Passat starting - ignition switch again?

Peter Orban orbanp1 at
Thu Sep 17 14:56:27 PDT 2009

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for the replies!

I did some more measurements today. I did catch the car once when it was not starting. Keeping the key in the start (cranking) position the voltage was 11.43V. I measured this at the cigarette lighter, so it was not at the starter.
For reference, I also did measure two of my other cars that have no problem starting. Four cylinder cars though. One of them was 10.3V, the other 10.4V.
The Passat has less than 20K Km on it, so it should not be a worn starter or corroded wires, but anything is possible.
To take out the battery and clean the poles on this car is tricky, it needs back-up power. It would forget the throttle positions. The throttle adaptation algorithm can only be initiated by a VAG-COM type computer.
I will continue to investigate. I will measure the specific gravity of the electrolyte in the battery. I will also probably instrument bits and pieces of the starting circuit, to measure voltage directly at the solenoid, and at the starter.

Thanks, Peter

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