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Old 12-20-2015, 05:57 PM   #1
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electrical non start issue

I'm suffering from brain fade tonight and could use a pointer in the right direction. I can usually search well but tonight it's not happening.

I put about 5,200 miles after putting my boxster engine back together when I got a coolant leak and parked the car in my garage. It sat for a while and then when I crawled under I found that it was just a coolant hose. I replaced all the hoses (the price of skipping such trivial things when I had the engine out) and I also replaced the water pump with a metal impeller unit since it was also something I skipped and then put it back together.

I also replaced the SAI electric diverter valve, tested the SAI mechanical diverter valve (good) and then of course had to re-install the alternator which comes out to reach the SAI garbage.

Today I filled it with coolant and went to fire it up and start the bleed process. Well no shock that a car sitting this long (about 4 months but it was a brand new battery after I did the engine, so at least I got something right), it didn't have enough huevos to start the car. It didn't even click even though I had good dash lights and the headlights were good. Oh and it had no problem moving the top from "the maintenance position" to up and closed from the first turn of the key.

So I put it on the charger for a few hours and then hooked it up to our Touareg which has a 190 amp alternator.

Still no click. Put it back on the charger.

I have misplaced my multimeter but I'll dig it out after I'm done here. But at this point my headlights are bright and my windows go up and down just fine. Not even the tiniest click though.

Something with my key maybe? I'll check out my clutch switch but I can hear it clicking when I'm pushing the pedal in. The car has been in a dry garage the whole time.

Help a tired guy out with a link or a hint, much appreciated.
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Old 12-20-2015, 07:34 PM   #2
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Check fuses already? Solenoid for starter?
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:16 PM   #3
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Try another known good battery.

Try another key.

Check the clutch interlock switch.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:30 AM   #4
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Ignition switch !Frequent problem item
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:23 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. I probably had all of those things go through my head last night. In the fog of a long day I just didn't know where to start.

I left it on the charger over night so it should be totally topped off tonight when I get home. I'm going to start with cheap and easy. I'll check voltage after it has sat for a while. Then it's clutch switch, starter relay, etc.

I don't have another key, but it's working the alarm and doors just fine. I'll do a search and see if I can find a way to troubleshoot the ignition switch. That wouldn't be the end of the world. I'd prefer it not be the starter relay.

It's in the forecast to snow on Wednesday and my woman isn't stoked about my usual 80 mile commute on a motorcycle. Chicks, right?
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:46 PM   #6
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Checking the clutch switch is easy.
Just disconnect the two wires from the switch, and jumper them together.
However, I put my money with Gelbster on the ignition switch.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:19 AM   #7
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Battery checks good, clutch switch good, all fuses good.

Is there a way to test the electrical portion of the ignition without just throwing $40 at it?
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:11 PM   #8
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Flaps...
I couldn't test my switch when it collapsed internally because the internals have multiple contacts.
And it wasn't worth the hassle of removing / installing as the new switch was +/- $30-00 here in Australia, so it will be a lot cheaper in the US from a VW / Audi dealer.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaps10 View Post
Battery checks good, clutch switch good, all fuses good.

Is there a way to test the electrical portion of the ignition without just throwing $40 at it?
yes.
you just buy the same part with the VW logo on it for less then $10

New OE Ignition Starter Switch Fits VW Golf Jetta MK4 Passat Beetle 4B0905849 | eBay
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:14 PM   #10
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I've located a switch locally for cheap after a bit of a setback after calling Sunset Porsche. He said they can't get the old style switch anymore and that I'd have to update to the way better new style, which also means replacing the die cast body containing the steering wheel lock.

If I knew what kind I had I would be able to make a quick decision: Go with the old kind that might last 6 months or go for the update. I think I'll order the sunset combined unit for $147 and get the old style locally. If my current one is the old type I can just sit on the new assembly when the inevitable happens (I'm moving next week and need as much free time as possible at the moment).
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:55 PM   #11
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If I remember correctly, the old style switch is coloured black and the newer one is white.
Of course, you will be able to see it first either from the underside of the dash (too restrictive for my old bones) or by removing the air vent (my way of replacing the damn thing) & peering in...
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:38 PM   #12
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Up dating to the new style unit will not eliminate the switch breakage issues. There have been many posts about the new style ones breaking also. That $147 will buy a lot of spares. Buy a couple of the old style ones, if that is what you have in the car now. I carry a spare in the tool kit with the correct screw drivers so it will be handy for the "next" time. Once you have changed it once, it gets easier to do. Porsche doesn't carry the old style switch anymore because they want you to buy the more expensive "updated" unit. I don't see the point in updating if it still has breakage issues. The old style switch is available everywhere since VW and Audi use the exact same unit and they have the same issues with breakage. Just go look at their forums.
Before throwing money at the switch, I would check the starter/solenoid first.
http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/46411-ignition-switch-replacement-holy-crap-2.html#post346988
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:15 AM   #13
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Well I have the new style apparently. Got as far as getting it out last night only to realize that I was in denial that the white i could see was the barrel of the switch.

Sunset has the new switch without the metal chunk for $35 which means that Porsche of Tacoma will ask $145 (with a straight face). I paid $32 for the old style from an indy VW shop so the typical DIY cost isnt out of proportion as long I don't volunteer to be screwed.
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:55 PM   #14
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I called a different semi-local Porsche dealer today since I was "up north" and had some time to burn. I thought if they had the switch body and it was cheaper than Porsche of Tacoma I would go for it.

Well, besides the woman who answered saying "Porsh of Bellevue" the parts guy told me that the switch body was not available by itself and that they could only get the entire "ray gun" (the steering wheel lock body). So now I have two Porsche dealers I'll never buy a car from.

Sunset it is. Called and order placed.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:53 PM   #15
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Okay so over a month later here is my update.

I got my (newer style, white) ignition switch installed. Didn't do anything.

I've read that the key needs to be cycled, used in the door, top up and windows closed. Whatever that ritual is I tried that too. It was crunch time (I was moving) so I used my road side assist and had the car flat bed hauled to my new house.

I started back in a week ago:
-Battery on charger again. Tops off nicely and holds a charge whether hooked to the car or not.

-checked all my fuses. Not only that the ones present weren't blown, but that they were all present, unblown and of the correct listed capacity.

-swapped relays in the left rear of the trunk. No change. Replaced the start inhibit relay and ECU relay with brand new. Unchanged. Of note, the one time I heard the starter "bump" was with the starter relay (it's actually a "start inhibit relay" if I read correctly) pulled out and I turned the key. This tells me my starter is not dead (and it worked perfectly when I parked the car, as in cranked really well).

-went back in and pulled my alternator to verify that I did the connections on the back of it correctly. Did.

-got real careful about those fuses. Checked fuse E1 several times. Replaced it anyway.

-Pulled the immobilizer and checked the fuse. Perfect. Pulled the connections off and hosed them out with contact cleaner even though they looked immaculate. No change.

-bought Durametric. It pulled some I32 alarms (25 for W lead, 34 for interior sensor, 60 for something else that slips my mind at the moment). Poured over the wiring diagrams and the codes and determined that all three of those pins are next to each other on the immobilizer plug. Hmm.

-Pulled the seat out and went back over the connectors. They're super clean.

-replaced my key battery.

-Followed the manual diagnostics. It points to fuse F 5/1 of which there isn't one. I think someone else posted something about this being a manual typo and it is fuse E1. If so that is some serious spaz fingers, but that's what I'm going with as there is no row F. Anyway, fuse E1 is nice and pretty.

-manual sez check power from E1 to ground, which displays battery voltage (correct result).

-manual sez check resistance from pin 16 on immobilizer to pin 86S on my new ignition switch. (result is 1.6 ohm, less than the 5 allowed).

-manual sez check voltage on ECU, plug 1, pin 3 (correct result, should be zero).

-manual sez check resistance from ECU plug 1, pin 3 to immobilizer pin 23 (result 1.4 ohms, again less than the 5 allowed).

- put my jumper back in the clutch switch just in case. No change.

My car was parked in my garage where it stayed dry. My car has never been even damp inside in my presence, nor is there any sign of such.

It seems inevitable that I'm faced with the trio of ECU/Key/Immobilizer. I read somewhere about using Durametric to re establish connection between these units but I don't see anything that sophisticated in Durametric.

Found a place online that will take all three and do a diagnosis. They're in Florida. Can anyone out there vouch for this place or is it something I should run away from?
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:00 PM   #16
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Wow ,what a saga.Kudos for doing so much careful analysis
Pin 16 to 86S(ign switch) seems an issue?
Yr question about the place in Florida - do you mean Softronic?
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:31 PM   #17
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Sorry, to clarify: I'm allowed up to 5 ohms resistance and I was in the low 1s, so those are in good shape

And their eBay ad is Specialized ECU Repair. They're totally unknown to me of course. They indicate they can diagnose which component is jacked up and repair, flash, etc.

Last edited by flaps10; 02-01-2016 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:39 PM   #18
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Ooh yeah I forgot one. I pulled the power distributor out from under the dash and checked ask the fuseable links. It was also in perfect condition.

So far the only upside is that I know a whole lot of stuff that's NOT broken
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:00 PM   #19
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...And their eBay ad is Specialized ECU Repair. They're totally unknown to me of course. They indicate they can diagnose which component is jacked up and repair, flash, etc.
I don't know about eBay, but these guys do the repair and make the waterproof box:
ECU Doctors
Specialized ECU Repair, Replacement, & Testing - Restore or Exchange your Electronic Control Unit (ECU)

I can't remember what year your car is, but I have immobilizer sets for a 2000 3.2, and an 2001 3.2 I could loan you if you want to troubleshoot by replacement. In a box, in a tub, in storage ...maybe I need to find them first. If you are interested let me know.
Only cost would be your 2-way shipping.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:28 PM   #20
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This sounds just like you are not getting a good ground to the actual engine block
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