[T3] Mystery No Start

J. Jonik j_jonik at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 2 15:28:53 PDT 2016

About hearing solenoid noises....does that mean noise can be heard by driver when turning the key on?  I heard nothing when it wouldn't start except that little noise from fuel pump relay.  No clicks, grinds, thunks, or anything else.   So...the Starter is suspect with or without noises?

   Battery passed 20 minute test at Auto Store. No problem there.
No starting problem since that one time last week.

If the no-start happens again, is this a case where maybe taking a hammer to tap the starter, while someone else turns the key, might work to start the car?   ...and then, knowing then that it's a starter prob, when able, go get another starter or whatnot.

Related?...or not?  A day or so after start problem, radio got weird, finally dead.  Fixed that by replacing some ugly fuses, and cleaning up the cruddy fuse holders a bit.  Could cruddy fuse holders be a suspect in starting....just that one time with wet weather and heavy load in car?


(Adney comment to my original)

It won't have anything to do with the wiper motor. If you hear the 
solenoid thunk then it's a starter problem. If you don't hear the 
solenoid, it's the starter or the ignition switch or the battery or 
the wiring in between.  

Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

'71 Sqbk FI Std.

30 mile trip in rain, wipers and lights on.  Turned car off to unload 
things at home.  After 2 minutes, car wouldn't start...like no 
battery...only noise the FI relay thing. But headlights were fine.
   Pushed car into slight down-hill parking spot.   Snugged up all 
relevant wires, moved and re-tightened pos and neg on battery (and neg 
to ground), and gravity test had battery being ok.   Still dead. Luck 
had it that a neighbor, very soon, said he had a battery charger....or 
"booster"...the kind, about size of a toaster, that you just need to 
clamp to the battery to jump it.   Miracle device...never used one 
before. (His thing also could do air for tires.)

Car started right up.   Started again (without help) a few hours later.   
Started again the next day and all six days since then.   Auto Store ran battery test today. Battery good.  But, when will that oddity happen 
again?  A once-in-lifetime fluke?

So....what happened?  Can a fault in wiper motor, with (or without) lights on, do 
some dirty trick?  Is there a way to test if wiper or lights are messed 
up somehow?

A clue to something?  Just before that 30 mile return trip, for a brief 
moment, the wipers got Very Slow, almost stuck...then returned to 
normal.  But car started ok after that.

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