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Discussion Starter #1
I hope someone has an idea of what I should try next.

Details:

2000 VW New Beetle, 2.0L, manual, 1C body style

The car starts without the clutch being depressed. This is a condition that will not pass Virginia's safety inspection protocol.

My VAG-COM does not show an error code for this.

I have replaced the clutch safety switch (the old one tested fine, replaced it anyway) and the clutch starter relay (#53 in position 4 on the relay panel).

Researching posts about cars not starting, seems to suggest that the fault may lie in the ignition harness.

1. Does anyone have any other suggestions for possible causation?

2. Is there a diagnostic test I can do to determine if the ignition harness is the problem?

Thanks.
 

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It may be a mechanical problem with the clutch pedal. Even though the switches are good, they are getting depressed even when the pedal is released. Try taking off the connector at the clutch pedal switch and see if it will crank. If it still cranks, remove the relay and try again. If it cranks with the relay removed there must be a fault in the wiring.
 

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It is possible that car was originally an automatic transmission that was converted to a manual transmission?

Also European vehicle personality does not require a clutch safety switch. Is is possible someone altered the vehicle coding?

Not sure if VAGCOM/VCDS can code the vehicle for specific options? This may be something that needs to be checked.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
More information

Tried it today without the clutch switch, started.

Removed Relay #53 from position 4 in block, started.

So, I'm guessing it is in the ignition harness.

I'll hang on until later to see if any one has any other ideas, or tomorrow the column comes apart.

Bollocks. I hate working on steering columns.
 

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It is hard to imagine how this problem could occur through some sort of naturally occurring fault. Maybe someone spliced in a wire from the ignition switch to somewhere after relay 4. Doing so would also bypass the security system interlock (relay 3) which could have been the goal. The wires from the ignition switch to the starter are all red/black, so look for a wire that connects into red/black wires at both ends. One end would have to be behind the relay panel somewhere to connect after relay 4.
 

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Yes, I was thinking the same thing that the car must have been molested at some point by someone that did not understand how the circuits worked.

If the issue is just getting through inspection, suggest trying a shop that might overlook this issue so you can take you time to sort the problem properly.
 
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