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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Very Odd No-start Diagnosis, Please Help [VIDEO Inside]

VIDEO IN POST 7

SOLVED POST 12

I'll lay out all the important stuff.

- Battery voltage is good.
- Alternator is good.
- Battery ground is new.
- Starter ground is new.
- Voltage to starter is good.
- Ignition switch is new (from autohaus). Installed 3 weeks ago and haven't had a problem until yesterday.
- Everything that is listed has been checked and double checked in multiple spots with my multimeter.
- I couldn't check the signal wire because I didn't have another person to turn the key to crank.

Now, the car starts perfect when I get someone to jump it OR when I jump it myself by connecting the battery positive wire with the starter signal wire. The latter leads me to believe that the ignition switch is not sending power to the signal wire. Again, it's brand new from autohaus, and has been working fine to 3 weeks. Does autohaus sell crappy ignition switches? Even so, is it feasible for it to go bad in 3 weeks?

And now the even weirder part. Once I start the car, even if I run it for only a few seconds, it will start fine for the next hour or so, anytime I want, as much as I want. But once I let it sit for over a few hours, it won't start again without manually jumping the starter OR getting a jump. The fact that I can jump it manually also tells me that the battery is just fine.

Please help if you can. I am a fairly smart person and understand what's needed to properly start a car, but this is making my head hurt.
 

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happened to me once with my old VR Jetta when I bought an ignition switch from Germanautoparts.com Called them and they replaced it free of charge. What sucked was the installation process all over again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Most popular culprits from what you've described would be...
Ignition switch
Clutch safety switch ( If so equipped )
Alarm.
Thanks to everyone who replied.

The alarm is removed/disabled and the clutch switch has been bypassed. Im currently waiting at the dealership for an oem ignition switch (costs much more than autohaus).

The weirdest part is that once its started (whether jumped manually or from another car) it will work fine for a few hours, re-starting right up every time. But once it sits for 4+ hours or overnight, it wont work without jumping the starter. Its mind boggling.
 

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Did you get the ignition switch from autohausaz? There are a number of companies that include autohaus as part of their name.

Last year I noticed that autohausaz was introducing some parts of questionable quality to their product line. I got one of the "Uro Parts" brand ignition switches that they started selling and I was not happy with it. I didn't even install it in my car. I also don't like the quality of the "MTC" brand parts that they started selling either.

Because of this, I switched my primary buying back to europartsdirect.com. They carry Meyle Brand ignition switches (and many other Meyle parts), and plastic coolant pipe parts that I prefer over some of the other brands that I have seen. The Meyle ignition switches and coolant flanges do cost more more than the Uro Parts brand, and MTC brand parts, but the quality is much higher.

If I were you, I still would not pay the $35-$40 that VW Dealers charge for ignition switches. I've installed a number of the Meyle parts over the past eight years in various VWs, and not one of them has failed yet. The Meyle ignition switch costs sbout $7, and the Uro Parts switch costs around $5. Not worth the savings if they don't last a month.

But don't rule out the starter as the problem. Could be that the starter needs more power to turn than the long run from the ignition switch can provide, OR the battery could be a little weak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
VIDEO

I did get the ignition switch from autohausaz. Last night, I then purchased a brand new OEM VW one straight from the dealership. Installed it, started fine. Went to go to school this morning, wouldn't crank. Jumped it, started fine. Went to leave school, wouldn't crank. Jumped it, started fine. Again, let me add that after I jump it, I can shut it off as many times as I want and it will start back up normal. Once 4+ hours pass though, I will have to jump it again.

I'm seriously out of ideas. If the starter was the issue, why would it start again without the need for a jump. Same goes for the ignition switch. And everything else for that matter. WHAT would make a car not start initially, but start fine after jumping the starter? ANYTHING anyone can think of would be appreciated. This car is beginning to tear my brain in half as well as my pockets.

Also, I made a video showing the issue/temp solution incase my verbal explanation isn't clear.

 

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I would have said replace the starter, it sounds like it may be intermittent.

But now that I've seen the starter in your car, I'd say replace that piece of crap starter.

It's the wrong one (don't tell me that you didn't know), and it's covered with rust and corrosion. I'm not surprised that you're having starting problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would have said replace the starter, it sounds like it may be intermittent.

But now that I've seen the starter in your car, I'd say replace that piece of crap starter.

It's the wrong one (don't tell me that you didn't know), and it's covered with rust and corrosion. I'm not surprised that you're having starting problems.
If I'm being honest, then I should mention that I bought this car last year as a winter beater, so no, I didn't know it was the wrong starter. VW isn't my home field and I didn't think to check if the starter, which has been working fine for me for over a year, was the wrong one.

That aside, I finally had someone around tonight to crank the key while I checked the voltage going to the signal wire from the ignition switch. Low and behold, it read 12.7V. With that said, it MUST be the starter solenoid/relay.

So, is there a recommendation for a specific starter for me to get, aside from the "wrong" one I currently have? OEM, advance, etc? I'd like to not break the bank, but I don't mind spending money on something that is quality and will prevent issues in the future. Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks all.
 

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Used starter motors are in abundance, and worth about $25 at the self-service salvage yards locally, and it looks like they trade for the same amount in the Vortex For Sale Forum when you find them.

If I were you, I probably look for a used original VW/Bosch starter motor removed from a MKIII Jetta or Golf 2.0L being parted out by a Vortex Member who doesn't live in the Snowbelt. Don't even consider buying any starter motor that shows rust or corrosion on the outside casing, even if the Seller claims that it's working fine. Make sure that you get photos of the starter/s you are considering buying and that you get some sort or warranty with it (14 days or better would be okay). Before buying from a Vortex Member check his/her FeedBack in the FeedBack Thread. There are crooks here on Vortex, too.

The original Bosch starter solenoids that come on the MKIII Bosch starters aren't very well made to begin with, and a new solenoid costs more than a used starter (around $80-$100). The AutoZone Rebuilt Starters come with a lifetime warranty, BUT are often defective right out of the box. If looking on eBay for a starter, try to find a Cardone Rebuilt. Cardone seems to manufacture the best quality rebuilt parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Found out my current starter was under warranty at autozone, so I ended up with a replacement for free. Got home, swapped it, started better than I've ever heard it start before. Solenoid was most definitely the issue. Thanks for the help everyone.
 
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