VW Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,
I am new here and apologize for not placing it in the appropriate area, but it seems I am unable to do so because my account is new.

I have a 2002 VW Jetta 2.0 with approx. 195,000 miles. It's been acting very strange lately, and finally this morning it completely died...
Let me lead you through what's been going on... I apologize for my explanation but I have literally zero knowledge of cars.

Approx. 4 weeks ago I started experiencing some (not always) difficulty starting it. I would turn the key and it would turn over just fine, but would not start. It would go through 3 or so times, then it would start. Sometimes it started right up, sometimes it took a couple seconds.

Then shortly after I started experiencing the problems, it continued to get a little worse. It would sometimes take 4 or 5 times to turn before it started, sometimes it would start right up. I thought I was recognizing a pattern in that it seemed to be troubled only when I started it for the first time that day. I was wrong - it progressively became more erratic and worse all together.

About three weeks ago I had to travel and so my car didn't run at all for 5 days. When I returned, I tried and tried to start my car but it just wouldn't start. I knew it was being so erratic that it would be fine to start the next day, so I called my girlfriend to come get me; I was just going to leave the car for the night and come get it the next day. Well, when she got about 1/2 way to me my car finally decided to start! Some of the guys I was with were saying "oh, it's an electrical problem for sure."

So after that fiasco we took it to a mechanic that works almost exclusively with MK4 Jettas/Passats/& similar Audis. When I took it to the mechanic it worked just fine. It started without any problems. The mechanic seemed angry I even wasted his time to bring my perfectly good car in, despite me explaining to him everything that had happened. He plugged it to the computer and told me I had an intermittent engine crank sensor, but that he didn't know if that was the problem with it or not. Well, I couldn't afford to gamble on the $200+ he was going to charge to put a different one in, so I told him I'd be back if it got worse.

A few days after that, my radio stopped working completely (blinking red light beneath the volume, but nothing showing on the display). I called him to ask if that had anything to do with my starting problems, and he said no, didn't think so, must just be a fuse or something. My car also got worse, sometimes not starting for up to 15 minutes.

Fast forward to today - My car has sat the past few days. I went to start it this afternoon and it was completely dead. 100% dead. The clock does not show, the door locks do not work, I can't get into the trunk, etc. Whatever is going on, it must've killed the battery?

If anyone has any idea what might be going on, please let me know. This has been so frustrating and I have no idea what's wrong! Also, please let me know if you need additional information!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If it starts intermittently like that it's probably the alternator. Have you tried jumping it?
I suspected it was the alternator, but it was running fine when I could get it running so I was told it wasn't likely that.. I'm going to jump it tomorrow and see if it'll run. I tried tonight to use a battery charger, but it wouldn't work. The plugs are a PITA to get to though and it was quite dark so I'll attribute it to misplacing the plugs and will try again tomorrow. If it does start the car, what do you recommend I do? Take it somewhere and ask them to check the alternator? I would also like to get my spark plugs and fuses checked.. do you think that has anything to do with it?

I should have mentioned that my battery was replaced less than 1 year ago.
That is why it was so weird to have whatever is going on completely kill the battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
"electrical problem" is obvious. Which is why it's either the battery or alternator. I'm not a mechanic but unless there's a short in your system somewhere, I'd check those two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Get to Autozone, etc. and have them check your battery and alt. Good place to start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I had it jumped tonight and it started up after charging for a couple of minutes. I tried a few minutes after it was jumped to start it again and it didn't have enough juice. I can say that the problem did not initiate with the battery, but that whatever is going on has caused the battery to completely drain. I didn't leave my lights on or trunk door open, anything like that. I checked and double checked for any kind of user error that would've caused the battery to die like it did.

I was told there is no way to check the alternator and that replacing it is the only option.. This must be untrue, ah? Also shocked that mechanic that charged me $30 to hook it to a computer didn't look at the alternator and the battery / do fuse checks, etc.

I heard of a local guy with a Gulf having the same issues and that he took his to a mechanic and they could never pinpoint the issue with it. He just carried a set of jumper cables and a battery charger everywhere he went and had to charge the battery every single time he started his car until he got sick of it.
I am really hoping that I can find the solution to the problem with this before I go spending big $$ gambling on potential fixes.

Guess it's back to the mechanic (a different one).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Autozone, etc can check the alternator. Best way to test it would be to take it out of the car so they can bench test it, but they can check the charging system with it in the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I'm almost convinced that the problem is the camshaft position sensor.. and those run cheap, I'd like to DIY and change that out. I've never worked on cars though and I am worried about sending something else out of position, which I've read that people sometimes do with this job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Start by getting your alternator checked. Its free. It could be something simple.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top