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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

First time poster here, I think this is a common issue, but my girlfriends 1.8t beetle would not stay started this morning, it would start up then immediately cut out.

After googling I disconnected the battery as suggested by others for about 10 minutes and it started straight up.

Only problem is, how long will it last... She works quite far away so wouldn't want her getting stranded, I am thinking of putting a kill switch under the bonnet to easily disconnect the battery if she is far from home.

Also, as per the attached, the epc and check engine light appear before the engine starts, but goes out when the engine is running, are these lights normal or is there still an issue?

Sorry for the long post, but wondering if it needs to go in for diagnostics still, as my generic obd2 reader showed no logged fault codes.

Cheers, Matt.
 

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The lights should light up; when the key is in the "on" position and then go out, when the engine is started. The coolant light; should remain blue for a bit and then, go out when the car reaches normal operating temperature.

The no start condition, typically breaks down into; ignition/immobilizer or fuel delivery related problems.

Do you know, if the immobilizer icon is flashing in the speedo cluster? If it is, there is a fault in the immobilizer system and that is why it starts, then dies (the ignition is being killed by the immobilizer). This will throw a trouble code but you may need a Vw compatible scan tool, to read those codes?

If you have a charging problem; it can cause the immobilizer to go goofy and it will kick on. So, I would start by having the whole charging system checked out and make sure that everything is working correctly. This can be done at any auto parts store; for free.

You might pull a plug and coil pack; reconnect the coil pack, install the spark plug in the coil pack and ground it out, look for spark at the electrode, as a helper turns the engine over.

Sometimes, bad ignition switches; can kill the ignition.

For a affordable VW scan tool: check out the VAG 401, Foxwell nt500 on Amazon or VCDS by Ross Tech.

For fuel, you could use some starter fluid or test the fuel pressure.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, thanks for the reply, there was no blinking immobiliser light on, only the 2 lights shown, but you are saying these are normal until the engine starts? I think the immobiliser light did flick for a second as the engine fired, but this may have been normal.

It certainly acted like an immobiliser fault and resetting the battery seemed to confirm this?

Would the vagcom log the failed starts and reasons for these? I have no experience with vagcom, only standard obd2 with other cars.

Thanks, Matt.
 

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The immobilizer light; should only blink, if there is a "fault" in the system. A VW should log a fault; if there is one, that is specifically related to a component, that is failing and be read by a VW compatible scan tool, like VCDS/VAGCOM. There are some things; that typically, won't throw a code, like a bad ignition switch, bad fuel pump, etc. I guess it depends; on if a module, was designed to sense a problem or not. A VW scan tool; can read a code, that can really help diagnose a problem and I would consider, having access to one, to be crucial to diagnosing these pesky cars! :)

The most common fault thrown; is when, there is something in the immobilizer system, that has or is failing is this code:

17978/P1570/005488 - Engine Start Blocked by Immobilizer

17978/P1570/005488 - Ross-Tech Wiki

As noted; the immobilizer, can get goofy under low voltage situations and that is why, having the charging system checked, working correctly is so crucial. If you have a low charge condition; these cars, can run weird and have all kinds of problems, that may not make sense initially and because, there are so many computers, they need full power to work right.

In many strange situations; that is why, a "hard reset", isn't a bad thing to try and clearing the ecu, in certain scenarios, can be helpful.

For example; I had a bad 02 sensor with a failed heater portion of the sensor trouble code. I replaced the sensor; cleared the code and it came right back, after a short test drive. At that point; I was scratching my head wondering, what was going on and if I had somehow, replaced the wrong sensor! After thinking about it a bit; I went ahead and did a hard reset, the code went away and stayed away! Weird, huh? I don't claim; to understand why many of things things work but hey, it it does.. why not try? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi,

Thanks for all the input, I had the charging system checked, and all was healthy, as a precaution I installed a kill switch temporarily, this way my girlfriend can easily "reset" the fault of it does it again.

Basically the cars on probation for 6 months... If it behaves I'll remove the kill switch and reintroduce it into civilised society ?

Thanks again for the suggestions.

Matt.
 

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I guess, I'm not quite getting the "kill switch" idea; what is the purpose? I guess, this would be similar; to doing a "hard reset"? It has been said; if you have a immobilizer, no start issue: leaving the key in the "on" position for 10 minutes can help reset the immobilizer. If there was a fault; I would want to know, what the code is before clearing it. The fault; could help you diagnose, the cause of the no start problem. When things don't start; that is when, the car should be scanned for trouble codes. As you are experiencing, intermittent problems; can be the hardest to troubleshoot and can be tough to replicate the problem, when you are working on the car.

At this point, it doesn't sound like we know; what is causing the no start problem. I strongly suggest; you purchase a VW scan tool: check out the VAG 401 or Foxwell NT500 on amazon or VCDS by Ross Tech. A VW specific scan tool; can show VW factory codes, that a generic OBD II scan tool will not. If you are owning and keeping a modern VW for any amount of time; a VW scan tool is a must, it will save you thousands in repairs and help bring sanity, to maintaining and repairing your VW.

The immobilizer fault symptoms; sound similar to what you are experiencing but there are so many other possibilities: bad/failing: crank sensor, temp sensor, fuel pump, fuel pump relay, ignition switch, etc. etc. A VW scanner; could help rule out things and crucially, see any VW factory codes presently in memory of the ecu. Most no starts: are either ignition or fuel delivery related.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey, the kill switch is ONLY to allow my girlfriend to easily disconnect my battery without me being there, hopefully it will never happen again and wil not be needed, if it does happen again it will be getting fully diagnosed.

The switch will be removed if the car behaves for a long enough period and I am confident it will not reoccur.

Cheers, Matt.
 

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Cup- 2k New Beetle GLS/ 'Chino- 13 Beetle 2.5
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I too have a kill switch in my 2000 1.8t beetle.

Back story:
bug died at a show. Checked fuses, fuel pump relay, and nothing. Found a fuel pump at a salvage yard, installed, and bug started...of to the show I went. the next morning, the same issue arose. We did the same troubleshooting and same resolve- bought a new pump to fix the problem. The bug started fine and made the 2 hour drive home without an issue.
Got up for work the next morning...SAME PROBLEM AROSE. Took pump back to the parts store and got a replacement, problem solved...until the next day- Yep, happened again.

So, I realized it's more than a fuel pump. I made a kill switch at the fuel pump fuse, to starve power to the pump....no more problem. Now I've got to find the source of the problem, so I can eliminate the kill switch.

Oh one more thing...if the bug is running, and I open the driver's door, the Bug will shut off. So my guess is there's something wrong with the door switch or something in the immobilizer circuit.

Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk
 

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What's up with all these kill switches? Fix the primary problem! LOL! :)

scarabY2k, what brand fuel pump did you get and were their any trouble codes? I wonder, if your door lock module; is bad or there is a issue with the fuel pump relay? A VW scan tool; would be helpful to see any electrical related trouble codes. This is the first time; I have heard of opening the door to kill the car. Opening the door; would seem to be activating the door lock module or disturbing the wiring in the black rubber, ribbed sheath; from the body to the door! Maybe, some of the wires are broken or touching each other and grounding out? Further investigation is required; electrical gremlins are defintiely an issue. All of my "no start" issues; were traced back to an number of issues for me: melted wiring/plug at the starter switch, cracked/worn starter switch and a bad speedo cluster, which kept causing the immobilizer to kick on randomly without any seeming rhyme or reason! As noted; after allot fo work; a new speedo cluster, finally eliminated my no start problems and boy, was it nice to finally not have the immobilizer keep killing my car! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Haha,

Yes is certainly does not fix the root cause, but is more insurance in case it happens again, if it does it will be sorted, intermittent faults are the worst...

My own brand spanking Audi A4 is back to the dealer again due to an intermittent remote locking issue, which seems to nicely disappear every time the technician checks it out, it'll be kill switches all round soon, ha.
 

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I would say; seeing how you have two VAG cars, it is time to get a scanner. You will need it; CEL's always come on, at some point (there can be trouble codes; even without the "CEL" being on). :)
 

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I've had had the same odd problem on my 2k bug since it was new . No codes dealer couldn't find any thing . I did notice it usually happened shortly after I filled up or the out side temp changed drastically . So one day I just got out and opened the gas cap , opened the little flap in there . and it started right away . This happens every couple of months and it works every time .
 

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Same symptoms with my wife's Astrid ('02 1.8T 5spd CC). The immobilizer was overzealous and, with frustrating frequency and unpredictability, would allow the engine to start only to shut it down immediately. She thought that high-revving it upon startup would help get it past a sudden death window, but that only caused worry of damaging the engine. It didn't matter which key we used; that ruled out the keys requiring reprogramming.
Yes, disconnecting the battery often stopped the stoppage, but it always returned. Yes, I considered installing a kill switch to enable the disconnect ritual without tools, but you're right, that would be only a band-aid.
My wife's increasing frustration with the car she loves so much was taking its toll on life in general. I replaced the battery (the old Interstate one was 6 years old) to eliminate voltage concerns - no joy (but my Vanagon got a trickle-down battery upgrade in the bargain).
It came down to taking Astrid to a respectable VW dealer (Chaplin's, 100 miles away), have them diagnose the problem and hope we didn't have to sell our horses and eat Top Ramen for the rest of our lives to pay for it.
First finding pointed out ground wiring problems, buried deep within the Beetle's bowels; $500 of replacing wires later, Astrid was allegedly fit to bring home. We made the day trip, returned the Jetta loaner, and proceeded to do our "big city" errands. Astrid didn't make it past a few starts during our errands before she immobilized herself again - repeatedly (this is why I packed a 10mm wrench). We returned her to the dealer, where they graciously conceded befuddlement and provided us with a GTI SportWagen (way nicer than the econobox Jetta) so they could keep her for further troubleshooting. Another week of the shop foreman's head-scratching and testing revealed the key reader coil's resistance was out of spec. They replaced it (only charged us for the $120 part* :king:) and kept it for another week to test it. When we got the call to bring her home, we were apprehensive. We've had her for a week and no problems at all; I think we're out of the woods.
*They believed they accidentally shorted/fried it while doing the wiring repairs. I'm just thankful that Astrid didn't need another instrument cluster (where the immobilizer lives) - they're no longer available from VW.
p.s.
This goes to show that not all dealers are out to rape you for repairs.
 

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Interesting, in my case; I started replacing things in order of price and ultimately, it was the speedo cluster, was bad for me. After I replaced each item; I tried to see if it dealt with the issue and in each case, it came back.



I replaced:



1. wires/plug to the ignition switch; they melted, because I was always turning the starter over to start the car.

2. ignition switch (electrical portion)

3. terminal ends to the reader coil (known, to stretch; when the steering column, gets adjusted and cause a intermittant bad connection, causing the immo to come on)

4. reader coil

5. speed cluster (fixed the issue)



I had this issue; even when the car was under warranty and I dealt with it all the time, until I got so sick of it, that I decided to fix it on my own. It took allot of time; research and work but finally found the speed cluster to be the final issue. I found a new one on ebay and replaced it; rather than, have it repaired.



I am glad, you finally got it fixed; intermittant electrical issues, are a real challenge to diagnose and even more so, when it is a issue with the immobilizer!
 
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