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  1. #1
    Senior Member Three Rings caldy315's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 18 2013
    AZ Member #
    111578
    My Garage
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ, Audi A4
    Location
    Mpls, MN

    1.8T manual not cranking at all

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    I'm going to try and make this as concise as possible. I have an 05 manual 1.8T and was driving it last week to work. I noticed there were a few random lights including the battery light occasionally coming on and off. As I got closer to work they were more frequent and at one point every electrical thing seemed to turn off for a short while (radio, instrument cluster etc) but the car was still running fine. Pulled into a parking spot at work and noticed a different noise before I shut it off. Opened the hood when I got there and noticed a little bit of smoke on the right side of the engine, between the serpentine belt and the firewall, maybe a foot directly back from the alternator. Went to go crank it over again and didn't even turn over. I later came back with my other car and checked the voltage on a 3 year old battery, 10.4v.
    Attempting to jump it left the same result, no cranking whatsoever. But when I turn the key to the on position all the normal lights in the cluster come on. I initially thought it was the alternator due to the lights flickering and battery low (had similar experience with my other car and it was the alternator). That doesn't seem to be the case at this point.

    We've checked voltage to the alternator which was good, but haven't to the starter yet because I can't get under the car. Voltage while attempting to crank doesn't drop a bit. I opened up the ECU compartment and checked the J271 (marked 219) underneath the ECU as I read that has caused some similar issues before, but checking both it and the one to the right of it out, they work just fine.

    Attempting to read others experiences with similar problems but the search has been a little difficult. Thanks in advance, and I'll continue to search.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 03 2010
    AZ Member #
    61005
    My Garage
    1988 Merkur XR4Ti, 1986 911 Coupe, 1991 Alfa Romeo 164
    Location
    New York

    It sounds to me like the alternator wasn't charging the battery (for whatever the reason), and the engine ran as long as it could off the battery until it could no longer do that (at 10.4 volts). Have you tried charging the battery yet?
    Brad 2002 Quattro 1.8T w/ 2.8 B5 5-speed

  3. #3
    Senior Member Three Rings caldy315's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 18 2013
    AZ Member #
    111578
    My Garage
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ, Audi A4
    Location
    Mpls, MN

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDISXR4Ti View Post
    It sounds to me like the alternator wasn't charging the battery (for whatever the reason), and the engine ran as long as it could off the battery until it could no longer do that (at 10.4 volts). Have you tried charging the battery yet?
    I would agree and that was my first inclination. But I drove the car from my house to work which is around 10 mins driving at 40 or so. Battery had enough juice apparently to start it without issue, but lost that much charge with minimal electrical draws in that amount of time seemed suspicious. The fact that it also doesn't even crank while being jumped seems rather peculiar as well. Although I have yet to pull the battery and charge it.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings walky_talky20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 30 2008
    AZ Member #
    30427
    Location
    Erie, Pennsylvania

    Visually inspect the alternator power cable. My factory wire had the insulation completely disintegrate where it runs behind the engine. I only noticed it when I pulled the engine. It was so bad that I had absolutely no idea how it did not just short out on the transmission case and burn my car to the ground. I had to replace the cable, end-to-end, from the alternator to the starter.

    If yours has done the same thing, then it may have been shorting out against the engine or transmission. This explains the smoke and massive battery drain, and the dash lights...and possibly the no-start. The starter trigger (solenoid) wire runs alongside that battery cable. So a dead short and smoke show from the main battery cable could have taken the trigger wire out of commission if it was close enough to the "action".
    ^Don't listen to this guy, he's not even a mechanic.
    2001 Laser Red A4 1.8TQM, 5-Speed Swapped, 4.11 Final Drive, APR 93, R8 coil packs, Labree HFC & DP, 2.5" Exhaust, ST Coilovers, 034 RSB, A8 Brakes Front & Rear, 18" RS4 Reps
    2006 Passion Red Volvo V50 T5 AWD 6MT
    "You need to know what you are doing...Its like a rainbow jungle in there." - Redline380

  5. #5
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 03 2010
    AZ Member #
    66528
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA

    The fact that attempting to start doesn't draw any current is a clue. I assume that you also didn't hear any click from the solenoid. If you can reach the solenoid coil terminal, determine if you have battery voltage there when attempting to start. If not, then starter switch, clutch switch, or any other interlocks could be the problem.



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