CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Audi won't start after long stand

,

I have an Audi A3 B4 model and it has been standing for 7 weeks and when I finally tried starting it up again it was not interesting in cooperating.

I have charged the battery and that changed nothing.

When I connect the battery the dash comes on, even if the key isn’t in the car. If I put the key in the ignition and try to start the car there is no swing from the engine, not even an attempt. The radio does come on thought so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Any suggestions?

What size Battery charger and how long did you leave it on? How old is the battery? Do you have a volt meter?

Hey oldtimer_11

It was a smart charger and I left it on for 4 days. The battery is 2 years old and measured 12.6V after charging.

Check the Fuses, Fusible Links, and Ignition Switch

If the battery is in good shape, check for a blown fuse or fusible link. Check your car’s manual to find the location of the fuse box, then open it. With no power running in the vehicle, inspect the fuse for a metal wire. If the metal wire inside the plastic casing is severed or damaged, a blown fuse is preventing power from reaching the starter relay or solenoid.

You may need a fuse puller to remove the correct fuse and a light source to see its internal components.

If the fuses are in good shape, the car’s ignition switch is faulty. The ignition switch isn’t the mechanical part that you put the car key into; it’s the electrical switch that the mechanical part operates. In some situations, the ignition switch delivers power to the car’s electrical components but not the engine starter.

Diagnosing and fixing a broken ignition switch is more complicated than checking for a blown fuse. A good rule of thumb, though, is that if the instrument panel and dashboard do not light up when the key ignition is moved to the second position (between off and on), then there may be a problem with the ignition switch.

If you have a manual transmission, a bad clutch pedal position sensor can prevent the engine from turning over while allowing the electronics to work fine. The purpose of the clutch position sensor is to allow the vehicle to start only when the clutch pedal is depressed, so if it fails the car won’t go anywhere.

An Automatic transmission has a neutral safety switch that allows the car to start only in neutral or park. Try starting in both park and neutral and jojjling the shift lever while trying to start.

Corrosin at the battery terminals or in the cables or cable ends can prevent enough current to get through to crank a starter. If that is happening the dash lights should go out when trying to crank. For reasons I can’t explain, i have seen this happen on the ground (-) side of the circuit than the hot (+) side.

A bad starter or ignition switch are also possible.

Without testing each link in the system with a volt meter it is impossible to narrow the diagnosis.

For example is the large wire to the starter solenoid getting 12 yolts, is one of the small wires to the starter getting current when you try to crank? If so you need to replace either replace the starter or solenoid. Since they are one unit on most cars, just put in a new starter.