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Used Cars for sale - Used Trucks for sale [1566678063] Buy Used Cars

2002 Jetta won't start

- Volkswagen-Jetta

Forum Post
07/07/08 11:09

2002 Jetta won't start

2002 Jetta. Car won't start or turn over. I'd had it towed three times. Once at the dealer it starts and they say nothing is wrong and think I'm nuts. Last time(#4) I had it towed to my apartment and it started. Also each time I had the tow truck operator try and start the car and they were unsucessful. What in the towing process could be correcting the problem?
Archived Replies

This post has a total of 107 replies. The most recent 25 are shown below, you can view the complete archive here: 2002 Jetta won't start archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 07/07/08 through 06/18/14, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

01/12/11 10:15

Car: stupid 05 jetta

I bought this car used about 5 months ago. No problems at all about 2 months into my purchase check engine light turns on and off and the car starts vibrating and making an old car sound. NOW I'm having the hard start problem. The engine turns over but I have to hold the key down til it finally starts. 2 days ago the stupid car wouldn't go. I pushed on the gas it would turn on but turn right off. After about 15 mins the car started and stayed on. I don't know what's wrong with this car seems a lot of people are having similar issues please help!

01/14/11 06:23
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01/16/11 00:18

I have an 03 jetta 1.8t. if i leave my car out all night(only in winter) in a shaded spot it wont start. if i leave it in the sun it will sometimes start if i turn the key forward until it hurts my hand. i need help with this.. im not too fond of winter time.. email me! remember the car will not crank, click or anything.. all electronics work.. just the car wont start. VW is not being very helpful.. THANK YOU!!
01/16/11 20:34
Kathy dominkewicz

I have a 2002 jetta manual shift.It will not start but if I let it sit for 30minutes or more it will turn runs fine, it streeses me out.I have had the starter &fuel filter replaced.battery is fine you have any ideas why if has a mind of it's own?thank, kathy
01/16/11 20:39

I have a 2002 jetta manual shift.It will not start but if I let it sit for 30minutes or more it will turn runs fine, it streeses me out.I have had the starter &fuel filter replaced.battery is fine you have any ideas why it has a mind of it's own?thank, kathy
02/08/11 13:00
1997 VW Jetta

My VW would crank but not start..sometimes sluggish when driving..My mechanic only works on VW's and AUDI. He replaced the ignition coil and I have not had any problems with that since..I do have a problem with climbing even small hills if I start climbing at slow speeds! This is a big problem and I was wondering if anyone else has any info?
02/10/11 20:57
Lawrence Tang - Mech Engr

Hi, VW folks - I think I've the answer for this problem (with such a long list). I have a still running 1991 Jetta which had the same problem that occurred the first time in 2003. Starter would not turn over after a long drive, battery and everything else was checked out ok; after I tried for so long, the engine eventually got cooled down, and then it started right up. It then happened three more times during that year; after that, the thing acted up more frequently, every time the engine and the starter were very warm, it would start up again when it's all cooled down somewhat. It finally got to the point that I almost had to get rid of the darn thing. Being a fix-it-myself guy (never had to hire a mechanic except with the California smog/emission stuffs that need to be certified), I researched and found out the root of the problem: The Jetta/Passat models are inherited from the Fox design which has the same problem (looks like VW has never bother to get it fixed) - The starter switch circuit wiring was undersized, then the newer models made it worse with the addition of the seat belt switch, neutral switch, etc all wired in series, so when the car gets older, each connection point deteriorated a little, and when the car is hot, the heated up wiring has higher resistance - simplely said - there is just not enough juice get to the starter solenoid when the engine is hot (the serious VW folks will still remember that VW has a terrible starter problem, the VW bus guys had to crawl underneath the van to hit the starter to get it loose so the starter will turn over on hotter days) to make the starter motor to engage and turn.

So what I have I done to solve this problem? I installed a Ford style universal starter relay and by-passed the key switch (using a push button switch mounted under the dash). All wires in the circuit, the ones that I could get access to, were replaced with heavier gauge wires (to reduce the resistance and therefore less voltage drop). It ran well without a single miss for many years until the starter eventually went out on me that I had to replace. This (expensive) starter was so buried, hid between the engine and the firewall, the upper mounting screw was inaccessible and impossible to get to (VW did not try to make this easier either), it took me many hours and as many cuts on my hands and fingers to replace that little trouble maker. I now have a lot of sympathy for my fellow VW owners, so I wrote this and share my experience..

Hereís another warnings to the Jetta/Passat owners Ė the ignition coil (easy to change but expensive) is just a matter of time that needs to be replaced (it is odd that I never had to replace this item in any of the cars I worked on); and here a biggie Ė the heater coil inside the dash, a very flimsy made apparatus that will frost up your windshield one day while youíre driving to some important events like taking your pregnant wife to hospital, or going to a job interview for you single guys, etc. Ė youíll have to remove the air conditioning evaporator coil (so that you are going to lose all those refrigerant, and you need to replace back on later) before you can get to the heater coil (again, VW did not make this part more endurable than it should be). More than often, it is so difficult to be a VW owner. I now only keep my Jetta as a back-up car to my Jeep, also a 20 + years old. But the difference is I love my Jeep.

02/12/11 16:35

I'm having the same problem on my 2002 Jetta as many of you are. Have you tried the fuel pump and fuel pump relay?
03/05/11 01:52

I bought a 2006 Jetta TDI in October. I had always wanted one for the fuel mileage. I love the car but about a month ago we had some snow and I wasnt driving the car because I have a truck also. After all the snow was gone I went out to crank my Jetta and it would barely turn over. I thought the battery was going dead. The cold weater must have killed it, so I borrowed my dads charger and unhooked the battery and charged it. When I hooked it back up my car wouldnt start, turn over, dashlights wouldnt come on except the screen in the middle. The drivers door, sunroof, steering wheel controls, nothing. The lights and the radio would come on. The radio would stay on even after the key is out. I have a automatic DSG so I cant even roll the car on a trailer to take it to the dealer. The man on the phone at the dealer said it sounded like I have a major electical problem and I need to bring it in. He didnt give me any insite on how to get it there. It is 100 miles or more to any vw dealer so that will cost me to have someone tow it. I have checked every fuse in the fuse panel in the car and under the hood. Does anybody know if there is any fuses or relay that I could be missing.
03/11/11 16:29

I have a 2002 Jetta automatic been having starting problems for months and during rainy days car missfires until warming up and drying out. Shakes bad and will stall if you brake. Car stalled after driving a few house's down the block yesterday while it was pouring out. I was on my way to the gas station to get gas and my gas light was on so i thought maybe i ran out of gas since it wasnt starting back up. Added gas still didnt start so i tried again 3 to 4 hours later and it started so i drove home and parked it. Now it will not start back up sounds lke fuel pump is working.Its been 2 days now i have had no car to drive and im trying to solve the problem without replacing parts that dont need to be replaced. My keypad doesnt always lock my driver side door and im pretty sure years back i had something in my driver side door replaced for the lock box. It used to just start for me most of the time then started having to crank it more then neccesary and now im it just cranks and the engine doesnt start. Tried to jumpstart but it didnt help. If anyone has had this problem or can help me resolve it i could really use the help cause im out of ideals
03/24/11 15:35

SURPRISE! My 2002 Jetta has also failed to start for me for what seems the millionth time. Here's the story.

I got the car in September and drove it for maybe two weeks and when it started raining everyday and getting colder, my car refused to start. The dashlights, radio, doorlocks, still continued to work, but the car would either not turn or just not even try to start. It would shake and sometimes not accelerate properly and one time it turned off on me at an intersection. Taking it to the garage was a failure as always, but I had the spark plugs, coil pack, and the ignition coil replaced, because of help from similar forums like this. The car worked fine afterwards.

I recently drove to North Carolina and back (two weeks ago). The car sat over night and the next day when I tried to start it, it wouldn't turn. I let it sit for another day, thinking maybe it just needed a break. The next day it started and I took it to get a new battery, thinking maybe that was it. Turns out I needed a new battery. However, today I drove it a short distance and it failed to turn over for me again. Dashlights, doorlocks, and radio are still working. Some shaking. Of course its wet and cold outside being PA.

My dad and I are at a loss for what else is wrong with it. I'm going to look in to some of the responses that were on here to see if they work.

If anyone can help me out that would be amazing. VW is something I will never put my money into again.

03/24/11 15:39

Also to add to the previous post. A random problem that probably isn't major, but who knows-Every time I use my turn signal, once it turns off there is still a constant clicking noise, but much faster and it happens in random clusters. Annoying, but easily drowned out by the radio.
03/25/11 11:30

Hi there,

SUPRISE SURPRISE, it appears my car seems to be having the same problem as all of you other VW owners. My boyfriend has owned a 2003 Jetta for a long time now, and nothing has ever been an issue with starting it up. I just bought myself a 2003 1.8T, Automatic Transmission and it has been working great since i got it... Until this morning. It was the first night it did not sit in the garage overnight so it may have been due to the cold, but it would not start. (this was not an issue with the battery as it did not even try and turn). The lights on the cluster illuminated, as did the radio but it felt like the key was locked in place and would not turn any further to start the car.

We tried boosting it from his Jetta, and nothing worked at first. Finally, it started up after about the 5th try. I drove to work, and it seemed fine, no shakes, no noises.

Parked, turned the car off... went to turn it on again and again it didnt turn. Tried 3 more times and finally it started. Seems like it has been fine since but I am nervous it may happen again.

Did anyone above find the solution to how to fix this problem? (Battery, Fuel Pump, Sensors, ????)

Please Help, Thanks.

04/05/11 11:14

ok I worked for vw and audi for 2 years and have a degree in automotive technology and currently own 3 vws of different years and based on my experiences with these problems this is what I have seen first check fuses and all relays!! then check battery then check electrical grounds then check alernator if all that is good then check ignition switch which is normally the root cause of your headaches!! and dont buy any ignition switch just cause its cheap I recommend buying from the dealership!! next check ignition coil or coil packs then check starter and just to note starters on vdubs rarely go out but it is a possibility and lastly check the signal wire going from the coil to the ignition switch as I have seen these cracked and corroded but that is rare wich is why i say check that last!
04/05/11 19:48

i have a 2003 vw jetta 1.8 turbo. sometimes when i try to start it the engine spins but wont start. But it it sits for a hour or two it starts right up.
04/08/11 10:29

I have a 2006 VW Jetta. I was having this same issue but only in the mornings. After calling roadside assistance to tow me to the dealership (I know, I know... but no one else in my area works on VW), it started right up for him. *sigh! Anyway, God love this guy, cause he showed me that the connector to the positive node on my battery was loose which won't give good contact. He said that they contract and expand with weather and engine cooling and after trying to start it cold (multiple times!) it might have warmed up expanding the connector just enough to make contact. So, he tightened it up and said, and I quote... "don't take it to the dealership, they will charge you an arm and a leg to tighten this and tell you it is something else." (how profoundly honest!) He said to check the cable connections about every 4 months or so and tighten if loose. Not sure if this will help any of you, but so far it is a go for me! Good luck out there, "POS Jetta" owners!
04/09/11 14:42

So, I am 17. Know nothing about cars. And I traded in my chevy truck in for my 97, good condition Jetta GT. I love this car. Except for today. I drove it around ALL morning, everything fine and dandy. But now, because I have a place to be, it is doing the same thing as everyone else is sayin'

So here I am, writing this, to inform people that all my lights come on and my battery is completely fine and that it clicks, but won't turn over. I am regretting (under frustration) of ever getting rid of my truck. I am about to launch this car off of a cliff. I have no patience for things like this.

I will sit here for an hour and then go try to start it. I am just glad, however, that I am not all alone on this situation. Good luck to all you Jetta owners.


05/02/11 13:23

I have a 2003 VW Jetta Ė manual, 4 cyl and within the last two years have had issues with the car not starting. Turn key and dash lights up, radio works, windows work but no crank or engine turn Ė nothing. This only happens early AM when itís cold and especially when itís cold and wet (which really isnít all that cold since I live in CA). If you turn the key and just leave it in the forward position, the engine will start to crank sluggishly at first but will eventually start up.

Today I tried this several times over 20-min and nothing. Called AAA who had a 90-min window, was about to let someone try to jump the car when I tried to start it one more time, turned the ignition and it started right up Ė WTH?!

In the past, Iíve changed the battery (twice in the last 2 years) and the problem goes away. From reading other peoples posts, Iíll try parking in my garage and see if that helps.

On a side noteÖSoon after buying my car in 2005, the car will momentarily downshift and be completely unresponsive to pressing the gas, took my car into the dealership, of course the problem didnít happen but they did give me a notice from VW that that essentially stated that VW is aware of this problem but have deemed it not being a problem that needs correcting. Donít know about you but down shifting for no reason while on the FWY IS a problem. If I get in an accident as a result of the unexpected downshift Iíll sue the hell out of VW.

Other than those two issues and headlamps/blinkers going out all the time, I havenít had any other problems and have put over 100K miles on the car. Still this will be my last VW.

05/04/11 20:44

Car died battery light came on. Changed battery. Had Alternator tested came out fine. It would crank but wouldn't start. Inspected coil pack and had two cracks. Changed spark Plug wires. They were bad and corroded. Replaced all that. Dash lights come on still won't start. Sprayed starter fluid into throttle body. Cranks but still wOnt start. PLEASE REPLY IF U HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT I SHOULD DO!!!!
05/30/11 19:04
The QC
Thank author of this post/comment"2002 Jetta Start Problems"

I had the exact same problems. In fact, today was the 2nd time this had happened. Turn the key, everything comes on, dashboard lights flash, door locks toggle up and down (but not all the way), but the car will not crank. The first time I had it towed to VW and after it sat for a few hours it cranked right up. They ran every electrical test known to man and came up with nothing - everything checked out a.o.k.

Today, the second time, I did my own trouble shooting with a buddy down the street. I checked the battery with the multimeter and got a good voltage (nearly 11V), and the starter and alternator appeared to be fine as well. We put a battery charger on it, and it STILL wouldn't start.

Every problem with this vehicle seemed to be pointing back to the battery. My remote had stopped unlocking the passenger doors a couple of months ago, today the unlocking and locking mechanisms were sluggish, even the security system wasn't audibly alarming itself on lock.

As a last resort, I called AAA battery service. They came out, tested the battery, and it had a BAD CELL. While the multimeter was showing good voltage, his fancy (expensive) tester showed the bad cell. He replaced the battery and it's as good as new.

Remember, a bad cell can be finicky. So, even if you think it's not your battery, if you can get it tested (for cheap), do it...I bet you'll find the problem.

01/21/12 09:01
Pleasant View, Tn
Thank author of this post/comment"2002 Jetta wont start"

2002 VW Jetta 2.0. Car has died twice. First time came on after sitting overnight. Second time nothing. Turn on the ignation and get instruments lights for about 2 seconds and then go off. Replaced the battery and same prob. Replaced the starter and still have the same problem.

anyone have solution to this problem?

02/07/12 20:23
madison ga
Thank author of this post/comment"1998 jetta glx won't start"

I have a 1998 jetta glx vr6 it just stopped running this has happened about 5 or 6 times now it will not start it Juan's turns thinking it could be the crank sensor .will find out in two days when I put a new one in.other than that it has 300, 000 miles and runs and drives like new. It gets 30 miles or better to the gallon everyday.hope the crank sensor fixes my problem...
06/13/12 07:23
knoxville tn
Thank author of this post/comment"2002 passat wont start"

i have the same problem guys i start my car jump start but i conect the batt in series for more voltaje just for a sec until turn and put the batt back to normal is crazy works i try everything before nothing work

02/03/14 21:10
United States
Thank author of this post/comment"1998 vw jetta glx vr6"

my 1998 jetta was running fine when i left for work this morning started no problem, shut it off then drove 200 feet then it died and no longer will start. basically the same issue you had. did you ever figure out why your wouldnt start?
06/18/14 13:25
Thank author of this post/comment"2004 Jetta TDI"

Same thing happened with me! Left for school in the morning... No problems started up fine and went to school. Went to start after school (30 degrees Celsius) and it just slowly cranked but wouldn't start. My immediate thought was a dead battery, but everything else was working perfect... Windows even had full power. After about 6 cranks or so, it started like it had no problems at all! Full power start. This is the second time this has happened, exact same scenario the first time! I am extremely frustrated as I just sold my chevy truck that was really reliable, and bought this car that I've only had for about 2 weeks. There is no check engine or battery lights. I am fairly mechanically inclined but have no idea what it could be.
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    Archived Replies

    This post has a total of 107 replies. The most recent 25 were shown above, you can view the complete archive here: 2002 Jetta won't start archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

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