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gomi_otaku, VW Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 3457
Experience:  VW FastTrack '00-'01, VW Academy Chicago and Seattle '00-present, VW Certified
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I drive a 2001 VW Jetta 1.8t Wolfsburg Edition. Today it

Customer Question

Hi there! I drive a 2001 VW Jetta 1.8t Wolfsburg Edition. Today it wouldn't start. In the past couple of days before now, I've notice it had a couple of "hard starts" but it DID in fact start up. Anyway, this morning, I went to start the car, and got nowhere. I heard the fuel pump pressurize the fuel line, the dash board lit up and my radio (an aftermarket Pioneer unit) came on, the key turned, I heard a click, but nothing happened. I release the key back into the neutral position, attempt to turn it again, but this time, it won't turn. The dashboard and all other lights mentioned remained on until I removed the key from the ignition. Any idea what's causing this?
JA: Have you checked the fuses? The dashboard bulbs?
Customer: Fuses, no. Dashboard bulbs, is that really necessary given that they turn on?
JA: What year is your Wolfsburg Edition?
Customer: 2001
JA: Are you fixing your Wolfsburg Edition yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I'll be fixing it myself. I haven't tried much yet, I'm going to get a voltmeter soon to check a few things but that's it for now. Any suggestions?
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes, when I tried to start it today, I also heard a high pitched whine from the alternator (or the area surrounding it, but I'm 90% sure it was the alternator).
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 7 months ago.

Are you experiencing a deep freeze where you are right now? Give this a try- turn the key to start, and hold it there- I know back in 2001 or so we had a bunch of these that would seem to get "frosty" in the cold, and not be able to make connection- but holding it there melted the frost in the terminals, and then it would suddenly crank after about 20 seconds.

if that doesn't do it, I would have the battery checked to make sure it is OK- not just 12v, but have it load tested to make sure the amperage flow is sufficient to crank an engine. any chain parts store will do this for FREE for you.

Are you sure the whine wasn't the starter spinning, but not throwing out to engage the flywheel?