The Dreaded Turn The Key and "Nada"

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  • 2 Post By DearSir
  • 1 Post By jjpark

Thread: The Dreaded Turn The Key and "Nada"

  1. #1
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    The Dreaded Turn The Key and "Nada"

    OK Guys, it looks like my turn to chase down some ignition blues. I searched the info. base and most others had these symptoms after major work like from dash or heater core replacements, but I haven't gone there.

    My symptom is turn the key (usually after rain event), no lights on dash, and no permission to turn the key to the next notch for the starter. After a bunch of tries, it will light up and allow a start. Last year when I first experienced this (and just after buying the car) I installed a new ignition switch (OEM) and starter solenoid (non OEM). So my question is what should I check first when I see this happen again? It's only about 20% of starts, but seems to be worsening. I'd like to pin something for voltage without taking the wheel off when I see this. Many in the past mention fuses 13, 7 and 32 for 12V checks.

    As always, any help is appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    when you say"new solenoid" are you refering to the "cannister" shaped cylinder that rests/is integral to the starter motor itself?

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    year,mileage,engine?

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    My fault and thanks for making me clarify. I meant to say "ignition relay". The small cube. I have the 2.8 ATQ with 160,000mi.

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    Opps. 2005 wagon 4Motion.

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    thanks, when debugging or troubleshooting I like to start at each "end" of the system/setup then work each way from the middle, I would start with the ignition switch however you said you replaced this and ignition relay, so sorta doubt that it is the problem I know VW OEM switches are about 75 bucks but well worth it vs offshore brands,same as to the relay ( I believe it is a number 185) ,anyway find the relay under the dash and while turning the key feel it and see if it is clicking or pull it and gently/carefully remove outer cover and see if it is indeed clicking when re-inserted and key turned.... if it does not click car park neutral switch , or ignition (if OEM ,I doubt) could be the culprit . if it does click check to see if power is going to starter, it will be terminal #50 on the nose of the starter, if the starter solenoid is snapping/clicking,ñ making and audible sound when key is turned chances are the little braided copper shunt (exposed to the nasty road environment for 160k and 14 yrs.) has eroded corroded to nothing-ness , another common problem

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    Wow. Excellent strategy cchief22. Now I'm armed and ready the next time this happens. Most likely after the next rain, or in our case, snow plus rain this week. Crazy!

    I'll report back with news.

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    funny you mention the rain....... I had a single "incident" which in a Passat is .....well you know....... damp humid warm then by late afternoon really cold day where you need defroster on to sorta dry things out, stopped at computer store to pick up used Dell dedicated to run my VCDS..(like the car knew!), had replaced ignition switch, fuel pump relay, and start(185) relay as you have done year ago. Car started right up "vvvvrrrooom", then immediately died ,started up " vvvrrroomm"died, about five or six times. Ticked off ,kicked valence panel under relay panel mad about, "like I need this on a Friday" 60 miles from home, kicked again as tried to start again and bingo, going on six months, no problems, now anxiety ,ugh! I feel your pain...in the rain..

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    Man, you tell a great story, even if it's painful. Thanks for making us laugh.

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    Hoping this helps someone.

    My 2000 v6 B5 had no response when turning the ignition. After several hours of work, mechanic discovered wires below the driver's side carpeting had broken.

    The moisture and road salt from my shoes and boots had soaked through the carpeting, coroding the wiring--because of cheap, undersized mats the used dealer had installed.

    After fixing the wires, I bought properly sized floor mats and the problem never happened again.
    cchief22 and jjpark like this.

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DearSir View Post
    Hoping this helps someone.

    My 2000 v6 B5 had no response when turning the ignition. After several hours of work, mechanic discovered wires below the driver's side carpeting had broken.

    The moisture and road salt from my shoes and boots had soaked through the carpeting, coroding the wiring--because of cheap, undersized mats the used dealer had installed.

    After fixing the wires, I bought properly sized floor mats and the problem never happened again.
    This is something for all to think about. Proper rubber floor mats is a good idea. It will hold all the water from your shoes. Preventing it from seeping through the carpet down to the electronics. This hold especially true during the winter months when you are getting in an out with snow covered footwear.

    I am willing to bet if you have rubber floor mats and get in and out of your car frequently. You will be surprised at how many times you have to dump your floor mats out. Normal cloths mats simply hide how much water you actually track into your car.
    Liv4VW likes this.

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