B4 died today!

Col Sanders

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Location
Illinois
TDI
97 B4 Green And it's Possessed 2001 Audi A4 AFN SWAP
Need a little help here. While driving the e-brake light came on, everything was running normal then a stop at a red light worked the e-brake to shut off light but it stayed on. Brake was free not dragging. Just mention this for what happened next. Started off from light heard a growling noise then lost some power. Still could get up to 60 mph but not a lot of power. Stopped at place to get coffee shut car off. When I tried to start it would not turn over at all. My battery is like new, all lights are nice and bright. Had the car towed home and put in garage. put my OBD scanner on and no codes. Oil & anti freeze are full. All belts are good. Where do I start to look. Thanks, Col.
 

CharlieT

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Location
Houston, Tx
TDI
Audi TTqTDI, B4V, B5.5V, '12 NMS SEL
A seized alternator would fit the symptoms.
Try removing accessory belt and see if it will turn over. Note you need to keep the outer v-belt in place, else you have no water pump.
 

rdkern

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2004
Location
Humboldt Co CA
TDI
Passat 1997 silver (sold after 11 years), Jetta 2000 atlantic blue
Starter motor. When it's "active", the e-brake light stays on, which is odd but reported on this forum a couple of years ago. Bet it's smoked.
 

Col Sanders

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Location
Illinois
TDI
97 B4 Green And it's Possessed 2001 Audi A4 AFN SWAP
Thanks for the info, fuel is not gelled, sits in a 72F garage. Just filled her up. Filter not long ago. Going to look at starter & alternator tomorrow. I would bet it's one are the other. It does have a electrical smell. Back on the jack stands. I had just left the Dealership getting little screws for my fog lights. Bad Omen ! Thanks for all the reply's. Col.
 

Col Sanders

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Location
Illinois
TDI
97 B4 Green And it's Possessed 2001 Audi A4 AFN SWAP
Just did a quick test, turned the headlights on and tried to start, headlights went out, no start of course, I bet it's the starter. Man the car reeks of electrical smell. If it is the starter would you go with a remand ?
 

rdkern

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2004
Location
Humboldt Co CA
TDI
Passat 1997 silver (sold after 11 years), Jetta 2000 atlantic blue
What seems to happen in this situation is that the starter sticks "on" - and is turning while your driving around. I bet the ebrake light did not go off at the start of your trip - you just noticed it on later. So, you were driving at 60 mph, that puppy was spinning like a hard drive. I'm not sure the core is rebuild-able after that experience.
 

ketchupshirt88

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Location
waupaca, WI
TDI
1996 B4 (red death), 1997 B4V (black death)
when i bought my black jetta it had starter issues. it would occasionally not engage the flywheel and would take 2-3 tries before it worked and within 1 month the starter decided to stay engaged and was fried in short order as rdkern said

i used a cheapie with lifetime warranty from oriellys because mine wasnt the original bosch one anyway.

at least they are not hard to change, but keep the receipt because the first one they gave me barely lasted through 20k miles. second one has been good, knock on wood.
 

Col Sanders

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Location
Illinois
TDI
97 B4 Green And it's Possessed 2001 Audi A4 AFN SWAP
Yea, I noticed light about 1 block after starting it up. Will check Oreille's in morning. Lots for sale on eBay. Not to bad price. Thanks to all, will post when she is up and running again. Col.
 

Abacus

That helpful B4 guy
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Location
Nobleboro, Maine
TDI
See signature for TDI's
I do not recommend anything but a Bosch starter. I went the 'lifetime' route years ago and regretted it.

Here is the OEM Bosch next to the 'lifetime' starter. Click on the picture to enlarge. There are subtle differences but the quality difference is like night and day.




And this is what happened after the second 'lifetime' starter was installed. The nose cone bushing let go, shearing the cone. Luckily it did no damage to the flywheel. Normally something like this can happen when the starter isn't torqued down properly but this one was initially and was still tight when I removed it.




When it died the second time I took it back again for a replacement and they were out, so they honored the warranty with a remanned Bosch. The parts manager said my cost for the other starter was less than their cost for the Bosch but he honored it anyway to keep me as a customer. I have not had an issue with it in many years.

Now I keep a spare OEM on the shelf and have it rebuilt locally for around $120, to include new bushings, bearings, and anything else it needs. The shop says they're easy since the parts are common and available.

So my recommendation is to only get a non-Bosch if you absolutely must, but keep in mind you may be replacing it again in the near future.
 

rdkern

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2004
Location
Humboldt Co CA
TDI
Passat 1997 silver (sold after 11 years), Jetta 2000 atlantic blue
Just a note for members in the future -

The brake light goes on when the starter is spinning. If you notice the brake light on when the brake is obviously released, decide where you want to stop, because that might be your location for a while.

To see the brake light really does go on when the starter is engaged, start your car with the e-brake off. The light will be on, and will fade as the started slows to a stop.
 

Col Sanders

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Location
Illinois
TDI
97 B4 Green And it's Possessed 2001 Audi A4 AFN SWAP
Good info again. Went to Oreille's, they have to order, not in stock. Price is a little high for after market, $ 148.99 with no core. Then I remembered a place locally that rebuilt my Harley starter years ago. Did it while I waited. Looked them up and they are still in business. Gave him a call, starter is going there tomorrow, hope it's repairable .
 

Yblocker

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2010
Location
Oakland, CA
TDI
1997 Passat
Just a note for members in the future -

The brake light goes on when the starter is spinning.....To see the brake light really does go on when the starter is engaged, start your car with the e-brake off. The light will be on, and will fade as the started slows to a stop.
What is the purpose of this little known (to me anyway) feature?
 

rdkern

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2004
Location
Humboldt Co CA
TDI
Passat 1997 silver (sold after 11 years), Jetta 2000 atlantic blue
Didn't say it has a purpose. Just something noted by (iirc) Paramedick a few years ago when he was having a issue that was difficult to diagnose. Similar situation to here, but the car was used for several short trips before the starter finally totally gave out.
 

The Turtle

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Location
rural Maryland
TDI
1996 B4 Passat wagon, SpeedTuning chip, 360,000+ miles, 1996 B4V, 306,000 miles on original engine
Year ago I had a Toyota with a flaky keyswitch. A guy borrowed my car and didn't back the key off enough to let the starter disengage. I figured that the starter was spinning somewhere around 33,000RPM most of the way to where he was going, and the bearings were destroyed. Don't know the number of teeth on a TDI ring gear, but I'll guess the same RPM would result from the engine driving the starter at normal speeds.
 

tripl-e

Veteran Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Location
Basking Ridge, NJ USA
TDI
b4 sporting a new ET 6th gear!
Prolonged, unintended engagement will certainly overheat a starter motor badly but the bendix drive (a one-way clutch) should prevent crazy armature speeds unless it overheats so badly that it seizes too. 33,000 rpm, or anything like it, would probably sling the winding wire off the armature and cause a catastrophic, centrifugal, mechanical failure. That would make a real mess!
 

The Turtle

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Location
rural Maryland
TDI
1996 B4 Passat wagon, SpeedTuning chip, 360,000+ miles, 1996 B4V, 306,000 miles on original engine
That makes some sense. Not sure why they'd choose that warning light for it. My handbrake light never lights even when the brake IS on.
 

rdkern

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2004
Location
Humboldt Co CA
TDI
Passat 1997 silver (sold after 11 years), Jetta 2000 atlantic blue
That makes some sense. Not sure why they'd choose that warning light for it. My handbrake light never lights even when the brake IS on.
Try to disengage the brake and start the car. If it doesn't come on at that time, I'd bet your bulb is out.

I had to replace mine a few years ago.
 

Col Sanders

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Location
Illinois
TDI
97 B4 Green And it's Possessed 2001 Audi A4 AFN SWAP
Well starter is out and in box , off to the rebuild guy . Keeping my fingers crossed.
 

Col Sanders

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Location
Illinois
TDI
97 B4 Green And it's Possessed 2001 Audi A4 AFN SWAP
rdkern, you are correct the starter is toast. Rebuild guy called and said the thing is shot. The good news is he is going to get me a BRAND NEW BOSCH starter for $ 120.00 out the door. Sounds like a great deal to me. Will be here next Friday. This guy has been in the starter/ alternator biss for over 50 years. In the meantime I have lots of little things to catch up on. First is change the trans oil. Then lube my e-brake arm & cables. Fun, fun, fun.
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
none, 2014 Chevy Volt, 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
The brake light goes on when the starter is spinning.
......start your car with the e-brake off. The light will be on, and will fade as the started slows to a stop.
What is the purpose of this little known (to me anyway) feature?
Perhaps it's to kill the DRL's while the starter's cranking?
The DRL, as with the full intensity headlights, cabin fan and other high power electrical consumers, are cut from electrical power by the key in the start position by means of the load reduction relay.
Any e-brake lamp has nothing to do with the LRR.
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
none, 2014 Chevy Volt, 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
The park brake lamp switch is wired into the starter solenoid circuit (50) through relay block terminal X/1. X/1 is directly connected to H1/1 (start switch contact) and to F/1 (starter solenoid power). Beats me as to why the park brake would need to be powered from there....
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
none, 2014 Chevy Volt, 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
Beats me as to why the park brake would need to be powered from there....
The power from the start circuit (50) is fed to the brake (and ABS) lamp module through plug terminal T6d/1. There appears to be some sort of 'logic' performed in the module that is unrelated to the warning lamp oerations.

The power for the parking brake lamp comes from the 'run' circuit (15) via fuse 16, plug terminal T6d/3, through the lamp filament, out of the module via T6d/5, to the hand brake switch F9.
The other side of switch F9 is connected to the ground circuit 31.
Pulling the lever up closes the switch F9 and completes the lamp illumination circuit.

Again, the start operation should have nothing to do with the lamp's operation
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
none, 2014 Chevy Volt, 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
While driving the e-brake light came on, everything was running normal then a stop at a red light worked the e-brake to shut off light but it stayed on.
....heard a growling noise then lost some power. Still could get up to 60 mph but not a lot of power.
Stopped at place to get coffee shut car off. When I tried to start it would not turn over at all. My battery is like new, all lights are nice and bright.
Colonel, has the ignition switch (the electrical contact part, not the key lock part) ever been replaced?
The B4 are known to have the contacts fail. Yours might have stuck in the 'start' position leaving the starter spinning until it failed. Trying to re-start with an open starter coil would not dim the lights leaving them "nice and bright".
A new starter won't prevent another stuck-in-start episode, if that's what happened.
 

Col Sanders

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Location
Illinois
TDI
97 B4 Green And it's Possessed 2001 Audi A4 AFN SWAP
Lug Nut, that is a good question. I do not know if it's ever been replaced. So how do I replace that ? I do not want to fry another starter !
 

Abacus

That helpful B4 guy
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Location
Nobleboro, Maine
TDI
See signature for TDI's
Do a search on here, it's been done lots of times and there are plenty of pictures. Just get an OEM switch or you'll be doing it again soon.
 
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