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Thread: Car won't start help please!

  1. #1
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    Car won't start help please!

    2003 VW GTI So my car wont turn,
    If I'm in the car all the lights are on just fine if I turn the key the the one place all my lights and everything works. But when I got to start it I just get the wrun wrun wrun with the dash lights almost dieing
    the guy at VW said to jump start it? But why would the battery die randomly......... It's not even parked outside. Does this mean the battery is dead or wtf? Just jump start it will get my car started but what sort of problem fix is that.

    Also where is a good ground in the engine area?

  2. #2
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    Yes batteries can die randomly. Batteries can also have a residual charge strong enough to turn on the headlights but not start the car. Batteries can also die out of nowhere in cold weather regardless if they are inside or not unless of course it is a heated garage. Jumping the car will allow the generator/altenator to recharge the battery. But you are right there may still be other problems. Why are you looking for a ground exactly? At rate any bolt screwed into the frame of the car will so.
    Quote Originally Posted by chew* View Post
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elloquin View Post
    Yes batteries can die randomly. Batteries can also have a residual charge strong enough to turn on the headlights but not start the car. Batteries can also die out of nowhere in cold weather regardless if they are inside or not unless of course it is a heated garage. Jumping the car will allow the generator/altenator to recharge the battery. But you are right there may still be other problems. Why are you looking for a ground exactly? At rate any bolt screwed into the frame of the car will so.
    Yep he is right. Just jump your car and let it run for a bit and then see if your battery is charged. If it keeps dying well go buy a new one.
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  4. #4
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    shutoff all the lights, everything that uses power and try to start it. you might have forgotten a light on...

  5. #5
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    I'm looking for a ground for when I jumpstart the car. Anyone know a good one inside a GTI. Well if my bud can't make it over I'm going to go buy a new battery for it. Autozone has retarded prices for replacement batteries for this car like $179. Does walmart have good deals or decent batteries? How about sears?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glow9 View Post
    I'm looking for a ground for when I jumpstart the car. Anyone know a good one inside a GTI. Well if my bud can't make it over I'm going to go buy a new battery for it. Autozone has retarded prices for replacement batteries for this car like $179. Does walmart have good deals or decent batteries? How about sears?
    Any metal on the frame of the car is a ground so just put it soomewhere. No where special
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  7. #7
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    Any batteries you guys recommend?

    Sears, and Interstate both list the wrong battery for my car when I look it up. I need a group 48 battery. Batteries Plus has some of these for 89.99 are they any good? http://www.batteriesplus.com/pc-3649...5-SLI48H6.aspx Rayovac car batteries?

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    Try Pepboys or AutoZone.
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    Use an ear on the cylinder head for a ground. There is one right on the front of the head.
    Last edited by HoJo; 02-03-2010 at 03:10 PM.
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    Do you know for sure you need a battery? I may have missed it, but did you ever jumpstart the car?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tool_462 View Post
    Do you know for sure you need a battery? I may have missed it, but did you ever jumpstart the car?
    Yeah that is what I would do first. jump start the car and see how that goes.


    you are trying to move ahead to fast. Just find out what the problem is for sure and then go from there
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  12. #12
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    You need a voltmeter if you have or can borrow one...even a real cheap one will do. the alternate to this is a battery charger

    with a voltmeter and the engine running you should expect to see 13.5 - 14.5 volts ballpark this proves your charging system voltage good and suggests the battery is dying (although you could have a loose or damaged lead)

    charging the battery on a charger ...if afterwards it starts and continues to do so for some time before it fails again I would be thinking you problem is the charging system

    If you charge the battery today...leave it until tomorrow or longer and it will not start the car then think new battery

    blah this is easier to do than write about...pm me if you do any of the above and need more help

    Here in UK if I take my car to a battery seller and ask them to do a quick check on the charging system it is usually free (they are hoping for your business)


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  13. #13
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    Going to take it over to walmart tomorrow, they can tell me if its dead or not and if not can charge it for $2.50 then I'll go from there.

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    I'll try and post that pic you asked for (PM) when I get home but any connection to metal on the engine will be a good ground. I only said the ear on the head because it's what I always used and usually convenient. The only reason you're not supposed to connect the ground to the battery is to prevent sparks from igniting fumes from the battery and causing it to blow up. It make quite a mess when that happens. BTW, always hook up the ground cable last.
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    If you can, upgrade the battery to a better cold crank. That's what I did about 7 years ago for a truck and the battery still works like new. Well it did die once, but that's because I left my lights on. lol. I charged it up though and it works great again.
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    One thing that hasn't been pointed out.
    If you get the car started up and running, pull the power from the battery. If the alt is bad, the engine will die.
    Granted that only really works of the alt is pretty much dead, not in the process of...

  17. #17
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    exactly imfu sounds like an alternator problem to me not a battery so much. if the alternator is dead it will run ff battery til the battery dies. if you get it jump started and the alternator is dead you will not make it far. alternators usually are pretty cheap like $80 bucks after giving them your old one but can get super espensive like $200-300 after exchanging your old one. dont buy a bettery unless you know for sure otherwise you are stuck buying a battery and alternator= more $$ my advice= jump start it, let it sit there and run with all the lights/stereo/everything on if it dies just sitting there its the alternator if not its the battery. I have been working on cars over 8 years now and it just sounds like an alternator to me.

  18. #18
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    It was never mentioned, but is this the battery that came with the car? If it's an 03' that is plenty of time for the battery to have gone bad. You'll be lucky if a batter lasts throughout it's warranty period.

    As for replacing the battery with a more powerful one. That is sometimes difficult with a car like yours. Since it uses a random group number, that is probably only used by VW's, there aren't really that many options. Another thing to note, almost all retail chains sell the same batters, just with a different sticker. Wal-mart, auto-zone, o-reilly's, costco, could all have batteries that are made by johnson control. I'd say that the majority of these places carry batteries made by johnson control and then some carry batteries made by exide.

    If the car has a manual transmission, you can always try and "pop" the clutch to get it started. You just need to get the car moving first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IFMU View Post
    One thing that hasn't been pointed out.
    If you get the car started up and running, pull the power from the battery. If the alt is bad, the engine will die.
    Granted that only really works of the alt is pretty much dead, not in the process of...
    And possibly take out control modules in the process. Not a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by overclocking101 View Post
    exactly imfu sounds like an alternator problem to me not a battery so much. if the alternator is dead it will run ff battery til the battery dies. if you get it jump started and the alternator is dead you will not make it far. alternators usually are pretty cheap like $80 bucks after giving them your old one but can get super espensive like $200-300 after exchanging your old one. dont buy a bettery unless you know for sure otherwise you are stuck buying a battery and alternator= more $$ my advice= jump start it, let it sit there and run with all the lights/stereo/everything on if it dies just sitting there its the alternator if not its the battery. I have been working on cars over 8 years now and it just sounds like an alternator to me.
    I wouldn't say the alternator is bad yet. It might be bad but I wouldn't bet on it. The first thing to check is the battery and go from there. Alternators in VW's and Audi's don't go out all that often. BTW, I was a VW/Audi tech for 25 years before I jumped to the other side of the parts counter about 3 years ago.

    As for the picture look for something like this.

    I couldn't find a good picture on the web so this is from my wifes 03 Passat.

    EDIT: To add what mikecdm said VW and Audi factory batteries are drop shipped from Interstate Batteries.
    Last edited by HoJo; 02-03-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoJo View Post
    And possibly take out control modules in the process. Not a good idea.
    Not sure how exactly that would happen just by pulling a cable off.
    But, it seems you have the experience, so I'd take your word for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by HoJo View Post
    I wouldn't say the alternator is bad yet. It might be bad but I wouldn't bet on it. The first thing to check is the battery and go from there.
    That is very true, my reply was a follow up beyond that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IFMU View Post
    Not sure how exactly that would happen just by pulling a cable off.
    But, it seems you have the experience, so I'd take your word for it.

    That is very true, my reply was a follow up beyond that.
    It could cause a voltage spike that could damage the modules. It doesn't happen all the time but it could. Think of it like unplugging components in a running computer. We've all done it and gotten away with it but it's always a risk.
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  22. #22
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    Quick and easy way to see if your alternator is dead is to jump the car and once its started, turn on all the lights, fans, stereo, hit the break pedal...etc. and watch the batery/volt meter on the dash. If your alt is dead your battery meter in the dash will show a definate drop in voltage as the load is applied to the battery.
    Boy that info was old. As am I. Currently my kids have taken over my desktops. They are both sporting matching GTX1080's. Last Christmas I got everyone Oculuses and thus GTX1080's. My eldest is some sort of CSGO champion gold label something or other. Me I work and shoot real guns. Build Comps as needed.

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    For that matter if the alternator is completely dead the car won't run for long after the jumper cables are removed.
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    So is this acid or what is this blue crap? and why are there 2 cables attached to the battery on one side?





  25. #25
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    LOL. I don't think that's acid but more of a build up of corrosion that can sometimes form when the connection is loose. As for the cables your guess is as good as mine. It may have something to do with your alarm system if you have one since they are usually fed off of the battery.
    Quote Originally Posted by chew* View Post
    Nonsense,

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