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Hi Guys and gals,

New to the world of Passat TDIs...I have been a watercooled guy for awhile, but now in a new realm.

So we just recently purchased a used 2005 Passat TDI Wagon from a guy in New Mexico. THe vehicle has 112k on it approximately, and has ran great for us until this morning. My wife went out and tried to start the car, and nothing. Literally nothing. Dash lights came on, headlights turned on, then she turns to ignite the starter and nothing.

I came home to double check everything. And I confirm that ALL My lights on the dash turn on, glow plug light, security light, and I wait till ALL the dash lights turn off, then I turn the key. Nothing, not even a hiccup from the starter. I check with an ohm meter, VDC reads at 12.84 volts, then with the key in the 2nd position, it all drops to 11.5 volts, and then nothing. So I figure I will test the idea of a weak battery with a battery charger. I put it on the battery charger for a boost, give it a couple of seconds, and then turn the key, everything is still exactly the same, go to start the car and then nothing.

I am about to jack the car up and check the starter to see if all the connections are still good. But I am wondering if it could be a fuse...which I will check as well or if it could be the ignition switch. These are the ONLY things I could think of, so wondering if there is anything else that I need to be aware of so that we can get this up and running again.

Thanks for your help.

Update:

So here is an update on what I did tonight, and what I found...heard.

All dash lights still light up, ALL fuses on driver side of dashboard behind the panel are good, and I do have a clean wire connection from the battery to the alternator. Getting up to touch the terminal on the starter is a bit of a pain in the butt...anyone got any good ideas how to access such a tight spot?

I had my wife try to "start" the car while I was underneath the car/hood. And I heard different clicks here and there as the car was prepping to start...assuming that would be the glow plugs heatting up. Then when she switches the key into the off position and takes it out. The throttle control sensor has a couple of odd clicks come out of it, and then it has a high pitched humming noise coming from it as if it is "powering" down almost.

So wondering if that is normal or not. But as of this point, that is what I know. The car is up on one jack stand, and tomorrow I am hoping to get down to check the starter...wish it was an easy pull so I could go run down and have it tested...but of course I don't think that will be all that "easy." Any suggestions on this.

And here is what else I confirmed, reading in the vwvortex forums, I double checked the car alarm, locking system, audio system, and the windows...all work COMPLETELY fine. No issues there. I was hoping it was like my other car, if you locked the car with the remote, and then unlocked it would magically work...no luck.

So electrically, it all seems sound. So I am down to one of three guess now:

Starter/siloenoid (spelling?)
Alternator
Ignition Switch
 

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http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/b5/starter-vw-passat-replace.htm

Have you look through this article? Yes, access is a pain but it sounds like this could be the problem. Either the solenoid or the wire. Test for voltage at terminal 50.

Not sure where you're measuring 12V but the battery should always keep at least almost 12V. Have you fully charged the battery overnight?

The clicks and the humming noise is the EGR valve recalibrating. When you start/stop the engine it fully cycles. You're hearing the electric motor and gears running.
 

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I am measuring the voltage at the battery. Hooked the ohm meter up to the posts and watched the numbers go up and down as I tried to start the car. I have another battery I can try also, but I figured "jumping" it with a battery charger would have eliminated that option...but I will try again as well.

Thanks. :) Any other thoughts?
 

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This sounds like a dead battery. Try the same voltage test with the headlights . The voltage should not drop to 0 with the key in the 2nd or 3rd position. Either that or the gauge is bad. From what I understand, voltage should stay above about 9.6V while cranking. A bad battery can have 12V. Take the battery to autozone and they can test it for free with a load test.

If it's not the battery, here is what the manual says about no start:
Possible causes: ignition switch or wire faults (less than 8v at solenoid)
Automatic transmission position relay faulty - test relay
Manual trans starter lock out switch faulty- test switch and relay.

If these are all good, do a voltage drop test across the starter-battery - http://www.excelauto.com/online/Tech.d/strvdt.html
 

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This sounds like a dead battery. Try the same voltage test with the headlights . The voltage should not drop to 0 with the key in the 2nd or 3rd position. Either that or the gauge is bad. From what I understand, voltage should stay above about 9.6V while cranking. A bad battery can have 12V. Take the battery to autozone and they can test it for free with a load test.

If it's not the battery, here is what the manual says about no start:
Possible causes: ignition switch or wire faults (less than 8v at solenoid)
Automatic transmission position relay faulty - test relay
Manual trans starter lock out switch faulty- test switch and relay.

If these are all good, do a voltage drop test across the starter-battery - http://www.excelauto.com/online/Tech.d/strvdt.html
Had the battery tested, and it came out fine. Cleaned posts and clamps and still no change. I am going to check the engine codes here in a second and also test the solenoid.

But where would I find the "Automatic Transmission Position Relay"? Or how would I test the relay?

Thanks.
 

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A good battery won't drop to 0 so there is something worth investigating here. Test for 12V at the starter. If you get that you know there's nothing wrong with the starting circuit and that the battery is bad.

Edit: I thought "drops to 11.5 volts, and then nothing. " meant 0 volts, sorry :)

It's possible although unlikely that your CCM is bad. It controls the remote windows and door locks as well. If the car had a flood or someone left the windows open and it rained, it could have damaged this component. It sounds like you have VCDS so try to connect to the CCM module.

One way to test the CCM back to the relay panel is to follow the brown/violet wire on pin 3 of the 15 pin connector to the starting interlock relay, J433, I only have an older wiring diagram but it should be the same. It's marked 53 in the picture below that I just labeled just for you....I knew that picture would come in handy...I'll add it to the starter troubleshooting article later...the white labels are things that are on other cars but not on this one.


Try this: put the transmission in neutral and if it starts, the switch, wiring, or relay are bad. I don't know how to test the actual relay.
 

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So here is what I can say:

The battery never tested at 0 volts. It has always had a load greater than 11.5 volts...so not sure where the low voltage from the battery ever came from. :)

But there were no codes to report off the VAG-Com.

I wasn't able to test the starter the method that was suggested...hands were to big and difficult to get the right angle to actually hit the terminal 50 to check the draw. So instead I just ended up pulling the starter and I am going to run it down to O'Reilly's tomorrow to have it tested.

As for the CCM, I am pretty sure that is fine, since I already checked all the secondary items that you mentioned above that it controls: i.e. power windows and door locks. So pretty sure that is fine.

As for the transmission test, I have already tested that as well, in both park and neutral and I had the exact same results both times.

So right now, the only thing I have left to guess is just the solenoid or...? And I will test the starter/solenoid tomorrow morning. Any other ideas?

Thanks again for all your help, it has been great.
 

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Easy, once it starter is off, give it 12V. You'll know right away if it's spins or not. The problem could always be the ignition switch since you're not hearing anything.
 

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So had the starter tested this morning, passed with flying colors. However...I do have a question, on the back of the solenoid there are two bolts and a plug point. The top bolt is for power, the point is for what I am assuming is the ignition wire, but what is the bottom bolt for? I am guessing it is the ground point, and if it is should there be a nut on that bolt? I noticed mine does not have one and it appears to be some shorting/scoring on it.

So any other thoughts? Since I can EASILY see up in there I am going to check voltage accross terminal 50 in the write up, but other than that not really sure what else it could be other than a bad ignition switch? Is there a way to check the starter relay?

Thanks again.
 

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You could jump the starter relay but I don't know which pins. Remove it and there's a schematic on it. I don't know enough about electronics to say how to jump it.

When they tested the starter, they tested both the starter and the starter solenoid right?

I've never tried it but there's probably a measuring block in VAG COM to check the function of the ignition switch. My guess is in the engine module. This could be an alternative to manually checking voltage at terminal 50. Not sure where it is, if you find out, please share.

I don't think the bottom bolt had anything. IIRC there were 2 cables on the upper bolt for power.

This is sounding more and more like a bag ignition switch

Also, see if the wipers and blower work when the key is on vs. when you try to start. They should not work because the load reduction relay shuts these off so that the starter gets the maximum power. If they do, the load reduction relay is bad. I don't think a fault should cause a total no -start but I haven't looked at the wiring too closely yet.
 

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So using the ohm meter I double checked to make sure all the wires from both the alternator and the battery were unobstructed. So got a clear signal all the way down. Then tested the one wire left that attaches to the starter at terminal 50 to see if it was sending a signal. I got a strong 11.7 volt signal from that wire when my wife turned the key into the start position of the car.

This makes me think that the neutral safety switch is fine, the ignition switch is fine, and so the whole problem still stems from the battery or the solenoid. Can anyone else confirm this thought? And reminder that there are NO Error codes, so all sensors according to the ECU are fine.

Thanks again.
 

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So after two days of deliberating and wondering, finally got the car up and running. And you would think it would have been the ignition switch, the starter relay, the gear switch, the....the list goes on. But in the end, it ended up being a bad connection at the solenoid due to an oil leak. Go fig...at least I didn't take it down to the dealer, and I got to learn a few new things. :) :nana2:



Thanks for all your help guys and gals, hope all goes well.

:ban
 

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So after two days of deliberating and wondering, finally got the car up and running. And you would think it would have been the ignition switch, the starter relay, the gear switch, the....the list goes on. But in the end, it ended up being a bad connection at the solenoid due to an oil leak. Go fig...at least I didn't take it down to the dealer, and I got to learn a few new things. :) :nana2:



Thanks for all your help guys and gals, hope all goes well.

:ban

What solenoid was it that you are talking about? I think i have the same problem. Please help!
 

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He was talking about the starter solenoid which is on the starter itself. You do realize the thread you posted this in is 4 years old?.
 

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He was talking about the starter solenoid which is on the starter itself. You do realize the thread you posted this in is 4 years old?.
Yes i do realize its an old thread but you know what? He has been the most helpful person in helping me and actually using what a forum is for.... Helping people and not pointing little things out.

Thanks
 
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