Car won't start troubleshooting

DanG144

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
TDI
2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
You are essentially in condition 4 above. The clicking noise is probably your solenoid on the starter clicking as it tries to engage, and dropping back out due to low voltage.

You need to charge your battery and ensure you have a good battery.

If it were mine, and it was 3 yrs old or more, I would replace it with a new one. A group 94R. Look in the last few posts here.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=191760

In any case I would not have it towed to the dealer.

It is usually within most peoples's capability (or someone they know) to charge or replace a battery.
 

whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
Groundhog1248 said:
When I try and start the car I get flashing dash lights and a clicking sound coming from the engine. I'm guessing it's the starter gone bad but would like some opinions before having it towed to the VW shop. The car sat idle for approx 10 days before I tried to start it in temps ranging from 20-45 degree's. Started fine before this. Thanks
Verify what is clicking before proceeding. If you know that the clicking is a relay, that will send you down one road, but if you know that it's the solenoid, that will send you down another road. Please don't guess, groundhog since you don't want to spend time chasing the wrong problem.

I do agree with Dan that it's most likely the starter solenoid, but once you are sure, you can confidently proceed down the correct path.

( I guess I need to start in on a post or something on how to test the batteries and cables.)
 

wodaking

New member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Location
western nebraska
TDI
2000 golf tdi
refering to situation #2, I can't seem to find one of these pumps anywhere . can you tell me where to find one ? Please !!!!
 

whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
wodaking said:
refering to situation #2, I can't seem to find one of these pumps anywhere . can you tell me where to find one ? Please !!!!
Try Boraparts.com.

How did you go about checking the pump?
 

biopete

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Location
Nashville, TN
TDI
A3 Jetta 1998, A4 Jetta 2001
Tap on solenoid with hammer

One thing to add, If you are having a "No power to the starter" issue, that is the starter is not making any noise whatsoever, first try tapping the solenoid with a hammer handle or something, preferably while someone turns key to start. This will unstick it often. Then you know the solenoid needs looking at.

The technical rub is: Terminal 50 at solenoid, the plug whitedog showed in picture, one red/black wire should have over 8 volts when key turned to start. That is the wire that activates the solenoid's internal switch giving battery power from the big cable coming from battery to the solenoid and starter allowing them to do their things. Specifically, the solenoid pushes the starter motor's gear into mesh with the flywheel and allows the battery's electricity to flow to the starter. The starter motor spins the flywheel starting the car.

If battery good and you have V at Terminal 50, the problem is either solenoid or starter or engine seized. But if engine seized you would still hear a click there. You can sometimes get by with tapping with hammer for months and months. It's best to get starter rebuilt a reputable shop rather than get a liftime warranty rebuild job from China via Autozone or similar. Unless you don't mind replacing your starter a few times until you get a good one. My friend is on his 3rd failed one in last year. If you have to go to a McParts store to get a starter or alternator, I would only go to Oreilly's. I have a good starter and alternator from them in my cars now (A3 starter, A4 Alternator).

cheers,

biopete
 
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kaiser

New member
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Location
madison WI
TDI
01 jetta tdi
Hi,
My Jetta is having problems starting. This morning it took 4 tries of about 5 sec. each for it to finally start. Sometimes it starts right up though. I'm also concerned that I can smell diesel fuel when I walk by the hood. I don't remember that happening before. Thoughts?
 

cruiser1963

New member
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Location
texas
TDI
2003 Golf
It Runs!

Thanks for the information,the pump timing tips are invaluble,did discover one odd thing your readers might want to be aware of,one of the problems I had getting the timing right was the locking tool I bought was .010 to large in diameter to fit in the hole,a quick trip thru the lathe fixed the problem but it sure had me frustrated for a while trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Thanks again for all your effort:)
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
DanG144 said:
We are still trembling in fright and recovering from your first post.

Excellent project.
Amen! I can see this becoming a sticky already. Great job Tim:)

Edit: wow that was fast.
 
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whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
Thanks, Nick. I think that is one that is a good help. I'm still looking for testing the cables and such, though that may actually be in there.
 

dr.diesle

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Location
Calgary
TDI
92 golf tdi/01 golf tdi /02 golf tdi/04 jetta wagon tdi/vanagon westy tdi
so the long and short of the matter is not having the right tool for the right job gotta love em..Dr.diesle and yes I do have some pumps if you need
 

whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
I just had someone contact me from France and he told me that his PD Engine was a no-start and he tracked it down to the EGR valve stuck open. This is an odd one, but is easy to check. Three allen head cap srews and the EGR valve slides out of the intake manifold. Be careful though since if the EGR is sticking open, the intake is carboned up and removing the EGR can knock loose bits and pieces into the intake manifold.
 
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roadhard1960

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2004
Location
Covington, Ga.
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon GLS 5 speed
Stuck anti-shudder on my 2003. Thanks for the answer/idea. Time to oil as it is squeeking when moved by hand. Only 30,000 miles on that assembly as it was recently replaced.
 

dr.diesle

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Location
Calgary
TDI
92 golf tdi/01 golf tdi /02 golf tdi/04 jetta wagon tdi/vanagon westy tdi
keep in mind the pd egr is completly different than the one on your alh motor ussually the pds dont have early egr failure but the alh oh yes ....
 

whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
Another cause of NSC

I just found this in my PM box:

On the 99.5 and earlier TDIs the alarm system is tied in with the starter. If the alarm is going off it disables the start position on the ignition key. If the alarm computer (or CCM on a 99.5 or 98-99 new beetle) fails totally this will present a no crank condition.

This is all of the information I have on it, so I don't know how to go about troubleshooting this. Maybe VAG-COM can read this?
 

jetdiknight

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Location
California
TDI
2003 tdi
WHitedog:

Great informational thread...

I have a question.... MY 2002 jetta tdi has a race pipe..so it does not have antishudder valve.. The battery was 6 years old, and I recently had some trouble starting. Fuel filter changed 1 month ago.... Starting became more and more difficult... I cranked , waited only 5-10 seconds...cranked again..and each time cranked for 5 seconds...and finally it started. Once it starts...it runs fine. But still needs 3 or 4 intervals of 5 second tries before it starts.

I changed the battery...but still having hard starts. There is a streaming of bubbbles from the fuel filter to injection pump when car is running... When engine is off.....the clear fuel line going from fuel filter to injection pump has not a bubble of air...but over 2.5 inches of air in the lines, with no fuel until the lines point down towards the injection pump...

So question : IS there an air leak into the fuel lines ? The bottom of filter is shut....where can it be ? Changed fuel filter one month ago...but no leaks then.....? COuld the large air space in the clear line be normal ? Or is it the cause of the hard starting .? OR do I need a new starter due to the long cranking and short intervals between cranks ??


Any help would be appreciated...
 

whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
That's too much air. It is normal to be able to look closely and see some small air bubbles when running and it's normal to see a thumbnail size bubble when shut off, but 2.5 inches is too much. Check your inter-injector bleed lines. If they are hard, replace them all.

From easiest to hardest Injection pump leaks:

Top cover seal. You need a special tool to remove the cover, but it's straight-forward and there are no "gotchas".

Center seal, below the top cover. It's simple, but that cover has to be put back in the exact right spot or your fuel Injection Quantity will be effected, even to the point of a no-start.

Head seal. Care has to be taken to replace this seal and special instructions and special "tools" are needed, but many people have had success. But there are Gurus that won't touch that seal. Proceed at your own risk.

Drive shaft seal. This one requires a pump shop to replace. The reason is that the pump drive hub is on a shaft with no keyway. This means that the drive hub HAS to be put on in the EXACT right spot for the timing pin to be accurate. I don't know how a pump shop does this, so it's important that it's done by someone that actually knows what they are talking about.
 

whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
Key switches

Here is something I received today.

I was reading your "troubleshooting a car that won't start post" and noticed your note about the key-switches in "older" (late 90's) Passats and Jettas.
There was a recall on the 96-97 Passat TDIs that I responded to, and the local dealer (finally!) got and installed a new keyswitch in my 96 Passat. The original problem mentioned in the recall notice was the switch got too hot!
Well, the new switch gets just as hot; some fix!! It has not failed tho. The key switch in the 2000 Jetta (148K miles) suffers from the same problem, but so far we've not gotten a recall on IT! Go figure?

I like to add these things here just so some of this information can be consolidated.

Thanks, Warthog
 

cville6

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2008
Location
OH
TDI
1999 Jetta
Any Ideas

whitedog said:
I just found this in my PM box:

On the 99.5 and earlier TDIs the alarm system is tied in with the starter. If the alarm is going off it disables the start position on the ignition key. If the alarm computer (or CCM on a 99.5 or 98-99 new beetle) fails totally this will present a no crank condition.

This is all of the information I have on it, so I don't know how to go about troubleshooting this. Maybe VAG-COM can read this?
Does anyone know anything about the alarm systems in a 1999.5 Jetta? This problem sounds like my issue right now.
 

bagger

Vendor
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Location
AZ, USA
TDI
Jetta,2002,Blue
Hello in TDi land. I am in dire need of some help. I'll start at the begining. About 5 weeks ago I was happily traveling to Fresno with a friend and the engine sucked a valve at 70 mph. Needless to say this caused a catostphic failure and destroyed the engine. I decided to replace the engine with a long block and also perform the auto/manual swap of the tranny after reading the "how to kill an auto wabbit" post.
The engine and tranny went in rather easily(with the help of my mechanic friend Mike). Heres my trouble. Engine won't start. After consulting the repair manual and this website I think I know what the trouble is but not quite sure. On key on I don't get the 12vdc at the fuel cutoff solenoid. I went into Vag Com and under "DRIVE TRAIN" - "ENGINE" -"FAULT CODES" there were 3 faults listed. G80, G81, and I can't remember the last. Should have written them down. Cleared the faults. Suddenly the 12vdc was at the fuel cutoff solenoid. I thought there might be some sort of inhibit function in the ECU. Tried to start again and no go. Cranks but no start. All lights good on dash. It was late and I deciced to call it a day and start fresh the next day which is today. Today the 12vdc is missing again. No faults in ECU. Thought maybe I bent 1 of the pins in the ECU. Everything looks ok. I forgot 1 thing, I did hook the gen. wire to ground and when I hooked up the battery the 110 amp fuse blew. Did I maybe fry the ECU by doing this? The voltage at the solenoid is 0vdc when connected and 8.9vdc when not connected. Applying 12vdc to the solenoid makes it open and I primed the pump. Is there a way to know if I fried the ECU. It does communicate with Vag Com. I know this is kind of long just trying to get all the info in. Any help would be greatly apperciated. Thanks in advance to all for this forum. Dave
 
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whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
Sorry. no solid information except that there is only power at the shut off solenoid for a limited amount of time. After that time (a few seconds) you won't see power there.

Do you have access to VAG COM or a good scan tool?
 

whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
D;oh. You said you had VAGCOM. My bad...

ANyway, can you look at all of the measuing blocks with VAGCOM? they may indicate Zero or whatever but as long as you can hook up and read things, your ECU should be good.

Double check all of your electrical connections, especially the one going to the #3 injector.
 

bagger

Vendor
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Location
AZ, USA
TDI
Jetta,2002,Blue
Here's an update. I checked the voltage and by the time I get out of the car and check its gone. So I set it up to view as I turn the key and the voltage is there for about 3 or 4 seconds just as you said. Thanks for the info. I will continue to read on and troubleshoot further.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Immobilizer issue?

The cluster, harness(?), and ECU are married together by the immobilizer in 2000 and newer Tdi's. Did you change ECU's when you changed longblocks?

I know the cluster and ECU are married...not sure about harness though.

Edit: there are some very knowledgeable Tdi gurus that hang out on the Tdi Club Chat group (see top of page.)

I suggest you join chat and see if MOGolf or another mechanic can help you with this issue.
 
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