Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start?

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The Volkswagen Golf is a compact car produced by the German manufacturer Volkswagen since 1974.

It has great maneuvering and solid performance, which is why thousands of consumers have loved it, and it has been in production for almost half a century.

It has evolved to become one of the most popular vehicles today. Although this compact car is a solid choice for anyone looking for something reliable and practical, it is far from perfect.

Owners have had several complaints over the years related to starting issues. This has led them to ask, “Why won’t my Volkswagen Golf start?”.

There can be several reasons why, and this article will discuss them.

  1. Faulty Spark Plugs
  2. Blown Fuse
  3. Malfunctioning Fuel Pump
  4. Frayed Battery Cables
  5. Clogged Fuel Filter

Although the reasons listed here are not too serious, they should not be overlooked. You may have to spend hundreds of dollars, especially if you don’t catch these issues early.

This article will help you identify which one is preventing your car from turning over.

What Would Cause A Volkswagen Golf To Not Start?

If you have Volkswagen Golf starting problems, then read my guide to fix the issues

With the introduction listing five possible ways, this section will discuss them on an individual basis.

Moreover, there will also be a discussion on what can be done to fix those problems.

1: Faulty Spark Plugs

One of the first things you should check is the spark plugs if you are facing starting problems.

If they are faulty, the Volkswagen Golf won’t be able to turn over because the spark is not strong enough to ignite the fuel in the cylinders.

This could be because the spark plugs have become fouled or damaged due to wear and tear over time. When a spark plug fails, that specific cylinder stops working.

So, even if the engine starts, you will also experience decreased performance and the risk of an engine misfire.

This issue is common and is mostly seen in plugs used for 30,000 to 40,000 miles.

Fortunately, the solution to the problem is not too difficult, and the next section will help you figure out how to fix it.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you’re having issues with your Volkswagen Golf’s spark plugs, the first thing to do is check to see whether all of them need to be replaced.
  • Even if they don’t, it’s best to replace all of them simultaneously rather than trying to fix one or two.
  • You may find later that other spark plugs are also failing, so it’s best to replace them all at once. Only use iridium and platinum plugs.
  • These are more expensive options will last longer and provide more reliable performance than standard copper or silver spark plugs.
  • Use the same quality and brand of spark plug for each cylinder.

2: Blown Fuse

The ignition system or the fuel pump fuse can be the culprit, so you must check them before jumping to conclusions.

If you’re having trouble figuring out which fuse is, take a look at the thin wires inside them.

If they look like they’ve been broken or cut, then you likely have a problem with one of those fuses.

Once again, this problem is not too major and is something that can be fixed rather easily and without too much expense.

Read below to find out how.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The only solution to fix a blown fuse is to replace it. You must make sure you use one of the same amperages as before.
  • If you use a lower-amp fuse than before, it can cause your new fuse to blow, too, as soon as you try to start the engine again.
  • You should also check all of your other fuses and make sure they’re not blown, either! Check all at once, so you don’t have to visit the auto store repeatedly.
  • When you blow a fuse in your Volkswagen Golf, it’s important to remember that there could be more than one problem.
  • It may not be just the fuse that’s the issue. There could be an electrical short in the system, which led to the fuse blowing.

3: Malfunctioning Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is a mechanical device that pumps gas from the tank to the engine. If this pump isn’t working properly, you won’t be able to turn on your Volkswagen Golf.

Although it is not too likely that the pump on your car will stop working, it is not entirely out of the question. It has not been designed to last forever, and it will fail at one time.

One important thing to note is that if the pump is not working properly, you may be able to start the engine, but it may stop when trying to accelerate. This is pretty dangerous.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The fuel pump can malfunction, causing you to lose fuel pressure. This means that your car will not be able to run properly.
  • Luckily, the problem can be fixed with a quick replacement of the fuel pump. The only thing you need to do is get a fuel pump.
  • Make sure to match the model number with the one that is being replaced.
  • You could have been sent the wrong one. Then, take your car to a mechanic for replacement.
  • You can do this yourself, but it is highly recommended that you let a professional handle this job because they have the tools and experience with this type of repair work.
  • They will be able to get the job done quickly and easily so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible.

4: Frayed Battery Cables

The cables are responsible for carrying electrical current from the battery to the starter and other parts of your Volkswagen Golf’s electrical system.

When they become damaged or corrupted, they can cause a short circuit and prevent your car from turning over. If the battery cables are frayed, it can cause your car not to start.

You may be wondering about how they can get damaged. The engine gets hot when operating, and the wires can be affected by it.

This is not due to wear and tear but constant contact with heat. You can identify such cables by looking for exposed wires. They are hard to miss.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The first thing you want to do when replacing your battery cables is to make sure that the thickness of the new ones is the same or greater than the ones you’re replacing.
  • This will ensure that your battery can send current properly and that the wires will not melt or burn up during the process.
  • Also, make sure that you use high-quality wires with better insulation. This will also ensure that the wires last longer than the original ones.
  • You don’t want any chance of electrical problems in the future!
  • You can install new battery cables yourself, which is not too difficult.

5: Clogged Fuel Filter

A fuel filter is a small screen that prevents dirt and debris from entering your engine and causing damage.

If this screen becomes clogged, it can prevent fuel from reaching the engine and cause it to stall.

Moreover, a clogged filter of Volkswagen Golf can lead to poor performance or engine failure. To check whether or not your fuel filter is clogged, you will need to access and assess it.

The problem is not too frequent and occurs after dirt and grime build up over time. Fortunately, the solution is pretty easy to implement.

What Should You Do About It?

  • When it comes to your Volkswagen Golf, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as a clogged fuel filter. It can start causing problems out of nowhere.
  • The good news is that there are two options for dealing with this situation: replacing or cleaning the filter.
  • Replacing the filter is an easy fix and is the best option out of all.
  • The filter is replaced with a new one, which means no more clogging and a straight passage for the fuel.
  • However, I recommend cleaning in emergencies only—cleaning can damage the filter and result in contaminants going through.
  • This will result in the dirt and grime wreaking havoc on the engine, which is certainly not good.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start With New Battery?

There are a few things to check before you give up and call a tow truck.

The new battery may be faulty, but unlikely. The new battery may simply need to be charged.

Use a charger or jump-start the engine. If that does not work, then some other part of the starting system may be at fault.

Q2. Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start Even With A Jump?

The first thing to do is to observe the condition of your battery cables first. If they’re frayed, replace them—they’re probably just causing trouble for your Volkswagen Golf!

Make sure that the new ones have the correct thickness. If corrosion is present on terminals, clean them using baking soda and vinegar solution.

Q3. Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start But Lights Work?

It might be a starter motor issue, which needs to be checked out immediately by a professional mechanic.

The problem could also be relatively minor and related to the fuses. The ignition system or fuel pump fuse may have blown, so check those as well!

Q4. Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start But Cranks?

If the engine produces a cranking sound, the problem is related to the fuel system. This mainly includes the spark plugs and the fuel pump.

They may have become faulty and may need a replacement. The fuel filter could also be clogged, which could affect the fuel flow in the engine.

Q5. Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start Just Clicks?

This could be caused by a problem with the battery, fuses, or starter motor. If any of these are causing this problem, you’ll need to replace them before your car starts again.

Double-check that the part is going in matches with the one being replaced. Or else there is a chance of failure.

Q6. Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start In The Cold Weather?

This could be caused by a weak battery or worn-out spark plugs. You’ll need to have 800 CCA in your battery before it starts.

If not, then you need to buy one that meets these requirements. It could also be that your spark plugs may need to be replaced.

Q7. Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start After I Get Gas?

When you put gas in your Volkswagen Golf, and it doesn’t work after you do, this is often due to a fuel pump or filter problem.

The pump may have malfunctioned, or the fuel filter may have gotten clogged. Regardless of which part is the culprit, you need to ensure that it is replaced.

Q8. Why Won’t My Volkswagen Golf Start But Radio Works?

If your radio works but your Volkswagen Golf is not working, the battery might be low on charge. Try using a battery charger to get it back up to normal levels again.

You can also use the alternator to get the battery charged. But for this, you will need to jump-start the engine.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Volkswagen Golf?


I hope you got all the information you were looking for. There are many reasons your car might not start, but the most common reason is that the battery is dead.

If you’ve tried to start your car and it’s simply not happening, try jumping the battery with another car before moving on.

Lastly, if you are still wondering “Why won’t my Volkswagen Golf start?” then this article has listed down the most common ones.

There is a good chance that you won’t have to spend too much time or money to get your VW Golf going again.