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Starter won't engage. Bad starter? Or Kessy module? Or other? 2004 V8

9314 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  johnk
Hey All,

2004 V8 Touareg. Overall, car runs great. My brother has been using it for about 6 months. Yesterday, it would not start, or even crank. Based on searches & knowledge, this is what I have tried so far:

-Ran Vag Com for codes. Nothing relevant.
-Tried jumping it. Dash volts read higher, still wouldn't even crank.
-Bought a replacement ignition switch locally, since it seemed like it was not triggering the start function. No difference. Also, Vag Com Meas Blocks showed the car registering the start function when the key was turned.
-Checked every fuse we could find, including in battery compartment under the seat.
-Tried taking it out of park, to neutral & various gears, in case it was the gear selector sensor or something.
-Brake switch is new-ish, and brake lights work fine, and dash light saying to push the brake goes off once you do, and allows you out of park.

I am now stumped. The starter never engages, no cranking or clicking or anything. Is it likely a bad starter? Or (hopefully not) a bad Kessy module? The lock & unlock functions are working, and the key in the ignition will unlock the steering column & shifter, etc.

What should I do to troubleshoot further? Looks like the starter job is a huge pain to do, dropping subframe, jacking motor up, and obviously needs a lift, etc. And modules are expensive, and likely need coding..
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As mentioned, tried jumping it, which rules out the battery. The battery is only about 4 months old as well.
Very confusing update..
So, my brother that has been using it for the past 6 months or so works at a Mavis Tire Shop. While they don't do major repairs, they obviously have lifts to do tires/brakes/suspension, etc.. So the plan was to have it towed there, so we could at least get under it to check things out. Tow truck got there, and the damn thing started right up!

We had not done anything to it, aside from trying to jump start it, checking fuses, connections, and clearing some not-relevant codes. As of then, it still would not start. But after about 18 hours of sitting, it did!

So, he drove it to the shop. A little while later, it started again. Sat over night, started again in the morning, and a couple times since.. Seems fine now. Which makes troubleshooting nearly impossible, since we can't replicate the problem..

With this new info, does this point more to one thing than another??
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Yeah, we were not seeing the voltage drop when trying to start. That was what prompted me to try ignition switch. Fortunately, I live in the NYC area, so there is an abundance of junk yards. Was able to find a used one for $50, and I can return it since it was not the problem.

Which fuse panel did you see bad wiring? There is so many fuse panels on this car, it's crazy..

So I can check this as well, where is the starter relay located? I have no problem changing relays as "experimentation" and troubleshooting to diagnose. An expensive starter & several hours of labor, I would rather not chalk up to trial & error.
Quick update..

I haven't changed any parts or anything.. The car has consistently started every time, every day since.. Without the problem being present, it makes it hard to troubleshoot or diagnose...
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