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Car not turning can hear solenoid

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Hello,

I have a MK1 golf GTi which isn't turning over, when I turn the key in ignition I can hear the solenoid turning but starter not cranking at all. A couple of weeks ago I had the same problem and when looking round behind the immobilizer wirring I noticed the ignition connector was loose when plugging it in it started right away this time connector is seated properly but nothing happening could it be ignition switch again being twitchy or something else.

Any help would be appreciated thank you!

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If the solenoid is being energised unlikely to be a problem with the ign switch or immbolizer

is it simply a flat or duff battery that can fire the solenid but not enough energy to turn the starter/engine?

1983 Mars Red 1.8 Golf GTI
1987 Alpine White 1.8 Clipper Cabriolet

The trouble with doing nothing is that you never know when you are finished.

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Hello the battery is new and always unplugged. It's exactly the same symptoms as last time solenoid spins but nothing else and last time ignition switch wasn't plugged in all the way for some reason and it was spinning the solenoid. This time everything is plugged but nothing. If I remove the immobilizer the solenoid doesn't even spin don't know if this helps.

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1. Take a Battery jumper cable from the Battery negative to the Engine lift eye, starter works replace your ground wires battery to frame and frame to engine.

2. Take a battery jumper and Jump the battery Positive (CAREFULLY) to the big wire braid on the other side of the solenoid at the top, if the Starter don't spin replace the starter. (addition). I f the Starter engages and spins then it is usually a bad solenoid, so you will have to remove the starter to replace.† If you can get a new solenoid from a automotive electrics shop, cool, other wise replace the starter.

3. Smack the solenoid with a small hammer a couple of times as well as the starter case. †If the starter works, then get a new starter

(You can remove the starter and run it by a provider of auto parts to have it tested.). Just had that happen to my Daughters Nissan. New battery and the solenoid picked, The solenoid was bad. solenoid wasn't available separately, and had to shell out 250.00USD for new starter.

Last edit: by Briano1234


What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

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Jon Hodgon said

Hello the battery is new and always unplugged. It's exactly the same symptoms as last time solenoid spins but nothing else and last time ignition switch wasn't plugged in all the way for some reason and it was spinning the solenoid. This time everything is plugged but nothing. If I remove the immobilizer the solenoid doesn't even spin don't know if this helps.

how do you mean spin, the solenoid should click as it moves in and out?

1983 Mars Red 1.8 Golf GTI
1987 Alpine White 1.8 Clipper Cabriolet

The trouble with doing nothing is that you never know when you are finished.

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Yes ! Briano result number 2 worked straight away jumped the starter with cable from positive to the command wire if I'm not mistaken and started right away would it be the ignition switch then as I might have expected?
Thanks IMG_20231129_153755.jpg

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Nope it is the Starter solenoid as it is either out of position when closed with the ignition switch or the contacts are SMelted, or broken.

I see now that number 2 was a trick question, it eliminates the Starter motor as bad, †and points directly to the Solenoid as being bad.

OPPS †I will correct number 2.

Just fixed it soorry I was posting while having my first cup O'Joe.† Besides myself the only Irish family I like to see in the morning.
Even though when I look in the mirror prior to drinking my first cup, I scare myself.

Last edit: by Briano1234


What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

They all start with GOOD Grounds.

Where are my DIY Links?

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Hello Briano
Sorry kind of new to cars so i may seem a bit dumb but I'm still trying to understand how it could be the solenoid and not the command going to it ? Because when i jump the starter from battery positive to the small spade connector on solenoid which i'm guessing is the command it starts. And the other cable is going to battery. So wouldn't that mean that the solenoid is good but just not getting good enough signal ? I do hear like a spinning/humming noise comming from solenoid when i turn the key but nothing else.
Thanks

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Get a £10 multimeter so you can test the 'command wire' is or isnt getting +12v from the ign switch

1983 Mars Red 1.8 Golf GTI
1987 Alpine White 1.8 Clipper Cabriolet

The trouble with doing nothing is that you never know when you are finished.

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Can i test this directly on the starter if i ask someone to turn key or do i have to remove plastique cover under steering wheel and test the command wire there on ign switch ?

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Jon Hodgon said

Can i test this directly on the starter if i ask someone to turn key or do i have to remove plastique cover under steering wheel and test the command wire there on ign switch ?

you can test at the switch but still need to test at the start end, it may be a wiring fault. I'd start at the starter end and work upstream

1983 Mars Red 1.8 Golf GTI
1987 Alpine White 1.8 Clipper Cabriolet

The trouble with doing nothing is that you never know when you are finished.

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The question is you say there is a clicking to the solenoid. †If you touch the Solenoid wire with the battery Positive side the starter spins. Then with a test light take the little wire off the solenoid, and touch it to one end of your test light, and the other end to ground.

Turn the key on to start and watch the light if it glows dim, that is bad. †If it glows Brightly, that is good and your solenoid is still suspect. †If the lamp is dim, then you have resistance in the circuit, and can't pass enough current to Pick it. ††No wires issue commands, they can pick, energize, or measure things.

Ignition switches do go bad.

On my Cabriolet's Both Automatics, would get heat soaked after running for a couple of hours, the Fix was issued finally by VW to install a relay between the Pic wire, and the Starter solenoid.

The hole course of action was to eliminate about 10feet of wire between the battery and the ignition switch to loose current through and the solenoid lost the ability to energize or pick the solenoid.

So by adding the relay you took the Pick wire to energize your new relay that the contact side of the relay was from the Battery to the Starter about 4 feet.

Here is the TSB, link and a link to the HEAT Soak relay that folks use. †I installed this on both of my rides after being stranded about 5 hours from home and all I had was a Electrical Extension Cord to use as a quick bridge from the Starter solenoid to the battery.

On Automatics, the starter is directly under the Exhaust manifold not air cooled, but heat shielded. †so the relay was needed.

It allows 30 Amps of current to Pick the Solonoid straight from the battery which makes it wake up and fire.

With loss of Current in the longer run it may loose more than it can fully engage the starter with.

I wonder how many starters were replaced under warranty or dealers charged for out of warranty work before VW was aware of the issue as the TSB came out in 92 and effected all years of automatics.
TSB link
https://www.cabby-info.com/files/transmission/010StarterTSB.pdf

Hot start relay fix.

https://www.cabby-info.com/files/ignition/InstallingHot-startRelay.pdf

The complete 5 pages
https://www.vwvortex.com/threads/starter-relay-for-heatsoak-problems.2593146/?id=2593146

Another issue with Autos is that the shifter rod can break off the Brushes along the sides of the shifter cover and they will fall into the electrical path as you move it from D to P you will push those said brush bits under the Parking contacts insulating them and you will get a no start in Park, but start in Neutral. †Pry off the cover, and Place the car in D (not starting) and Spray wd-40 at the parked contacts and you will fix that issue.

One last reminder about Autos and the 90 Cabriolets that I have owned, you will want to know about this fix but be warned that you will be able to start the engine in any position of the lever be it P R N D 1 2.

1992-93 Starter interlock bypass.
90-93 Automatic Transmission intermittant NO Start Fix - Topless Rabbit Forums





What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

They all start with GOOD Grounds.

Where are my DIY Links?

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Thank you everyone for the replies and solutions.  Figured it out today with someone else turning the key I could hear properly and the starter was in fact spinning but not in fly wheel, I measured 11.7 which is good from solenoid and 13.4 from battery meaning that me using a cable from battery gave it that extra boost for the solenoid to push starter fully. After starting multiple times from battery was able to start it by key after so it must have freed up the solenoid. Gonna replace the solenoid not gonna risk getting stranded. I had hit the solenoid multiple times with mallet multiple times but obviously not hard enough.
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