Question about 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Cold temps starter will not turn over the engine

I have a 2003 Jetta TDI,, when the temps goes down -18C and below, when you turn the key the starter will not turn the engine,, when the temps gets above -15C then the starter will turn over and start the car,, new battery and new Starter ??

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I had same problem with my 03 jetta. I replaced battery to better cca and it did nothing. Each shop I went to had no idea. My friend who is a car guy installed a push button start. He told me his audi did the same thing and that it worked on that car as well. He said something like in the cold something condenses and shrinks and it won't spark, I know nothing about cars, so I can find out exactly what he did if you want. I do know that it works great and the parts were like 15 bucks total.

Posted on May 06, 2009

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You need a battery with a higher cca (cold cranking amp)

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

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2000 tdi when cold tick over very lumpy and smokes when warm its ok it starts first time no problem?


Not sure what "tick over" means. Suspect it is hard to start when cold? Could be bad glow plugs. They "warm" the cylinders to get them up to temp before starting. It could also be that you are not waiting for the cylinders to warm up. I have a 2009 tdi. It has a light on the dash that goes on when I put the key in, but I have to wait for it to go out before starting the engine.

Sep 30, 2016 | 2000 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Wont turn over under 20 degrees


your ignition switch is bad in the start position,or there is a broken wire in the harness..

Apr 14, 2010 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

1 Answer

I just replaced the timing belt on my 03 Jetta TDI, now there is no sound at all when I try to turn it over. Had the battery tested, it's fine.


Check your starter lead at the starter?

You can check for 12 volts there with a multitester and then you can jump the starter direct and see if it turns over without involving the ignition key or related circuits.

If you had your battery disconnected during this repair maybe the ecu needs to be rekeyed to your security keys code? You would have to check with VW on this one for specific procedures.

Good luck and be careful.

Mar 08, 2010 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

1 Answer

My 2003 GLX will not start when it is below about 30 degrees. It sounds like the battery is dead and after numerous repetitions of turning the key, it will suddenly just start up. I have owned this car for...


I have the same problem, except this happens below 29 degrees. If jiggling keys dont work. I loosened the steering wheel adjusted and banged it up and down a couple times it worked every time so far. also the engine stopped 3 times while driving on interstate, restarting worked. this is a 2003 tdi with 90k miles on it. I am not going to try to repair until next winter. if the problem comes up. i will replace starter key switch. I think is has something with cold and wireing retracting when cold.

Dec 14, 2009 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

1 Answer

I have a 2003 volkswagen jetta, no owners manual, outside temps have been really cold, below the temp gauge a temp light comes on and a chime sounds, temp gauge runs fine, had a friend ck coolant, it...


does it do this first thing when its cold out ?? if so, fill the coolant res to the max line when cold, if light still comes on, it could be either the coolant leven sensor (my guess) or the temp sensor for the engine- these are known to go bad every few years

Dec 11, 2009 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

1 Answer

Car temp gauge/heat


TDIs can take a while to heat up in cold weather. Sometime 10 minutes or more.

If it is taking longer than 10 mins for your temp gauge to hit 190, you may need a new temp sensor, which is pretty cheap and just pops into the engine block, almost right next to the battery.

Jan 13, 2009 | 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

1 Answer

Jetta 2003 TDI


My mechanic in our town did a quick computer check. Car computer indicated a low level of antifreeze, he topped it up, cleared all messages off the car computer and said to watch the the heat guage for any further irregularities. I'll keep an eye on it, love the car, great mileage fun to drive.

Nov 05, 2008 | 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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