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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the past week I have had intermittent issues with getting my 2002 Beetle to crank.

Some days it will crank fine, other days you turn the key, all the dash lights come on but you just hear a click. It can happen from a cold start (sat overnight) and after being driven, parked and restarted after a short period of time. If it doesn't crank, it will jump start, but might take a few attempts.

I have had it checked by two local auto parts dealers; they both ran a test and everything came back good.

I have taken it to my local repair shop, they ran a diagnostic and said that they thought it was the starter. The only problem was that every time they tried to crank it....it started every time!

I really do not want to spend $400+ getting the starter replaced if it is not the starter that is the issue.

Any ideas?
 

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Have you scanned the car for trouble codes; post any and all trouble codes, that come up. My first thought; is that the ignition switch has failed (or in the process of failing); or the barrel assembly has broken. Does the ignition switch feel strange or different when you turn it? Its not uncommon; for these to break after awhile; if turning the key, seems odd or doesn't turn as much or is different then normal, the mechanical part (the barrel) may have broken and isn't allowing the switch to turn as it should. I would remove the switch and turn it by itself with a screwdriver; if it starts then you know the barrel or key tumbler is bad (you have isolated the switch from the tumbler/barrel assembly; usually the barrel breaks in this case). If the switch seems odd; look at the inner portion of the switch, many times it will have a crack in it and also look at the wires for melting. Replace the switch; turn it with a screwdriver and see if it works. If it work; then you put it back in and it still won't start or turn like it should.... then the tumbler is most likely broken.


http://newbeetle.org/forums/1-8-liter-turbo/59181-ignition-switch-replacement-diy.html

Here are some other threads; that maybe useful and similar to what you are experiencing:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/gtsearc...siteurl=newbeetle.org/&ref=&ss=2671j454497j19

You could also; remove the starter and have it tested at your local auto parts store (free). I was having a intermittent starting issue; at first I thought it was the battery, then I used a battery tester that had a starter test feature; it failed. If you buy a new starter; get a high quality one (OEM BOSCH) and not some junk from your typical auto parts store. You can look up the correct starter for you car here:

VehiclePartFinder
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I spoke to the repair shop, they tested the ignition and said it was fine. Also, when they ran a diagnostic, no codes came up.

The car has started successfully 20+ times since it has been sat over at my parents (Dad is routinely going out and starting it).

He is encouraging me to "pick it up" and just run it, in the hope that it was just some weird blip. I am nervous about that.

As for removing the starter myself....no way! :)

I did have one other question though: if the starter was going bad, would it make any sense at all that it will jump start?
 

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It's possible. When the brushes in the starter get worn badly, or a bad spot on the armature happens, it's a crap shoot when the starter stops spinning--does a brush land on the bad spot on the armature or a good spot? Kinda like playing Russian Roulette.

Albeit on the rare side? It does and can happen. When you hear the "Click" where is the sound coming from? If the sound is coming from the starter itself--I would first do the checks with wiring, battery terminals clean, and the wires to the starter and grounds in good shape. All to often a wonky connection will cause this to happen. Loud 'Click' and then nothing. Hit it with a jump start and it works! Yeah...you just added another 300+ amps to the starter circuit--and that can be enough to kick it into working.

So that's where I would start. Check battery and terminals. Check the main ground and the main lead to the starter. (have a shop do that if you're not sure....you'll want to unhook the negative terminal so not to get spark shower) (btw: have your radio code handy...it can (battery disconnect) trigger the 'safe' mode)

That is of course---if the click is loud and clear from the starter itself.

S-
 
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