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bigbadbob

Octavia 1.9tdi starting problems

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My 2003 Octavia 1.9tdi starts intermittently. sometimes when it will not start it will start after a few minutes with the key in. When the key is turned all dash lights come on but starter does not work.. Relay 109 has been mentioned but I have noticed that this is on engines that are least turning on the starter. It is worse when cold. currently waiting for friend to come round with diagnostic kit but have not found these entirely helpful in the past. Any suggestions?

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more likely to be the keyswitch itself, part not contacting that feeds the starter solonoid. dmm will show that. :-) if u'r on a hill, bump it.

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Could also be the aerial loop for the immobiliser transponder.

i did think of that, but i disregarded it. OP didnt mention the flashing yellow key symbol, and it kills the engine 2 seconds after it fires.

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My 2003 Octavia 1.9tdi starts intermittently. sometimes when it will not start it will start after a few minutes with the key in. When the key is turned all dash lights come on but starter does not work.. Relay 109 has been mentioned but I have noticed that this is on engines that are least turning on the starter. It is worse when cold. currently waiting for friend to come round with diagnostic kit but have not found these entirely helpful in the past. Any suggestions?

Also check the battery and its connections. If the battery is getting near end of life then with the glow plugs on its terminal voltage call fall so low that the solenoid does not pull in to operate the starter motor. If you don't have a multimeter, check by first switching on the interior light and see if it dims substantially when the "ignition" is switched on.

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Thanks for your replies - I tried a (almost) new battery from a 2.5 Mondeo which initially worked but not this morning when cold. I have had a symptom for about 2 years in which, occasionally, when cold , I have had to hold the key over in the start position for 10 -30 seconds before the starter fired up. Am suspecting immoboliser ring. Any thoughts?

Edited by bigbadbob

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If it's the immobiliser ring then sureley the key light would flash??

I had a problem with non starting on New Years Day, of all the times... Grrrrr... anyway it turned out to be the braided wire going from the starter motor solenoid into the starter motor (+12v feed)

For a couple of days before this the car wouldn't turn over.

I soldered a piece of copper pipe onto the starter motor contact an bolted it onto the solenoid. Put heatshrink tubing on before fitting.

Hope that helps.

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My 2003 Octavia 1.9tdi starts intermittently. sometimes when it will not start it will start after a few minutes with the key in. When the key is turned all dash lights come on but starter does not work.. Relay 109 has been mentioned but I have noticed that this is on engines that are least turning on the starter. It is worse when cold. currently waiting for friend to come round with diagnostic kit but have not found these entirely helpful in the past. Any suggestions?

I had the same trouble I tried squirting a bit of WD40 into the ignition switch a couple of times and so far all is well why not give it a try

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Did anybody get to the bottom of this, because I am having the SAME problems!

 

1. It is gradually getting worse.

2. Initially it would fail to fire up now and again. Put the key in, turn it - all dash lights come on, radio, blower etc. The glow-plug light goes out, I turn the key - and nothing. There is a 'click' - but nothing.

3. I tested the battery - 12.46v.

4. I have charged the battery - even though it was fine 'just in case'.

5. All terminal connections look fine. Cleaned them, greased, them - just in case.

6. I've sprayed WD40 in the ignition key switch - I thought it made a difference - but even that is hit and miss.

7. Initially - it would do it perhaps twice a week. Now (about 3 weeks later) it is every time I try the key - nothing - take it out... put it in - turn it part way - leave it 20 seconds - turn it - nothing; after about 10 or 15 attempts, it will fire and fire instantly.

8. I've tried the spare key - no difference.

 

Driving me mad!

 

Is it Relay 109?

 

I have taken the relay out - its a grey 4-pin, which I am presuming (2003) it is an 'updated' one - i.e. because it is grey... So I'm thinking that this isn't the Relay.

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It's not the immo as the car would start and then cut out after 3 seconds. If the battery voltage was too low, then all the lights would go out on the dash when the key was turned to the crank position. The car will still crank with a faulty relay 109.

So it must be the ignition switch, wiring or starter solenoid. It's not uncommon for the small connection to the starter solenoid to become loose so check that first.

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Sounds like your glow plugs, if your mate scans it it'll come up with a 16764 error in VCDS but the engine should at least turn over or try to if the glow plugs or harness is bad. You can try cleaning the starter solenoid and the starter motor itself and all connections on the starter- sometimes connections look good but are actually crap and only a good cleaning solves it

Edited by Nerd

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Sounds like your glow plugs, if your mate scans it it'll come up with a 16764 error in VCDS but the engine should at least turn over or try to if the glow plugs or harness is bad. You can try cleaning the starter solenoid and the starter motor itself and all connections on the starter- sometimes connections look good but are actually crap and only a good cleaning solves it

"but your engine should at least turnover"

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It's not the immo as the car would start and then cut out after 3 seconds. If the battery voltage was too low, then all the lights would go out on the dash when the key was turned to the crank position. The car will still crank with a faulty relay 109.

So it must be the ignition switch, wiring or starter solenoid. It's not uncommon for the small connection to the starter solenoid to become loose so check that first.

This analysis is very helpful. I'll start at the solenoid and go from there.

I'm very grateful for the numerous contributions so far.

Initially I was thinking it might be the ignition switch, the key is starting to feel a bit 'worn' on insertion, but there is a fair degree of resistance an 'feel' with the spare key - and the fact that it does activate all the electrics without fail does tend to persuade me that it is an issue further down the line.

I will check the connection to the solenoid and the starter this weekend.

I think we can collectively say that it is highly unlikely to be relay 109?

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...I think we can collectively say that it is highly unlikely to be relay 109?

Not just unlikely - it's impossible to be the cause.

The starter will crank with relay 109 removed. It won't start, but it will crank.

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Did anybody get to the bottom of this, because I am having the SAME problems!

 

1. It is gradually getting worse.

2. Initially it would fail to fire up now and again. Put the key in, turn it - all dash lights come on, radio, blower etc. The glow-plug light goes out, I turn the key - and nothing. There is a 'click' - but nothing.

3. I tested the battery - 12.46v.

4. I have charged the battery - even though it was fine 'just in case'.

5. All terminal connections look fine. Cleaned them, greased, them - just in case.

Have you tried a new (borrowed) battery? It's the only way to eliminate a "dead short" in the battery which would give you a corrrect voltage on a meter, but fail under the drain of the starter motor.

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Not just unlikely - it's impossible to be the cause.

The starter will crank with relay 109 removed. It won't start, but it will crank.

Thank you - that is one potential cause ruled out!

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Have you tried a new (borrowed) battery? It's the only way to eliminate a "dead short" in the battery which would give you a corrrect voltage on a meter, but fail under the drain of the starter motor.

 

I haven't tried a different battery  - I will add that to the list!

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I will also add that the reason why I am looking further down the line from the ignition switch is the fact that there is a very definite, very audible 'click' of the starter when the key is turned to start position. It is the sort of click that you get with a dead battery - but, obviously, the battery is not dead.

 

So - aside from the point about trying a different battery, I am focussing in on this being the starter or solenoid as the cause.

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Have you tried a new (borrowed) battery? It's the only way to eliminate a "dead short" in the battery which would give you a corrrect voltage on a meter, but fail under the drain of the starter motor.

 

On further consideration of this, I think this should be highest on my list of things to check. I've had the car from 18 months old - since 2005 - and in that time, it has never had a new battery. I'm pretty sure that it is the original battery but it has always been first class. Last year, in 2012 I thought I had probably killed it - I accidentally left the interior light on for a few weeks and left it standing. I got a jump start - gave it a good run, and it was back to usual service! But maybe it has now reached the end of its life... 11 years and 120K - it certainly doesn't owe me anything, I guess!

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So... the bad news.

 

This morning - at 8am, it starts on the 6th key turn. I do my morning Parkrun, I get back in the car - starts 2nd key turn. I go to the gym. It starts on about the 20th key turn. I take it to a local 'battery shop' and he assures me that it is the battery; if the electrics in the car are working, it isn't the alternator (he says), if there is an audible 'click' it isnt the solenoid... So - knowing it is the original battery - at east 11 years old, I take his word for it and splash out seventy notes for a new one.

 

I fit the battery - and guess what... NO DIFFERENCE... in fact, it takes me 20 minutes to get started - so many key turns that I wouldn't even BEGIN to estimate how many attempts to get her started.

 

So - no nearer resolution, the cost of a new battery down, and back to the drawing board.

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