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Thread: Won't Start - ESP Error & Steering light on

  1. #1
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    Won't Start - ESP Error & Steering light on

    Went to start my car yesterday morning to head off to work - starter motor did its usual thing, but no fire up from the engine. Not even a hint.

    MFD says I have an "ESP Error" and the steering light is on.

    The car has not been driving strangely or hinting in any way that something was getting in bad shape. I am suspecting it may be an electrical or software/firmware gremlin or code error.

    The battery is quite new, was replaced under warranty maybe 12-18 months (or about 30,000km) ago. Tested battery voltage (no load) and was 12.25v across the terminals (after trying to start it quite a few times). Tested from + to chassis in numerous spots, still around 12.25v. Also physically checked ground connections - all solid (so it's not a bad earth, and doesn't seem to be bad voltage, maybe a tad low but not terrible???)

    Car has APR stage 1 tune, carbonio intake, otherwise stock. I've had two warranty issues during the life of the car, two failed coil packs, and a replaced steering rack.

    Recently (a week or so ago) had a minor rear-end collision (not my fault) that has been repaired, maybe it has had some kind of effect on a sensor or electronic circuit that's gone into error or misaligned or something? Although the damage to my car was fairly minimal, it was a fairly hard collision so I wouldn't be surprised.

    Anyone got any other ideas?

    I am talking with my insurer and what will probably happen is that I will have to get it towed to my mechanic and have them do a report and/or make the repairs. If it turns out that the likely cause is from the accident, they will reimburse me. If not, I'm stuck with the bill - all of which sounds reasonable to me. The woman I spoke to said this type of thing is not uncommon after accidents.
    His: MY16 Scirocco R DSG - RamAir CAI, Alloy paddle shifters Hers: MY16 Polo GTI DSG
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobes_WIR35 View Post
    Went to start my car yesterday morning to head off to work - starter motor did its usual thing, but no fire up from the engine. Not even a hint.

    MFD says I have an "ESP Error" and the steering light is on.

    The battery is quite new, was replaced under warranty maybe 12-18 months (or about 30,000km) ago. Tested battery voltage (no load) and was 12.25v across the terminals (after trying to start it quite a few times).
    Mate, that sounds straight up like a battery issue to me. On a number of occasions when my GTI's battery was reconnected I'd see the ESP Error and steering lights on the dash (the steering light should go off after a few hundred metres of driving/steering once the car is able to calibrate/check the steering system). Ditto the ESP error. And 12.25v sounds far too low to me - I'd be expecting to see ~12.5+v from a battery when standing, and 13.7-14+ when idling.

    Try a start with jumper leads and see how you go. If it comes good, I'd be in search of a new battery.
    Last edited by AdamD; 30-01-2015 at 08:10 AM.
    2015 8V Audi S3 Sedan Manual
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  3. #3
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    Hmmm that would be great if it is. I have a battery charger at home so I will give that a try.

    I've phoned up a few mechanics and they are all booked out for at least another week!
    His: MY16 Scirocco R DSG - RamAir CAI, Alloy paddle shifters Hers: MY16 Polo GTI DSG
    Previous:
    His: MY11 Golf GTI Adidas DSG, APR st1, Carbonio Stage 1+2 intake, S2TPP shifters Hers: MY12 VW Up! 3 door manual

  4. #4
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    Anyone in Brisbane (Northern Suburbs pref) got a VCDS/cable that wants a carton of beer to come and scan it for me on the weekend?
    His: MY16 Scirocco R DSG - RamAir CAI, Alloy paddle shifters Hers: MY16 Polo GTI DSG
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    His: MY11 Golf GTI Adidas DSG, APR st1, Carbonio Stage 1+2 intake, S2TPP shifters Hers: MY12 VW Up! 3 door manual

  5. #5
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    Just read the timing chain failure thread. Now I am ****ting broken glass!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobes_WIR35 View Post
    The battery is quite new, was replaced under warranty maybe 12-18 months (or about 30,000km) ago. Tested battery voltage (no load) and was 12.25v across the terminals
    Volts definitiely too low for a battery in good nick... Maybe check if the alternator is charging it properly too..

    - Anthony

    p.s. What AdamD says about the warning lights goes too - everything you say points to the battery...
    Last edited by hoi polloi; 31-01-2015 at 07:27 AM. Reason: added a bit
    VW Golf MkVI 103TDI DSG | Silver Leaf | Sports Pack + Leather | Sat Nav. | Dynaudio | Bluetooth - Thanks kamold! | Other Stuff

  7. #7
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    I'm not so sure now. I charged the battery last night, standing voltage now 12.5v or so. Tried starting it this morning - same deal. Very faint 'pop' noises but no fire up. Having read a number of forums now about the dodgy timing chain tensioner, I am unfortunately more confident that is my problem as I have the older style tensioner and I have had a few rattly cold starts over the last say 12 months or so. Symptoms seem to match up.

    I hope I am wrong. My dealer service centre is pretty good and I am a loyal customer but I don't know whether they'll be up for fixing that under good will as I am 6 months out of my 3 year warranty. I sure bloody hope so though as it's a known problem with a TPI! I don't want to know how much a new engine or rebuild would cost.

    Anyway, am trying to keep positive and not lose my mind. Well, I'll get it towed to VW on Monday and see what happens...
    His: MY16 Scirocco R DSG - RamAir CAI, Alloy paddle shifters Hers: MY16 Polo GTI DSG
    Previous:
    His: MY11 Golf GTI Adidas DSG, APR st1, Carbonio Stage 1+2 intake, S2TPP shifters Hers: MY12 VW Up! 3 door manual

  8. #8
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    Checked all fuses?
    VW Golf 6 R DSG - AWD
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    MINI Cooper S Clubman - FWD

  9. #9
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    Thanks mate I'll do that. Always gloss over the basic stuff and panic when it comes to cars.
    His: MY16 Scirocco R DSG - RamAir CAI, Alloy paddle shifters Hers: MY16 Polo GTI DSG
    Previous:
    His: MY11 Golf GTI Adidas DSG, APR st1, Carbonio Stage 1+2 intake, S2TPP shifters Hers: MY12 VW Up! 3 door manual

  10. #10
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    Could be your low pressure fuel pump control module or the pump itself located under the back seat. I had mine quit working. Module died first then the pump about 4 weeks after. Sounds similar to what happened to me.
    2011 MK6 GTI ED35
    APR Stage 2 / APR HPFP / APR Turbo back Exhaust / VWR Intake / Ohlins shocks / HP Sway Bars / HP Control Arms

    MY13 AMAROK HIGHLINE / Oettinger tuned / ATS Wheels

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