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Volkswagen Jetta Starting and Stalling Issues

i bought a 2002 jetta in nov 05. i just recently decided to replace the factory stereo. after having multiple problems (having to take the whole dash apart to get the stereo out --- problem #1), the stereo ended up not working (problem #2). the next day, i moved my car and all was fine. the day after, i went out to leave for work and the car would not start. it would click click, the lights would flash and the horn would honk. thats it. later that day, the locks wouldnt even unlock. i assumed it was a dead battery, so i went out and bought a new one. put it in. turned the key. nothing. whats going on?!

can someone PLEASE tell me what the crap is wrong?! i'm beginning to really hate this car.


  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Did you have the Bentley Factory Manual (on CD or in paperback )? If so, did you thoroughly read the section on removing the stereo?

    If your answer to both questions is no, then that was your first mistake. The stereo is tied into the alarm system and the ignition immobilizer - which may be the cause of your starting problem.

    The key to working on any car is proper preparation.

    If I were you, I would spend the $90 and get the full Bentley manual on CD and read the stereo replacement section thoroughly before proceeding with the stereo replacement.

  • thank you for your help.

    no, i dont have a manual. i bought the car used and it didnt come with on. i had never anticipated a routine stereo installation to go so wrong.

    would that be the reason why the new stereo wouldnt work? we connected all the wires and everything played and sounded fine. we unhooked the connections so we could place the slipcase and wires in the dash. when we put the stereo back in (what we thought would be the final time) it didnt work. i orginially thought maybe it was a blown fuse. (i'm hoping i dont have buy another stereo along with whatever else i'm going to need to fix this mess). it had power because the cd would eject, but no sound or any information on the faceplate. im just hoping all this is connected (and will be fairly easy & cheap to fix --- am i hoping for too much??)

    i'll be getting that full Bentley manual now. again, thanks so much for your help. i really appreciate it.
  • My Jetta is 6 years old. It is now slow to start, even in warm weather. Does it need a new battery or could it be something else? Advice please!
  • You're welcome - glad to be of service... :shades:

    When I bought the Bentley manual for my 1997 Jetta, it turned out to be the best investment I could have made. When my cruise control went out, I was able to rebuild it with the help of the manual (not an easy task, but it would have been a lot harder if I didn't buy the manual)...
  • i have a 86 jetta gti wolfsburg and i am lost at fixing it now i installed a new clutch in it and it started rite up about 5 mins after driving it i lost all spark so i but new wires,plugs,cap,rotor,ignition control module,distribiter and coil pack in and i still cant get spark the only way i get any spark is when i have a test light in the hell sender(pick up coil) in the middle wire and touch the other end to the ground but i have to keep going on and off the ground to make it spark more then once anyone ever had this problem or know what is wrong?? plz let me know this is my main sorce if transportation and i love it
  • diyerdiyer Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Jetta Wolfsburg edition that began having intermittent starting problems over a year ago. If the car is left parked in the rain or cold for 8 hours or more, or if it is parked, nose up, on an incline for a long period of time, it will crank but not turn over until it's cranked for 5-10 minutes. It has also stalled a few times when driving through puddles in the rain and, again, it takes several minutes of cranking to get it started. It has been to the dealer and other mechanics 3 times and no one (they say) can duplicate the problem. We burned out the starter doing all the cranks, so that has been replaced (Bosch). We have also replaced the fuel filter, the distributor cap and rotor, and changed the oil. Nothing. We have seen similar problems posted with lots of recommendations of things to try, but no one has said if anything solved the problem. Would love to know of something that has worked before we keep spending time and money on things that don't. Help?
  • In freezing temp it will start and run for about 4 to 7 sec.and then
    stop. But as soon as the temp. goes up it starts and runs fine.I
    changed the fuel filter and put so gas line antifreeze in.there
    was no water in the filter.Thanks for any help.
  • I bought my beautiful 2003 Jetta wagon yesterday (!), drove it up from Denver and it wouldn't start this morning. I checked for lights on etc, no reason but the cold. Jumped it and drove a ways, then it sat for 2 hours and wouldn't start again. My old '89 Jetta started instead, first try. This is bumming me out. Anyone know if I'm wasting money buying a new battery & it might be something else?
  • i've owned my Jetta Wolfsburg 99' for three years...always problems w starting. Humidity, rain snow, the car just bumps and cuts out, clock switches to 12:00 and car stops. I've been towed to garage, it sits, then starts three hours later. The car has had everything replaced and still does it the garage says "it's just one of those things you live with... sorry but no...hate to say this but I'm begining the search for a new car.. VLKWGN it maybe good the drive but hate the problems...if anybody knows what the prob is please post as I am curious. :)
  • mcgyrmcgyr Posts: 5
    I own a 2000 Jetta which has 80,000 miles on it, and I live in San Francisco. Recently, after running errands, the car suddenly wouldn't start, and the engine light came on and stayed on. The temperature was normal, and the battery was not dead. The mechanic indicated that coolant was leaking and replaced the rear of the cylinder head, which resulted in the engine light turning off. Six weeks later, the car died while I was driving, and the engine light came on again. After being towed to a new mechanic, he found that the codes for the engine speed sensor were out of range and replaced the engine sensor. A couple days ago, the air bag light came on and stayed on, and the car seems to lack power and surges. Before going to the mechanic for the 3rd time in 2 months, can anyone tell me what might be happening and give me some advice??
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Are you sure that you are not suffering from the dreaded "Coolant Migration Problem"?

    Your year VW is ripe for having that problem.
  • mcgyrmcgyr Posts: 5
    No, I'm not losing coolant any longer, and there's no corrosion around any of the hoses, so I'm perplexed.
  • taguchitaguchi Posts: 3
    got off work last night and found that my 97 jetta doesnt wanna start. The battery is strong and the engine is turning but no start. We had a sudden cold snap (from 10C to below freezing) overnight, so I'm wondering if something froze. That said, my gas tank is full of new gas.
    My spark plugs are about 20 months old.
    No problems with starting leading up to this.
    Any ideas out there?
  • jamie1021jamie1021 Posts: 1
    My 99 Jetta GL just died sitting at a light today, would not turn over. I had a couple guys jump out and push, got into a parking lot, popped the clutch and it started... I'm thinking my starter may be going... But, when it started up again, the check engine light was on. Took it to the mechanic to see what that was about and they said they were getting codes for the engine speed sensor. But, he said that shouldn't have caused the dying and not starting... Anyone have any ides??
  • enkenenken Posts: 3
    Started last summer when weather was warm. Car started fine in morning. Wouldn't start after sitting in hot parking lot. All dashboard lights are on, electric windows works. Very faint whine when turning key. Had battery replaced -did not fix problem. Mechanic replaced starter - still did not fix problem. Ran like a top all winter. Now that the weather is warmer, problem has resurfaced. When interior temperature is cool, car starts. HELP. My mechanic said he got burned once guessing, and will not try again.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    "My mechanic said he got burned once guessing, and will not try again"

    What he is really saying is.. .I already soaked you for a starter and I cannot think of anything else to sell you at this time.

    Why the heck did he "guess" in the first place... what is wrong with good-ol' TROUBLESHOOTING and to isolate what the problem is? Then FIX it!

    BTW: He did not get "burned" -- I am willing to bet he got PAIED for replacing the starter.
  • mcgyrmcgyr Posts: 5
    The door locks fail in the heat using the remote key, but the car still starts. Good luck, and keep us posted.
  • mcgyrmcgyr Posts: 5
    Sorry for the delay in replying. After the engine sensor was replaced, the car hasn't died, and it's been over 3 months now. However, shortly thereafter, the airbag light came on, so I don't know if it's an electrical sensor thing. Keep me posted.
  • badvw7badvw7 Posts: 7
    I have a 2002 VW Jetta GLS TDI that will not start... It will not even turn-over. The battery is confirmed good. I believe that their is a problem in the automatic shift lock system. When I turn the ignition to the On position the "brake pedal light" (ASL light) momentarily comes on then goes off (supposed to stay on until you depress the brake pedal) and I hear a relay click in the shift console (It is an automatic transmission). The "Automatic Shift Lock" light should stay on until I press down on the brake pedal, which then allows you to shift from park into the desired gear. I can shift it freely into any gear even without pressing down the brake pedal. Also the electronic gear indicator on the dash does not indicate which gear I am in. It just flashes on and all the gear indicators remain lighted. I am not so sure that this is a brake light switch problem. The brake lights work normally when depressing the brake. The switch also ohms out normal with an ohm meter. The switch is purple in color if this means anything. Please someone help ASAP...!!!
  • oyepapi24oyepapi24 Posts: 2
    I own an '03 Jetta manual transmission (2.0). For some reason all electrical went off (power windows, radio, lights, clock, etc) when I attempted to start. It appeared as though I had a dead battery, but after a few seconds the lights and all came back on. I attempted to start engine, but all that occurred is that the engine seemed to go through a sequence of checking certain items... power lock on doors unlocked and other clicking/beeping noises came on, but engine did not turn. Then all electrical went off. After waiting a few minutes all electrical came back on, but the same sequence occurred when I attempted to start. Any and all suggestions welcomed!
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Did you have your timing belt replaced yet? If not, i'll wager the waterpump is the problem. The impeller on the waterpump is made of plastic that will disintegrate and block the passages in the cooling system at best (which may trigger the coolant migration) or seize at worst - causing the timing belt to strip and break, introducing the possibility of a very expensive engine replacement.

    I had the timing belt changed on my 2003 Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T (73,000 miles) and my wife's 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T (68,000 miles) - and in both cases the waterpump was on the verge of disintegration (both pumps were replaced with the improved version with a metal impeller).

    If the timing belt/waterpump has been changed before the 80,000 mile interval, I would make sure the coolant level in the expansion tank does not exceed the full line - which is the halfway mark in the reservoir. The upper half of the reservoir needs to be empty so the coolant has sufficient room to expand. Too much coolant in the reservoir will cause the coolant to overflow out of the reservoir - another way of producing the coolant migration condition.

  • taguchitaguchi Posts: 3
    thru march and april here in canada, we had a few cold snaps where the tempearture dropped overnight by 10 degrees or more. My jetta didnt want to start after sitting in the cold on these nights. no problems over prior winters. no problems if I didnt leave the car too long without turning it over. battery and starter working fine. I figured out that i could get it going by letting the starter turn over a few times, then pumping the gas as i released the ignition. Ive heard a few theories from bad gasoline to clogged filter. I've replaced the fuel filter, fuel pump and air filter but the problem returned. My volkswagon mechanic is stumped and says he needs to see it in the "wont start" condition...which means waiting till it gets cold again. Anyone heard of a problem like this b4?
  • I have a 1997 GLX VR6 with the exact same problem. When the car is parked in a hot parking lot and the internal tempeture in the cab is hot, the car will not start. If I roll down the windows and wait for 5 to 20 minutes the car starts. When the cab is cool the car starts with no issues.

    Does anyone know what the problem is and how to fix it?
  • I figured out what was keeping my 97 jetta from starting when the temp dropped and humidity went up. It was simply water condensing in my gas tank. a few bottles of water remover has solved my problem. Hope your starting problems are as simple to solve.
  • dnyidnyi Posts: 1
    So, lately my car has been hard to start in the morning for the last few days. I woke up today started it and it finally kicked over after 4 tries when it did the engine revved up to 2100rpms and then came back down to 1500rpms and now it constantly revv's up and down between the 2 like a teater totter. I looked inside my engine and noticed a little white smoke was coming from the engine not much but a little. So then I get back in the car and put it into drive and the revving stops however now its idleing at 1400rpms. I need help on how to fix this hopefully in an inexpensive why please let me know what you think it might be
  • 1997 2.0 jetta gls. aba motor.
    After starting it will run for anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes and then shut down. It will not restart for at least 5 minutes. Upon restart it might never quit again or it might quit after another period of time. It doesn't run rough or give any other symptoms that its going to quit. It just shuts down. No engine light. Looking for ideas.
  • 2002 Jetta tdi -- This car starts right up - runs 1 or two seconds then stalls. Any Ideas?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You may get more TDI related info from the TDI-specific forums.

    However - starting then shutting off immeadiatly is often related to the immobilizer kicking in. (It thinks the car is being stolen)
  • I just bought a 98 Jetta GL on Saturday for my daughter to drive back and forth to school, the car has 170,000 miles on it! It is in very good shape, and seems to have been well taken care of. I have two issues that I'm dealing with, first, the car stalls. It starts fine and runs well, but stalls freqeuntly. If sitting and idleing it will idle at approx. 1000rpms, and then just shuts down after a few moments!!!! Second issue, low beam headlights won't come on! All dash lights are working, and parking lights are on, high beams will come on, no low beams. I checked the fuses, and they are fine!!!!
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