Starter issues

79TA7.6

Veteran Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Location
Live: Wilbur/Creston; Work: Moses Lake Washington
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS 5 Speed
I had purchased a used starter a few years back with intentions of rebuilding it. I found out that it was an aftermarket starter so I did not want to waste the time on it. I took it all apart and cleaned it and put it away. Last year during the cold, right around zero, I had an issue where my starter would turn over a few times then just kick out. I decided to put in the used starter I had bought a few years back. All has been good up until yesterday. It was about 10-15 degrees when I tried to start my car yesterday and all my car wanted to do was click when I hit the key. It would only click once. Thinking the battery might be suspect I hooked it up to my pickup to jump start it. I have started many big tractors with my pickup in the cold so I know it is more than capable of doing it. When I tried the first time it just clicked again. I tried it again and it started right up. I drove it into town about 8 miles where I shut it off and started it multiple times. Drove it home again too. Now this morning all it wanted to do was click. I did not try to hook it up to my truck, but I did tap the starter a few times with a metal rod. Still nothing. I have not tried it again.

What are the chances that it is the battery even though it clicked the first time I tried it yesterday with the truck hooked up? I know it can be the connections as well, so I will be checking those. I am trying to gather as many things to check before going to work on it. It is only about 20 degrees out right now and I don't have any place to work on it but outside.

Also, I want to rebuild the original starter. I am trying to find a rebuilt kit, or list of parts to buy separate. Does anyone have such a list and a reputable place to buy them? Do out normal parts guys, Bora Parts, IDParts, and the others carry them?
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
There are 2 good threads here on rebuilding starters.
I would rule out the battery, either check specific gravity on the 6 cells after a long charge or take it in and have it load tested.
 

Judson

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
Cheyenne, WY
TDI
2001 Jetta
I just bought a new Bosch starter from IDParts and put it in. Works great. FWIW, .02, and etc.

But I echo BobnOH's post, rule out the battery first. It's a lot easier to pull that and carry it into a Batteries Plus, or equivalent, and have it tested.
 

79TA7.6

Veteran Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Location
Live: Wilbur/Creston; Work: Moses Lake Washington
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS 5 Speed
Thank you for the quick replies. I am outside now and tried to start it. First and second time it clicked. Decided to remove the flywheel inspection cover and turn the engine over with a large screwdriver. I did not hear anything and just figured nothing would happen. Tried to start it and it started just fine. I am not going to rule the battery out yet as it is an old Walmart battery. Manufacture date of 11/10, so I cannot complain if it is done. I need to see if it will get me to work tomorrow. I do not have anyplace local to test it. Nearest town that will do so is 70 miles out. That is if I decide to go in tomorrow. Been off work sick the last couple days and don't really have the energy. Might wait until this weekend when we go to my nieces bday party.
 

79TA7.6

Veteran Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Location
Live: Wilbur/Creston; Work: Moses Lake Washington
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS 5 Speed
I also know about the threads for rebuilding the starter. That is where I got the info on cleaning and greasing my used starter. I was hoping someone might have had a list of the part numbers and vendor to get them from. The thread is stupid long, in a good way for detail, but a bad way for finding part numbers.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
Clicking and then starting sounds like a weak or loose connection. The cables, the little copper wire that goes between the solenoid and the starter itself or the trigger wire that comes out from under the battery tray and connects to the starter. That wire can chafe under the tray.
 

79TA7.6

Veteran Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Location
Live: Wilbur/Creston; Work: Moses Lake Washington
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS 5 Speed
Tomorrow I will try ripping the starter out. Figure that is the best way to check all of the connections. When I installed this starter I specifically checked the connection on the starter. I might have to figure out that copper tubing mod fix for it.

I will go find those part numbers. I greatly appreciate it. I have a list of part numbers that I started, now I just need to see if I can remember which computer I put it on.
 

wonneber

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Location
Monroe, NY, USA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen, 2014 Tiguan,2003 Jetta 261K Sold but not forgotten
The problem could also be the brushes in the starter are sticking it their slots, a bad solenoid, the wire going from the solenoid to inside the starter, as well as the mentioned connections.
Sometimes banging the starter will bet the brushes to move enough to start.
 

steve6

Veteran Member
Joined
May 25, 2010
Location
Beaverton, ON
TDI
2003 jetta tdi
Your current starter is done (needs a rebuild or refresh). Reminds me I should refresh one of my used starters to have on the shelf.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Recently rebuilt the original(?) Bosch I pulled from the wife's car (been running a reman from a box store for several years now and it's OK, though doesn't seem to spin as fast as I'd like).

You should see the starter that I just pulled from my Polaris Brutus (Hitachi). I'd cleaned and freed up some crapped up brushes last Spring but the thing quit on me again. Looking at things you'd think the starter was submerged under water, rusty brushes and such. No idea why this thing i attracting water like this. Going to put in the new set of brushes that I'd bought but didn't install (last Spring). Makes me appreciate the starters in our ALHs.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
Be careful pounding on starters to free them, the case can be distorted and the problem can be worse. When I worked in the shop we only bought new for our trucks to avoid getting rebuilt ones that were not round
 

79TA7.6

Veteran Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Location
Live: Wilbur/Creston; Work: Moses Lake Washington
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS 5 Speed
UhOh you do bring up a good point. Before my starter problems I was having headlight issues, though they are DIY HID that I made 6+ years ago. Ballast on one of them died without any warning. The previous week I drove to work in a real nasty snow storm, bad enough it plugged up my intake pipe. Started off as a dry powder, but the closer I got to work the wetter and nastier it got. It is very likely that I have condensation, and now corrosion all over the starter. I will find out hopefully next weekend. I ordered a rebuild kit for it, as well as for my expedition as it decided to crap out pretty much in the same manner. Been a weird year for me.
 
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