Ignition and starter problems for 00 jetta HELP!


I have a VW which I love, but about two to three years ago it started having an issue… sometimes it just doesn’t want to start. When you turn the ignition it will crank and crank, but will not attempt to catch. There is no frequency, and only does it sporadically. Sometimes its once a month, sometimes its once a week, cold or hot, full or low tank. I took it to several garages where they were puzzled. When it does start (most of the time) it starts right up, no trouble at all.

My wife is tired of this car and its temper, because sometimes it has left us sit for up to 20 min before it finally starts (normally just 2-3 mins).


So you’re having an intermittent problem with either ignition or fuel supply. Intermittent things are often hard to diagnose b/c you normally need to be able to look at things while the problem is occurring - hence, perhaps, the confusion at the garages you’ve been to.

What have those garages done? Have they tested fuel pressure, fuel pump and relay? Tested the ignition system. Some clue about what they checked out would be helpful.

If I were you I’d start listening each time I turned the key for the hum of the fuel pump. Pay attention each time, and if there is a time that you don’t hear the hum AND the car has an “episode” then there is a problem w/ the fuel pump system. If you hear the pump and the car has an episode, I’d pull a spark plug, stick it back in the boot, lay it against some metal on the engine block and have someone crank the engine while I looked for spark (you DON’T want to be touching the spark plug during this exercise). If there isn’t any spark, then you have an intermittent ignition problem.

Of course, real mechanics should be able to give much more sophisticated advice



The 1999-2005 Jettas are well-known for headaches like this. Unfortunately, as the previous poster mentioned they are difficult to diagnose unless the problem is occuring. However, there are many who have been through this already and can probably give you very specific and helpful advice over on vwvortex.com It’s a massive forum and information source for VW owners, as well as related brands. I’m sure someone there can give you insight as to what was the eventual cure for this problem was or areas to investigate.


I forgot to add that you shouldn’t bother going to a repair shop unless they specialize in VW only. You really need someone who deals with these acrs often and know them inside and out to make a diagnosis in my experience. I was VW owner in a past life and the difference between a VW-only shop and a general foreign car garage can be profound.


thank you both for your advice… I will check the other website out. I love the car, but i gotta get this fixed.


I suggest you buy a spare spark plug. Next time it does not start, remove the wire from one plug and put that spare plug on it. Hold the plug (using a well insulated tool) so the threads are tight against the engine block. Have someone crank the starter and see if you get a nice bright spark. If you do then you know it is likely fuel if you don’t you know it is the ignition system.