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HELP! My car won't start and i'm 4500 miles from home!

Discussion in 'Diesel forum' started by Jon_w, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Jon_w
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    Jon_w Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I was hoping my first post would be on a more happy note (saying hi, tuning etc...) but,

    I am currently in China, and my car is at home in Norway and have been woken up to be told that it is refusing to start.

    I have a 2005 A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI Sline with about 75,000 km's on the clock.

    I have let my girlfriends brother borrow the car whilst I am away on business, and he has phoned to say that the car will not stay on. I have heard him try to start it over the phone, and it will start and fire, but will die again almost instantly. He says there are also no lights on, on the dash when you turn the key. (its been reminding me of service for the last month)

    Any thoughts of what this might be? and if a local garage could fix or if it needs to be towed to audi or someone with VagCom?

    I am travelling for another two weeks, and would like the car when I come home, but it's a bit hard arranging things over the phone with a garage when I am in meetings everyday and the time difference.

    If anyone's had this problem, then some pointers would be good.

    Thanks
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  2. Jon_w
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    Jon_w Member

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    Sorry,

    When I say there are no lights on, I don't mean no warning lights. There are no lights AT ALL on the dash when the ignition is on!
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  3. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    Welcome mate, Uh if you start it & it goes out immediately then it sounds like its related to the cluster mate, cause the immo system is not working basically allowing the car to stay running, if the cluster doesnt show any lights at all even when the keys turned to position 1 then I'd lean towards this, but get him to check all the fuses on the drivers side of the dashboard, there's a removal panel/lid on the side when you open the door, at the very end of the dash, just get a very thin screwdriver behind the trim to remove & check them, one idea anyway, next would be check the cluster is connected ok by removing the cluster fixings & checking the loom at rear, if you have vcds handy to login to the car this would maybe advise where the problem lies, but for me its cluster related if no lights at all even after checking fuses.
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  4. Jon_w
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    Jon_w Member

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    The car has also been suffering from a bit of a leak in the winter months, with the spare wheel well filling with water. It got a bit wet in the front, but after drying everything out it hasn't returned to the front of the car (must have been sloshed around under heavy breaking).

    Could this be something that has damaged the electrics and stopping the car from staying running?
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  5. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    As already stated mate, check these things 1st cause cluster should light up even if not started
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  6. Jon_w
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    Jon_w Member

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    Thanks, I will get someone to have a look at the fuses tomorrow, but her brother has gone home now and would rather not let the missus loose with a screwdriver.

    Hopefully it is something simple like the fuses or loose wiring. I just didn't want to let a local garage loose on it when I have little control and they replace and charge for things in the hope they will find the problem. At least I know now a possible cause of the problem.
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  7. Jon_w
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    Jon_w Member

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    Good diagnosis NHN,

    It turns out it was something to do with the immo system caused by some contacts in the boot (I'm thinking water related). A local garage has performed a temporary fix, so the car is now running but they can guarantee how long for without a proper fix, so its being driven to the audi garage on monday.

    Hopefully there is not too much water damage and they can book it in at their crash repair centre in order to fix the leak.

    It now means that the extra money from this trip now has to go towards fixing the car instead of buying goodies for the car, but hopefully enough left for a full audio install
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  8. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    Ah so does your car have the battery in the boot as some 8P's do? Cause this could be the problem then, the battery shorting out which would also cause cluster issues of course, well at least tracked down.
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  9. Jon_w
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    Jon_w Member

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    The battery is in the engine bay, I'm am not sure of the exact problem yet, just what I have heard over the phone. I will find out more details when I get back home in a week. All I know is thast Audi managed to diagnose the problem over the phone with the local garage in order that they could provide a temporary fix. It may not be what Audi have said, but their solution has worked for now, and hopefully enough to get the car to them tomorrow.

    Thanks for your suggestions of what it may be, they seem to be pretty accurate and it has put my mind at ease, not worrying that it is something more serious.
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