Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car died while driving down the road and it will not start.

asked by on

99.5 VW Jetta 2.0 gas: History: Car has sat more than driven. Has 130,000 miles. Replaced the timing belt 1,000 miles ago. Transmission issues putting it into limp mode but that is probably a sensor.
Issue: My daughter was driving along and the car shut off. Vehicles hardly even chugs if at all when trying to start it. The belt including the timing belt turn but seems to turn slower than I would expect. What I have tried: I replaced the fuel filter and the fuel pressure regulator and I get fuel at the fuel rail. I spray starter fluid in the air intake and put the air intake back together and no change leading me to believe it is not fuel related. I had the battery tested and they said it was good. I tested for spark off one spark plug and all 4 of the terminals on the ignition coil and visibly saw spark leading me to believe it is not spark related. I opened the area under the wipers and found mice had made huge nest in there. There was moisture around some electronics.

Hi there. What could have happened is the rats nest could have chewed through some of the wires to the ignition system to the ignition switch and making the engine not want to start. Remove the rats nest and clean the wires up. If you see any wires that are bare, either cut them and fix them or rap them up with electrical tape and heat shrink tubing. Then check the vehicle to see if it starts up. If the vehicle starts up, then there was a short where the wires were chewed through. If the engine still does not start up, then the computer could have locked out the starter circuit. Remove the battery cables and put them back on after 12 minutes. This will reset the computer to the car. If you need further assistance with the no start situation, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I have a 2001 Jetta Volkswagen and I want to start it one day the car will turn on but won't start what could the problem be ?

Hello. Does the engine attempt to fire up and start at all? If not the starter is not working, or is not receiving enough power. The starter can be removed and bench tested, however these tests can be false. They...

Q: Could car jump the curb after being left in park with a faulty transmission

It sounds like you have transmission issues. Police cars are sometimes driven very hard and as a result, the transmissions take a lot of abuse. The transmission has a mechanical device to lock the driveshaft when it's in Park....

Q: Turn signal blowing fuse

Hello, thank you for writing in. When a fuse continues to blow, there is an extra power source coming from somewhere. Typically this means there is a short somewhere in the system. Tracing out this short can be difficult. If...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...