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Help - car doesn't want to start!

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by Donald_MacIver, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Donald_MacIver
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    Donald_MacIver Member

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    I have been having horrendous problems over the past couple of days, where my car has been refusing to start. Its a 1997 Audi A4 TDi by the way. I am 99% sure it is an immobiliser fault, as when it won't start with one key, it will start with the spare key. But i have also found out that it's not the key itself that's faulty, as both keys play up. Anyone heard of this problem before, and what is the likely culprit :detective2:
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  2. marms
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    marms Member

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    Is it only when the car is cold?
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  3. Donald_MacIver
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    Donald_MacIver Member

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    No, it can happen any time. At the moment i have to carry both keys with me all the time incase it happens. Can the keys temporarily loose their coding at all, or is it the switch that reads the code from the transponder that may be faulty?
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  4. marms
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    marms Member

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    Could it possibly be a bad connection at the rear of the instrument cluster?
    This is the area responsible for the immobiliser so it could be a intermittent dry connection?

    Have you had you car on VAG-COM to see if there are any errors logged?
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  5. Donald_MacIver
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    Donald_MacIver Member

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    No, not tried vagcom. I stopped off at my local vag independent garage after work tonight, and he said that he could check on vagcom for me. He mentioned that it could be a faulty switch which is on the ignition barrel which reads the code from the transponder in the key?
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  6. marms
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    marms Member

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    Well I suppose that all makes sense. Hope it's not too expensive to fix!
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  7. dappadan786
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    dappadan786 Member

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    hi mate,

    how did you get on? did they fix the problem?

    im curious as i had the same problem with my main key, im using a spare atm and im suspecting the same could happen with this key would like to get it sorted before it does.

    cheers.
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  8. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    IIRC it's the connection to the reader coil in the switch. Moving the steering wheel up & down can temporarily sort it out, but there was a DIY fix for this on the B5 forum, so could be worth a shot.
    If they recommend a new ignition barrel then you need new keys or the unit programmed to the old keys, so not really something you want to get into unnecessarily.
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  9. dappadan786
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    dappadan786 Member

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    thanks Andy!

    im trying to find it, will keep on searching if u happen to find it do u mind sending me the link?

    cheers.
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  10. Donald_MacIver
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    Donald_MacIver Member

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    Hi, still not got the problem sorted here either. I have resorted to carrying both keys around all the time now, and it happens on average 2 or 3 times a day!

    I have been in touch with the main stealers, and they say that it is the reader ring, which cannot be changed without replacing the whole ignition barrel, at a cost of £90 + Vat!

    I am going to try adjusting the steering column to see if it helps the situation - fingers crossed, i could do with a cheap fix working for a change!
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  11. dappadan786
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    dappadan786 Member

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    does that mean new set of keys?
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  12. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's what I was told, or you can get the ignition barrel coded to your existing keys but these have to be custom made in Germany (apparently). This was an issue I had with the ignition not returning properly and ended up burning out the starter motor, but thanks to this forum I managed to work out all I needed was a new ignition switch, which is seperate to the barrel.
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  13. dappadan786
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    dappadan786 Member

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    now im shittin it lol! spoke to someone who had a similiar problem ended up costing him £800 form the stealer took 2 attempts! in the nd he cant remember what exactly was wrong! D'OH! :keule::keule::keule::keule:
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  14. billybravo
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    billybravo MODERATOR

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    I used to have this prob its very easy to fix as said above i used to move the steering column also and this worked for a while till even that stop helping

    the way to fix it with out messing about is to removed the bottom part of your dash board and find the loom coming from the key switch split the loom and remove the immobiliser wire from it, the wire goes to a white box mounted under the clocks if i remember right.

    you need to keep this wire well away from other sources of power and this will fix it. well it did for me.
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  15. tracer
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    tracer '96 a4 1.8 se

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  16. dappadan786
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    dappadan786 Member

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    thanks lads! gotta give this a bash no doubt this key will do the same at some stage as its already started yesterday! also cut off while reversing, did anyone else experience that?

    just to get it right, i need to strip the steering locate a wire take it out of the loom and insulate and move it away from other cables? and then put it all back together?

    does this mean then the immobiliser is useless? solution then would be an aftermarket one?

    thanks again lads! can sleep properly tonite!

    just out of curiousity what years are your cars? miens a 1996.
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  17. tracer
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    tracer '96 a4 1.8 se

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    cut off while reversing !! hmm never had anything like that. only problems starting, it would start then stop instantly. although you only have to turn key so far and you will see whether the orange immobiliser key symbol flashes without actually trying to start engine.

    if it flashes , there's a problem. if the light goes out , it'l start.

    to fix you don;t actually disconnect the wiring just keep the two wires going to the reader coil seperate from the rest of the loom. then it works as normal

    i remember i had to remove the steering wheel to get the lower dash panel off and get to the wiring, this may vary on later models, mines a 96 too.
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  18. Donald_MacIver
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    Donald_MacIver Member

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    If you need to get a new ignition barrel, they say you can order it to be made for your key, and therefore not needing to replace your keys. It would need to be programmed to your keys transponder with vagcom.

    I have tried the trick of adjusting the steering column, and fingers crossed, it hasn't happened since i tried this! :icon_thumright:
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  19. dappadan786
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    dappadan786 Member

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    cheers for that mate, so in general it looks liek this wiring trick is the one for everyone! i disconnected the battery left it for abit and it worked on the 2nd turnover.

    lol cut off thing must be something else hehe, the cars been idling i think its the sparks that need replacing. next on the list going to order the ngk that someone recomended.

    cheers mate!
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  20. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Or the coolant temp sender - common fault and causes iratic idling and stalling.
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  21. dappadan786
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    dappadan786 Member

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    thanx mate will it get sort! thats exactly whats been happenning. appreciate all ur help:icon_thumright:
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  22. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Easy DIY fix, £20 from stealers
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  23. Donald_MacIver
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    Donald_MacIver Member

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    Quick update on this guys, took my steering wheel off tonight and had a poke around the ignition barrel. Looks like someone else beat me to it, as there are a few turns of insulating tape around the ignition barrel itself where the reader coil is located. I can't seem to get access to the loom very well to try and split the immobiliser wires from it. How do i go about removing the lower part of the dash, and will that give me better access? I had to start on this today, as i got stuck at the filling station for 20 mins when the car wouldn't start!
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