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vwnewton, VW Owner,ASE Master and L1 Advanced
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 307
Experience:  25 years of VW obsession turned into a job, last 15 years as a VW Tech.
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VW RABBIT won't start - odometer area reads SAFE after

Customer Question

VW RABBIT won't start - odometer area reads SAFE after engine dies. Manual mentions key no longer programmed correctly, but occurring with all 3 keys I have. Solution?
JA: Does the vehicle have a carburetor?
Customer: I don't believe it does. 2008 2.5 L 5 cylinder engine.
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: If possible. Have tried various keys. Have put Sea Foam injector cleaner into gas tank.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: Previously would have a similar problem episodically when parked in hot sun. Would then open gas tank to vent, and it would start up. Has about 80,000 mi on it. Possible needs new fuel filter and air filter.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  Wolfgang replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for choosing Just Answer . I'm Wolfgang here to help!!

I am confident we can resolve your problem together. Please
understand that I don't know your skill level. In most cases when you have a problem
with the way the vehicle performs, specialized tooling is required to acquire computer
data/information or engine testing results. We didn’t build these complicated vehicles; we
just diagnose and fix them. Also understand that I can't see, smell, hear, or touch the
vehicle either, so it may take a few replies to get to satisfactory results. I am also going to
direct you with the fastest, easiest and most common things to check first. Please be
patient and permit me to do what I do best.
I also try to give all of the information you may need, expecting a “positive rating” in
return. I will also continue assisting you after you have rated me, if necessary. If there
is any reason I cannot get a positive rating, please let me know why “in advance”, so I
can go another direction for you. I am sorry you’re having this problem; I’ll help you
through it.
Below is my first answer or request for more information. If you do not understand it, or you need more information from me, or need me to go in more detail.

Before the SAFE issue what repairs was done to the vehicle?

any recent accidents?

when you turn the key on does the check engine light come on?

does the yellow immobilizer light come on then flashes in the instrument cluster?

please let me know!!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. No recent work done on vehicle; oil change done on 4/15/16 at about 71,000 mi (vehicle now approaching 74,000 mi).
2. No recent or prior accidents.
3. When I turn key, yellow engine light, EPC and red steering wheel light come on. Engine kicks over for 1-2 secs, then dies. If I leave ignition turned on, only EPC and yellow steering wheeheel symbols remain (no engine light).
4. I am unsure what the yellow engine immobilizer light is (engine outline in yellow?), but I saw no flashing yellow light or flashing yellow engine symbol, either while turning ignition on or after engine dies ( yellow engine symbol goes out, as above).
Expert:  Wolfgang replied 1 year ago.

do you have vag com scan tool to see what codes are stored?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I do not. Will have to get back to you tomorrow evening.
Thank you.
Expert:  Wolfgang replied 1 year ago.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wolfgang, I'm back - sorry it's somewhat late. Any ideas on what I (as a non-mechanic) can try doing to get this vehicle to start, so I can then (if necessary) drive it to either my local gas station mechanic, or to the nearest VW dealership? Otherwise I will need to have it towed to one of these locations. Gene
Expert:  Wolfgang replied 1 year ago.

you will need a scan no matter what and with the safe issue the only way to get that rectified is through the vw dealer on this!!!