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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is my problem. I've run into a wall with this trying to figure this out. The car is a 2000 Beetle , 1.8T with 145,000 kilometres, 5 speed.
When you turn the key to start you can hear the starter click but will not crank.
The battery tests at 12.7 volts with engine off.
The battery tests at 14.1 volts with engine running.
There is 12 volts at the switch connection when you turn the key.
Pulled the starter and bench tested it. The pinion shoots out and spins no problem.
Checked voltage drop on positive and negative sides, both register 0.1/0.2.
I can roll start it no problem and the car runs fine.
Any opinions answers etc. is gratefully appreciated.
 

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Check the voltage drop on the battery with the starter installed in the car. It is probably dropping substantially when the load of the starter tries to turn over the motor. This is not a good time of year for batteries... you can take it to autozone and they have a machine that test the battery, alternator, and starter all on the car and all at once. :)

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should have organised my points a little better. I did the voltage drop tests with the starter on the car. Here in Canada we don't have Autozone and my go to guy has shut up shop here locally so I'm looking for a Volks guy now to take it to.
 

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So you hear the starter bendix 'kick' out and there is no 'spin'. Do you hear the starter motor 'hum' at all? Does the starter get physically "Hot" after a few attempts?

I have seen quite a few times a starter pass a bench test, but once under the load of trying to torque/spin the ring gear on the flex plate/Flywheel? It buckles down and won't do the trick.

Ask a few local shops if anyone has an old school "VAT-40" tester. That will allow for a better test of the battery and alternator. It also has an inductive amp 'clamp on' probe that will show what the starter is really doing. The trick is? You have to know what to look for and how to read the gauges. I was fully trained on these years and years ago. In my opinion? They are far better then any of the new age "jiffy testers" on the market.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm leaning towards the starter only being able to act like it is operating correctly when it is on the bench. When you install it and it has a load to turn it won't do it. Is it possible for a battery to show 12.8 volts, i.e. fully charged, and not be able to do the job?
 

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I'm leaning towards the starter only being able to act like it is operating correctly when it is on the bench. When you install it and it has a load to turn it won't do it. Is it possible for a battery to show 12.8 volts, i.e. fully charged, and not be able to do the job?

Hook up the multimeter to the battery terminals. Turn the key to 'start' while watching the voltage. It's no where near as accurate as the current draw test. But if you see the battery start to buckle and tank under load? It's either the battery or the starter.

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I'm leaning towards the starter only being able to act like it is operating correctly when it is on the bench. When you install it and it has a load to turn it won't do it. Is it possible for a battery to show 12.8 volts, i.e. fully charged, and not be able to do the job?
12.8 Volts is either the sign of a bad cell or a surface charge on the battery.

Simple test, just connect the Voltmeter to the battery, try to start the car and watch the battery Voltage. If the Voltage drops below 11 Volts, then probably a bad battery. If the Voltage does not drop below 12 Volts bad connection or maybe bad starter.

Keep in mind there are plenty of placed for bad connections in these cars as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tried that out jfoj. The battery reads 12.7, you turn the key to go to start and it goes to 12.2. Also if you hook the car up to jump start it makes no difference yet can be roll started easily. I'm thinking to take the starter out, again, and get that checked out.
 

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Before you pull the starter, take you negative jumper cable and make a temporary jumper from the negative battery post to the engine block, if the car starts you have a bad ground, probably under the battery and battery tray.

Also keep in mind a bad clutch safety switch and ignition switch could also be an issue as well.

Could also be the starter, if you can check Voltage at the starter as well, this would be interesting to compare to what you have at the battery.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll try the temporary ground with a jumper tomorrow. I've eliminated the clutch switch/ignition switch as I get 12 volts at the switch lead on the starter when you turn the key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok checked the ground, same results. I'll pull the starter again and get it checked out. However it is now New Years Eve!!!! Happy New Year!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All right the problem is solved. It turned out to be a worn out starter. I got a fully remanufactured one for about $170.00 all in. The Beetle is back on the road. Thanks for all the advice and tips. Much appreciated.:)
 
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