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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 February 4th, 2018, 12:15   #1
hmr_tym
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Vancouver
TDI(s): '03 Golf
Default '03 tdi wont crank just clicks

Hey Guys, new to the forum. Been a great tool for me thus far but the time has come to post my issues as I can't find a solution on here.
I picked up an '03 golf tdi automatic. It had a blown turbo and as far as i can tell probably hasn't run in at least two years. Previous owner smacked the oil pan and ran it out of oil. He got the pan fixed and then realized that he had also blown the turbo and gave up on it.
I Replaced turbo with a good used one. Got it all back together. Pulled the wire at the injection pump to prime the oil system.
Went to turn it over, starter cranks for a split second and then just clicks. Sometimes doesn't crank at all, just clicks.
Im getting all the lights that i should on the dash.
Battery is good, even tried the battery out of my truck just in case. Same issue.
Replaced with new starter. Same issue.
Cleaned both terminals on the battery and battery cable clamps. Same issue.
Cleaned positive cable end at starter. Same issue.
Cleaned ground from battery to block. Same issue.
Trying with battery charger hooked up and set to 50 amp engine start. Same issue.
Using jumper cables i ran them from the battery + to the + terminal on starter as well as from the battery - to the engine block ground. Same issue.
Using jumper cables i ran them from the battery + to the + terminal on starter as well as from the battery - to the starter housing. Same issue.
Engine turns over by hand. Alternator is not seized.
pulled glow plugs, turns it over just fine although it seems pretty slow. Hard to say as i don't have a reference. I've never seen this car run. Put plugs back in and no dice. Starter just doesn't have the power to work against the compression.
Returned the new starter for a another. Same issue.
What next?
Thanks in advance. I've really enjoyed working on this car so far. All the nightmares I've heard about vw's were dwindling until now.

Last edited by hmr_tym; February 4th, 2018 at 12:23.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 12:43   #2
whitedog
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Location: Bend, Oregon
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So you pulled the glow plugs and the starter will crank over the engine? How about a voltage drop test on the battery cables? I know you ran a jumper cables to the starter, but it certainly sounds like you have a high resistance connection in the main start circuit.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:39   #3
hmr_tym
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Vancouver
TDI(s): '03 Golf
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Yup. Making some headway. Was defiantly battery related. I put the battery from truck back in the car after seeing the voltage basically bounce between 12.5 and 1.2 at the starter. It now turns over the engine. Very slow and is taxing the starter, as it starts to smoke.

Its almost as the motor as getting hung up somewhere on rotation. Its very jerky.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:43   #4
Mongler98
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Location: Northern MD
Fuel Economy: Race: 12mpg, Gandma:65mpg
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replace starter if battery tests good with volt meter
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:46   #5
hmr_tym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
replace starter if battery tests good with volt meter
Starter is brand new as explained in first post.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:51   #6
miningman
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might be a brand new starter but if youve got it smoking , id be looking for another starter
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:52   #7
Mongler98
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and thus i tell you to replace it or have it called in for warranty if the battery tests good. remand or OPEM, starters are hit and miss. not the first time i have had a defective one right out the box.

Its only 3 things here. Wires and connections, battery, starter.
I read it all and im telling you, that you probably have a defective new starter as you probably got it from advancedcrapo or autozit or my favorite, NAPA = Crapa
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:53   #8
Tdijarhead
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Car off. Test your battery at the terminals with a multimeter. What is the reading? Now put the red wire from the multimeter down on the starter stud what is the reading? It should be the same.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:53   #9
hmr_tym
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Vancouver
TDI(s): '03 Golf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miningman View Post
might be a brand new starter but if youve got it smoking , id be looking for another starter
Ill put the old one back in and see if it makes a difference as I'm fairly confident that that wasnt my issue in the first place. May also remove the serp belt to see if maybe the ac compressor is seized.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:55   #10
Mongler98
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let me ask you this very basic question. You can turn it over by hand easily right? as in the rotating assembly is ok right? you said the pan was busted out and ran dry. Im assuming you already got into the crank and check the bearings and all that right? If you have not, your engine is seized and you need to rebuild it. Because you are messing with the starter leads me to believe you have already done this to make sure the engine is at least in running condition. A starved oil engine is garrateed to be damaged and probably to the point of a severely scared crank and pistons.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:56   #11
hmr_tym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdijarhead View Post
Car off. Test your battery at the terminals with a multimeter. What is the reading? Now put the red wire from the multimeter down on the starter stud what is the reading? It should be the same.

12.8 and 12.77
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:57   #12
Mongler98
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AC is on a clutch, if it was it will not make a difference, now the water pump on the other hand!. What engine code? AHU or ALH?
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Old February 4th, 2018, 13:59   #13
Mongler98
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run your headlights for 2 minutes, then let it rest for 2 minutes and then test battery. this take the top charge off and gives you an accurate reading. ALso you can check the amp load at the starter. should be like 100 to 130 amps, anything over 130 amps and your starter is fried.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 14:01   #14
hmr_tym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mongler98 View Post
ac is on a clutch, if it was it will not make a difference, now the water pump on the other hand!. What engine code? Ahu or alh?
.alh.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 14:03   #15
Tdijarhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmr_tym View Post
12.8 and 12.77

Cables good, battery seems fully charged, swap starter again.

Last edited by Tdijarhead; February 4th, 2018 at 14:06.
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