Starter Question?

whkdad

Active member
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Location
WNY
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI 5spd, 2003 Golf TDI 5spd (project)
The past few days my '03 jetta w/112,000 mi. on it has been hard to start. My thinking was a timing issue and a TB change was in order, not having my vag-com with me to check didn't help either. Today, I went to start the car and after a few cycles, the car went dead (no crank, no nothing). Thinking that the battery was dead, I opened the door and left it opened as I turned the key thinking that the light would dim but it stayed bright. I had the car towed to the stealership and them told me that the starter was bad (said they had power all the way to the starter).
Not being a rocket scientist, I thought it's one cable directly from the battery to the starter.

My question is do starter's just go like that? Sounds more like a switch or relay problem, is there any in the starting circuit loop? I have power working to everything else.
 

Dick_Larimore

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2003
Location
Central Indiana
TDI
'05 GL Passat & '05 GLS Passat & '05 Beetle TDI
Your timing belt should have been changed by 100K miles. If the belt has already been changed, then yes, retarded timing from an incomplete timing adjustment can cause long cranks--especially when the engine is cold.

As one who designs starters, yes they can go bad all of a sudden. You mention that you "cycled" the starter. How much cranking did you do before nothing happened? Remember that starters are intermittent duty devices that get really hot after long cranks. I recommend no more that 15 seconds of crank followed by no less than 2 minutes of cool down.
 

whkdad

Active member
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Location
WNY
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI 5spd, 2003 Golf TDI 5spd (project)
I tried the starter twice with about a 10 second crank each time, the time between each crank was about 1 minute. I just didn't want to get bend over from the stealership if it was only a switch, a link or something, because I'm on the road traveling and not from the area. Thanks
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
There is one cable from the battery to the starter assembly, but voltage to the starter motor is controlled by a high current solenoid in that assy. If this is bad then I think you need a new starter.
 

whkdad

Active member
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Location
WNY
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI 5spd, 2003 Golf TDI 5spd (project)
Just picked the car up from the shop and they mentioned that the car was a little louder than normal and wanted to know if I wanted them to look into it. I told them that I had just cleaned the egr and intake manifold and haven't put the engine cover back on yet and it's a diesel. That ended our conversation quickly.
 

whkdad

Active member
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Location
WNY
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI 5spd, 2003 Golf TDI 5spd (project)
Sorry, they replaced the starter. But after the service manager's comment about the car being louder than normal, I think i'll stick to using them for just ordering parts for me (FX Caprara, Watertown,NY). Had no choose on this problem tho.
 
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