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Starting Snags

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Starting Snags

I'm having some problems starting my '89 Clipper and hoping for some pointers!

When I go to start the car from cold I often find that when I turn the key to the start position nothing happens and it only starts after holding the key in the start position for 5 or 10 seconds, at which point the starter kicks strongly into life, as it should, and the engine starts.  Sometimes it won't even do this until the second, third or fourth attempt at starting.  Once the car has started once or is still warm, it starts immediately.

The problem first occurred about six months ago but has become more frequent since, possibly related to the colder weather.  This was an inconvenience until a couple of days ago (when it was freezing!) when the car didn't start at all, but it has started since. (couldn't bump start as it's an automatic  :banghead: )

The battery is fairly new (< 6 months) and, given its rating, should be more than beefy enough for the job, as evidenced by the strong start when it finally goes and all the other electrics working fine.  I'm thinking it may be the starter motor sticking or something draining the voltage/increasing the resistance on the starting circuit, so am planning to check the connections and clean the battery terminals tomorrow.

Does anyone agree/disagree/have any other ideas?

Also does anyone know where the starter is on an automatic  :oops: , as its not at the front of the flywheel as it was on the manual Mk2's I had previously?

Thanks

Ian

'89 Clipper Auto and '92 GTI Cabby

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Hi Ian, having the same dam problem.

Does this sound the same?

Leave the car for 3 days, Turn the key , Dash lights up, no starter. Even if i leave the car for 12 hours. i get a delayed start. Turn the key and within a few seconds the starter turns over and it all fires up. As the same as yours , when its all been running for a few minutes turn off the engine and restart no hesitation.

I have been scraching my head for months. This what i have found out. I have put a mutimeter on the starter to check if i get a clean 12V to the solinoid. I get a very weak 10V. When the car has been started i get a nice 12V. I have looked in the manual at the diagrams, after a couple of seconds realised its in swahellee! and japanese!. if any one can work out any of the info on the electrics, perhaps there is a relay somwhere going pig that feeds the starter circuit. A couple of months ago i think i took out all the relays and stripped and file`ed  the contacts clean.

When the ignition fails, i can manually start the car by bridging out the starter solinoid to the battery with a piece of wire. Turns over no probs. so i know its a duff circuit somewhere.

The only thing i was going to do, but gave up trying, strip the ingnition and clean the contacts. Other than that build my own starter circuit.

 
 "Must be a white MK1 thing"

Andy

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satelliteone said

strip the ingnition and clean the contacts.

This is a very likely cause - the contacts are moulded into plastic, and they get hot over the years, which sometimes causes the plastic around them to melt a bit, so that they move, and don't make contact with the other side of the switch as they should.

You can get to it quite easily by removing the steering wheel, and then the stalk assemblies and the ignition-switch/steering lock unit unplug simply and all of the plugs are different shapes, so you can't put them back wrongly…

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Steve, Andy, thanks for the replies.

I've been crawling round under the car today - what a godawful place under the exhaust manifold is to put the starter motor and solenoid! :banghead:   
From above the air intake, carb, inlet and exhaust manifolds are in the way, from underneath the R/H driveshaft is right where you don't want it!  Tried taking the metal cover off the solenoid but whilst I managed to get the nuts off one end, I couldn't get a screwdriver to the jubilee clip strapping the other end to the starter motor.  Left it at inspecting the solenoid terminals using a mirror (looked OK)and giving them a damn good WD40ing.  Will have to see what happens at the next cold start.

Andy - Your symptoms sound just like mine.  I thought it might not be enough volts getting to the starter, but I don't have a multimeter

Steve - I had thought it might be the ignition position, but why then is it ok once the car has been run, even if only for a brief period?  Is this because starting has, by putting current through the circuit, heated the wires etc, reducing the circuit resistance?  Hmmm…. random musings! :scratch:

I was also thinking it might be the solenoid or the starter sticking and that a successful start frees it up until the next time it's been left for an extended period.  I forgot to mention previously that I have an immobiliser fitted, but I can only think that this may contribute to dragging the voltage to the solenoid down.

I'll let you know how it goes

Cheers :y:

Ian

'89 Clipper Auto and '92 GTI Cabby

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Imboliser.mmm.. looks like mine was fitted with one in the past. I had a look behind the ignition block and the wires have been cut and put back together. might be a clue in there somwhere.

Justa note yours is a Auto? is there a switch in the auto selection so you can only start it in park or somthin like that. Might be a switch in the selector with slight resistance.

Still aiming to strip the ignition switch some time this week.let you know what i find.

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IanT said

but why then is it ok once the car has been run, even if only for a brief period?  Is this because starting has, by putting current through the circuit, heated the wires etc, reducing the circuit resistance?  Hmmm…. random musings! :scratch:

I was also thinking it might be the solenoid or the starter sticking and that a successful start frees it up until the next time it's been left for an extended period.  I forgot to mention previously that I have an immobiliser fitted, but I can only think that this may contribute to dragging the voltage to the solenoid down.

If it is always ok after the first start, then it is unlikely to be the ignition switch…

It does sound more like a starter that need lubrication (or replacement).
I doubt that the immobiliser has much to do with it - if they are faulty, there  is usually no voltage at all, rather than a reduced one…

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its dam weird type17. it starts flawless after the first start. but soon as the battery as rested for a few hours there is`nt enough volts in the start circuit to engage the solenoid. But if you bridge out the solenoid with a piece of wire to the battery the starter turns over. I dont know if Ian has tried that.

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satelliteone said

But if you bridge out the solenoid with a piece of wire to the battery the starter turns over.

Ok, that DOES sound like the ignition switch…  :lol:

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So it's not just me!

Same thing exactly - turn key - nothing happens. Turn key a second time - maybe it will start, maybe it wont. If it cranks, it starts.

Mine will do it when warm or cold.

I've been meaning to deal with this - but have a hood and head gasket to put on…. :roll:

I'm going to try cleaning the battery terminals as a first step.

I'll be v interested to find out how you guys manage to cure your starting woes.

Ali

Mars Red 1.8 GTi Cabrio 1985
Seat Covers
Scratches
Leaky roof
1 million smiles per hour

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Don't think its the same thing but………mine turns over very slowly and then fires,but you don't think its gona,when you have run it and warmed it up it starts fine. I have charged and tested battery…its fine so I bought a new starter and it was fine so I put it down to that. But now its back to its old tricks again………………wondering Coil perhaps??? :dontknow: lights don't dim or go brighter when revved.

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Turns over very slow then fires. I would suspect the earth or live feed. Does it turn over ok when very hot?

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Not needed to use the car today, so not used it since my last post.  I thought it might be a bad contact with the automatic being in park, but waggling the gearstick and changing gear seemed to make no difference as to whether it started or not.  Still thinking my snag sounds like the starter/solenoid sticking, possibly aggrevated by the cold reducing the oomph (a technical term :wink: ) available from the battery, however I've not tried shorting the battery direct to the starter.

On that note, if I do need to replace either starter or solenoid, does anyone have any top tips on getting them out from under the exhaust manifold? Particularly with ref to undoing the jubilee clip that holds the solenoid cover to the starter motor :dontknow:

Cheers

Ian

'89 Clipper Auto and '92 GTI Cabby

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Ian see if you can splice the wire that leads to the solenoid. add a new wire to that. I have today temp installed an emergency over ride starter button in the engine bay, fused of course. It only works when the ignition is on. Just got to remember to make sure that car is in no gear.lol

Stripped the covers off the steering wheel, question. How do you get the swich out from the ignition barrel?

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satelliteone said

How do you get the swich out from the ignition barrel?

Remove the ignition switch/steering lock assembly from the steering column, by undoing the 6mm allen bolt underneath (after removing the steering wheel and stalks). Once you've got it off, you'll see the single phillips screw that holds the white plastic switch unit on. Ensure that the key is removed from the barrel before you remove the switch assembly.

When opening the switch itself (tabs at each side), be sure to do it INDOORS, over a clean sheet at a table, etc, because there are small parts and springs inside.

Also note that there are ignition switch/steering lock assemblies from different manufacturers, and that parts from one manufacturer's unit may not fit the rest of the assembly from another maker…

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satelliteone said

Ian see if you can splice the wire that leads to the solenoid. add a new wire to that.

??????

Do you mean the wire from the battery to the solenoid - I thought you were bypassing the solenoid?

Or am I being thick  :wink:

Ian

'89 Clipper Auto and '92 GTI Cabby

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IanT said

On that note, if I do need to replace either starter or solenoid, does anyone have any top tips on getting them out from under the exhaust manifold? Particularly with ref to undoing the jubilee clip that holds the solenoid cover to the starter motor :dontknow:

Cheers

Ian

Replacing the starter motor is easy on a Mk1 Golf. Its located at the front of the engine, not the back, and access is good. Is your car radically differently laid out than mine?

My tip would be 1) make sure you disconnect the battery, 2) use a proper tool (I have male hex sockets on 1/2" drive) to undo the bolts holding the starter to the engine. Otherwise its a case of following your nose.

                                

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Replacing the starter motor is easy on a Mk1 Golf. Its located at the front of the engine, not the back, and access is good. Is your car radically differently laid out than mine?

The starter is on the other side near the exhaust on an automatic, but I can't find a diagram anywhere….yet……causes allot of hot start problems!!!

As for your problem IanT, it could be a sticking solenoid, they get dirty with oil etc. give it a good clean first, the starter is pre-engage, which means the solenoid switchs the power to the starter once it has engaged the drive into the flywheel to spin the engine. hence no movement starter won't turn.

Hope this helps

Rob :D

Golf GTI Cabriolet 1990 Helios Blue - gone

Audi A4 1.9TDI - Gone :(

Golf GTTDI MK5 140…..oooh quick….but not a MK1  ;)

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Robb said

Replacing the starter motor is easy on a Mk1 Golf. Its located at the front of the engine, not the back, and access is good. Is your car radically differently laid out than mine?

The starter is on the other side near the exhaust on an automatic, but I can't find a diagram anywhere….yet……causes allot of hot start problems!!!

As for your problem IanT, it could be a sticking solenoid, they get dirty with oil etc. give it a good clean first, the starter is pre-engage, which means the solenoid switchs the power to the starter once it has engaged the drive into the flywheel to spin the engine. hence no movement starter won't turn.

Hope this helps

Rob :D

Aaaah right! In any case, it sounds ignition-switch related, not starter motor. So you don't have to worry too much about that one.

                                

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found this http://p250.merlyyn.com/images/tools.jpg shows the differences!

Golf GTI Cabriolet 1990 Helios Blue - gone

Audi A4 1.9TDI - Gone :(

Golf GTTDI MK5 140…..oooh quick….but not a MK1  ;)

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Ian, the starter has a permament live from the battery already, usually a thick black wire. There is a thinner red/black wire going to the solenoid, this goes to your ignition switch. When this one goes live the starter will engage. So to test the ignition is faulty. just manually get the solenoid to live. I have just put a seperate live to the solenoid terminal with the other feed from the car. Just so that i can press a switch and start the car, when on the key fails. All it does is bypasses the ignition circuit and give the solenoid what it wants. Its a tempory measure till i find the source of the voltage problems.
Iam going to strip the ignition switch. When my car dies again on the key, im gona check the voltage to the pins of the plug. I suspect this to be the problem as mentioned before.

Your auto box starter sounds a little harder to get on and off than the manual version. Nother sunday afternoon job!.lol
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