Reader Question Thanks for your time- I have a 2001 VW Jetta that is having a intermittent starting problems. I have taken it to the dealer & they cannot duplicate the problem. Sometimes the car starts, however recently the car will turn-over but not start. The dealer checked the charging systems & they appear to be fine.
I notice when you unlock & open the doorsthere is a small motor sound. Could the starting have something to do with this motor? I noticed that if the motor does not sound the car will not start?? Thanks in advance Jeff
Jeff, how are you?
That’s an interesting problem, and probably frustrating! If the engine turns over (tries to start), but won’t start…the charging system like the battery, alternator and starter are doing their job correctly. So, the missing piece of the puzzle must be either, lack of fuel to the engine or lack of spark to the spark plugs.
I am not sure what you hear when you unlock the doors, but my gut says it probably has nothing to do with the no start issue. Did you mention that to the dealership when it was there? Did they think it was related? You are probably hearing the electric door lock actuator motor located inside the driver door…put your ear on the door while you unlock it to see if the noise is coming from there….if so…it’s normal.
There really is not much you can easily do to help test what could be happening or not happening, unfortunately it will probably have to get worse, break down all together or fix itself…which probably won’t happen.
What I would do would be to monitor the situation as you have been, keep track of anything else that seems out of the ordinary that might help the mechanic track down the problem. Intermittent problems are NOT easy to diagnose.
Have you read this article?
Make sure you have a tow truck emergency 24 cell phone numbers handy, and you know the address of the place you want towed to IF this should happen. Talk to your dealer or repair shop about how they accept vehicles that are towed in after hours. I DON’T want to scare you…..but I want you prepared.
Sorry I can’t help more, but I would need to run some tests WHILE the vehicle is in its no start condition…or I would just be guessing. Keep me posted as to what happens.
Austin C. Davis