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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone.

This is my first thread here.
I've always came here searching for lots of things related to my baby and it always helped me a lot, but this time I had to do my own thread 'cause I can't find a exact solution for my problem.

I own a 2003 2.0 liter AT New Beetle here in Japan.

And it's presenting a annoying problem which is the car won't start sometimes. And when it doesn't the check light goes on and stays like this until I can get it so start again and bring it to the mechanic so he can search for the error codes and then reset it for me.

Problem is the computer never accuses anything related to the problem.

When the car does start it never kills the engine on me. Runs just fine.

I've read lots of things about this kind of problem and that it can represent lots of different things like bad ignition switch, immobilizer, a wire gone bad, starter solenoid or even the distributor cap that's dirty or corroded.

I've gotta be real with you guys. I do not know much about cars. So if you could be really specific when trying to bring a light to my case I would really appreciate it.

I may be missing some details here about the car or the matter itself so just let me know what I need to tell you guys and I will respond as soon as possible.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Off the top of my head, Crank Sensor, Cam Sensor and/or RPM Sensor. Does your NB have a Manual or Automatic Transmission?
My NB is AT. The crank sensor has already been replaced about 3 weeks ago. That and the fuel pump and the fuse box.

Again, I don't understand much about cars so lots of things don't even makes sense to me, specially because I have to try and explain everything in Japanese to the guy that's fixing up my car and I struggle to understand everything he try to explain back to me.

I heard a lot about that problem being related to the ignition switch but he insisted that this is not the case.

Also, today the car wouldn't even crank. The engine won't run at all. This time I had to call a wrecker car to have it pick up and take it to the repair shop.

Because now it won't even crank, the mechanic is thinking that the problem is not related to the ignition at all. Maybe the cell motor or so. Also he checked the check light and the computer accused that the Main Computer went bad.

I don't even know what it is exactly but it seems to be the ECU. But he said that he has to change the parts he understands to be causing the problem one by one until the car runs again. And even then he can't guarantee that it won't happen again.

And 'cause here in Japan the NB is already a cheap car for being always related to high maintenance, he said that I should spend my money buying another car.

I really love my Bug and really hope that I can fix it, but if it takes to much time and money to get it done, then maybe I'm better off without it.
 

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Is your mechanic a VW specialist? Is he using a VW specific scanner? If not, I would try to find someone with one or buy one yourself. There may be other codes he's not picking up. Also, what is the exact code number that is coming up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is your mechanic a VW specialist? Is he using a VW specific scanner? If not, I would try to find someone with one or buy one yourself. There may be other codes he's not picking up. Also, what is the exact code number that is coming up?
I'm gonna ask him as soon as I can about the code. I know he uses a scanner for VW cars. He is not a VW specialist, but I've already had past problems with my NB I took it straight to de VW Dealer and they couldn't solve it. They told me it would take some time and money to repair so I would be better off buying a new VW.

That's how things work around here. So I took my car to this mechanic and he solved the problem and have been taking care of my NB since then.
 

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This does not sound like a problem that there will be any errors stored in the ECU. I read you mentioned the SES/CEL/MIL comes on sometimes when the car will not start, but ANY generic OBDII tool will read ANY codes that trigger the SES/CEL/MIL.

A VW specific tool may or may not be of much help here. Also be aware if the shop is using a "Pro" tool, it should be able to read most, if not all VW specialized/proprietary codes. If you do not think the shop has the correct reader, the VAG405 for around $40 USD from Amazon is better than nothing and does a decent job reading generic and VW specialized/proprietary codes.

It may be possible that the SES/CEL/MIL is on due to a self check and it is just a red herring?

Need to fully understand what the most common problem is.

No crank, no noise when the key is turned or the engine cranks when the key is turned, but the engine does not start.

How often do you typically try to drive the car? Does it sit for long periods?

The no crank should have been a pretty easy item to diagnose unless when it was towed in, the car started after the tow.

How many miles are on this car?

Next time it will not start, if the engine cranks, watch the tachometer and see if it moves and it around 100-150 RPM. This typically indicates that the crank sensor is working and that the ECU is aware the engine is turning.

Intermittent problems are the most difficult to resolve. Unfortunately even many "Pro" shops do not use their head, do not spend time to speak with the customer to understand the problem and if there is a language barrier, this makes things worse, especially if you end up with a 3rd party translating.

If the engine cranks but does not start, somehow you need to narrow the problem to either no fuel or no spark.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This does not sound like a problem that there will be any errors stored in the ECU. I read you mentioned the SES/CEL/MIL comes on sometimes when the car will not start, but ANY generic OBDII tool will read ANY codes that trigger the SES/CEL/MIL.

A VW specific tool may or may not be of much help here. Also be aware if the shop is using a "Pro" tool, it should be able to read most, if not all VW specialized/proprietary codes. If you do not think the shop has the correct reader, the VAG405 for around $40 USD from Amazon is better than nothing and does a decent job reading generic and VW specialized/proprietary codes.

It may be possible that the SES/CEL/MIL is on due to a self check and it is just a red herring?

Need to fully understand what the most common problem is.

No crank, no noise when the key is turned or the engine cranks when the key is turned, but the engine does not start.

How often do you typically try to drive the car? Does it sit for long periods?

The no crank should have been a pretty easy item to diagnose unless when it was towed in, the car started after the tow.

How many miles are on this car?

Next time it will not start, if the engine cranks, watch the tachometer and see if it moves and it around 100-150 RPM. This typically indicates that the crank sensor is working and that the ECU is aware the engine is turning.

Intermittent problems are the most difficult to resolve. Unfortunately even many "Pro" shops do not use their head, do not spend time to speak with the customer to understand the problem and if there is a language barrier, this makes things worse, especially if you end up with a 3rd party translating.

If the engine cranks but does not start, somehow you need to narrow the problem to either no fuel or no spark.

Good luck.

It was cranking at first. And after many trys it would start. But now when turning the key nothing happens. The engine doesn't give a sign. It has 90.000 km now. I don't think is much to start giving such problems, and to think that I will have to recycle it breaks my heart.

When it was cranking and wasn't starting there was spark and fuel pump was just replaced.
 

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Try this, you may have a bad connection or a weak battery.

Turn the key on so the dash warning lights come on, turn the headlights on and try to honk the horn, does the horn honk and sound strong? If not, there is a problem with a weak battery or a bad connection.

Put the emergency brake on, put your foot on the brakes pedal and after you turn the key on so the dash lights come on, put the shifter in Neutral and see if the engine cranks. There may be a problem with the PRNDL switch.

Below the battery, under the battery tray is a ground wire location, this area can get corroded and be a problem.

The starters on these 2.0l cars I recall would give out without much warning.

If the car is towed to a shop, HOPEFULLY, they will have it not start at the shop, this would be a GOOD thing. At this point, it would be pretty easy to determine what is causing the current no crank situation.

Good luck, randomly replacing parts is really not the answer, but this is the way some people function.

How often do you drive the car? Evey day, every few days, every few weeks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Try this, you may have a bad connection or a weak battery.

Turn the key on so the dash warning lights come on, turn the headlights on and try to honk the horn, does the horn honk and sound strong? If not, there is a problem with a weak battery or a bad connection.

Put the emergency brake on, put your foot on the brakes pedal and after you turn the key on so the dash lights come on, put the shifter in Neutral and see if the engine cranks. There may be a problem with the PRNDL switch.

Below the battery, under the battery tray is a ground wire location, this area can get corroded and be a problem.

The starters on these 2.0l cars I recall would give out without much warning.

If the car is towed to a shop, HOPEFULLY, they will have it not start at the shop, this would be a GOOD thing. At this point, it would be pretty easy to determine what is causing the current no crank situation.

Good luck, randomly replacing parts is really not the answer, but this is the way some people function.

How often do you drive the car? Evey day, every few days, every few weeks?
I'm gonna pay a visit to the repair shop tomorrow to see if somethings up. Then I'm gonna make all of these tests to see how it goes. And also I'm gonna talk to the mechanic about that ground wire below the battery tray.

I drive it to go to work 5 days a week about 6km round trip and on the weekends just a little. I wouldn't say I use it that much.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It`s been almost a month now and the mechanic said that there is no other way but start replacing some parts that he thinks may be causing this problem.
But the money I`m gonna have to spend with the parts being replaced is better spent in another car.
That`s what he said. `cause he can`t guarantee that the same problem is gonna happen again and I would have to spend more money on the car.
So I`m really thinking about replacing it. As sad as it sounds, I think he`s right. Maybe I can get it fixed but who knows what other problem I`m gonna have to fix and how much more money I how much more money I`m gonna have to spend.
 

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It sounds; like your mechanic is not skilled enough or does not specialize in volkswagens (throwing parts at the problems; doesn't sound particularly encouraging). At this point; what does he want to replaced and how much money, will these repairs cost? I would assume; just like anywhere else, there are some mechanics that are more or less skilled than others. It could be something simple or more involved; diagnostics can be tough but a competent shop, should be able to fix the problem.

If you did decide to keep working with the car; I think there maybe other shops, that specialize in Volkswagen or European cars, that would be more competent fixing your car.

Maybe, if you can give us; the general area you live in Japan, you can find another shop that specializes in Volkswagens and fix the car properly.

I have heard of one shop; that specializes in Volkswagen tuning/repair in Kobe and an accessories store, which may able to point you in a direction of a competent repair shop:

‚u‚v‚ƃAƒEƒfƒB‚̃XƒyƒVƒƒƒ‹ƒp�[ƒcƒVƒ‡ƒbƒv�AƒtƒHƒu�EƒVƒ…ƒ‰ƒ“ƒN

BUGS GO-GOƒIƒtƒBƒVƒƒƒ‹ƒTƒCƒg / ƒjƒ…�[ƒr�[ƒgƒ‹ & ƒUƒr�[ƒgƒ‹ƒp�[ƒcƒVƒ‡ƒbƒv‚̃oƒOƒYƒS�[ƒS�[

I would assume; there are volkswagen enthusiast websites, that could be helpful too but I just don't know what they are. There used to be a japanese based vw new beetle enthusiast website but I think, it shut down. There does seem to be a Volkswagen scene in Japan; it is just a matter of figuring out where and what sites are out there. I have noted in the past; that there were Japanese Volkswagen magazines, which could be another source of info, for vw specific repair shops in your area.

Ultimately, just like any car; you have to decide what you want to do and weigh the pros/cons. A older car; will need to have repairs done more, than a newer one but the repairs maybe cheaper, than buying and new car and making payments.
 

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You need to gather more information and be able to determine what is really going on.

Your problem could be anything from a bad ignition switch to a bad starter, to bad connections at the battery or ground points below the battery tray to a problem fuse box on top of the battery.

Even a bad drives door latch could be the problem as well, but you would likely have the vehicle alarm going off when opening the drivers door.

This info is not for a VW, it is for a specific model of BMW, but it is all pretty common to this era of VW as well. You might want to read over this to think about what is going on.

It may help you help yourself to convey what may be going on with the car to the forum or your shop.

E46 NO START – list of possible causes - E46Fanatics

Something as simple as paying attention to the dash lights or turning the headlights on and honking the horn may give you some useful information.
 
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