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View Poll Results: How were your starter problems ultimately resolved?

Voters
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  • Replaced Battery

    6 10.34%
  • Replaced Clutch Switch

    1 1.72%
  • Replaced Starter

    51 87.93%
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  1. #81
    Established Member Two Rings homeychan's Avatar
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    Re: Starter Issues; B6 S4 - Attempting Official Resolution

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdparkes View Post
    From what Ive read its been the root issue for most people. What Im worried about is if I fried a bunch of my wiring.
    We did clutch switch but the starter fixed mine, the dealer also told me that burnt harnesses are common too, and you may have damaged yours if you let all the smoke out.
    S4 Oil Consumption?
    See my terrible experience with Audi corporate and how they took away my warranty:
    http://audiwarranty.blogspot.com

  2. #82
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Re: Starter Issues; B6 S4 - Attempting Official Resolution

    Does anyone know the part number for the ignition wires... or where to find them?

  3. #83
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Re: Starter Issues; B6 S4 - Attempting Official Resolution

    And parts geek is out of stock until March... any other suggestions?

  4. #84
    Established Member Two Rings
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    sold 2011 e92 m3,sold 2005 s4
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    Re: Starter Issues; B6 S4 - Attempting Official Resolution

    after over a year of having the cold start issue the dealer was finally able to reproduce it at the shop when they were looking to bring it inside the shop this morning.

    From what the dealer is telling me, the starter is getting plenty of power etc but is not engaging all the way. I did find that if you try and start the car for ~5 minutes, walk away for a few minutes, and then come back to it - it almost always starts. Bottom line is that the dealer is replacing the starter because they believe it is the root of the issue.

    if anyone else wants to use my case as a reference to bring to their dealer PM me and I'll get you a copy of my repair bill and service manager's name.
    Last edited by PackMan33; 01-08-2010 at 03:07 PM.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Two Rings MikeS4's Avatar
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    searching for something new
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    Re: Starter Issues; B6 S4 - Attempting Official Resolution

    this thread is great. my brothers S4 (oct 03 build) is doing the same stuff. although today he said it wouldnt start, then he used a different key and it started. dunno why or how that happened. i always thought it was a key battery having something to do with it, but after reading this im apparently very wrong.

    going to have him talk to the dealer about a new starter

  6. #86
    Veteran Member Three Rings fitzS4's Avatar
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    audi s4 chevy 2500 HD
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    anyone have the link to the diy??

  7. #87
    Established Member Two Rings
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    I Dont have the link to the DIY: but Ill say what I can from my experience.

    Start by gettting the car on jack stands or ramps ( of cours)

    The starter is located on passenger side (bottom, end of engine block where it meets the transmission)

    I found it best to lay with my head towards the passenger wheel and slip my left arm up over the subframe to address the starter.

    First remove the power cable and ground wire which is held on by a 13mm nuts?? I suggestt a 1/4 drive socket but you can make it work with a 3/8 drive.

    Once these are off pull the wires down out of the way.

    Next you need to remove the plastic connecter. I know for myself and a few other members this was the trickiest part. I found that I needed to break the plastic post between the power connection and the plastic connection to more easily remove the connector. The tab is small and is located on the top of the connecter (Should be able to feel it). I used a very small flat (and a lot of swearing) to eventually get the piece off.

    From here it is much easier.

    The top bolt for mounting the starter is located on the transmission at the top of the starter snub. This is a 18mm I believe. The bottome bolt is on the bottom of the snub encasment and is a through bolt. The through side is a 16mm and main side is an 18mm. Once these are off the starter should pull out.

    It will take some finegaling to fit it out between the subframe and the motor.

    Before you put the new starter in you need to grind approx an 1/8in off the top of the snubmount so it can fit in. Once the new starter is in. Instillation is reverse.

    Pardon my spelling... in a rush

  8. #88
    Established Member Two Rings
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  9. #89
    Veteran Member Four Rings 0000 V8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdparkes View Post
    And parts geek is out of stock until March... any other suggestions?
    Maybe THAT could be shown to Audi to open their eyes to this!

    LOL

  10. #90
    Active Member One Ring
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    I hope it is OK to re-open a very old thread. But I just wanted to say a big Thank-You to all of you who contributed to this. I bought an absolutely beautiful 2005 S4 in Denver about 6 weeks ago. In the first few days of owning it this exact problem cropped up. (The used car dealer who sold it to me must have known about it.) Anyway, first I thought battery because the longer the car sat, the worse it was. My mechanic didn't know, etc. etc. So I went to Google, found this thread, became convinced I needed a starter.... From this thread I found a good price on the part and the link to the other thread detailing the installation. Yesterday I installed the new starter and this morning the car started like it should.

    Thanks again guys!

  11. #91
    Deactivated Three Rings
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    Has anybody made any headway on this with Audi? My starter has been doing this for a while. I didn't realize it was a starter problem until I saw that this is a very common problem. Just another thing I need to fix.

  12. #92
    Veteran Member Three Rings WhatADream's Avatar
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    It is an intermitten problem and it seems to not work mostly when im on a hot date! kinda embarrasing
    2005 White S4
    FI catback
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  13. #93
    Active Member Two Rings
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    I replaced the starter on my B6 about a month ago and it fixed all my issues.
    --DOUG

    '05 DG S4

  14. #94
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlee6462 View Post
    Has anybody made any headway on this with Audi? My starter has been doing this for a while. I didn't realize it was a starter problem until I saw that this is a very common problem. Just another thing I need to fix.
    took me 3 tows to the dealer (where it would always start once they had it). then randomly one day it happened to the tech while he was bringing it inside for some suspension work...only then did they believe me. unless you can reproduce it on demand or it happens to the tech, audi wont cover it... stay persistent with it and it might luck out! luckily for me the SA remembered that I kept complaining about the same problem and took care of it for me...

    you if have a manual, push it down a hill or have some friends push you and pop the clutch - i started parking by people in parking garages just so i could roll down the ramp to get the thing started in the winters while i was still in school.....

  15. #95
    Deactivated Three Rings
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    man, why can't audi just acknowledge the problem and get it taken care of?

  16. #96
    Senior Member Three Rings ozo101's Avatar
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    my car did this for a few months about 3 years ago, you know it would not start I had to hold the key on the start position for about 10 seconds for it to start, sometimes it could take a few shoots, anywas the funny thing is that it happened for about 3 or 4 months in the winter about 3 years ago , and then it went away and knock on wood i never did again , it fixed it self !
    Drop den Vorschlaghammer!

  17. #97
    Veteran Member Three Rings WhatADream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlee6462 View Post
    man, why can't audi just acknowledge the problem and get it taken care of?
    why when they can just look the other direction and save a couple bucks...
    unless it causes a potential hazzard, then they are not liable...
    2005 White S4
    FI catback
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  18. #98
    Deactivated Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatADream View Post
    why when they can just look the other direction and save a couple bucks...
    unless it causes a potential hazzard, then they are not liable...
    True that :(

  19. #99
    Veteran Member Three Rings UBERS4's Avatar
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    I searched for this thread so I wanted to post up my story.

    I have an '05 Audi S4, which is an auto. It's heavily modded, but mostly cosmetic with the only engine work being ECU, intake and exhaust. I had this EXACT same issue start about a year ago. It got harder and harder to start and eventually wouldn't turn over at all. I'd walk away or keep trying and sometimes it would finally turn over. Took it in last December and my dealership saw no problem. Didn't drive it much over the winter and it started acting up again come spring. Took it again for the ignition coils replacement recall that happened, told them about the issue and they said again, everything checked fine.

    About 2 weeks ago, it wouldn't start for anything, even after I left it alone. It wouldn't start for OVER a week. I tried everything I could that I am capable of with no luck. I finally called Audi and they sent a tow truck through the warranty program. But my concern was that due to the fact the car is so low (4 inches off the ground at it's lowest point) that they couldn't tow it. Sure enough, he said over the phone that he wasn't 100% sure if they would. He showed up anyway and wanted to jump it off his "box." First try, nothing, but on the second he pushed the brake WAY in and it started. It makes no sense I know, go figure.

    Took it into my dealer and they said they'd get it all checked out. They went to start it Tuesday morning and same thing, nothing. They pushed into a terminal to take a look and had to move it for a "scheduled appointment." And I guess at this point, it magically started. Now it's started 38 times since but remains at the dealer because everyone knows there is an issue. I've heard the same thing you guys have, they have to see the problem AGAIN for Audi to cover it. Sorry for the rant but it's very frustrating.

    It's been to the dealer 3 times now, I've contacted Audi Corporate and it still remains unfixed. Any input from you all is appreciated. I myself am convinced it's the starter.
    '05 Audi S4
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  20. #100
    Active Member Two Rings
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    I just bought a 2004 S4 and have noticed the problem within the first week. Thankfully I ran across this thread, I plan to change the starter this weekend. I'm also planning on wrapping the solenoid portion of the starter in heat insulator tape for the following reason...

    It was mentioned on here that the heat of the motor is causing the problem, here's my take. The starter is probably fine, but the solenoid which is connected to the starter is getting too hot and causing damage. The solenoid uses a small switch to complete the power feed from the battery to the starter. When you turn the key a magnet is charge and pulls a metal "hinged" piece that connects and completes the circuit. It is my thought that the excessive heat is causing damage to that hinge and causing extra friction. This is why the car only does this when the SOLENOID is cold. If the car has been recently run or the weather is warmer the metal parts have expanded and the friction is decreased. This could also be the reason a battery solves the problem for a short time. A brand new battery will have some extra juice which allows that solenoid magnet to pull a little harder.

    Basically, it makes sense to me and I'm confident it's the solenoid/starter

    Anyways, thanks for the thread! I plan to replace the starter myself on Saturday and report back with success!

    -Brad

  21. #101
    Established Member Two Rings homeychan's Avatar
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    Are you sure wrapping may not contribute to more heat? Maybe putting a shield between it and the engine may be a better plan? Just a thought, either way post some pics if you can.
    S4 Oil Consumption?
    See my terrible experience with Audi corporate and how they took away my warranty:
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  22. #102
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by homeychan View Post
    Are you sure wrapping may not contribute to more heat? Maybe putting a shield between it and the engine may be a better plan? Just a thought, either way post some pics if you can.
    I considered that, which is why I don't plan to wrap the starter, only the solenoid. The solenoid itself doesn't generate much heat.

    A heat sheild would work too, but I'm unsure if there is enough room for one or if I can find a good way to mount it. I will look at that when I get the starter pulled.
    2004 Audi S4 (B6) - Grey - tinted windows - black spoke wheels - K&N Filter - 6-speed manual

  23. #103
    Veteran Member Three Rings bangoman's Avatar
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    Saw someone else's starter thread which reminded to post about my own car (2005 S4) for the record:
    - Slow starts only with the temps below freezing.
    - Length of time between turning the key, listening to silence and the engine actually starting varied with how long the car had been sitting. Anything > 24 h would be a 20+ sec delay and much praying!
    - Solution - make sure the engine would get run at least every 24 hours (bit difficult when some of my shifts were 26 hours)
    - This kept the delay under 10 secs.

    I took it to the dealer first - those immortal words "no, our starters don't go bad, it must be the battery" from the service guy. So I got a new battery. Granted, my old one wasn't holding much charge. I explained that the starting is worse when cold, I outlined the contents of this thread and others' experience - still denial the problem might be the starter. The new battery helped for a short time by shortening the delay but the problem slowly got worse.

    So I took the car to an indy - he was much more scientific about diagnosing the problem by checking connections etc etc and eventually came to the conclusion that the starter should be replaced. It was covered by my 3rd party warranty so I only had to pay for diagnosis.

    The car starts first time, every time and with much more vigour!
    RS4. Mods: Valeo 900-22-5B on both sides

  24. #104
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Exact problem with me. Just happened. Noticed past couple of weeks occasional turn key no action. One day wouldnt turn over at all. Push started drove to dealer..Took a 5 days for new starter.. $1200!!! 400 some for "rebuilt starter" 700 some for labor! Reading above, now knowing the difficulty of repair makes me wonder if i got scammed by the dealer repair shop again... :'(

  25. #105
    Veteran Member Four Rings LJH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marquiliuss View Post
    Exact problem with me. Just happened. Noticed past couple of weeks occasional turn key no action. One day wouldnt turn over at all. Push started drove to dealer..Took a 5 days for new starter.. $1200!!! 400 some for "rebuilt starter" 700 some for labor! Reading above, now knowing the difficulty of repair makes me wonder if i got scammed by the dealer repair shop again... :'(
    Once again a dealer scams a customer. I did my starter myself in the driveway and it took me 4 hours and I am far from a "master mechanic". I bought my starter, which was a OEM Valeo starte, from JC Whitney for $165.00.

    I am not sure you can bitch about the starter price but I would bitch about the labor. I did call to see what the local dealers got for that job and they wanted something like $700 for the starter and $500 for the labor...right where you came in.

    Good Luck.

    Cheers,
    Jim

  26. #106
    Established Member Two Rings boostnb5's Avatar
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    Not to bring back the dead, but i just got plauged by the starter issue in my 04, it had a slight delay this morning, then started, i heard a rattleing noise got out of the car went to the passenger side and you can here the Bendix gear of the starter still engaged then a loud "POP" and the rattleing stopped car was still running. i shut the car off, attempted a restart nothing. Ive been a mechanic for over 10 yrs so hearing that i figured the starter is done, and backing up my hunch with this thread. im just gonna order a new one and put it in myself, oh i called audi for SH@ts and giggles, he said the starter was VIN specific, Funny cuz every where else its make model year, so i humored him and gave him my VIN. He came back and said that the starter for my car is discontinued without a replacement and im out of warrenty so they wont be able to help me, i just laughed and said thank you very much.

  27. #107
    Established Member Two Rings nugen's Avatar
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    No horse is so dead that you can't beat it some more. Temperature dropped below thirty, and the starter on my 2005.5 S4 is acting up. I turn the key and get nothing. After going through this process two or three times, holding the key in the start position for 3-4 seconds each time the car starter finally engages. No issues restarting when the car is warm. Nevertheless, I don't want to get stranded in the cold so partsgeek it is!
    B7 S4 - JHM tuned, piggies, Carbonio intake...and some other stuff.
    B5 S4 - Stage 3 - Gone but not forgotten.

  28. #108
    Senior Member Two Rings JustMtnB44's Avatar
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    I just noticed this thread but voted anyway. Without reading the whole thing I'll assume nothing ever happened with AoA on this issue? I have an allroad with the 4.2 engine and had this problem two years ago; replaced starter and all has been good since.
    2004 allroad 4.2, Ebony Pearl Effect FBP, H-sport sway bars, Phatbox MP3 player, stock 18" wheels with Continental DWS tires, stock 17" wheels with Yokohama Geolandar tires, custom tow hitch

  29. #109
    Active Member One Ring
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    This started happening to my 2004 B6 when I got it back in July. The odd thing was that when I first got it the problem didn't exist, but there was an issue with the oil so I took it back to CarMax (where I got it) and they did an oil consumption test. It started happening when I got it back from them- which is weird because another dude on here said his problem happened after the consumption test as well. Anyway, I've brought it back to CarMax a couple times and they said both times that they can't reproduce the issue, which I believe is total horse scheisse. So I'm really glad I came across this thread so at least I know where to start from.

    Also, I've held my key to start for a really long time in most cases. However, I've never heard the pop or saw/smelled smoke. The car still starts really quickly when it ultimately tries to start, as well. Is it possible that I only need the start and not the harness or anything?

  30. #110
    Veteran Member Four Rings 0000 V8's Avatar
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    The smoke your smelling is due to you HOLDING the key in the start position. You will burn you car to the ground if you do that.

    Replace the starter.

  31. #111
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    I'm sorry- I meant to say that I have been holding the key and haven't had an issue but recently stopped since reading this thread. I will be replacing the starter, it's just the matter of who is actually going to do it. If I can get CarMax to pay for everything then I will go that route. Otherwise, I got to go pick up a jack and some stands.

  32. #112
    Senior Member Two Rings dante18's Avatar
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    Replaced mine last week. Thanks for the DIY!!
    **********************************************
    2004 S4 6mt Black\Black & Silver Alcantara
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  33. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by dante18 View Post
    Replaced mine last week. Thanks for the DIY!!
    question: did you use the Valeo starter from partsgeek and if so, did you have to file it down? thanks

  34. #114
    Senior Member Three Rings MonkeyBiz's Avatar
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    Not for nothing...but I had this issue too. Key word is HAD. I read the DIY on the starter issue and instead of replacing the starter, I tried unplugging the connection under the hood and then hitting both connectors with a blast of compressed air. I'm not claiming this is a miracle fix...or even a fix...just saying that I have had ZERO cold start issues since I did this almost 2 months ago.

    What could it hurt by giving it a try?

    PS: I replaced the clutch safety switch before I did the compressed air blast and it had zero effect on the cold start issue.
    Last edited by MonkeyBiz; 12-28-2012 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Adding comment
    2004 B6 S4 6-Speed MT - Black w/Alcantara

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  35. #115
    Senior Member Two Rings dante18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisboom View Post
    question: did you use the Valeo starter from partsgeek and if so, did you have to file it down? thanks
    Purchased my starter (Valeo) from JHM when they were running their discount a couple weeks ago. No filing, just PnP...
    **********************************************
    2004 S4 6mt Black\Black & Silver Alcantara
    19" VMR718 in gunmetal, Apikol, AWE non-res with Fast Intentions mufflers, JHM light weight flywheel, JHM Stage III clutch, K&N air filter...

  36. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBiz View Post
    Not for nothing...but I had this issue too. Key word is HAD. I read the DIY on the starter issue and instead of replacing the starter, I tried unplugging the connection under the hood and then hitting both connectors with a blast of compressed air. I'm not claiming this is a miracle fix...or even a fix...just saying that I have had ZERO cold start issues since I did this almost 2 months ago.

    What could it hurt by giving it a try?

    PS: I replaced the clutch safety switch before I did the compressed air blast and it had zero effect on the cold start issue.
    HMMM. Might have to give that a go. I'll try that and report back soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by dante18 View Post
    Purchased my starter (Valeo) from JHM when they were running their discount a couple weeks ago. No filing, just PnP...
    Awesome- thanks man.

  37. #117
    Active Member Two Rings Abev's Avatar
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    replaced starter = win

  38. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abev View Post
    replaced starter = win
    Indeed.

    FYI- I brought my car to CarMax and kept my keys so I can show them the starter issue in person. The next day they called me up and said the starter was shot and replaced it for me at no cost because it was an issue I reported within 30 days of owning the vehicle. So big props to CarMax for doing the right thing as my car starts up ridiculously fast now, and what better time as the temp is in the 10's/20's these days.

    Thanks again to everyone who helped out

  39. #119
    Established Member Two Rings Zoso7's Avatar
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    Looking to get this box that reminds me of a wonderful S4 out of my garage. I adjusted the price down in the classifieds. If you're looking for a new Valeo starter for a song, PM me.

  40. #120
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    Thanks for the great thread. I had the classic symptoms - starter cranking a second after I turned the key. Then one day when it was cold and had sat 24 hours, it wouldn't crank at all. So, I changed it out today. It's a bad place for a starter - no doubt. But, if you go in expecting the worst like I did, it's not that bad. Took about 3 hours. $200 from partsgeek.com

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