1999 Passat On and off starting

baileyriley1baileyriley1 Member Posts: 3
edited August 2017 in Volkswagen
My son has a 1999 VW Passat Wagon with a 1.8 turbo 230,000 miles. He came home from work, parked his car and the next morning for school it did not start. He inserted the key and turned it and the engine would not crank. All dash lights worked and such. He did notice the power window were not working and the interior lights either. He jump the car and worked fine, until he shut it off, and again needed a jump to start.
I looked at it, battery and alternator tested fine, battery is only a year old. the car now randomly will start on it own or not, even with a jump. I had no codes pop up on the computer scan. I am hearing things like climate control module and another fuel module in trunk and water issues. I was told to check connect at starter and change iginition switch. Have not done the ignition switch yet will need to get car up on block for starter as my son has lowered the car quite a bit. Any ideas or anyone with similar issues and that could guide me further. I had the computer codes checked by a VW tech and he seems stumped too.



  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    As random as it sounds, and with the battery and alternator checking out fine, the ignition switch could be the culprit since you get dash lights but it won't crank when you turn the key to the start position. We have a group of folks here on the forums who are very knowledgeable and should chime in here soon.

    A simple voltmeter might help you see what's getting power where with the key in different positions and help you corner the gremlin.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,141
    Here's a list, in order of cost:
    - double check the battery and alternator
    - check that the alternator belt is adjusted correctly
    - check all battery connections are clean and tight
    - check the battery cables, they can corrode internally
    - The fact that all electrical systems appear low make the ignition switch, transmission interlock, etc. less likely, but still possible
    - Same goes for the starter
    This is an old, high mile car with a poor reputation for aging. Might be time to start considering a replacement.
  • baileyriley1baileyriley1 Member Posts: 3
    Have double checked alternator and had a brand new battery from my son's second car, a VW a 1980 1.6 desiel and did same thing. Battery connections looked good but were wire brushed and cleaned, cables looked in great shape
    all electrical is fine with exception that the power windows do not work nor does the interior lights but the fuses that controls both is good and even changed out with a new one and same. Now when I try and start the car and turn key all the way other, I get power to the windows. that seems funny to me.
    I am going to work on starter connections today. thank for the responses so far.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Turning the key all the way gets power to the windows. Sure sounds like something is going on in the ignition switch. If the starter connections don't turn out to be the problem, I'd look at the ignition switch next. That gremlin is running out of places to hide ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited March 2016
    You can easily test for voltage at the starter solenoid as you turn the key to "start". If there isn't any voltage there, then you work backwards to find out what it interrupting the current flow to the solenoid.

    If this is a standard shift car, you can check the clutch safety switch--if an automatic, you can check the neutral safety switch. Then of course there is also the possibility of a malfunctioning ignition switch.

    You could also have an anti-theft issue going on.

    If the car starts every time with a battery jump, then, of course, you have a charging system problem, ground problem, cable problem or battery problem. Battery cables for instance can be corroded internally. Merely cleaning them, or doing a continuity test, isn't enough. You'd have to perform a voltage drop test on the cables to check for internal corrosion/excessive resistance.

    With these many miles, all kinds of weird stuff is possible.
  • baileyriley1baileyriley1 Member Posts: 3
    Thank you all for the information still working on it
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Keep us posted. We LOVE success stories :p
  • scrnshtscrnsht Member Posts: 1
    My wife's 2010 will not start with a jump either. It will turn over slowly and then just click click click. All this after the car having a rythmic thumping on idle and loss of power last night. I just had the turbo and water pump replaced.. I do not know the issue now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well there's a battery issue for sure, or battery cables, or the charging system. Something is causing the battery to be weak.
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