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VW Cabrio wont start and the alarm goes off

Hey you,

My friend is willing to lend me her Cabrio that she had let sit for about a year. I replaced the battery and tried to start it. The alarm went off (we lost the key-remote thingy) and it did not start. The lights all worked but once we tried to turn it over it just went Click-click. The alarm shut off once we disconnected the battery. Any Ideas ???

Most cars will also disable the factory alarm if you unlock the door with the key. Sometime the mechanism breaks on the driver door, you can try the passenger door.

Nice, I’ll give that a whirl. Thanks.

Depending on the uear of this cabriolet, it may not. The computer will need to recognize the key, whether it's in the door, ignition, or remote.

If there's no master key left, it will require a computer replacement, as they can only program a new master with an existing master (I went through this on my '01 Jetta).

If you can find the valet key, that will also turn the alarm off, and unlock the vehicle's computer.


I'm Not Kidding. You've Not Included The Model-Year In Your Inquiry. Not All Volkswagens Are Created Equal.


Ok, you’re right, it is a 2001 Volkswagen Cabrio GL. silver, with a cute convertible top. Thats all I know.

'01...same as my Jetta. Sorry, you're not gonna like it much. You might (might, don't count on it) be able to find a secondhand computer and keys to try and get it operational. If you happen to find a match (which, quite frankly, is unlikely), then the dealer will still want $200 for one more master, and the programming. As far as I know, you can't do it without special software.

Your best bet is to really just have your friend search hard for the mysterious missing key. Once found, replacing the battery is a simple matter of pulling it apart (literally, you just pull the halves apart), but you may not even need that. You can just then unlock the doors with it and start it.

Question: "The alarm went off (we lost the key-remote thingy)"...what did you try to start it with?


She has a spare key, just not that remote thing with the buttons on it, you know, the lock/un-lock, alarm, trunk buttons. I will see her this weekend. I have the battery, I’ll try to replace it again and try manually lock and unlocking both the passenger and driver side door. to see if that ceases the alarm. Hopefully that works, and then I can get it to turn over. If not, I suppose that I would have to tow it to a VW dealer, which will suck.

So, If the manual key locking and unlocking of the doors works to disarm the alarm, I should be able to start it right? Because remember that I said the starter went, “CLICK-CLICK” while the alarm was going off? Is the alarm going off the reason why it wont start, something like an anti-theft mechanism?

I really appreciate your time helping me.

Ah, OK. If that key you have is indeed the valet key, then it should both turn off the alarm, and start it. The only thing that key won't unlock is the glove compartment, a little keylock down by the fuel door/trunk pulls, and any other interior storage (cabriolet..I have a sedan, so they're slightly different).

So, TXDealer's comments were dead on, then. Just have to ask sometimes.

Try taking jumper cables with you. That click-click just sounds like the battery doesn't have enough juice.

Good luck,