Question about 2001 Volkswagen Beetle

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My daughter has a 2001 New Beetle automatic. Recently it doesn't want to start at times. It always seems like it happens adfter it's been driven and parked for awhile. Then if you let it sit awhile and come back it's always started. What should I be checking?

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  • dmackey40 Aug 26, 2010

    We recently add a tracking device plugged into the 2001VW and was no problem for awhile then engine cut out while on the raod and the back up allowed it to be driven about 40mph. Took it in to be checked and nothing showed up but car wouldn't start with the device plugged in. Mechanic removed the device and it started right up. Would this have any affect on the cars starting problems?

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It's a bad contact somewhere in the wiring - when the engine cools is reconnects and it works as it should.
The only way to identify it is to catch it in the act: make sure the engine is hot then, when it refuses to start, you start checking: the contact between the battery plots and the power cables - clean them thoroughly with some wire wool; the ignition key - if power reaches it and it the switch makes contact; the starter - if it rotates if jumped; the fuse box; the ECM main plug - if it's firmly attached.

Posted on Aug 26, 2010

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  • Azrael SRL Aug 26, 2010

    Yes, if the installation has been done badly then there might be a bad connection it the wiring harness to the ECM. Take the tracking device off for good and redo the harness correctly.

  • dmackey40 Aug 26, 2010

    The device just plugged in--I did nothing to adjust the wiring harness to the ECM. Getting back to your first suggestion--I follow the part about using wire wool, You lost me when you talked about the key. I don't really follow what you're getting at when talking about the switch making contact or the starter of ot rotates of jumped--the fuse box (what would I be looking for in the fuse box) where is the EMC plug? I didn't mention before that when the ignition is turned the starter sounds good, just doesn't want to fire. The first time it happened I put jumper cables on it before I tried to start it and when I did I knew the battery was good and it didn't sound like a starter problem. But, again it is always after the car has been running and then turned off, that the problem arises--ot sits and it will start. Maybe this additional information will help. But again, your first explanation was a little hard to follow.

  • Azrael SRL Aug 26, 2010

    The Beetle doesn't have a tracking device installed from factory - someone has spliced the wiring harness to install it; if he has done a bad job then problems like that are to be expected.



    In the fuse box you must check that all cables that plug into it are firmly attached (no play) and that all fuses are well seated.
    The ignition key has in it an electrical switch that distributes power to:
         - first position - instruments - in your car they work without a problem
         - second position - the engine/ECM and associated parts: fuel pump, transmission, etc..
         - third position - starter - you have tested and it works.
    What you must test is if the power is send to the ECM by checking the wires from the ignition key switch. If it is then you must check the ECM and its wiring: to access it push on the Rear, center piece on top of the dash and it lifts up; then you will see screws to remove. Remove the ones on the Left side to access the ECU and check it wiring and the connector in which it's plugged in.

  • dmackey40 Aug 26, 2010

    Thanks--but again this device just plugged into the diagnostic plug under the dash. So, there has been no physical manipulation of the cars equipment

  • Azrael SRL Aug 26, 2010

    Nothing should be plugged in the diagnostic plug except a diagnostic device. No wonder it has messed everything - it was wired directly in the ECM. Take it out ASAP and never put it back.

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A lot thing to check there,
- Could be a faulty crank sensor;
- Could just need a throttle body clean and an alignment carried out;
- Ignition coils problem.

You can do this if you have a VAG-COM cable and software.

See the following:
04 FEB 2003
VOLKSWAGEN AND AUDI TO REPLACE ALL IGNITION COIL PARTS ON 2001, 2002 AND SOME 2003 MODELS

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Audi of America, Inc. today announced a customer service action in which the companies will ultimately replace the ignition coils in all 2001 and 2002 model year cars equipped with certain engines that have been experiencing a higher-than-normal failure rate. Also affected are very early production 2003 models.

The companies are currently notifying all customers potentially affected and are initially replacing those ignition coils that fail at no cost. The updated customer service action, replacing all ignition coils whether they fail or not, will be implemented in the coming months.

“We know that some ignition coils installed in our cars are not up to our high quality standards, and we are determined to do the right thing for our customers. The right thing to do is to fix every single car with these coils by replacing them whether they are broken yet or not. That is exactly what we will do as soon as we have the parts,” said Gerd Klauss, president and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc.

The vehicles affected in this action include cars equipped with 1.8 liter engines, which includes the Audi TT and A4; and the VW Golf/GTI, Jetta, New Beetle and Passat. The companies also included the Passat W8 engine, all VW’s equipped with the 2.8 liter VR6; as well as the Audi 3.0 liter V6 engine. In total, approximately 530,000 cars are affected by this action.

The ignition coils provide electricity to the engine’s spark plugs during operation. Volkswagen and Audi have recognized through service reports that the ignition coils used in the products listed above have a higher-than-normal failure rate. If an ignition coil fails, the check engine light/malfunction indicator lamp will blink. The car’s performance may, in some cases, become rough and/or the engine will lose some power and the car should be taken to an authorized dealer for repair. The engine and its electronic controls are designed to keep the vehicle running. Some deterioration in performance, however, can be expected.

Volkswagen and Audi are announcing the following customer service action:

The supplier is working triple shifts and seven days a week to make as many new parts as possible. Additionally, a second supplier has been activated.

Soon customers will be notified by mail that Volkswagen and Audi will proactively begin replacing all ignition coils in cars potentially affected, whether a failure has occurred or not. This action will begin in the coming months as soon as replacement ignition coil supply volumes will allow.

In order to minimize inconvenience to customers during repair, Volkswagen and Audi dealers will offer alternative transportation at no cost.

Customers with questions should call VW Customer Relations toll-free at (800) 822-8987 or Audi Customer Relations toll-free at (800) 822-2834.

Hope helps.

Posted on Aug 26, 2010

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