Why Won’t My Volkswagen Tiguan Start?

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Are you looking for an SUV with a ton of space and comfortable sitting in too? Well, the Volkswagen Tiguan is your best bet.

This compact crossover SUV has been around since 2007 and has been loved by thousands of people. It has a solid drive experience too.

Although the Tiguan is an excellent SUV, it is far from perfect. It has had issues in the past, including one where it will not start.

Many owners of the SUV have often been left to wonder: “Why won’t my Volkswagen Tiguan start?”. Unfortunately, there is not one answer to the problem.

Let’s see the common reasons which could be preventing your SUV from starting:

  1. A Dead Battery
  2. Terminals Corroded
  3. Faulty Starter Motor
  4. Failing Ignition System
  5. Malfunctioning Fuel Pump
  6. Clogged Fuel Filter

Don’t worry! Many reasons can result in the Volkswagen Tiguan not starting, as is evident by the list above.

This article will discuss them in detail, so you don’t need to waste time on research.

What Would Cause A Volkswagen Tiguan To Not Start?

Learn to turn over your VW Tiguan when facing the starting issues

The introduction of this article tells you six different reasons that could be preventing your Volkswagen Tiguan from starting.

This section will discuss each of them individually and explain what can be done to fix those issues.

1: A Dead Battery

This is the most common reason for the VW Tiguan not starting. Car batteries are not designed to last forever. They can last for a few years, but they will stop working.

Instead of failing parts, there is a good chance that your Tiguan’s battery will die. It may just not hold enough of a charge to turn the engine’s crankshaft.

So, how can you confirm if it is indeed the battery that is the problem? It will be an easy task if you have a multimeter laying around.

You need to hook it up to the battery; if the voltage is less than 12V, the battery is dead.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Fixing a car that is not starting due to a dead battery can only be done by a new one. Fortunately, new batteries don’t cost a lot.
  • There are a lot of good manufacturers out there that create high-quality batteries.
  • Companies such as Optima have made their name in this industry. (Check their batteries review).
  • Their batteries are not only AGM, which means they don’t require maintenance at all, but they are also pretty durable. They will be perfect for your Volkswagen Tiguan.

2: Terminals Corroded

Corrosion is something that could also lead to the engine not starting.

So, how does this work?

Corrosion forms slowly on the terminals of the battery when the chemical reaction inside the battery releases fumes, which condense on the terminals.

This corrosion builds up over time to the point that it starts to interfere with the battery’s usage. It can prevent current from going through.

A common symptom of corrosion is when the Volkswagen Tiguan is not starting at all, but the lights and accessories will work.

This suggests that something is preventing electricity from flowing normally.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Fortunately, fixing corrosion is extremely easy. It does not require any replacement or tool, only two kitchen items.
  • You need to create a solution of baking soda and vinegar, which will cut through the corrosion, allowing the terminals to have proper contact with the wires.
  • There are some cases in which this does not help. This happens when there is too much corrosion on the terminals, and the battery posts are too far gone.
  • In cases like those, no trick will help, and replacing the battery is the only viable solution.
  • Corrosion is something to keep an eye on. As soon as you notice signs of it, use the above trick to keep the problem at bay.

3: Faulty Starter Motor

You may have a faulty starter motor if your Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t start.

The starter motor is responsible for turning the engine over to start it and is often located under or near the hood.

To diagnose a faulty starter motor, you need to get it checked by someone professional.

They will be able to narrow down the issue so you don’t spend money on parts that do not need replacing.

The starter motor has a low chance of failure, but there is always a possibility that this can happen.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you’ve tried everything else and still can’t get your starter motor working, you’ll need to replace it with a new one.
  • This is best done by either taking it to a mechanic or doing some online research on how to replace it yourself—depending on how bad the damage is and whether you already have any tools at home.
  • I recommend getting the work done through a professional, possibly a Volkswagen dealership.
  • This way, you can be sure that there will be little to no risk involved in the process.

4: Failing Ignition System

The ignition system controls the car’s ability to start and operate. It also sets the timing for your engine to run at the right speed.

If your Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t start, it could be a sign that the ignition system has failed.

When this system fails, you may notice that your vehicle isn’t starting or will take much longer than usual to get going.

You should figure out why this is happening and get it repaired as soon as possible.

The issue is sometimes associated with the symptom of the key not turning, but this is not the case every time.

What Should You Do About It?

If your WV Tiguan doesn’t start because of an ignition system problem, there are a few things that you can do to get yourself moving again:

  • Make sure all of your car’s lights are working (including headlights and taillights).
  • Check that there aren’t any loose wires around the battery terminals.
  • Unlock the car door by pressing down on its handlebar button(s).

If all these checkouts, then there is a good chance that the ignition system is at fault. The battery and the alternator are not the sources of issues here.

5: Malfunctioning Fuel Pump

If your Volkswagen Tiguan having some problems with starting, it’s probably because the fuel pump is malfunctioning.

The fuel pump is what sends fuel to the engine while starting it up—if it’s not working properly, you won’t be able to get your car started.

Moreover, the fuel pump is also responsible for meeting the car’s fuel demand when you step on the accelerator. So, starting issues are the least of your concern if it is malfunctioning.

There is a high chance that your SUV will stop working in the middle of the road. This is the most serious reason out of all.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Instead of replacing the entire fuel pump, sometimes it’s just as easy to replace just one part.
  • For example, if only one of the wires that make up its electrical connection is damaged or broken, you can go ahead and replace that wire instead of replacing the entire pump.
  • A new one will function perfectly and provide you with many years of service.
  • But finding a person that is going to do that may be difficult. Instead, it is easier, albeit costly, to replace the pump altogether.

6: Clogged Fuel Filter

When you’re having issues starting your Volkswagen Tiguan, it could be that your fuel filter is clogged or dirty. The fuel filter is located inside your Tiguan’s gas tank.

It helps to filter out contaminants and dirt, as well as keep your fuel at the right level of quality. The fuel you get from the gas station is never clean.

Moreover, it has debris and many other contaminants, which can harm your engine. If they were to reach it, there is a good chance that your engine would fail.

What Should You Do About It?

  • To fix this problem, you can take your Tiguan to a local mechanic or dealership and pay them to replace the filter.
  • A new filter is cheap, and you don’t have to worry about spending hundreds of dollars on it.
  • Although you should be careful, changing the fuel filter is not that difficult. You need to have the right tools and a lot of patience.
  • If you do, it will take an hour to replace it with a new one. Then you will be good to go for a couple of years.
  • Cleaning the filter can also work, but it is not recommended, as the filter may get damaged in the process and allow contaminants through.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The reason your Tiguan won’t start with a new battery is that the new battery isn’t fully charged.

The battery must be charged for about 12 hours before it can work properly.

When there is not enough charge in the battery, it will not start your vehicle.

New batteries are normally on the shelf for a few months, which is more than enough to drain them.

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

First, check all of your lights, including the headlights.

If any are on when you press the starter button, your battery is good. Next, ensure your battery cables are tightly connected at both ends.

If they’re not, it could be a faulty connection or an issue with the cable itself. Jumping the battery won’t help because the current cannot pass through.

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

If your Volkswagen Tiguan is not turning over, but all the other lights work, it’s a sign that there is a dead battery. The problem is usually found in a couple of years old batteries.

If you want to confirm your finding, hook the multimeter to the battery. A reading less than 12V means that the battery has fulfilled its lifespan.

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

There are a few reasons why your Volkswagen Tiguan is not going to start but cranks.

The most common one is a faulty spark plug, which can happen when you have an older model, and the spark plugs need to be replaced.

Or it could be that your fuel pump isn’t working correctly. The fuel filter may be clogged, too, preventing fuel from entering the engine.

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

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s electrical system may be the culprit behind the clicking, but it’s not the only thing that can cause your VW Tiguan to go silent.

If you’ve got an old battery or alternator, it could be why your SUV is not starting. Or simply, it could be a bad connection at the battery terminal.

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

When your Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t start in the cold weather, it’s probably because you don’t have enough cranking amperes.

Cranking amperes are the amount of current that the starter needs to turn over the engine when the key is turned. A battery with more than 800 CA will work better in such conditions.

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

Your Volkswagen Tiguan won’t start after you get gas because the fuel filter is clogged. This can happen if you’ve got a lot of dirt in your fuel system.

Another reason could be a faulty fuel pump. It has been discussed in the article. Chances of it failing are low.

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

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s battery cables may be frayed, which could cause the battery to stop sending current fully to the electrical system.

You can check this by disconnecting the battery cables and checking them for damage. If they’re frayed, try replacing the cables with new ones.

Fortunately, they are pretty cheap and can be found easily.

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


The answer to your question, “Why won’t my Volkswagen Tiguan start?” may look simple: you need to fix the battery. But how do you know if your battery is dead?

The most common signs of a dead battery are a flat battery, no lights on the dash panel, and a low voltage reading on the instrument panel.

But they could be caused by other failing parts too. This article has shed light on all other reasons that could be preventing your SUV from starting.

I hope this article has been informative, and I hope you can get your Tiguan up and running in no time.