Potential throttle body issue/ no start

RoeHaven

Member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Location
Edmonton Alberta Canada
TDI
2011 Jetta Tdi 2.0 2000 Beetle Tdi 2.0
Forgive the long post, we all know how full of "personality" these cars are!
Over the passed few weeks I have had 3 separate instances where I have gone to leave work (either for lunch or to go home) and I am greeted with a rapid clicking/check engine light flickering and most dash lights on, while the key is in the ON position. The clicking is coming from the dash and not the engine. It tries to turn over but it just won't catch. I had it towed to my usual mechanic and they said that it was something electrical and the car wouldn't let their obd2 connect to it. (I somewhat feel they were full of s&%t) and they can't find anything that would cause a no start. The second time it happened we thought it might be my parking slightly nose up in the parking lot, as both times it occured i was parked this way. The second place we towed it to started the car up no problem after it was towed and their obd2 suggested it was dirty injectors. I use fuel additive regularly and we gave it a fuel filter change. It ran fine for a day after that and then it happened again, but this time I was parked perfectly flat, not nose up. I hooked my obd2 up to it and it has the reading of

PO638 Throttle Body Actuator Bank 1
J338 Implausible Signal

I've had multiple theories thrown at me, one being the battery which I got checked out and its fine. I removed the throttle body, cleaned it out and reinstalled and I'm getting the same rapid clicking and throttle body reading. Maybe the throttle body needs replaced, but I just want to see if this is what happens with the dash (rapid clicking) when it is a throttle issue or if it might be something electrical just leading me on a wild goose chase! Thanks all!
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Sounds to me like you have a weak battery maybe? The engine is not cranking? The throttle valve should default to open, and I have never seen one cause a no start, and it couldn't cause a no crank.

So to be clear, the engine is not cranking? I would check for voltage at the battery. Has it been cold there? Could this be an intercooler icing/hydrolock situation?
 

RoeHaven

Member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Location
Edmonton Alberta Canada
TDI
2011 Jetta Tdi 2.0 2000 Beetle Tdi 2.0
Sounds to me like you have a weak battery maybe? The engine is not cranking? The throttle valve should default to open, and I have never seen one cause a no start, and it couldn't cause a no crank.

So to be clear, the engine is not cranking? I would check for voltage at the battery. Has it been cold there? Could this be an intercooler icing/hydrolock situation?

Battery seems to be popular opinion, I took it to Part Source to test and they said it was working fine still, its squeaky clean, no dirt or corrosion. I was hoping the throttle would have been disgustingly caked and sealed shut with carbon but it wasn't that bad at all. I'm starting to think it's not the throttle but my obd2 still says the same code after putting it back in.
The engine is cranking and trying to start but it just won't catch and fire up. It hasn't been cold either, for Alberta at this time its been beautiful. I have a video of what the dash lights are doing, just can't figure out how to post it on here, or if I can even.
Thanks for the reply!
 

RoeHaven

Member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Location
Edmonton Alberta Canada
TDI
2011 Jetta Tdi 2.0 2000 Beetle Tdi 2.0
It need not be too terribly cold for the intercooler condensation to be an issue. You said it IS cranking, though, it just will not start?
Yes it is cranking, just not starting. I've been told to try whacking my starter to see if its dieing on me. That'll be my lunch time activity.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
OK, stop. CRANKING means the starter is working. It is not the starter if the engine is cranking normally.

I really think you should have the car towed to someone who can better assess the situation. If you cannot tell the difference between a "no crank" and a "cranks but will not start" you should probably bow out now.
 

RoeHaven

Member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Location
Edmonton Alberta Canada
TDI
2011 Jetta Tdi 2.0 2000 Beetle Tdi 2.0
OK, stop. CRANKING means the starter is working. It is not the starter if the engine is cranking normally.

I really think you should have the car towed to someone who can better assess the situation. If you cannot tell the difference between a "no crank" and a "cranks but will not start" you should probably bow out now.
I've had it towed to two different places and neither could figure it out. I never said it didn't crank, I said it didn't start. But thanks anyways.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Actually, I can't decipher WHAT you said. And I am still not sure you know either. Trying to figure things out via text over the internet can be difficult, especially with non-car people trying to explain to car people. Sorry I cannot be of more help.
 

06bluebeetletdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Location
Middlesex, NC
TDI
'14 Passat TDI SEL and '13 Beetle TDI
For the battery did you take it to an auto parts store? If yes, they do not load test batteries and driving the vehicle to them will put a surface charge on the battery so it looks ‘good’ but the car still has issues starting as under a load the battery is bad.
 
Top