Question about 2001 Volkswagen Passat

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Car will not start

I turn the key and nothing happens. The normal indicator lights light up, the battery (replace in '06) appears fine (and jumping did not do anything). I do not hear the starter clicking. I'm wondering if it might have something to do due with the anti-theft device in the key? Any suggestions before I have it towed to the dealer?

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  • Volkswagen Master
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Your post is a couple of days old so it may be too late but;

Since you have already tried jumping it, the upper battery connections are proably OK but I would still remove them and clean the terminals and connectors.

The other possibility is that the cable leading to the starter is corroded and no longer making contact with the terminal.
The ground lead from the battery to the engine block or chassis should also be removed and cleaned.

The indicator lights could still work since they draw very little current while the starter motor draws from 120-200 amps while running and any faulty connection will cause a large voltage drop and disable the starter.

Another possibility is that the starter solenoid coil may have failed; many of them are integrated with the starter so they are replaced as a unit.

A basic multimeter (under $20 US) across the terminals of the battery will tell you if the starter is drawing current or not since any substantial current drain will cause the voltage to dip.
If it dips to <6-7 volts, then it is not likely the solenoid will even click.
Turnig on your headlights should cause the 12.6 volts to drop maybe a volt if the battery is healthy, several volts if the battery has failed.

These are a few things you could try if you haven't yet bitten the bullet and had it towed.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008

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