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Hi friends, I have searched high and wide for something maybe even remotely close to what I have going on with my 2005 VW Beetle 1.8t convertible. I purchased it less than a month ago from a local dealer, who's been willing to help with the issues but is completely incompetent in doing anything. I apologize in advance for my naivety and ignorance, I am pretty mechanically inclined but not the greatest. We're taking it to a local mechanic on Tuesday but I wanted to figure out what was going on!

Anyway, we had to replace the battery because the nincompoop sent it home with an ATV battery after doing "repairs". So I purchased the correct battery, after that it runs fine. Dad then replaces the MAS and throttle body, cars running but we get some codes. He runs the odb II tests and we just need to reset the computer, which we did. Car shuts down. We try and turn it over and the starter makes a whirling/grinding noise as if it's not engaging the flywheel and it is NOT turning over to start the engine.

This is where it gets interesting, we pull the starter and it has 2 bolts. My autoparts store here tells me that this starter is for manual and not an automatic (But God I should have bought a manual).

We replace the starter with the new one and doesn't start. Still makes the whirling/grinding noise. My mechanic marks a tooth on the flywheel to see if it's engaging and moving at all, and it's not.

I call the dealer, he does an unlock reset cycle with the key fob and it's it to start up. Still making a grinding noise, but now it's turning over and running. It drives perfectly fine once you get it started. He keeps it for 3 days and DOESN'T DO ANYTHING. But returns it to me and it'll start but still makes that grinding noise.

It's been a week now and I don't drive my car a lot, primarily commuting to and from work, Wednesday the car returns to the original state of whirling/grinding without turning over. We tried jump starting it and SOMETIMES that will work but it's not 100%. I've trickle charged the battery and it was just purchased maybe 2 weeks ago with hardly any drive on it.

Any help or incite would be fantastic and very appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Well, the first thing; I would confirm, proof positive that you have the correct starter for your application.

We have had a number of members; who struggled finding the right starter and getting it to work correctly. Keep in mind Bosch is the oem for these starters and they have had a number of small variations over the years and using the correct one is crucial, for the be starter/gear to mesh with the flywheel teeth correctly.

Another issue; as if finding the correct starter isn't a challenge enough already, is many cars are driving around with swapped engines or transmissions that may not be original. That has the potential of making things; even more of a challenge. Note: that your typical auto parts store; will NOT have all the various style starters that came in these cars and many times are only available through Bosch or VW.

My initial thought; is you may have the wrong starter installed and it is binding and not meshing perfectly, causing the no start, grinding noises.

So, I would want to figure thing out:

1. What engine and transmission codes you have and see what your VW dealer parts dept. says you should have based on your VIN number. This confirms you have the stock and factory components.

2. Determine how many teeth and confirm your starter ring on the torque converter, isn't physically damaged.

3. Tell us what starter you have installed and compare to what VW tells you you need based on your VIN and by looking up on Bosch's parts site.

https://www.boschautoparts.com/en/

Work on the above research and tell us the info and we can go from there. Thanks.




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