Edmunds Answers



  • zaken1 04/22/09 2:45 am PST

    This sounds like your battery is either discharged, or defective; or the battery cable clamps have become corroded (on the inside surfaces, which cannot be seen when looking at them). The first thing to do is to remove the battery cable clamps, and thoroughly clean the battery posts and the inside surface of the clamps with a professional type battery clamp cleaning tool. Then put the cables back on, and tighten the clamps securely.

    If the lights still go out when you try to start the car; have the battery recharged and then tested with a load tester. (A voltmeter cannot be used to properly test a car battery; the battery must be placed under a load which is similar to what the starter would draw). If the battery fails the load test; it will have to be replaced.

  • paulcoppa 07/30/09 12:13 am PST

    We have 2002 Jetta with starting problems. The dealer put in 3 starters, we paid for the 1st one and they thought the 1st two were defective. The also replaced the ignition switch and 1 other item that I don't remember.
    After each fix the car ran for a little while and started fine but eventually it would stop starting. One tow truck operator took a long screwdriver and tapped on the starter and it started. That worked a couple of times.
    Another time when that didn't work I fiddled with the wiring harness attached to the starter solenoid and that did the trick a few times.
    This last time I pushed and pulled on the thick black battery wire attached to the starter and that did the trick and it started right up.
    On every occassion when it did not start all the lights would come on like they normally would when you engage the key and turn it to start but you would only hear a "click" with no ignition. So I know the battery is fine. We just bought a new battery the first time we had this problem right after we bought the car.
    At this point I traced this problem to the wiring and I believe it has to do with some wiring to the solenoid. It has been working fine for the past 5 days.....knock on wood....

    Source: Trial and error


Top Volkswagen Jetta Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. MrShift@Edmunds 830
2. karjunkie 730
3. texases 310
4. morin2 275
5. Stever@Edmunds 235
6. zaken1 225
7. 0patience 130