th, 2007, 18:02   #11
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I have the same problem i will let you know if i figure mine out I have the bubbles in both my running and non running 96's the bubbles seem to prevail the n75 has if stock redblue and black hoses look at it it does the ticking. now look at the pump the small plug black with a stainless pinch to remove thing leave the key on and unplug it you should get a tock plug it in and it ticks do it many times get the rythm down now plug it back in does it tick then tock if so close the hood open a beer and wait for help from someone who knows more that us after doing that vag com calls it a intermitent code i tried running 12v to the solenoid and the car woulkd not start stilll you may have different luck solenoid is the dodad on the pump with the single wire bolted to it on the top half of the pump
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 16:08   #12
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Do any fumes come out of the exhaust pipe when the car runs for those scarce seconds?
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 16:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAndy
Mittzle, that is the toughest post I've read and tried to comprehend in a very long time.
I have a new-found appreciation for punctuation...
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Old December 5th, 2007, 00:35   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mittzlepick
I have the same problem i will let you know if i figure mine out I have the bubbles in both my running and non running 96's the bubbles seem to prevail the n75 has if stock redblue and black hoses look at it it does the ticking. now look at the pump the small plug black with a stainless pinch to remove thing leave the key on and unplug it you should get a tock plug it in and it ticks do it many times get the rythm down now plug it back in does it tick then tock if so close the hood open a beer and wait for help from someone who knows more that us after doing that vag com calls it a intermitent code i tried running 12v to the solenoid and the car woulkd not start stilll you may have different luck solenoid is the dodad on the pump with the single wire bolted to it on the top half of the pump
Now THAT'S a run-on sentence!
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Old December 7th, 2007, 13:00   #15
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Did you ever change the 109, I would even if it is not the problem, they used cheap solder in those and the replacment uses high temp solder. make sure you replace with the updated one not the same part
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