1971 Volkswagen turn key nothing happens

Engine problem
1971 Volkswagen V4 Two Wheel Drive Manual 129k miles


when i turn the key ,nothing happens,mo clicking.,,,i have no previuos knowledge of this bus,we aquired it yesterday,please help with a checklist where to start,thanx for all your time and effort to help us with this issue,,
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 AT 5:58 PM

1 Reply

Mike- Congratulations on the new bus! I especially like the roofrack!

Let's start with the very basics. Make sure your battery has a full charge.

Next we'll check to see if the starter has power. Climb underneath and clip a testlight onto the fitting for the big wire going into the solenoid. Make absolutely sure that the bus is out of gear and the wheels are blocked and have someone try to start it. Does the test light illuminate? If not your ignition switch is suspect.

The next step is to take a large screwdriver with a rubber handle and use the blade to bridge the solenoid/starter terminals- does the starter spin? If so your solenoid is bad or sticking. Have someone turn the key while you tap on the solenoid firmly with a hammer or a wrench. If it is stuck this will often free it. If the starter doesn't spin when you bridge the connections, the starter itself is bad.

If you replace the starter it is of utmost importance to replace the starter bushing along with it. Any quality starter will come with a new bushing.

Some last minute things to try before shelling out the money for a new starter- get yourself some electrical cleaner and a wire brush. Remove, clean, and reinstall the wires on the starter, as well as the groundstrap on the transmission. Don't try jumpstarting the bus with the battery cables connected. This can blow your generator very quickly. If you do have to jumpstart the bus (you shouldn't ever have to, push starting is always best) do so with the cables off.
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Monday, December 17th, 2007 AT 4:46 AM

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