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Car Won't Start, No Dash Lights

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by CraigClark, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Feb 29, 2012]
    I've got a 2005 Plate Audi A3 Sport, which I've had for roughly 3 weeks.

    On a few occasions since I've had the Car, I've come out of the house to find that the Car won't start.

    It unlocks fine, Stereo will work fine, along with the Lights, Heating, etc, & you can hear the Car trying to turn over, however it just won't start.

    When this happens, there are no lights or Symbols displayed on the Dash at first, not even the Mileage or the Time & Date, etc.
    If I turn the ignition off & try to start the Car again, all of the Symbols on the right hand side will appear for a few seconds & will then disappear, the Computer will come on where it displays the amount of fuel left in the tank, etc, but nothing else.

    If I disconnect the Battery & then re-connect it a few seconds later, the Car then starts fine & everything appears on the Dash as it should.

    Any ideas because I'm completely baffled by this.
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  3. ADi Nuff Valves
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    ADi Nuff Valves Member

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    [Feb 29, 2012]
    I had a similar thing on my old Golf. Turned out it needed a new battery. If it's the newer gel type battery they tend to just die rather than fading gradually like the old batteries. It's probably got enough juice to light up everything but then the load of trying to start the car is too much.
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  4. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Feb 29, 2012]
    Thanks for your reply!

    See, I was thinking it could be the battery initially but then the fact that the Stereo & other things worked fine kind of put me off of the idea.

    I will try replacing the battery & see what happens! :)

    Thanks again.
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  5. Sidhu88
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    Sidhu88 Active Member

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    [Feb 29, 2012]
    if u can get it jump started, just take it to halfords they'll run a battery test. Itll tell u the voltage and start capacity and whether it has a short circuit or not.
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  6. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Mar 1, 2012]
    I tested the Battery & Alternator last night with a tester & it showed that they were both fine.

    The Car starts & runs fine, its just every now & again that it'll fail to start & at that point I have to disconnect & re-connect the Battery to get it to start.

    Also had someone run a test with a Diagnostics machine that found 2 unknown errors, so they cleared these.

    Going to see what happens over the next week or so, if this happens again then I think I'll go down the route of replacing the Battery as suggested by ADi Nuff Valves.
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  7. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Sep 10, 2012]
    Okay so 6 Months on & still having problems.

    I had the Battery changed for a brand new one, however this only made slight improvement.

    The problem still occurs, only not as often, maybe once a week.

    I've also noticed that when it happens, the Radio flashes up 'SAFE' for a second while the lights on the dash come on & then goes off again. Its at this point that I have to disconnect & re-connect the Battery Cables.

    I had the Car scanned with a diagnostics machine, however this didn't pull back any errors..odd.
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  8. Artimus
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    Artimus Short Back

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    [Sep 10, 2012]
    Might try checking the engine earth strap isn't too corroded or loose.
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  9. MartayMcFly
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    MartayMcFly Well-Known Member Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 10, 2012]
    Are the leads OK? If you've replaced the battery and still having issues the next thing I'd check is the wiring.
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  10. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Nov 5, 2012]
    Yeah I've had all that checked too & all seems fine. I managed to take the below picture last time it happened, this is all I get until I remove the negative lead from the battery, leave it disconnected for a minute or so & then re-connect it. Everything then comes back to life & I am able to start the car.
    Audi.jpg
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  11. Artimus
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    Artimus Short Back

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    [Nov 5, 2012]
    Static charge build-up in a dash or electronic component? = something isn't earthing properly??
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  12. tedward
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    tedward Member

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    [Nov 5, 2012]
    I have experienced exacly the same problem (mrs car) couple of weeks ago. http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/a3-s3-sportback-8p-chassis/171380-help-please-car-wont-start.html

    The car was trailored away to where we bought it and when they rolled it of the recovery truck, it started!

    Im inclined to say the whole dash light issue points to a bad earth or electrical problem.

    I tried everything pior to them collecting the car with no luck, battery checked, battery leads of for 30 mins, clocks out unplugged, checked fuses, used spare key.....nothing would make it fire up.

    Only fault the dealer could find logged was the coolant temp sensor which they fitted a new one. Fingers crossed its not done it again!
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  13. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Nov 6, 2012]
    Hmm the only strange thing is that my car only does it say like..once a week or sometimes less. But as soon as I disconnect the Battery then re-connect it around a minute later, everything comes back to life immediately & I am able to start my car. You say yours wouldn't start even after having the Battery disconnected for half an hour?

    I spoke with an Auto Electrician yesterday who advised me that he thinks its either 1 of 2 things..
    1. The chip in the key (but I can't see it being this as I'd expect it to happen all the time if this was the cause) & to try my spare key (which I don't have).
    or
    2. The clocks are 'spiking' meaning that there is a problem with the clocks & that they would need to be sent off to be rebuilt as they contain part of the immobiliser chip on these cars, meaning you can't just purchase another set of clocks from anywhere, i.e: a scrapyard, as it wouldn't work. The guy said that if it is this, to rebuild the clocks it would be £350. So I'm hoping its not this!
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  14. bez101
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    bez101 Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 6, 2012]
    id say the clocks
    a bad key wouldnt cause that problem.
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  15. tedward
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    tedward Member

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    [Nov 6, 2012]
    I also spoke to a guy who comes to our works (body shop) he does all our airbag resets dash resets coding etc etc and he said the clocks can be problematic and give the symptoms i described.

    He recomended this place BBA reman online catalogue send the clocks away £135 and they are rebuilt and fixed.

    If mine does it again i will be doing this as they are dead easy to remove, just means the car is out of action for around 3-5 days.

    Very annoying fault!!
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  16. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Nov 9, 2012]
    Hmm interesting. Thanks for that tedward.

    I had an Auto Electrician come to look at my car yesterday who found 3 error codes on my car using his equipment:

    1. 01317 Control Module in Instrument Cluster (J285) No Signal/No Communication Intermittent

    2. 16897 Incorrect Immobilizer Key P0513 Not A Plausible Signal Intermittent

    3. 28827 No Communication with Instrument Cluster U0155 Open Circuit/Short With Ground Intermittent

    He advised that he thinks it's either:

    1. The immobiliser in the key that's faulty, therefore purchasing a new key from Ebay & having it programmed to my car would resolve the problem (As I don't have a spare key, my car only came with 1 when I bought it).

    Or

    2. The immobiliser chip in the Instrument Cluster (Dashboard) that is faulty & needs to be replaced.

    I think I'm going to go for the replacement of the key first to see if this makes any difference. Then have the part in the Instrument Cluster replaced if this makes no difference.
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  17. bez101
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    bez101 Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 9, 2012]
    your gona waste cash geting a key haveing it coded etc
    the immo chip wont knock the lights off
    with a dodgey chip it will still start the car for 2 seconds and cut out
    get the clocks out send off to BBR and have them checked repaired
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  18. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Well I took my car to a Dashboard specialist over the weekend who took a further look in to the problem & advised that it was something to do with the Immobiliser in the Instrument Cluster being faulty.

    He disabled the Immobiliser on my ECU which he thought would resolve the problem. It hasn't resolved the problem, however I have now noticed that when the problem occurs, rather than it doing what it usually does where not all of the display on the Instrument Cluster comes on & the the car won't start.. what is happening now is that not all of the display on the Instrument Cluster comes on just like before, however the car now starts. I still have to disconnect the negative lead on the battery & re-connect it after a minute to get the Instrument Cluster working again.

    When I originally had my car checked by an Auto Electrician, he pulled up 3 codes as I mentioned earlier on in the thread..the 3 codes being the following:

    1. 01317 Control Module in Instrument Cluster (J285) No Signal/No Communication Intermittent

    2. 16897 Incorrect Immobilizer Key P0513 Not A Plausible Signal Intermittent

    3. 28827 No Communication with Instrument Cluster U0155 Open Circuit/Short With Ground Intermittent

    My thinking is that by disabling the Immobiliser on my ECU, this has resolved the 2nd error with the 'Incorrect Immobilizer Key' message. However the other 2 errors (which I think are pretty much the same error) still stand, which are relating to a fault with the Instrument Cluster.

    I'm guessing I either need to have my Instrument Cluster rebuilt as advised by a few guys on here..or alternatively the Dashboard specialist advised that now my Immobiliser is disabled on my ECU, providing it is the exact same model number, part number, etc, then I should be able to grab a used Instrument Cluster from Ebay, put this in my car & it should work fine?
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  19. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Who did you take the car to, both dashboard expert and auto electrician ? I ask because I may be able to direct you to a local specialist who may be able to help.
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  20. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    An Auto Electrician named Ifty from a company named Mobile Car Diagnostics from Bradford (:: Mobile Car Diagnostics :: MOBILE MECHANIC LEEDS, BRADFORD & Rest of Yorkshire) came to my house to take a look at my car & thats who gave me the 3 error codes from his Snap-On diagnostics machine.

    Ifty gave me a number for somebody named Dave - Dashfixer Pro (Dashfixer PRO Mileage) Dave disabled the Immobiliser on my ECU.
    #19
  21. tedward
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    tedward Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Have you contacted the company (BBA reman) I recommended on my above posts?

    The guy I spoke to was confident they would be able to diagnose and fix the problem. Maybe worth e mailing or calling them to see what they think, for £135 that they seem to charge I would rather repair my own cluster than replace with one with a mileage that doesn't tally with the current one.
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  22. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    PM sent with details of VAG specialist in Leeds
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  23. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Not yet, I'm thinking thats what I'm going to need to do. Thanks :)
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  24. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Thnaks Mike, much appreciated.
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  25. A3Colm
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    A3Colm New Member

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    [Jan 2, 2013]
    Hi Craig,

    Had you any luck with repairing the clocks. I have an A3 2001 model and I had to get a gearbox change. A few months after the gearbox change both the speedo and rev needles wouldn't work unless the car was warmed up. (i.e. after 5 miles driving they would kick in). But now neither don't work at all now.
    Initially I thought it was something related to the gearbox switch, but I have seen that there known problems with the A3 clocks.
    I was thinking of sending the clocks to a repair agent like BBA Reman but thought I would check first with you on how you progressed your issue. I'll have to get them fixed before the MOT is due.

    Many thanks Colm
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  26. CraigClark
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    CraigClark New Member

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    [Apr 16, 2013]
    In the end I pulled the clocks (instrument cluster) out, checked the part number on the top of them, purchased a set of clocks from Ebay with the exact same part number & then took the car & the new set of clocks to Mark at MT Motors in Gildersome (Leeds) to code the new clocks in for me. Mark did an excellent job & the car started to run perfectly after this.
    #25

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