2012 Jetta TDI Won't Start


New member
Feb 21, 2021
2012 Jetta TDI
I've got a bit of an issue with my Jetta and this one is new to me. We just had a major freeze in the DFW and now that we thawed out I tried to start my car for the first time in 2 weeks and it was a no-go. The very first time, the car cranked over and managed to fire up fine, but ran for only about a quarter second and died. When I tried to restart, it would crank intermittently. It cranks every time I turn the key, but after about a variable amount of time (around a half second), it slows to a chug and will go in and out of good cranking and chugging. The radio and dashboard dim when the starter chugs, but never turn off.

I assumed the battery was weak, so I threw it on a trickle charger and once it was topped off I tried again with the same results. It was an 01/19 battery so I figured it might have gone bad (even that young) and swapped it out for a fresh battery but I still have the problem.

I'm thinking I have a good battery, but possibly some kind of bad connection to the starter or a bad starter itself. The car is parked on the street and won't run, so I'm hoping for an easy fix rather than needing a tow and where it is located I don't have the means to really tear into it.

Any good wisdom or advice? Thanks!