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Volkswagen LT Won't Start

Discussion in 'Car Repairs / Maintenance' started by volkswagen, 14 Mar 2014.

  1. volkswagen

    volkswagen

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    The starter doesn't turn over but the solenoid clicks.

    The van started and run this morning, came home at 9.00 and when I went out again at 10.00 the van wouldn't turn over.

    I tested the voltage at the battery straight away and it showed 12.55 volts, I've just checked again and it's now showing 12.42 volts, which I suppose is nearer to an accurate reading allowing for the charge the battery received this morning to level out.

    If it's the battery, would it have not been sluggish starting this morning, or at least slowly turn over before dying when I tried it at 10.00?

    Otherwise it must be the starter motor, but do they just stop working without any warning sign?

    The van has shown no signs of trouble starting before.
     
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  3. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Check the voltage as the engine is trying to start......my guess is that it will fall dramatically, indicating that the battery is goosed.
    John :)
     
  4. volkswagen

    volkswagen

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    Thanks John. I'll have a look in the morning.

    btw I'm considering changing my user name to Ford.
     
  5. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Well Mr. Ford :p batteries these days can be fine one moment and dud the next - fairly typical!
    A motor factor will do a high current drain test on your battery if you want - and they'll be even happier to sell you a new one if need be!
    John :)
     
  6. JulianP

    JulianP

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    Sticking solenoid on the starter motor? - fairly common.

    Turn the switch to the 'start' position while you have a mate wallop the starter (main body - not any bakalite parts!) with a crow bar (or whatever heavy you have to hand that you can get to it with)
     
  7. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    A regular AA mans trick, that one!
    John :)
     
  8. volkswagen

    volkswagen

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    John, I'm thinking of trying to jump start the van in the morning. Theory is, if it starts it's the battery, if it doesn't, it's the starter.

    The only problem is, the donor car is a tiny 1 litre petrol and I don't know if it'll have enough power to do the job.

    Hello Julian. I tried hitting the starter this morning, but access is so tight I could only reach the underside. Do you have to hit the solenoid directly?
     
  9. Mursal

    Mursal

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    Might be worth disconnecting the battery overnight (you will loose radio code etc) and reconnect in the morning, just in case something in the van is flattening it overnight?
     
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  11. JulianP

    JulianP

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    In an ideal world you need to hit the solenoid, but thumping the starter main body can do the trick.

    Easy to tell if the battery is weak and causing the problem - just start it with the headlights on, if they reduce to a dim glow then obviously the battery voltage is dropping too much under load.
     
  12. volkswagen

    volkswagen

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I tried to jump start the van this morning using a slightly beefier 1.2 car and still just the single clack of the solenoid.

    The headlamps dimmed while I was trying to start so the starter motor must be getting power; and after a few hours I checked the battery and it gave a reading of 12.58 volts.

    I got underneath to give it a whack with a hammer but my assistant turned the key before I told them (and before I got near enough to hit it) and there was a spark above the starter, possibly from the solenoid. So I'm assuming the starter/solenoid must be faulty.

    I've ordered a new one which will be ready to collect Monday. Now I just have to get the old one off. It's nestled snugly between the turbo and the axle, the only way to remove it is to loosen the fixing bolts then drop it down far enough to get to the wiring connectors. Wish me luck.

    Matt
     
  13. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    It sounds like the plastic insulation has split on the solenoid housing, I guess......hope its not such a bad job to replace it!
    Be lucky!
    John :)
     
  14. JulianP

    JulianP

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    No, 99% certain that's just a bad connection, probably on the heavy starter wire or earth return (if it has one) or heavy wire from solenoid to motor.

    Just get in there, see what it is, clean it up and re-make the connection. I don't think you need a new starter by the sounds of it.
     
  15. volkswagen

    volkswagen

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    Thanks John :)

    Good thinking, Julian. I'll have to remove the starter to check the connections, but if you're right it'll save me £116.

    All being well I'll know one way or the other some time tomorrow.

    Thanks again.

    Matt
     
  16. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    I hope Julian is correct, Matt....if the terminal is loose or the thick cable has chafed / melted against something then a spark would surely result.
    Do lets know!
    John :)
     
  17. volkswagen

    volkswagen

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    After an hours work this morning, I removed the starter. The connections were all secure and corrosion free and I can't find any damage to the supply wires so the starter must be the problem.

    The job wasn't too bad, apart from the difficult access the only other issues were that the starter is held on by the bell housing bolts so they're sort of recessed and the solenoid wire was attached to the wiring loom with the worlds hardest cable tie.

    Hopefully I have ordered the correct starter and will be able to collect and fit it tomorrow.

    A belated thanks Mursal for the advice. I checked the voltage on the battery this morning and it shows 12.56 so hopefully no mysterious power drains.
     
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