Dead Golf3 - electrics?

shad_68

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My family's petrol Golf3 won't start anymore - when you turn the key, nothing happens.
It's not the battery, headlights work and the starter doesn't engage at all.
Other symptoms:
- Even with ignition on, none of the check lights in the dashboard come on
- headlights and dashboard illumination works
- putting on the indicators doesn't work, no light in the dashboard, no relay click and the actual indicators don't turn on - however the head/taillight on the according site turn on :blink:
- hazard lights work - lights in the dasboard as well as indicators on the outside

Before this turned into a permamnet problem we had this happen randomly three times. Each time the car would start up and drive fine, but after a short distance (~1km) it would just shut down. IIRC it always happened when slowing down, and it felt as if the revs were simply dropping to zero.

After that, the car wouldn't start again. The first time, it eventually worked after 5 to 10 minutes, and continued to work normally for the next few days.
The second time it didn't start up within the next hour, and we towed it to our mechanic. He had it in the garage for a few days, checked if he could find anything, and let it run to see if it'd happen again. It did, once, but even then he couldn't see what's wrong.

Shortly after we got it back, it died once again while on the road. That was Saturday, two weeks ago, and it hasn't started up since.

Needless to say, we're out of ideas what the hell this could be... :|
 

narf

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You could take a voltmeter and check whether the different parts get power.


The non-working indicators but working parking light on either side may indicate that your ignition switch (or a related part) is busted. Do the driving lights (Abblendlicht) work?
 

bone

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sounds like all the systems for which you don't need a key, work

my bet is that the contact is to blame...
(seen it go bust in a golf III before...)
 

shad_68

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The non-working indicators but working parking light on either side may indicate that your ignition switch (or a related part) is busted. Do the driving lights (Abblendlicht) work?

Hm, I guess you missunderstood what I meant. Turning on the left indicator doesn't turn on the actual indicator, but instead causes the left parking light to come on.
And I think the ignition switch is ok, when you turn it to "on" the ventilation still starts up.

We'll take the car to the garage again and see if they can find something, now that the problem has become permanent.
 

MacDubois

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I'm also thinking probably the ignition switch, as that is a quite common failing point on those, and would give some of those symptoms. My friend hardwired a switch to his starter to get around it on his mk3.

Assuming it's a manual... have you tried push-starting the car to get it running that way? If it will run but not start with the key, that narrows it down quite a bit.
 

bone

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^if the dash-lights won't come one, it won't push-start either ;)

Hm, I guess you missunderstood what I meant. Turning on the left indicator doesn't turn on the actual indicator, but instead causes the left parking light to come on.
And I think the ignition switch is ok, when you turn it to "on" the ventilation still starts up.

which is what it's supposed to do when you don't have a key in the contact

and doesn't the ventilation normally come on after 1 click, where the other systems only engage after the 2nd? (which i think is worn out, and is never engaged)
 
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Dr_Grip

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Hm, I guess you missunderstood what I meant. Turning on the left indicator doesn't turn on the actual indicator, but instead causes the left parking light to come on.
And I think the ignition switch is ok, when you turn it to "on" the ventilation still starts up.
I think it's the switch, too. With the ignition off, the indicator stick is used to switch the parking light on the respective side on.
 

narf

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Hm, I guess you missunderstood what I meant. Turning on the left indicator doesn't turn on the actual indicator, but instead causes the left parking light to come on.

...which is also exactly what I meant. If your ignition switch was fine it should disable the parking lights and enable the indicators.


Does your Abblendlicht work?
 

SchumacherM

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No one considered the computer yet? ( I might fail hugely, if you all tell me the Mk3 doesn't have a computer.. ) :D When that thing fails, it fails hard. My Fiats computer failed not so long ago and...well, just to put things into perspective, the brake pedal operated the windscreen wipers, the blinker switch yielded long beams...
 

shad_68

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Assuming it's a manual... have you tried push-starting the car to get it running that way? If it will run but not start with the key, that narrows it down quite a bit.

Sadly, it's an automatic.

which is what it's supposed to do when you don't have a key in the contact
...which is also exactly what I meant. If your ignition switch was fine it should disable the parking lights and enable the indicators.
I think it's the switch, too. With the ignition off, the indicator stick is used to switch the parking light on the respective side on.

doh.png


Didn't know that! Sounds like a good thing to check out then.

narf:
I will have to check again, the headlights did turn on, but I'm not sure if they actually were on full ignition-on mode.
 

narf

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The Standlicht and R?cklicht (and dashboard illuminations) are supposed to work when the ignition is off, the Abblendlicht is not.
 

shad_68

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Works as it should, i.e. Abblendlicht with ignition on, Standlicht with ignition off.
 

bone

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soooo.....

what was the verdict?
 

Hammer Hammo

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Hi There

Got exactly the same problem with my golf. Did you get yours fixed??. What was the problem

cheers for any help
 

shad_68

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afaik they didn't look at it yet because they were very busy with people who had appointments to get their winter tires put on.

I know, it's a bit pathetic that this is taking so long, but since the people at the garage have always been very fair (for example spending some time looking for the fault, but not charging us any money for it) I don't want to press the issue too much.
That, and I really don't like this car much, so I can't be arsed to put in a lot of effort, and nobody else in my family seems to be bothered either...
 

Adunaphel

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Car up on lift, tyres off, tyres on, car down - 15 minutes per car tops?

Depends on the way you balance the wheels.
 
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