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

Introduction

As a trained mechanic with over 20 years of experience, I’ve seen plenty of people struggling when their Volkswagen Golf Won’t Start. And let’s be honest, not being able to start your car when you need to drive straight up sucks.

But don’t lose hope, you’ve come to the right place, no need to keep googling searches like “Volkswagen start issues“, I got you covered. My name’s Robby, a certified auto mechanic with over two decades of experience, and in this article, I’ll walk you through the most common reasons for why your Golf refuses to start. I’ll discuss all the commonplace suspects so you can diagnose what’s going on, plus what to do to fix each specific situation. Drawing on my two decades of training and on the job experience, I’ll supply actionable diagnostic pointers to get your Volkswagen Golf fire up and moving ASAP!

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Why Won’t My a Volkswagen Start?

Volkswagen Golf wont start

Before we dive into the list of possible faults and fixes, it’s critical to first get on the same page of the central issue. When you hop in your Volkswagen Golf and realize “it won’t start!”, there could be multiple components causing the headaches. Maybe the engine isn’t cranking at all, or maybe 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. Each scenario can be a sign of various problems under the hood.

Common Reasons Why Your Volkswagen Golf Won’t Start

There are a host of reasons why your Golf won’t start. Typical causes cover a dead or weak battery, faulty alternator, starter motor complications, fuel system problems, plus electrical or wiring malfunctions. Each of these issues can show up differently, needing specific methods of diagnosis and repair to get you back on the open road as quick as possible. All of which, we’ll delve into.

Symptoms of a Volkswagen Golf That Won’t Start

Identifying these red flags will help uncover the main issue. Take for example, when you turn the key or press the start button and you hear it turning over yet no start up, it often indicates a problem with either fuel delivery or ignition issues.

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

The first step in remedying the no-start headache is identifying the exact origin of the problem. So let’s take a closer look at the most common reasons behind the Golf failing to start when you turn the key.

Battery Issues in a Volkswagen Golf

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

In the vast majority of situations, the most frequent reason a Volkswagen Golf won’t start comes down to battery troubles. Specifically, a weak or dead battery prevents the engine from cranking. The car’s battery delivers the necessary electrical juice to start the engine and energize all your electronics. Signals of a struggling battery entail sluggish or strained cranking, dim headlights, or a warning light illuminated on the dash. A battery charger can recharge a drained 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 Golf

car wont start alternator

The Alternator keeps the battery juiced up by using engine power while driving. A malfunctioning alternator can easily stop your Volkswagen Golf from starting since it cannot recharge the battery, depleting it fully so that one day you hop in your wheels and it simply can’t start. Symptoms of a faulty alternator can be a lit up battery or alternator caution light on its dash, dim headlights while idling, or a whirring noise from the engine while running.

Starter Motor Failures in a Volkswagen Golf

car wont start wont turn over

The starter is crucial for turning the engine when you try and start up your Volkswagen. Should the starter fail, the engine might not crank, keeping your Golf from starting. Listen out for clicking sounds when you turn the key or grinding while trying to start, possibly meaning starter issues.

Fuel System Issues in a Volkswagen Golf

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 that could leave your Golf unable to drive. Your car uses gas uses fuel to mix with air and powers the engine. So problems here like a clogged fuel filter or damaged fuel pump relay can result in the engine is unable to get the fuel it requires for ignition. Fuel injectors can also get clogged over time, so consider a fuel injector cleaner like Red Line to clean them out and improve starting.

Electrical System or Wiring Problems in a Volkswagen Golf

car wont start electrical issue
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

Ok, well yes that image is a joke, but I want to emphasize today’s cars depend greatly on electronics, increasing what can go wrong. Even in older models, the usual suspects include blown fuses, spark issues, faulty ignition switches, or non-working sensors. Electrical issues and electronics like these can all prevent your vehicle from starting. Be on the lookout for your car only starting sometimes, dashboard alerts, or failure to crank as hints of an underlying electrical problem. Pinpointing and fixing these typically requires a knowledgeable mechanic near you.

Solutions: Let’s Get Your Volkswagen Golf 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 next step is to try to repair the problem. Here’s advice for the common issues we’ve covered thus far:

How to Identify and Fix Battery Issues in a Volkswagen Golf

car not starting but battery is fine

If you suspect a battery issue is to blame for your Volkswagen’s trouble cranking, first check the battery terminals Ensure they are corrosion-free, secure, and correctly connected. If the terminals are in fact dirty, try cleaning them with a sodium bicarbonate(baking soda) and water mixture.

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 Golf may only provide temporary relief before it likely runs out of power again soon. Using a multimeter or OB2 scanner to evaluate the battery’s condition can determine if it’s worth preserving or requires swapping out. 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 Golf’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 Golf

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 car running (you may need a jump start), with the engine on, disconnect the positive battery terminal. If the auto dies fairly quickly after that, it’s likely a bad alternator. Keep in mind though this test can be dicey and harm delicate electronics in your motor, so it’s best to talk to an experienced mechanic in your town or online first since this test risks messing up the delicate electronics in your Volkswagen Golf.

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 Golf. You find all the information you need about your specific vehicle by searching online for something like “vin Volkswagen check for free“, 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 Golf

starter motor issues in a ford

If you question if the starter motor is the root cause for your Golf refusing to start up, listen carefully for a clicking noise when you turn the ignition key. If heard, but the engine does not turn over, the starter motor likely needs replacement. 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 Golf

clogged fuel filter car wont start

If you suspect a fuel system malfunction might be to blame for the no-start, listen closely for the fuel pump noise when you flip the key to “on” before attempting to start 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 lagging acceleration may also result from a clogged fuel filter. Both pump and filter issues normally require a skilled mechanic to diagnose and fix them properly, often involving fuel pressure testing and precise 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 Problems in a Volkswagen Golf

fuses to check when car wont start

If you suspect it’s an wiring problem, first inspect the fuses for the ignition system, and replace any that have blown. If your Golf starts after this, it was an effective, inexpensive repair! However, if it still won’t start, even sometimes, the ignition switch itself could be problematic. Dash lights on the dashboard could also mean a faulty component. These can be complex issues needing a qualified mechanic to diagnose and properly repair (see below advice on local mechanics).

How to Prevent Starting Issues in a Volkswagen Golf

As granpa would say: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Here’s how to prevent future issues starting your Golf:

Regular Upkeep of Your Volkswagen Golf

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 inspect the car routinely. If unsure about maintenance for your model, ask a mechanic locally or online for clarification.

Drive Your Golf Frequently

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If your Volkswagen Golf happens to sit motionless in the garage or driveway for extended times without being driven, the battery can deplete as it is not being recharged by the engine running, through the alternator. Try your best to drive your car regularly to maintain a charged battery. If you remember you haven’t 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 completely 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 noises, 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 you have limited time available, 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 home, and is far less expensive than a tow and diagnosis at the local garage.

Benefits of an Online Volkswagen Mechanic

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

Online Volkswagen mechanics can review your symptoms, past repair history, and circumstances to provide troubleshooting steps tailored to your situation. With so many Volkswagen mechanics available they can help fix nearly any problem, it doesn’t if matter it’s your Golf that’s having issues or a Volkswagen Gol 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 describe the issues you’re having, ask Volkswagen mechanics endless questions, and even submit pics and videos so you can demonstrate to the expert what you mean. You can talk to them via instant messenger or phone call, whatever you like. The Volkswagen specialist will ID the problem, recommend the top solution for your particular case, and even guide you on basic maintenance 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 live Volkswagen mechanic chat service and see for yourself!

When and How to Get a Local Volkswagen Mechanics Help

automobile mobile mechanic

When your Volkswagen Golf 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 Golf started again ASAP.

So if you think a mobile mechanic is the best solution for you, instead of searching on Google something like  “onsite mechanic“, 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
  • They come to you, which is super convenient
  • You see the price upfront, no surprises or hidden fees
  • 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 Golf doesn’t turn over, it can be a total bummer. However, understanding what might be causing the problems, being able to troubleshoot them, and knowing what steps are required in each case, and where to find help if necessary, will be a huge help. Remember that regular maintenance is key to preventing most vehicle issues.

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

Volkswagen Golf won’t start but lights come on?

If your Volkswagen Golf‘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. Check to see if you hear any clicking sounds when attempting to crank the key. If so, the starter motor is attempting to activate but failing. Have a mechanic inspect the starter motor – it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Volkswagen Golf won’t start but has power?

When your Volkswagen Golf 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. Listen near the back seat when cranking the key – you should hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds. If not, get a mechanic check the fuel system.

Volkswagen Golf won’t start but battery is good?

If your Volkswagen Golf‘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 Golf 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 trying to engage 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 Golf running again.

What if my Volkswagen Golf won’t start up?

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

Determine if my Volkswagen Golf won’t start because of a bad battery?

Signs that your Volkswagen’s battery is the issue are, a slow cranking engine, dim headlights, and battery warning symbols lighting up on the dash. Also make sure the battery terminals are clean, corrosion-free, and tightly fastened. If your battery is worn out it’s probably best to just replace it entirely.

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

To prevent this hassle from reoccuring, routine upkeep is essential. This includes oil changes, checking the battery and cleaning its terminals, changing out the fuel filter when needed, and getting your Volkswagen Golf checked out by a mechanic on a regular basis. Also, make sure to drive the car regularly so the battery stays charged.

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

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can offer instant professional Volkswagen mechanic assistance and suggestions, without you having to leave your residence. If your vehicle fails to start and is immobile in the parking area, this is particularly beneficial.

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

We connect you with qualified Volkswagen technicians who can offer proposals specific to your exact situation. You can update them about your vehicle problems, ask unlimited questions as needed, and even submit videos or pictures so you can show in detail the issue. The mechanic will be able to assist, pinpoint the fault, and put forward the best remedy and talk you through it.

Interesting Volkswagen Golf Facts

Did you know that the Volkswagen Golf has been in production since 1974 and is now in its eighth generation? That’s over 45 years of continuous innovation and improvement! And get this – the Golf was actually originally marketed as a modern and practical front-wheel-drive car, making it a pioneer in its class. Plus, it’s won numerous awards, including World Car of the Year in 2009 and 2013. With its sleek design and impressive performance, it’s no wonder the Golf has become a beloved classic. And here’s a fun fact for you – the Golf’s iconic logo, the “Golf Ball,” was actually designed by a woman named Iliane Horsburg, making it one of the few car logos designed by a female artist. So, if you’re feeling frustrated about your current car troubles, just remember all the cool and interesting things about your trusty Volkswagen Golf!

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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