Jetta starting mystery

Hey folks - my daughters 2000 Jetta has developed, among other problems, an issue with starting. There is nothing wrong with her battery. When we turn the key it clicks… sounds kind of like a stuck solenoid.

The local VW guys, haven’t seen the car… cause its stuck… however, they say its a problem with the key… perhaps a security issue. Is this a load of huey or is there something to the key suggestion. Help please… this car is driving me out of my mind

Where do you hear the click? In the dash? Under the hood? Is the click multiple, or single?
In any starting circuitry, there are a number of switches. As you know, a switch is a prime suspect when something doesn’t turn on. To find WHICH switch is not…er…er…switching, is the difficult part. One needs to follow the circuits with an electrical multimeter (using an electrical wiring diagram).

If there’s a chip in the key that’s required to crank (usually it’s required for START, not CRANK) there should be some dash light showing the security failure.

I’d rap on the starter to see if the solenoid is stuck. Did she (we don’t know where she is - it could be the Texas panhandle or Frostbite Falls, ND) have a sudden onset of cold weather with enduring colder temps?

Thanks for your reply hellokit. The click is under the hood, and i am pretty sure that its just one click. I will check on that.

thanks geeaea. we are in south-central PA, and its been below freezing for a couple of weeks.

I will check on the dash light situation. much appreciated. good information.

There is nothing wrong with her battery.

How do you know this? Are the battery cables clean and tight at both ends?

Yeah, the first place I’d look would be the starter solenoid. The one click per key engagement would have that being the suspect of choice.

The biggest challenge (not knowing how much stuff they’ve put in the way) will be getting a clean shot at the starter solenoid to tap it or get something heavy enough with the swing room they afford you to produce the required shock/impact.

I’m in SE PA, you’ve got slightly different climate out there. We get the effects of coastal warmth. I used to drive through just about all of SC/PA nightly back in the later 70’s delivering nuclear medicine. Lancaster, York, Hanover, Gettysburg, Chambersburg, Carlisle, Camp Hill …Harrisburg, Hershey, Lebannon, Lewistown and even State College …you name it.

Hi Joseph. Thanks for replying. The lights, accessories etc, all come on full strength.

Thanks geeaea. I am gonna give that a try. of course the car is up to its axels in snow. Your delivery area was right in our neck of the woods. I am in Lebanon, and my daughter’s jetta is in Annville. I have family that work at the Lebanon VA.

I’ll post to let you know how this works out

more information - the electronic immobilizer light is on when you turn the key and the dash lights come on. hmmm ?

Hey Joseph – just got done shaking the snow off my boots and gloves.

we disconnected the battery, cleaned the posts - although there was no visible sign of corrosion. then we reconnected the battery. I jiggled the connections at the starter… and varoom… there we go ! Will have to see if this holds up… I certainly hope so. This car has been a nightmare from the jump [no pun intended, although come to think of it, there have been plenty of jumps in this cars history].

thanks again