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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
some days she starts right up other days it takes a couple trys. when she doesn't start, nothing happens when you hit the key. more or less like the signal wire going to the soldenoid is remove and then attempted to start. so basicly, stick the key in and move to the start position, nothing happens, no attempt to start what so ever.

it will eventually start after you attempt to start 5-10 times. When it does finally start it starts and runs just like a brand new car. hope I described my problem well.

99 AEB Tip, 109k

was thinking ignition switch, but don't want to buy one and that not be it.

another thing, when you move the key to start and it doesn't start, I have held it in start and moved the shifter thinking neutral safety switch, not it.

if you got any ideas, please throw them my way.

email is [email protected] or PM here.
 

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There's a couple things you can look at. First there are two starter interlock relays: relay 186 (alarm system) and relay 204 (Transmission neutral/park switch). Pry off fuse cover on side of dash. Remove the lower dash panel on the driver's side to access the relay panel by removing 2 bolts/screws inside the fuse box area and a couple underneath. Try to start car and listen/feel if either relay operates when car does not start. Relay 186 is energized via the CCM. A contact of relay 186 closes and puts positive from the ignition switch to the coil of Relay 204. The other side of Relay 204 coil goes to the transmission switch and to ground when the transmission switch closes when the tranny is in P or N. When Relay 204 picks up, the positive on its coil is also fed via a closed contact to the starter.
First, are 204 or 186 energized? If neither pick up, then its probably CCM related, bad ignition switch, or bad relay 186.
Second, if 186 energizes only, then probably bad relay 186 contact (bad relay 186), bad relay 204, or bad transmission switch.
Third, if both relays pickup, then its probably bad relay 204 contact (bad relay 204) or bad starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
wow, that is some good information. I will check it all out tomorrow and let you know what I find.
 

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Same thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I was sure it was the ignition switch, or a relay, or a TIP shifter interlock, etc. It wasn't. I was sure it WAS NOT the starter, since it had just been replaced last year. It WAS.

My symptoms were sometimes the car wouldn't start when you went from the ON to the START position. It would usually start after a couple of tries. Over a period of a couple of weeks it got worse and worse, where it could take a dozen or more attempts before it would start. Once running, the car ran great.

Since the new starter has been in there, we've had no problems. I am a lot poorer though.

Have someone check the starter. I had an A4 mechanic check mine out, and he diagnosed it in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
it could be the starter though I think it isn't, I say that because when it does start it sounds the same, starter rpm is the same from the sound of it. I can take the starter off and have it checked.
 

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it could be the starter though I think it isn't, I say that because when it does start it sounds the same, starter rpm is the same from the sound of it. I can take the starter off and have it checked.
Before you take the starter off, make sure both relays pick up. If both energize, it could be the starter. If they don't pick up, its not the starter. Also, if it's the starter solenoid, once it picks up the starter rpm and sound will be normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
go some new information to add. the wife and I took a cruise to best buy, started fine, drove fine. did some shopping, got back in the car and it wouldn't start. she tried it I think 3 times in a row and it wouldn't start. I told her the next time, if it doesn't start hold the key in the start position. it didn't start and she held the key in start, I moved the shifter to neutral and as soon as I hit neutral the car cranked.

what do you make of that Ken?
 

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This sounds all too familiar. Mine would sometimes start in neutral after failing to start in park for a few tries. After a few start failures, I could move the tilt wheel up and down a few times and sometimes it would start. I would remove and reinsert the key several times, sometimes turning the key around, and maybe it would start maybe it wouldn't. Sometimes the car would start on the first try, sometimes on try number fifteen - you just never knew. But it got worse over time.

Still ended up being the starter, or perhaps more likely the solenoid. But a lot of folks have told me better to replace both as a unit, so that's what I did. When the A4 mechanic called up and said it was the starter, I said "no way, it's only got 5k miles on it". He said "I guarantee it's the starter", and it was.

My money is on the starter, but I hope I'm wrong in your case and it's something simple (and cheaper).

Good Luck, and let us know.
 

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Sure sounds like a bad multi-function transmission switch. Because its somewhat intermittent I'm not sure the best way to check the switch. You could probably try two things, whichever might be easier when you have the problem. Also when you have the problem, does the MFD show all the gears? One check of the transmission switch is to move the gear shift lever through all the gears and the MFD should show the proper gear.

1) I still think you should verify that relay 186 picks up and relay 204 does not pick up when you have the problem. Then pull relay 204 and check that it is functional by putting 12 volts across the coil and with an ohmeter see if the contact closes. If the relay is good, then it almost has to be the transmission switch.

2) You might also be able to pull the connector off the transmission switch and with the ohmeter check the continuity of the contact across pins 6 and 7 of the switch. If your in park, the ohmeter should read zero. If its infinite then the switch is bad. The transmission switch is located on the driver's side of the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
dude you are the man. didn't get to do anything with it today, the wife was out running around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
working on it right now, there isn't a relay 186, and 2 relay 204
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
would you mind sending me a phone number so I can talk with you about this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
or call me 713 291 6818 and I will call you back so it is on my tab
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ok now that you have logged off.

there has been two other things going on that I didn't mention before because my wife failed to mention them. maybe all this ties together somehow and will help pinpoint the problem.

when you turn the key to the run postion the radio is supposed to come one, well mine may come on and it may not. sometimes it will not come on the entire time I am driving it, ranging from a 5 minute run to the store to a 30 ride to see family. when it does come on it may immediately turn back off, then on, then off, on, off, and stay then stay on. all my connections are good behind the radio.

the other problem is the electric door locks, put the key in the run postion and they will cycle unlock over and over. usually it is two cycles timed very close to one another, it may do it for 5 minutes pulsing in a two cycle interval every 4 seconds. tell me that shit wouldn't get annoying, it wasn't until today that I experienced it for myself.

the shift into neutral after it wouldn't start in park was apparently a fluke because it wouldn't start in neutral earlier today.

another thing, when it wouldn't start I held the key in start and after a few seconds it finally started the start cycle.

the relays that you wanted me to check my be different on my 99 AEB, I have 2 relay 204's and no relay 186. One of the 204 relays is the horn and the other pulls the contactor in when the starter engages and then it will release the contact about 1-2 seconds after the car starts. When the car is attempted to be started and it doesn't, my 204 relay doesn't do anything and it doesn't have power to any of the 4 pins. 30, 87, 85, and 86 are all dead.

I pulled several relays and popped the covers off to inspect the contact points, all look good, nice chrome look to the contact point.
 

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Sure sounds like a bad ignition switch to me. You only need to replace the back half, so the key stays the same. It's not too hard to do, removing the airbag is the hardest part. The Haynes has a decent writeup.
 
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