VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If anyone could help me with suggestions as to why I'm burning up starters I'd really appreciate it. I'm not very mechcanically inclined but my mechanic is getting very frustrated with the problem. I don't get any warning by way of noises or smells when the problem has happened, I just get in my car and when I try to start it I get a click with nothing else. There is never any consistency as to when it is going to happen. It has happened as quickly as 1 day after a new starter has been replaced with little travel or as long as a month or two with many miles driven. Each time after I've taken the car to my shop the starter has been fried. There doesn't appear to be any ignition or battery problem. There has always been a supply of power to the starter. I'd love to be able to go into the shop with a possible list of problems that maybe my mechanic has overlooked so any help would be very appreciated.
Thanks
Jay
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,166 Posts
Re: 85 deisel automatic jetta going on my 5th starter in two months (85silverjet)

Not 100% about the diesel, but the gasoline automatics have a huge problem with heat soak, cause the starter is right by the exhaust down pipe back of the engine. If your starter is there, make sure that your heat shields are intact, and I'd try adding extra heat shielding, spraying it white will help reflect some heat too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,190 Posts
Re: 85 deisel automatic jetta going on my 5th starter in two months (85silverjet)

When my 5spd diesel's was going through starters it was the starter drive bushing where the starter shaft slid into that was worn. This made the armature contact the inner walls of the starter cooking it in a hurry. After a couple of starters in a short period I asked my VW specialty garage what the problem was and they explained about the starter drive bushing in the transaxel case.
However if autos do not have the bushing it may not be the case, however I suspect they must have one also, do not see how they could function without one.
Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,189 Posts
Do a search for the "starter relay circuit" and add that in. With the high CR the diesels have, the extra juice will help. It will also keep it from locking up as much on hot starts.
I don't think you car has the passive restraint system (shoulder belt goes into door w/ seperate lap belt), but if it does, do a search and find out how to disable the "seat belt interrupt circuit" or whatever that is called. That takes juice away from the starter as well.
Most people here say that "parts store" starters are bad news. I've never had the starter off of my car so I have no experience w/ them. The people who rebuild those starters sometimes just repair them to working condition (read: clean it up & replace the worn brushes) without necessarily replacing all of the wear parts (bushings, bearings, etc.).
Your best bet (other than shelling out for a new OEM unit) is taking it to a competent starter/alternator shop and having them rebuild it completely. Then you will know that all the new parts are used. The automatic starter is a real bas+ard to get to, so you only want to have to fix it once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
Re: (Neon Washer Nozzle)

Yes relay kit for the Auto Starter, and I would suggest some kind of heat shielding product for the starter, like a wrap or something.
 

·
Registered
12 Golf 2.5, 99.5 Cabrio GLS
Joined
·
48,107 Posts
Re: (Neon Washer Nozzle)

Quote, originally posted by Neon Washer Nozzle »
I don't think you car has the passive restraint system (shoulder belt goes into door w/ seperate lap belt), but if it does, do a search and find out how to disable the "seat belt interrupt circuit" or whatever that is called. That takes juice away from the starter as well.

This would'nt cause starters to die, it would cause his car to be inoperable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,189 Posts
Something in mine screwed up and I couldn't get the starter to turn over. Then someone posted that I should make a jumper wire and take out the p-restraint relay. So I did and it solved the problem. I can also start the car with the seatbelt unbuckled if I were so inclined. I can't see that whole "starter interrupt circuit as being good for getting power to the starter when you can make a jumper wire for the relay and then use that same relay to wire a relay circuit closer to the starter and battery, using lower gauge wire.
A little bit of power makes a huge difference in a mkII starter. Before I wired in the relay circuit, if I left my stereo or ignition on for any length of time without the engine running, the switch wouldn't have enough power to turn it over. So I kept a length of wire in the glovebox to connect the starter wire to the battery, and that would start it right up.
This guy's car probably doesn't even have p-restraints, but it's a diesel/automatic from Canada, so who knows?
 

·
Registered
12 Golf 2.5, 99.5 Cabrio GLS
Joined
·
48,107 Posts
Re: (Neon Washer Nozzle)

Quote, originally posted by Neon Washer Nozzle »
Something in mine screwed up and I couldn't get the starter to turn over. Then someone posted that I should make a jumper wire and take out the p-restraint relay. So I did and it solved the problem. I can also start the car with the seatbelt unbuckled if I were so inclined. I can't see that whole "starter interrupt circuit as being good for getting power to the starter when you can make a jumper wire for the relay and then use that same relay to wire a relay circuit closer to the starter and battery, using lower gauge wire.
A little bit of power makes a huge difference in a mkII starter. Before I wired in the relay circuit, if I left my stereo or ignition on for any length of time without the engine running, the switch wouldn't have enough power to turn it over. So I kept a length of wire in the glovebox to connect the starter wire to the battery, and that would start it right up.
This guy's car probably doesn't even have p-restraints, but it's a diesel/automatic from Canada, so who knows?

The starter does not get it's power directly through the seatbelt iin a series circuit. The seatbelt trips the relay, which supplies power to the starter (actually the solenoid, see below). That's why people just jump the wires and are done with it.
The whole point is moot, anyway, as the starter itself is a relay, of sorts. It gets power directly from the battery. See that huge positive wire that goes from the battery to the starter? When you turn the key to start, it activates the solenoid, which touches the starter gear to the flywheel (or whatever equivilent in an auto). Then, only after the solenoid is fully engaged (as a safety precaution), the starter is tripped. The solenoid jumps power to the starter when it is engaged, in effect making a giant-ass relay.
Unfortunately, this point is also moot, as he seems to have a mechanical problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: 85 deisel automatic jetta going on my 5th starter in two months (digifant_gli)

Thanks for the quick reply. I have had the heat shield replaced but I'm not sure if heat is actually being the problem. At one time I did have the shield removed because it kept coming loose and rattling and with it off I drove the car for almost two months with a couple of very long trips involved and it never let me down. With regards to what its like to drive, I have really enjoyed it. I do not have very much power especially when going up hills and I know people behind me aren't too crazy about the smoke and smell once it drops down a gear. That's there problem though.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,166 Posts
Re: 85 deisel automatic jetta going on my 5th starter in two months (85silverjet)

Plain and simple, if you are removing the starters and bench testing them and they are cooked, then heat soak is the problem. The starter can pull a significant amount of power without burning out itself, and a new starter doesn't need that much power. If you are having problems with getting them to work right, then it's some other electrical problems.
I really don't see any other options here at this point, there's a fork in the road. Heat soak or electric problems, and from what you describe it sounds a lot like heat soak. Maybe the summer heat is also a factor here making it perticularly worst right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
Re: 85 deisel automatic jetta going on my 5th starter in two months (85silverjet)

Check out the starter bushing that is pressed into the transmission as someone else stated(about $10). I think http://www.germanautoparts.com has it and it comes with the bushing puller. If that bushing is rounded out it will put excess stress on the starter and bind it, possibly causing it to burnout.
I also recommend the starter relay mod. http://www.3dzubehor.com/webpics/Autorelay.jpg . It kinda makes the starter come alive.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top