Volkswagen Atlas Wont Start? Here’s Quick Solutions to Most Common Problems

Introduction

As a qualified mechanic with over two decades of hands on experience, I’ve seen plenty of people struggling when their Volkswagen Atlas Won’t Start. And to be frank, not being able to start your car when you need to drive is super bothersome.

But keep your chin up, you’ve come to the right place, no need to keep googling searches like “Volkswagen doesn’t start“, I got you covered. My name’s Robby, a certified auto mechanic with over two decades of experience, and in this article, I’ll explain the most common reasons for why your Atlas doesn’t start. I’ll discuss all the commonplace offenders so you can pinpoint what’s causing issues, plus what to do to resolve each particular problem. Drawing on my 20 years of training and on the job experience, I’ll offer actionable repair advice to get your Volkswagen Atlas starting again as soon as possible!

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Why Won’t My a Volkswagen Start?

Volkswagen Atlas wont start

Before we dive into the laundry list of possible issues and solutions, it’s vital to first get on the same page of the central issue. When you climb into your Volkswagen Atlas and realize “it won’t start!”, there could be several things causing the difficulties. Perhaps the engine doesn’t turn over whatsoever, or possibly it’s turning over partially yet not igniting. Or you might notice clicking sounds when you try to start it, but sadly no ignition occurs. All these situations can signal different mechanical issues.

Common Reasons Why Your Volkswagen Atlas Won’t Start

There are numerous contributing factors why your Atlas won’t start up. The usual suspects cover a weak or drained battery, broken alternator, starter motor failures, fuel system snags, plus electrical or wiring issues. Every one of these concerns can present differently, needing specific methods of troubleshooting and fixing to get you driving again ASAP. All of which, we’ll delve into.

Symptoms of a Volkswagen Atlas That Won’t Start

Spotting these warning signs will lead you to the underlying cause. For instance, when you turn the key or press the start button and you hear it turning over yet no start up, it often indicates a fuel or ignition issue.

Analysis of The Reasons Why Your Volkswagen Atlas Won’t Start

The initial move in solving the no-start nuisance is understanding the specific origin of the problem. So let’s examine the most common reasons behind the Atlas failing to start when you turn the key.

Battery Issues in a Volkswagen Atlas

car wont start but battery is good
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

In the majority of cases, the most common reason a Volkswagen Atlas won’t start comes down to issues with the battery. Specifically, a drained or weak battery prevents the engine from turning over. The car’s battery supplies the required power to start the engine and energize all your vehicle’s electrical components. Signals of a dying battery entail labored or difficult cranking, dim headlights, or a battery alert symbol illuminated on the dash. A battery charger can recharge a dead battery if you don’t have the help of another vehicle to jump start it, but do have an electrical socket nearby like at home.  And a portable jump starter lets you charge p the battery without another vehicle, and by the roadside without the need for an electrical socket, so you are never stuck.

Alternator Problems in a Volkswagen Atlas

car wont start alternator

The Alternator keeps the battery charged by harnessing engine power while driving. A busted alternator can easily stop your Volkswagen Atlas from starting since it fails to recharge the battery, depleting it completely so that one day you climb into your ride and it just can’t start. Signs of a wonky alternator can be a lit up battery or alternator warning symbol on the dash, faint headlights while idling, or a grinding noise from the engine while running.

Starter Motor Failures in a Volkswagen Atlas

car wont start wont turn over

The starter is crucial for cranking the engine when you go to start up your Volkswagen. If the starter is faulty, the engine may fail to crank, keeping your Atlas from starting. Listen for clicking sounds when you turn the key or grinding as you try to start it, which could indicate starter troubles.

Fuel System Issues in a Volkswagen Atlas

car wont start fuel filter

This isn’t about running out of gas like a silly goose. Instead, it’s issues with the fuel system itself potentially leaving your Atlas unable to start. Your car uses gas uses gas to combine with oxygen and powers the engine. So problems here like a clogged fuel filter or damaged fuel pump relay may mean the engine is unable to get the fuel it needs to start. Fuel injectors can also get clogged over time, so try a fuel injector cleaner like Red Line to clean them out and improve starting.

Electrical System or Wiring Problems in a Volkswagen Atlas

car wont start electrical issue
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

Ok, well yes that image is a joke, but I want to emphasize modern vehicles rely on electronics, increasing the number of things that can go wrong. Even in older vehicles, the usual suspects include blown fuses, spark issues, broken ignition switches, or broken sensors. Electrical issues and electronics like these can all prevent your Volkswagen Atlas from starting. Watch for your car only starting sometimes, warning lights, or failure to crank as hints of an underlying electrical issue. Pinpointing and fixing these typically requires a certified mechanic near you.

Solutions: Let’s Get Your Volkswagen Atlas Starting Again!

If you think you might know what the issue may be, it’s time to figure out the reason behind your car’s failure to start, and then the logical next move is to attempt to fix the problem. Here are some tips for frequent problems we’ve covered thus far:

How to Identify and Fix Battery Issues in a Volkswagen Atlas

car not starting but battery is fine

The first step if a battery issue is suspected for the no start is to inspect the battery terminals. Make sure they are corrosion-free, tight, and correctly connected. If the terminals are in fact corroded, try scrubbing them with a sodium bicarbonate(baking soda) and water solution.

Once you have checked the battery terminals, you can check to see if the battery is just out of charge, or worse, it’s old and weak, or dead and needs to be replaced. For this, you can charge the battery in a few different ways:

If the battery charges fully and performs as expected, the issue may be resolved. However, replacing the battery will be required if it is aged, dead or lacks capacity. Otherwise, even sufficiently charging it to start your Atlas may only provide temporary relief before it runs out of charge again in the near future. Using a multimeter or OB2 scanner to evaluate the battery’s condition can determine if it’s worth preserving or requires replacement. Suitable replacement batteries for your specific Volkswagen can be found on Amazon here by entering your vehicle details to filter for the right fit and choosing a highly-rated seller.

Robby Recommends:

Portable Car Battery Jump Starter Charger - NOCO Boost Plus GB40

At Home Battery Charger - YONHAN - Fully Automatic

Jumper Cables by Energizer for Car Battery - Heavy Duty

NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000A UltraSafe Car Battery Jump Starter

YONHAN Battery Charger Fully-Automatic

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty

If charging your Atlas’s battery fails to solve ongoing issues like frequent draining and recharging even after installing a new battery, an underlying problem likely causes the excessive drain. Professional diagnostic services would then be needed to inspect and identify the root cause. You can also consult a mechanic online through us or obtain an instant quote from a mobile mechanic.

How to Identify and Fix Alternator Problems in a Volkswagen Atlas

Car wont start replace alternator needed

If you think the alternator is the reason your vehicle won’t start, a test can confirm. If you can temporarily get the vehicle running (you may need a jump start), with the engine on, detach the positive battery terminal. If the vehicle dies pretty quickly after that, it’s likely a bad alternator. However, be warned this test can be dangerous and harm delicate electronics in your ride, so consulting a skilled mechanic in your area or online is best before trying it.

If you figure out that the alternator is the problem, it’s a case of having it replaced. I recommend consulting an online or local mechanic as they will advise you on how difficult the repair is for your specific model, and you can work out if you want to try it yourself, or with the advice of an online mechanic

If you do want to try it yourself or take it to a local garage, you can often buy the replacement parts yourself cheaper than at the garage, but you need to know what to get for your model of Volkswagen Atlas. You find all the information you need about your specific vehicle by searching online for something like “Volkswagen vin check free report“, which is a purchasable report, that will give the specs for your vehicle and which parts are compatible, and then you can go get the alternator parts you need. However, an easier option is, Amazon probably has the alternator you need online, at a cheaper price, and their site easily shows which ones will go in your specific car model. Check the Amazon alternator page here

How to Identify and Fix Starter Motor Problems in a Volkswagen Atlas

starter motor issues in a ford

If you question if the starter motor is the source of your Atlas refusing to start, listen carefully for a clicking noise when you turn the ignition key. If present, but the engine does not turn over, the starter motor likely needs replaced. You can take it to a local garage and have them repair it, or repair it yourself with the help and advice from an online mechanic guiding you. 

If you need it, one of the cheapest and easiest places to get a new starter motor, for your exact vehicle model is on the Amazon here.

How to Identify and Solve Fuel System Problems in a Volkswagen Atlas

clogged fuel filter car wont start

If you suspect a fuel system malfunction might be to blame for the no-start, tune your ears for the fuel pump noise when you flip the key to “on” before trying to turn over the car. The pump should make a faint humming for a few seconds. If you can’t hear that noise, the fuel pump could be faulty. Problematic starting, stalling, or poor throttle response may also result from a clogged fuel filter. Filter and pump issues usually require a professional mechanic to inspect and repair them properly, often using fuel pressure testing and specialized diagnostic gear. Later in this article, I detail the best ways to get help from a local Volkswagen mechanic near you. 

How to Repair Electrical or Wiring Issues in a Volkswagen Atlas

fuses to check when car wont start

If you think it’s an wiring problem, first inspect the fuses for the ignition system, and swap out any that have blown. If your Atlas starts after this, it was a successful, inexpensive fix! However, if it still won’t start, even sometimes, the ignition switch itself could be faulty. Dash lights on the dashboard could additionally mean a damaged sensor. These can be complex issues needing a professional mechanic to diagnose and fix (see below advice on local mechanics).

How to Prevent Starting Issues in a Volkswagen Atlas

As grandfather would say: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Here’s how to avoid future troubles starting your Atlas:

Regular Upkeep of Your Volkswagen Atlas

Regular maintenance on car to prevent starting issues

Regular maintenance is critical to avoiding issues, including oil changes, battery checks, cleaning terminals, replacing the fuel filter as needed, and having a mechanic check over the car routinely. If confused about maintenance for your model, ask a mechanic locally or online for clarification.

Drive Your Atlas Regularly

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If your Volkswagen Atlas happens to sit parked in the garage or driveway for too long without being driven, the battery can weaken as it is not being recharged by the engine running, through the alternator. Try your best to use your car regularly to keep a charged battery. If you remember you have not driven your car in a while, take it for a short drive around town to ensure there is still a charge left.

Note: Letting the battery entirely run out of charge is also bad for its longevity, so try to avoid that.

Take Notice Of Warning Signs

Check Engine Control Light on a Vehicle Dashboard

If you notice any abnormal things like unusual sounds, changes in driving and performance, or warning lights lit up on the dashboard, do not ignore them. These are often early signs of an issue that should be addressed ASAP before they escalate into larger problems later on. Consult with a mechanic locally or online about these problems and get advice on if they require attention.

When to Ask a Volkswagen Mechanic Online

If your schedule is packed, or you gave fixing the no start yourself an honest effort but with no luck, consider consulting a Volkswagen mechanic online. It delivers expert guidance in just minutes from the comfort of your living room, and is far less expensive than a tow and diagnosis at the local garage.

Advantages of an Online Volkswagen Mechanic

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

By detailing what you’ve already tried and sharing specifics on the no-start issue, online mechanics can then offer a custom action plan to help get your car started again. With so many Volkswagen mechanics available they can help fix nearly any problem, it doesn’t if matter it’s your Atlas that’s having issues or a Volkswagen Arteon won’t start, the online mechanics can help sort anything in no time. And with many household budgets tighter these days, the convenience and affordability of online mechanics help, keep your wallet happy too.

You can explain the problems you’re having, ask Volkswagen mechanics unlimited questions, and even submit photos and videos so you can demonstrate to the expert what you mean. You can talk to them via online chat or phone call, whatever you like. The Volkswagen mechanic will ID the issue, recommend the best fix for your particular case, and even walk you through basic repairs step-by-step.

Whether you want an expert second opinion or are simply short on time, online repairs assistance is there when you need it. Give it a try – you may be surprised just how easy and stress-free it is.

So feel free to try out our ask a Volkswagen mechanic free service and see for yourself!

When and How to Get a Local Volkswagen Mechanics Help

automobile mobile mechanic

When your Volkswagen Atlas won’t start, and you are unable to repair it yourself, thinking about how to get your vehicle to the garage can be a nightmare. There are options like roadside services, that come to you and can provide simple fixes to get your car moving enough again, so you can get it to a mechanic garage for proper repairs. You can also use a towing service, but these can be costly, easily into the hundreds of dollars. A much better option is the use of a mobile mechanic, who will come to you at your home, place of work, or by the roadside, and carry out repairs there and then for you, so you can get your Atlas started again ASAP.

So if you think a mobile mechanic is the best solution for you, instead of searching on Google something like  “mechanic mobile near me“, the best in the USA that also covers most towns is YourMechanicI have personally recommended them to countless people across the country and they always have a great experience.

Reasons I recommend them:

  • They use experienced ASE-certified mechanics
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  • Low Cost compared to regular garages

If you would like to know more, the process to use them is this.

  1. Visit their official website here: YourMechanic
  2. Get an instant free quote for what you need
  3. Book a time and place for the mechanic to come to you
  4. The mechanic will arrive in a fully stocked repair van and repair it right in front of you
  5. Pay when the job is completed.

Super easy, super reliable, super convenient, and highly recommended.

Conclusion

In short, when your Volkswagen Atlas doesn’t turn over, it can be a major inconvenience. However, grasping what might be triggering the problems, being able to diagnose them, and knowing what steps are required in each case, and where to get help if needed, will be a huge help. Remember that routine care is key to preventing most vehicle issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) When a Volkswagen Atlas Won’t Start

Volkswagen Atlas won’t start but lights come on?

If your Volkswagen Atlas‘s lights illuminate but it still won’t start, the issue may not be related to the battery. More than likely there is a problem with the engine starter. Investigate if you hear any clicking noises when attempting to crank the key. If so, the starter motor is trying to engage but failing. Get a mechanic inspect the starter motor – it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Volkswagen Atlas won’t start but has power?

When your Volkswagen Atlas has power (lights, radio etc work) but fails to start, there may be a fuel delivery problem. Issues like a faulty fuel pump relay could prevent fuel getting to the engine. Without enough fuel, combustion can’t happen and the engine won’t start. Check around the back seat when turning the key – you should hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds. If not, get a mechanic check the fuel system.

Volkswagen Atlas won’t start but battery is fine?

If your Volkswagen Atlas‘s battery checks out OK and is fully charged, but the car still refuses to start, the underlying cause is likely electrical. Potential culprits include a bad ignition switch, broken sensor, or wiring problems. As electrical issues can be tricky, diagnosis by a professional mechanic is best. They can correctly pinpoint the specific electrical fault and have it repaired.

Volkswagen Atlas won’t start just clicking?

When you turn the key and there’s only a clicking noise but the engine fails to turn over, the most common cause is a faulty starter motor. The click comes from the starter solenoid attempting to activate the starter motor, but the motor itself fails to spin up the engine. As the starter motor needs physical fixing or swapping out, consult with a reliable mechanic to get your Volkswagen Atlas running again.

What if my Volkswagen Atlas won’t start up?

First things first, take a deep breath and don’t panic. Look for any odd noises, flashing lights, or changes in how it runs that could point to the issue. Chances are the culprit is one of the common problems we will talk about here. If you still can’t identify the exact issue, you’ll have to ask for help from a trusted Volkswagen mechanic locally or online.

How do I know if my Volkswagen Atlas won’t start because of a bad battery?

Clues that your Volkswagen’s battery is the issue include, a slow cranking engine, dim headlights, and battery warning symbols lighting up on the dash. You can also check that the battery terminals are clean, corrosion-free, and tightly fastened. If your battery is older it’s probably best to just replace it completely.

How to prevent my Volkswagen Atlas from failing to start in the future?

To prevent this hassle from repeating, routine upkeep is essential. This includes oil changes, checking the battery and scrubbing its terminals, changing out the fuel filter when necessary, and getting your Volkswagen Atlas evaluated by a mechanic on a regular basis. Additionally, remember to drive the car often so the battery stays charged.

Can I consult an online mechanic if my Volkswagen Atlas fails to start up?

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can offer immediate expert Volkswagen mechanic aid and recommendations, without you having to leave your home. If your vehicle fails to start and is stuck in the parking area, this is especially helpful.

In what ways can services like MechanicAnswer.com be of service if my Volkswagen Atlas fails to start?

We connect you with licensed Volkswagen specialists who can provide suggestions tailored to your exact situation. You can update them about your vehicle problems, ask as many questions as needed, and even submit videos or pictures so you can show in detail the problem. The specialist auto mechanic will be able to help, diagnose the problem, and propose the best solution and guide you through it.

Interesting Volkswagen Atlas Facts

Did you know that the Volkswagen Atlas is actually named after the Greek god who was condemned to hold up the sky for eternity? Talk about a powerful and enduring namesake! And speaking of power, did you know that the Atlas comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out an impressive 235 horsepower? That’s enough to get you from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.9 seconds! Plus, with its spacious interior and third-row seating, the Atlas is perfect for hauling around the whole crew on your next adventure. And if you’re worried about safety, fear not – the Atlas has earned top marks in crash tests, so you can drive with peace of mind. With all these cool facts and features, it’s no wonder the Volkswagen Atlas is a popular choice for families and adventurers alike!

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Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Choose Your Mechanic

1. Chat with A.I. Mechanic (Robot Robby)
  • Free 7-day trial
  • A.I. Mechanic that is trained by our human mechanic writers. As helpful as a human mechanic for expert advice, troubleshooting, and repair guidance.
2. Chat with a Human Mechanic Online
  • Join for just $5, and $39/month. Cancel anytime
  • Real human ASE-certified mechanics available 24/7

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. If there are none near you, you will be redirected to the online mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Where Can I Find My VIN?

Your vehicle’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found on the title document, the vehicle registration, and the insurance policy. It is a series letters and numbers like this as example: WAUGC0896JA235262. The VIN can also be located on the following locations on the vehicle itself:

how to find VIN on vehicle