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My a3 starts but won't run

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by M535man, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    Hi all,

    Our A3 is having a major paddy at the moment - it is starting easily, but keeps dying straight away, also the entire instrument cluster is completely dead. This makes the car undeliverable, and I have just found out that despite paying over £100 a year for aa cover, I am covered everywhere in the uk apart from my house. Which is unfortunate because that's where I live!

    Is this a common issue, can I do anything to get the car running again long enough to get to a garage, and lastly if this is an issue anyone has come across before, is it going to be expensive?

    Thanks so much for your advice, and apologies if this has been asked a million times before, I am a total novice in the world of audi's! ;-)
    #1
  2. autolatry
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    autolatry Member

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    There is an immobiliser chip in the instrument cluster I believe. Maybe if there's no power to the cluster it won't start? Just guessing.
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  3. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    Thanks, I didn't know that, I wonder if I would make things worse by removing the cluster and making sure all the cables are connected.

    The car will start at the first turn of the key, however it stops running after a second or so. This happens every time- would the immobiliser allow the car to start at all, even briefly?

    Thanks :)
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  4. a6_chris
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    a6_chris Well-Known Member

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    My A3 has done this twice but has restarted fine.

    Will run for 1-2 seconds then die. Hasn't done it since!

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  5. autolatry
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    autolatry Member

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    Have you checked the fuses?
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  6. phil76
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    phil76 Active Member

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    If you havent got home start with the AA couldnt you get towed or push the car a couple of streets away? thats what folk normally do.
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  7. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    Good point, there is a tow rope in the garage gathering dust!

    Autolarty- no I haven't checked the fuses, will take a look in the morning, thanks.
    #7
  8. chris.vincent3
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    chris.vincent3 Member

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    Had someone plug it into VCDS?
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  9. B5NUT
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    B5NUT Well-Known Member

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    If the cluster is dead then the car won't run, it will just start for a few seconds then die. I would first start with checking the fuse to the cluster, if the fuse is OK try disconnecting the battery and leave it for a while for the car to discharge (may want to leave it over night) If that fails, then it's new cluster time and the immobilizer will need to be re-sinked to the cluster (vagtacho may be able to do that otherwise its off to the dealer who will only help if the cluster is new).
    #9
  10. craigynett
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    craigynett Member

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    check every fuse & relay relevant to the cluster. If they're ok then pull the cluster from the dash & test if it's getting power to it through the multiplug. If it's getting power to it then send it off for testing/repairing
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  11. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    No, I don't know anyone who has vcds unfortunately.

    B5nut/craigynett - thanks, will check the fuses in the morning, I am having trouble locating the handbook, I don't suppose anyone off the top of their heads knows which fuses or relays are the ones to look at first?

    If the cluster is getting power but is not working, would someone like BBA Reman be a safe bet for a repair?
    #11
  12. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    Is it petrol or desel? What year is the car? You can replace with a second hand unit . I think I have a desel one spare. Where abouts are you? Not sure which fuses they are on the 8p sorry
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  13. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    The car is a 2008 1.9 tdi, going out to lift the bonnet shortly!
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  14. craigynett
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    craigynett Member

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    i know fuse 15 is a instrument panel fuse & is located in the cabin fuse box at the end of the drivers side of the dash. I went to look at a Bora the other day which wouldn't start. The instrument panel wasn't coming on neither. Turned out he'd been messing with the fuses. They were all in nice & tight but fuse 15 was oxidized a fair bit. All i did was rub the fuse blades with a bit of sandpaper to get it back to the shiny metal, popped the fuse back in & it cured it.

    There may be a couple of fuses for the instruments but i can't find anything specific for the 8p A3 although most VAG of the same year should use same layout
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  15. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    Just got back from dropping off my cluster at BBA reman, who are conveniently located about 10 minutes away from me, they are reasonably confident they can fix it, but said that if it was the immobiliser they couldn't repair that :-(

    Fingers crossed this will get resolved by the end of the week.

    Thanks to everybody for the advice, I may yet need more of it !
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  16. craigynett
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    craigynett Member

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    did you check the fuses & that the cluster was getting power to it?
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  17. John ler
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    John ler Member

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    What's the out come on this
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  18. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    The guy at bba said to expect a call tomorrow with an update, fingers crossed it will be an easy fix.
    Bizarrely, the guy in front of me was also dropping off an audi cluster identical to mine with exactly the same problem.

    All fuses checked and all in good order, I'm unable to check if the cluster is getting power due to knackered multimeter!
    #18
  19. autolatry
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    autolatry Member

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    Hope it gets sorted mate. At least it's the right time of year for unexpected costs on our cars....lol.

    Are BBA a reputable company?
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  20. hollow
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    hollow Active Member

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    you need some one down your end of the country thats a bit more technically inclined . the cluster can be cloned from the eprom . even if the eeprom is no good a second hand set can be paired as long as the skc can be extracted from the ecu and the new set of clocks , the mileage can be altered to suit .
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  21. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    Well, just got back from BBA reman, the work was carried out in around 24 hours (impressed!)

    I've plugged the cluster back in to the car, and hey presto the car runs and drives again, hooray!!!

    My wife had seen the 'def' warning on the dash around a week ago, which I guess was the cars way of telling us that the cluster was dying - note to self, if we see the 'def' warning again, dont ignore it!

    All seems well now, although I've noticed that the abs light and the power steering lights are both lit up in amber on the dash. As I don't normally drive the car I don't know if these were present prior to the problems with the instrument cluster, I'll ask the boss when she gets home.

    The repair job was £125+vat, and comes with a lifetime warranty. Pretty pleased with the results- will report back if the two remaining warning lights are a cause for concern. Thanks for all the advice, Gordon
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  22. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    Just a final follow up, the two amber warning lights on the dash disappeared as hoped once the car was driven, so pretty chuffed with he fix and would happily recommend BBA reman in the future :)
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  23. John ler
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    John ler Member

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    Did they say what the problem was to the clusters
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  24. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    No, BBS is quite a large factory/warehouse type building on an industrial estate, and the only people I spoke to we're the receptionist and the telesales person, not the actual engineer.

    I would guess it was some kind of power supply issue to the cluster, but couldn't honestly say for sure.
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  25. John ler
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    John ler Member

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    Where's totally dead nothing, lite up. That's what mine are like, how much did the repair cost, thanks
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  26. M535man
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    M535man New Member

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    The repair was £125 plus Vat, the lead time is around 3-4 days normally, I think I was lucky that it was quiet due to Xmas?
    #26
  27. wrightyrx7
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    wrightyrx7 Member

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    I have a similar problem but mine is intermittent. Its happened twice before, and again today.

    Its still not running now. The last two times at about 2pm it decides to work fine.

    But at the minute, the insturment cluster does not illumitate when I unlock my car (which it usually does showing the time and mileage) its starts but then cuts out. Just as it would if the immobiliser isnt disabled.

    As mine is intermittent im unsure if its the same problem you had... but i do know its STRESSING! me out :(
    #27

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