I have a 2000 new beetle that had the infamous ignition switch burnout problem. I have replaced the ignition switch 3x now, and recently the starter started grinding at random while the car was on. I would have to scramble to find the perfect position for the key to get it to stop grinding, and even had to pull over on occasion. Well, this went on for too long as I was trying to find my Round Tuit to replace the ignition switch AGAIN (why is this not a recall ? ).... and the starter went out.
My mechanic friend (actual, professional schooled mechanic, though not a VW mechanic) replaced the starter, and it worked for like 2 weeks. Then one day I go to start the bug and it won't start, but the starter motor "whirs" but doesn't make any cranking, starting noises - no firing, just a motor whir. Call my mechanic friend, he things - bad starter. We take it out and bring it back to the parts store, and they bench test it - it spins up, extends and gets the green light. So, they won't take it back, say it's not the starter, but maybe it needs shims.
I tell my mechanic friend, he says "No" the VW doesn't take shims, and the teeth on the flywheel are fine. So, he re-installs the starter, checks fuses, the ignition switch, etc. all check out.
So where we stand is - it WAS the starter, the old started was toast and replacing the starter FIXED the problem. Now the starter that works on the bench doesn't work when installed.
I am wondering if there is some known VW beetle "gotcha" about starters or the ignition system that I just need to summon up here. Let me know what else you would like to know and I will try to get it.
Thanks in advance for any clues or assistance you can offer.