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David, VW Master Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 2366
Experience:  VW Master Technician Certified for 9 years, ASE Master Technician Certified
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2001 Jetta: wont start, but all the lights and radio work..neutral

Customer Question

2001 Jetta VR6 wont start, but all the lights and radio work. There is no noise when you turn the key from the car. Tried the neutral start thing, but still nothing. It doesn't even click. Any help would be appreciated
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.
Does the display show P R N D as white with black letters or is it high lighted black with white letters?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It shows white background with black letters
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.
OK that is a good sign as the multi function switch is ok. I would suggest you try to make sure the alarm is not shutting the car off. Using the key unlock and open the trunk. Leave the trunk open and then try to start the car. Let me know what happens for further.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, I will have to try that tomorrow, I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for helping and hopefully we can figure out this problem! I'll be getting back to you soon.
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.

Sounds good, I will be checking my phone for email and try to get back to you asap.

Merry Christmas

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, Merry Christmas to you too sir
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
One more thing....I recently had the car in the shop because it needed a new Camshaft Position Sensor. I got the car from the shop last night and it returned home fine, but as i went to start it this morning, this problem happened. Please let me know if this may be connected to our issue at hand! Thanks!
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.
Dont think its related but its always possible, give that a try tomorrow and let me know what happens.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok i tried the start with the trunk open and the car did the same start and no noise, only thing different was that the dash showed the trunk open picture.
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.
OK That eliminates the alarm system which has a starter lock out. The next steps would require a few electrical tests. It may be that the starter has failed or it is not getting the start signal. Not sure if you are capable of performing a few tests which require a volt meter. If so please let me know and I will walk you through them.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately I dont have a voltmeter, but my neighbors may. I wil have to go ask them to see if they have, i dont know if they are home so i may not be able to get my hands on one without a mechanic.
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.

Basically a quick test is one, battery voltage what is it? First step should be at 12.6 volts with key off. Below 12.4 would indicate a battery that is below charge. Next test is to remove the small wire that goes into the starter. Using the volt meter, check for voltage there while someone holds the key in the start position. If you have voltage there, then the problem is the starter, no voltage indicates a different problem. Those are your two starting points. Let me know what you find later today or tomorrow so we can go further.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We are going to go and check the connections to the starter itself from the battery as they may be loose or dirty (just incase). We have also been told because of the cold weather that the solenoid may be stuck and needs a tap with a blunt object. Please let me know if this could also be related to the car not starting! Thanks David!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ohh boy, we cant even get to the starter becuase of the plastic covering blocking it, i seriously think it is the starter becuase we tried jumping the car an it wouldnt start. Im totally stumpped! Hahaha i hope you can figure this out, or atleast hel. Thanks again
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.

The VR6 can be a bit difficult to get to the starter. You may end up having to remove the battery and tray to access the starter. What we have done in the shop at times, is to use a set of jumper cables once the battery is out to test the starter lead. I know it can be difficult with all the motor crammed in there.

You could also try to remove the air filter box, but I am not 100% sure that you can access the starter lead, the air box is simple to remove. Two 10mm bolts on each side, disconnect the conector and air tube

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
3 when they changed my sensor, could they have knocked something to have created this problem? Could they have loosened something or not put something back on correctly that may have come loose when i drove home?
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.
The only thing that I could think of that could have been pulled slightly is the starter signal lead. Known also as the solenoid wire. You will need to access the starter, the same wire that we would need to test for power is the one that you would need to make sure it is plugged into the starter. Though possible it is not likely.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, i will get to checking the starter sometime tomorrow or tuesday as i would like to call the shop and ask how they started the jetta. I will be in contact as i find out more info! Thanks David
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi David, could you tell me the easiest way to take the battery out of the car, and the basic tools i should have handy so I can access the Starter? Thanks!

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