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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1998 Passat, 1.8L turbo. I fixed one start problem by replacing the coolant temperature sensor. It looks like I have two separate issues with my ignition system, and that only fixed on.

Occasionally, I will turn the key and not even get a rank. The battery light will go dark, but nothing else. I hear the whir of what I assume is my fuel pump. Whatever it is tends to go while the gas needle starts activating. Either way, depressing the gas doesn't help.

It has happened on a cold and warm start, and I think the problem came with the car. When I first got it, I couldn't figure out how to get it started. The guy thought I was a moron who didn't know stick and how to start it with the safety built in, and it worked for him--of course. I started the car a few other times before buying it, and it was fine.

The worst time it happened was when I stalled at a light and had to start the car. It wouldn't start, so I had to endure the college students behind me gently reminding me that the light was green. :banghead:
 

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Scan for fault codes at Autozone or somewhere. It will greatly increease your chances of getting a coorect diagnosis here and get advice on DIY fix. Even if people like me had ideas, you still wouldn't just start replacing parts without more info.

Come back with codes.:D
 

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Check the clutch pedal position switch. It's located at the pivot towards the dash. It should open and close near the end of the travel of the pedal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I tested out the VAG-COM cable I got today, and found this:

Code:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Address 01: Engine
   Controller: 8D0 907 557 P
   Component: 1.8L R4/5VT MOTR HS D02
   Coding: 06001
   Shop #: WSC 05314
1 Fault Found:
17967 - Throttle Valve Control part (J338): Fault in basic settings
            P1559 - 35-00 - -
Readiness: 0000 000
Could it be related?
 

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It probably needs fixed but IMO, the engine should still crank. I believe there are three switches that prohibit the starter from cranking: ignition switch (controlled by key), anti-theft relay switch (controlled by CCM), and clutch relay switch (controlled by clutch pedal switch). Since its intermittent, it's probably not the CCM.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I guess I should mention that it didn't crank when I turned the key over after taking the codes off the car. I got something off the airbag too; I haven't searched for advice on that code yet.

If it's the clutch relay, should jerking around with the clutch fix it? I figure next time it happens, I could move it around a bunch before my second take.
 

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Relay 12 (anti-theft) and relay 13 (clutch) are on the relay panel under the driver's side lower dash panel trim piece. The clutch switch is near the pivot of the clutch pedal under the dash. You might try taping the relays while you are trying to start it and also check the clutch switch as TMP suggests.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I lost track of this thread and had just asked for help in another. Man I feel dumb. What I've found is it will start quite consistently if I slam the clutch pedal. I'll look for the clutch switch.
 
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