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Strange starting issue

329 Views 17 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Boedie
Hello,

I have a 03 sport sedan 1.8t which is having starter problems for a while and i cant figure it out myself, the problem occurs when the car is cold never when it is warm.

So i replaced the starter a year ago (aftermarket) for this problem and last month i put a new battery in (Bosch005) because the problem got worse/back, it seemed fine for some time just like the previous year and i thought it fixed it.
Last night i visited my father and when i tried to leave the same old problem occured the starter wont engage i hear all the normal sounds it just doesnt engage the starter the engine was offcourse cold because it seems to only happen when it is cold. There are no messages/codes i want to test the resistance of the earth and i will but i dont think that is the problem because i cleaned the connections under the battery.

So to summarize, no crank when cold but only sometimes, the car started fine 2 times half an hour ago now i would think it is just the starter but it does start after i reset the ecu and tapping the starter does nothing. I found out there is a ignition control module could this be faulthy? i would really appreciate if someone send me in the right direction it is giving me a real headache.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,
I do not have a battery booster but, one time with the old battery i hooked up another car because i thought the battery was empty and it took some time (small car) but the car eventually started that way without disconnecting the poles i did tap on the starter though but i dont think that was the fix it was the extra power of the other car

I also checked the alternator i have had it apart and replaced the big bearing the brushes are good and the voltage on terminals while running was 14,4 i believe
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It only happens occasionally, incase that wasnt clear in my first post and it almost never happens when completely warm it makes me think it is a computer/sensor, maybe a bad connection
 

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Is it an Auto transmission? If so, when it doesn’t crank try starting in Neutral and moving gearshift very slightly in either direction while the key is in the start position. If it cranks then the neutral safety switch is out of adjustment or faulty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for replying It is indeed an automatic.

Your suggestion sounds like it could definitly be the problem Steve, I will try to reproduce it tomorrow but the chances of that working are pretty slim, so i guess i will just have to drive it and wait for it to happen again.

I will follow up as soon as i know more might not be tomorrow but it was getting worse so i should find out soon enough.
 

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The safety switch is designed to only allow the engine to crank/start in P or N. The switch is connected by a cable to the gearshift. It sits on top of the transmission beneath the battery tray. As it wears, the switch’s rotating mechanism may not always make electrical contact and moving the shifter very slightly can sometimes help. The fix is to readjust or replace it.
 

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I wouldn’t buy anything until you determine the cause. The safety switch is only one possibility but it could be a failing ignition switch, relay, loose ground…

Yes, it’s a cable.

Has a shop looked at it? I realize it’s sporadic but it would be worth one hour’s diagnostic time to identify what’s wrong. If it’s been doing this for months it’s not going to fix itself and you run the risk of being stranded somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Maybe you are right and its time to let the pro`s take a look at it, so you know 1 hour here would already be 30% more then a new switch would cost.

I will give one a call tomorrow see if they have an idea of time involved. And i will still try and reproduce the issue if the switch trick works i will just go ahead and order a new one since it is most likely the cause.
 

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Since you say it only acts up when cold then you (or a mechanic) can try after it’s been sitting overnight. So if/when it doesn’t crank, put transmission in N. Then, while turning and holding the key in the Start position, move the shifter slightly forward and aft (keeping it in N, don’t fully shift to R or D - you’re only trying to move the cable and the switch linkage a little). If it now cranks, it’s the neutral safety switch on the transmission that’s out of adjustment or failing.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello,

Yes thats right i did replace the starter 1 year ago.

I did not manage to replicate the problem i might just drive it for now which i already did today, and stay away from paid parking which happened last time. I will wait for the time it does it again and try the shifter trick and i can always reset the ecu. I will post my solution when i know more thanks for helping
 
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