Volkswagen is one of those manufacturers that has designed in a lot of tricks to force you to go back to the dealer. Many shops can't work on computer-related problems due to the need to use the dealer's specialized equipment to program them. For that reason there's a lot of misinformation out there, even among us here.
I can offer a couple of observations though. First of all, if it's in anti-theft mode the engine shouldn't be running. Second, you didn't specify which lights turned on, and you didn't state the symptom, but apparently the engine was still running at the time. "Not starting" can mean a few different things. Did the starter crank the engine at the normal speed? Did the starter crank real slowly or not at all?
Based on "all of the lights", and I'm guessing the starter cranked too slowly, the first suspect would be the generator. It needs to constantly keep the battery charged while you're driving. When it fails, the system voltage will gradually drop causing the many computers to do weird things or stop working. Many of them will turn on their warning lights. The common complaint is "a lot of unrelated warning lights turned on". Charge the battery at a slow rate for an hour so you can drive the car to your mechanic, then have him perform a load-test on the charging system. That only takes a couple of minutes. If it passes, THEN pursue other possibilities including a defective battery.
Friday, October 18th, 2013 AT 12:02 AM