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Chitty,
First off, thanks for all the great write ups and resources. I've pillaged lots of information from your site and usually have found what I needed, without needing to post. On Thursday, my 41 week pregnant wife was at a Dr.s appointment trying to figure out why the baby is 1 week past due. When she came out of her appointment, she couldn't start the car. We live in the middle of no-where so I left work, drove the 45 minutes and tried to jump/troubleshoot the car in the parkinglot. AFter charging the car with jumpers from my F250 7.3 Powerstrock diesel, I still could even get a click out of the starter when I turned the key all the way to start.

I took the cables off the posts and they looked clean. I tried for more then an hour to get the car to start, but couldn't do it, and paid $150 for a tow home (hour + drive). When the car came off the truck, I tried to start it...and the @#%$#[email protected] thing started! ARgh. I drove it around the block, parked it in an ideal spot in the drive way, turned the key off, and now it won't start again.

I've replaced the battery with a new one, as the original VArta was test and only capable of 69% its original capacity. I ran the VAG- com and got the following fault codes:
5 Faults Found:

1
7978 - Engine Start Blocked by Immobilizer
P1570 - 000 - - - Intermittent
17055 - Cylinder 1 Glow Plug Circuit (Q10): Electrical Fault
P0671 - 000 - -
17056 - Cylinder 2 Glow Plug Circuit (Q11): Electrical Fault
P0672 - 000 - -
17057 - Cylinder 3 Glow Plug Circuit (Q12): Electrical Fault
P0673 - 000 - -
17058 - Cylinder 4 Glow Plug Circuit (Q13): Electrical Fault
P0674 - 000 - -

I cleared the codes, checked the GP relay and fuses, and the glowplugs resistance and they were all .5-.6 ohms. I then checked the harness and all the circuits started at ~ 8v and then went down to 2.5v until the key was turned off. I cleared the codes and rescanned and the glowplug faults came up again. I gave up the glowplug issue and decided to focus on the starter.

I read your starter removal instructions (thanks by the way) and am trying to tell if the starter is bad before I pull it out of the car. I've taken the splash plate off and the whole are is WAY oiler then I thought. I thought I didn't have any oil leaks, but the splash plate is containing all the wetness on passenger side of the motor. I'm not sure where its coming from, but it is GREASY. I can seem to reach/access the solenoid while the starter is in the car. I then re-read the instructions and it said:
"The Starting interlock relay could be bad so test it." How do I test this?

Anything else I should do before I commit to pulling the starter? You mention disconnecting the battery and then putting 12v directly to the starter, I'm guessing that on the two terminals on the starter itself, not through the solenoid right? The starter should spin if it is good, but with the solenoid, it won't engage the ring gear right? For the 12v source, I figure I would use my cordless drill battery to see if I can "bump" the starter and get a her to spin.
Right now, I'm really suspsious of the solenoid leads being fouled, but they are hard to reach/see.
Thanks again for all your help.
 

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If you apply 12v to the starter directly and disconnect/bypass the solenoid it will spin the motor without kicking the gear teeth out to engage the ring gear. Obviously, make sure the car is secure and in neutral and won't move just in case because if the solenoid kicks out the starter it will try to turn the engine over. Due to access this is much safer if the starter has been removed.

The oil is probably from the crank case vent hose. See here for pics: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/b5/air-filter-engine-tdi.htm and some more notes. It could also be from some loose valve cover bolts.

I dont know why mine didn't have it but most passat have a starter interlock relay as shown in the FAQ. If you refer to your factory service manual it has the same diagram. The CCM handles alarm functions so if your interior has flooded in the past it could be from a bad module/plug/wiring. The CCM is under the drive'rs side carpeting.

It's also possible that the starter wire from the ignition switch, terminal 50 has broken or chafed somewhere.
 

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Maybe the glow plug wires and start issue are linked. Do you have water leaking inside the car? Maybe some wiring got broken?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The oil is probably from the crank case vent hose. See here for pics: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/b5/air-filter-engine-tdi.htm and some more notes. It could also be from some loose valve cover bolts.
I'll check this out thanks!

The CCM handles alarm functions so if your interior has flooded in the past it could be from a bad module/plug/wiring. The CCM is under the drive'rs side carpeting.
Everything I've read about the CCM talks about the radio, windows, alarm etc going crazy too. This all happened all of a sudden, when its been dry ( I live and work in the Mojave Desert). I checked to water leaks at the fresh air intake tonight as well as the floormats and carpet. No water witness there.

It's also possible that the starter wire from the ignition switch, terminal 50 has broken or chafed somewhere.
I tested that today and I got voltage at the terminal 50 on the solenoid with the key in.... hmm. I also ordered a 219 relay from Napa, but it won't be here until Tues...

As far as the starter drama, phew...its been a long greasy day. I'm embarrassed to say I spent 6 hours trying to get the starter out. I think almost 2 of the hours where spent trying to break the top bolt free following like in your instructions

I pulled the passenger side wheel off, and then went on to take off the splash shield in the wheel well, the axle splash shield/sound protection, bottom splash shield, and the AC compressor just to be able to see the starter!




The starter bottom bolt came out piece of cake, but the upper bolt SUCKED. I think I spent an hour just trying to get the 3/8 extensions dialed in so I could reach the upper bolt from behind the tranny by the exhaust pipe like in your instructions.

It took quite a while to figure out where exactly where to route the driver extensions and where along its length you need to have it bend so that the socket got a straight shot to brake the 16mm bolt free. To help future souls who get to have this wonderful experience, this is the setup that finally ended up working. (I took a picture so I could duplicate it when I put it back in):D



I also used a .5" driver that reduced down to the .375 extensions so I could get a good pull on the whole contraption because that bolt was stiff, plus all the torque was wasted as spring build up in the long extension stack up.

Once I got the top bolt loose, I was frustrated by the lack of access to the 13mm nut on top of the solenoid. I had to use a super short, .125" driver on a short socket, and even then I could still only get two fingers on it. There was NO service loop (wire slack) in the main lead wire that would allow the starter to angle down to get a clear shot at the nut.

Once the starter was out, I inspected all the connections and they were surprisingly clean looking.

Starter Terminals


Starter Cable #1


Starter Cable #2


I was expecting the connections to be all greasy and oily. I took the Starter to Autozone and had it tested and it PASSED! ARGH :mad: The tech said he could believe it passed because it sounded so aweful. I haven't heard a starter spin unloaded before, so it was hard for me to know the difference. He said that based on how it sounded, he couldn't believe it passed. While it was running he said, "yea this is going to fail". The drive gear moved, and the starter turned fast, but it did have a high pitch whine. He said one of his co-workers is a big time VW wrencher and that he worked on Monday. I ordered a starter anyways, as it won't get it until Wed. If it turns out that I don't need to replace the Starter, I'll return it. I'm also planning on going back on Monday when Mr. VW is there to see what he thinks.

I brought it back home, put 12v to the solenoid and double checked that it engaged. I then tested the lead wire to terminal 50, and turned the key to start, and it read 12v. I checked connectivity for the main positive wire between the battery and the starter wire, and it was good so I'm totally stumped for now. Plus I'm just flat out tired of spending so much time over the last three days fussing with the car. Any other tests that I can run? :confused: I think I going to search for a "how to" on the neutral switch and "starter lockout" relay? Once I identify this relay, how do I test it to know if its good or need to be replaced? Thanks for all the help by the way!
 

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Welcome to the forum. welcometomyturbodies

I can't see from that pic of the starter if the end of the armature where the pinion gear is supported by the starter motor or by a bush in the gearbox. VW have trouble with these bushes waring out causing the armature to drag on the yokes as you can see in this type of starter motor on the Golf video.

Volkswagen Golf replacing the starter

You need a good testing procedure which is hard to find but its close on the next video.

Starter Motor Troubleshooting Tips DIY - How to diagnose starter problems

It does show you how to check for volt drop in the cables 8:40 into the video. Any questions on these videos just ask showing the time point in the video? ;)
 

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Thanks for the tip Keithuk, what great videos, I will add it to the starter writeups now!

RE:Rocketboy52, I used a similar contraption of extensions to get to the upper bolt. Once you have done it once it's much easier and I hope the pics helped explain how to do it! I will add your pics to the writeup as well to help explain it to others as well.
 

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Welcome to the forum. welcometomyturbodies

You need a good testing procedure which is hard to find but its close on the next video.

It does show you how to check for volt drop in the cables 8:40 into the video. Any questions on these videos just ask showing the time point in the video? ;)
Keith, Thanks for the videos, the 2nd one I think is really relevant. Here's what I've tried over the last few days:


Needed Supplies - Try to clean up the electrical joints...specifically the grounding points.

I took my H6 battery back to the zone and tried to get the Duralast equivalent of the Interstate H7 80 amp battery that oil hammer did an upgrade writeup on on the TDI club forum. I ended up with an "H8" sized battery that was too big. While the battery was out, I pulled the plenum drain plugs, and snipped the sunroof drain plugs to avoid the flooding issues I've read about. I returned the H8 battery, and got an 80 a/hr battery that fits, the Duralast Gold 94R-DLR!


Installed Duralast Gold 94R-DLR 80 a/hr upgrade

This morning I got a call from Napa saying my new 219 relay was in. The relay they came in looked related when inspected the "relay chassis" but it wasn't the right one. It had a mounting skirt that and fastner lug that was totally different, plus two of the spades where in different positions. The Napa tech was able to identify yet another Napa replacement relay, I believe it was Napa # AR636, but it was $46 and a three day wait. I figured I would order the "right" part online and get it in the same time at a cheaper price. I put the original 219 relay back in the car and just ordered one from www.1stvwparts.com along with the new battery hold down clamp.

Here are some pics of the wrong Napa Relay, Napa Part # AR611 ECH. I got that part number from one of the 219 write ups I've read. Note to future readers, I'm not thinking this relay is the problem, rather I was reading about this relay being a problem, and since I had the ECM box open I figured I woudl swap it.


Wrong 219 relay from Napa Part # AR611 ECH- Not the right relay!


Wrong 219 relay from Napa Part # AR611 ECH- Not the right relay!

I then went after the three grounding points. I cleaned, preped and applied the NoAlOx to the contacts at the battery ground, the firewall ground, and the ground wire that bridges the Passenger side motor mount. I added a star locking washer against the mounting lug face as they have a tendency to Bite the mounting face and ensure a good connection.

As a note to future DIY folks, I don't have access to a lot of metric fasteners in my little town but at home depot I found that the 5/16 star washers, and 1/4 star washers will fit quite well the two sizes of ground posts (see first picture to see the star lock washers I found).


Battery Ground with star lock washer


Fire wall ground behind coolant expansion reservoir.


Ground Cable that spans the passenger side motor mount. Note: the original position of the engine side should have the cable on TOP of the motor perch. There is even a little nub in the casting that keeps the cable end facing the right direction. I fixed this after I took this picture.

I cleaned up all the contacts on the starter itself, including the braided positive cable contact that connects the solenoid to the starter motor. I put the starter back in the car, and now that I have my rachet extensions worked out, it only took me about 30 minutes.:D I got the bolts torqued up, I hooked the brand new battery up and went and turned the key.
The started didn't even click.
So here is what I've ruled out (attempted to rule out):

  1. Ignition switch and park/neutral switch is good because I read 12v at the trigger wire when I turn the key to start
  2. I've got a brrand new battery (larger then the original)
  3. The two heavy gauge starter cables have continuity; the first between the battery positive terminal and starter lug, and the other to the alternator to starter lug.
  4. The three main car ground connections have been cleaned, inspected, and dressed with NoAlOx
  5. Starter has been tested twice, once on Saturday, and once on Monday by a "VW wrencher" at the zone. Starter passed both times. The VW wrencher, said the starter sounded fine, and that he personally would put it back in the car. When I bench tested it on my own in my garage, I put 12v from my drill battery to the trigger wire on the solenoid. The starter gear jumped to the correct extended position
  6. All connections in the starter/battery loop have been cleaned and dressed (there wasn't any corroded or greasy connections upon inspection)

So I'm stumped.

The only thing I can think of next, is I have a new starter coming tomorrow and I can try swapping that out, but with the original testing good, I'm skeptical a new one will do anything for me.

On top of the Passat issues, tomorrow my wife is 2 weeks past her due date with kiddo #3 so I feel like I'm working around a ticking time bomb that can go into crisis mode any second. We are down to one car at the moment! :eek: When it rains it poors. Two nights ago it dumped 4 inches of snow and I got my truck stuck axle deep in the mud at around 10:30pm. After being blown off by the tow truck I started to walk the 7 miles home at 2am. The tow truck driver kept saying " you are next, you are next" but after 4 hours of that, I walked home and got it drug out yesterday morning. It turns out the tow trucks where swamped all night responding to CHP calls trying to clear all the spun out semi's off the freeway.

My life sounds like a country song! I'm sure I'll laugh at all of this later.:cool:
 

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Thanks for the update. I'm sure others will find your pics useful and I will add them to the FAQ for B5 Passat starter removal and troubleshooting, please let us know how it turns out!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And the problem was...

So, Drum roll please...
the problem is...
Poor grounding!?!:mad::D:confused:

Despite having cleaned up the three chassis ground points shown in the previous pictures, I'm not getting a good ground connection to the starter. I'm not sure why. The three grounding points I pointed out earlier where all scraped and dressed with a star washer and dressed with NOALOX.

I watched this video above again

The first thing I did was hook the Volt meter (VOM) to DC volts, set to 20v, and hook one end to the trigger wire and the other side to the Bat (+) terminal. I read 12.4v. when I turned the key and the trigger engaged, the VOM read .2v Knowing I had good connection there, I then tried to read the voltage drop from the Solenoid main post to the Battery (+) terminal. I read nothing, turned the key and read nothing. I disconnected the terminal cable and turned the VOM to read ohms and it read .2 ohms, sounds like a good connection there. I then read Solenoid post to the Alternator, and it read .2ohms. I then hooked up the probes, one side to the disconnected batt (-) lug and the other to the big bolt at the base of the starter. I didn't read any resistance at the 2ohms range setting, and cranked it to the 20,000 ohms setting an read 3.04 which I believe means 30,400ohms. Not so good. I took a jumper cable, hooked it to the negative post, and then to the head of the bottom bolt at the base of the starter, turned the key, and she fired right up. Yea! :D

Now I need to fix the ground right. My first guess is to re-check the three points I had previously played with, particularly the battery negative post. Then I'll take out the bottom bolt that mounts the starter, clean the threads and bottom of the head real good with contact cleaner, including the female threads in the tranny, use NoAlOx to reassemble and see if I get results. If anyone has any other ideas on how to improve the ground connectiveness please share!
 

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So a little more digging and this is what I found. I re-cleaned the ground post right next to the battery. I then removed the ground wire that spans the chassis to the block by the passenger side motor mount, this picture shown earlier:



I tested the resistance from the battery ground post to the chassis ground post and it read .2 ohms after re-cleaning. Now we getting somewhere. I then hooked the VOM probe to the engine side of the ground cable and read 1, which means NO connection at all. I pulled the ground cable and tested it like this:

I varified what a good connection should look like


I tested the cable and got NO connection after cleaning it (it originally was super greasy from the Crank vent to intake hose oil leak, which I'm reading is really common, and this most likely culprit for the large amount of oil on the passenger side of the block. See here for a fix I plan to implement (see the oil leak section 2/3 down)


I started cutting off the two shrink wrap boots to see if I could re-solder, or salvage the cable. Underneath the shrink wrap, the motor mount side was SUPER greasy and loaded with wet fresh motor oil. While lightly tugging at the cable to cut the shrink wrap with a razor, the whole Chassis side completely pulled off! I guess thats the problem!


Here is a close up of the failed cable ends right at the swedge fitting. You can see from all the dark cables that this failure was taking its time getting done, only a very few of the strands look freshly failed, its still interesting that it failed all at once with out a longer intermittent hassle, but I'm happy to have found the problem.


I got a new battery, (upgraded size too) and will buy a new ground cable to replace this one. I would probably order one from VW, because I like the pro swedging on the OEM unit, but I'm guessing it will cost an arm and a leg, plus I'll have to wait a few days to get it. Does anyone know how I can look up the VW part number for this part?

Pretty big bummer to have this hassle right at the crucial birthing time in our lives, but I'm grateful that the problem is such a "little" one to overcome once it was found. A big thanks goes out to Thundershorts on the TDIclub forum and and Chitty Chitty bang bang on myturbodiesel.com for all their help!
 

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It does show you how to check for volt drop in the cables 8:40 into the video. Any questions on these videos just ask showing the time point in the video? ;)
Well I said earlier you need to do a volt drop check that will check cables better than a resistance check. That would have found that broken cable without removing it. But you have found the fault so thats all that matters to you and you live a learn.

You don't have to buy a VW cable any electrical distributor would make a cable to your spec well they do in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The oil is probably from the crank case vent hose. See here for pics: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/b5/air-filter-engine-tdi.htm and some more notes. It could also be from some loose valve cover bolts.
Just a follow up comment on this oil leak, The fix you quoted above totally fixed my front side oil leak. I'm doing the BS replacement and some of the other maintinence items in the area, and now that I'm back in the engine and looking at this fix to the breather hose, the front side of the engine is totally dry and clean 8 months later. You can see how clean and dry it is in this picture taken during the timing belt tear down:



Now I need to fix the two other oil leaks! One is on the passenger side rear of the motor, it looks like possibly the head gasket? This picture is back of the block, with the passenger side motor mount removed looking above the starter, doesn't it look like the head gasket is what is leaking right below the exhaust manifold?



I also have a leak somewhere around the oil filter/oil cooler assmebly. I'm doing an oil change with all of these tasks, and I'll be interested to see if just replaceing the oil filter housing O-ring will fix this leak, see pic here:



Any other thoughts on fixing these leaks?
 

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No idea about the rear leak.

The oil leak could be at the bottom of the housing or the engine-cooler gasket. IMHO, clean first and wait for the leak to start up again before replacing stuff. You can always clean the engine again later.
 
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