Volkswagen Jetta Cranks But Won’t Start


My Jetta shut off while I was driving. I tried to start the car but it just cranks and won’t fire. The battery is kinda new so I know it’s good. The engine cranks fine it just won’t turn on. Although it does sound funny when it’s cranking.

UPDATE: This was the problem.

I tried to jump start the car and it still won’t turn on. The interior lights illuminate and the headlights activate. Anyone have any thoughts as to why my car cranks but won’t start.

My Jetta GLI is a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder year 2004.

solved 0
Randy Huett 3 years 2021-01-19T21:42:05+00:00 2 Answers 3956 views Beginner 1

Answers ( 4 )


    Volkswagen Jetta Cranks But Won’t Start

    Volkswagen Jetta is a very popular 5 seater sedan. Even though it provides great fuel economy, comfortable rides, and advanced XDS cross differential system, users might face a scenario where the car cranks, but fails to start. Such a problem can occur for various reasons. We have jotted down the most common causes to help you with your troubleshooting process.

    1. ECU

    The ECU (Electronic Control Unit) is the brain of an automobile. It receives stimulus from various sensors in the car and acts accordingly for its smooth and efficient running. The ECU in your car might cause this problem to rise. It is seen that ECU present in Volkswagen Jetta sometimes malfunction and causes the car to just crank and not start. Resetting or upgrading the ECU will solve this problem. Use the manufacture’s guidelines to reset your ECU. It is mostly done by disconnecting the battery and switching the ignition key to ON for 15 minutes.

    2. MAF sensor

    In many Volkswagen Jetta models, the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor malfunctions and causes this problem. The throttle body should be cleaned thoroughly and the MAF sensor should be tested. The electrical connector present in the air duct is needed to be connected with the sensor in order to test it. The testing is can be done easily by checking voltage signals with a digital multimeter. Replacing a damaged sensor will solve the issue.

    3. Ignition system

    The ignition coil pack in the car might not be providing enough voltage in the spark plugs to power up your car. Or it might be damaged. So, coil pack should be diagnosed. A weak or damaged spark plug maybe another issue. Apart from this, there might be problems in the ignition module, wirings, distributor etc. Any of these issues will form no spark or a very weak spark in the combustion chamber which will result in cranking but not starting of your car.

    4. Fuel

    Even if your fuel tank is full, the fuel might not be entering the engine properly which in turn will cause your car to not be able to start. You need to properly diagnose the whole fuel layout in your car in order to figure out the problem. Parts like fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel lines, and fuel injectors should all be thoroughly tested. Before testing, properly clean all these parts and make sure all the connections are okay.

    Best answer

    Jetta Cranks But Won't Start Up

    Open the timing belt cover and see if the belt is loose or broken. See the red arrow in picture for timing belt location. A broken timing belt would make the car sound like a sewing machine when you’re cranking over the engine.


    My Volkswagen would crank but now it will not turn over at all. It just makes a weird clicking noise. I have attached a video of the problem. Please help. Why won’t my Volkswagen start? What is causing the problem and what should I do to fix it? I have a Passat 2.0T.


      That’s a bad battery. Recharge it and try again. If the battery dies again it’s either a bad battery cell, the alternator is faulty or a short circuit might be causing excessive current draw and draining your battery.

Leave an answer