VW loud screech/squeal when starting


Hi. We have a 1999 VW Jetta GL with 110K. In the past several months, when the car is starting, sometimes there would be a loud horrible sound (like a squeal or metallic rubber). Our mechanic checked the transmission, and it was fine. He replaced the drive belt, boot kit, and t-connector (not sure if this is related to the noise or because the belt needed replacing). The noise is still there off and on. The mechanic said that he does not know the reason but that it happens, especially when it is cloudy and/or humid/hot. We are in Texas so it is hot and humid most of the year.

Is this a safety issue?

Thank you.


Sounds like your starter motor is sticking in the engaged position after starting.

This could be either the ignition switch, the starter interlock relay or the starter solenoid.

As far as safety is concerned, this problem will damage your starter & starter ring gear but otherwise isn’t hazardous.

BUT : I would certainly be very cautious of any maintenance of that car until the problem is rectified. Were you to perform a fan belt re-tension and whatever faulty component decided to energize while you had your hands in there, it could get messy. The likelihood of this occuring are slight since the ignition system needs to be energized under normal circumstances, but it has happened before with a failed relay and could happen again.


clarify. this happens when you start the engine? or when you start in gear to move?

if when you move, does it do it in F as well as R?


Check the accessory belt.


It does it when starting the engine, not when changing from park to drive. Thank you.


Thank you for your reply. We will check with our mechanic when we see him in a couple of months for our oil change. I’m just not sure if it’s worth fixing, if it’s not hazardous. Thanks again.