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2001 Jetta VR6 cranks but won't turn over

VWVortex.com - 2.8l 12v VR6 Engine Forum - forums.vwvortex.com
2001 VW Jetta GLX with a 2.8 VR6

Here's the story:

Last week, temps were around a comfortable zero degrees F here in Michigan. I had to jump it three times before I went in to work. At the end of the day, no issues - but those cold mornings needed a boost. I attributed it to old car and cold start and not so smartly ignored my instincts to get it tested. The next couple days were warmer and started no problem.

Tuesday, as I was turning, the car just died. Fortunately, the intersection was empty and was able to get it towed home.

I pulled the battery, took it and got it charged/ tested. It wouldn't hold a charge so I replaced it. Then I ran into my cranking but not turning over problem.

The alternator is good (don't worry, I went through that six hour job again only to discover it's fine).

Here's what I've confirmed is working:

SPARK

All six plugs give a spark in testing (replaced as well) so the plugs, wires, and coil pack are all good.

FUEL:

Fuel pump starts when I get in and when I turn key to on.

All fuses (inside car and under hood) are fine/replaced (because why not?).

COMPRESSION:

Without renting a compression kit, I can confirm there is compression by hand using a vacuum hose.

Some history:

In the summer, when there some big rains, it stalled for about 1 second and then was fine. It did this about three times. Honestly not sure if it's related. I also replaced the water pump in the spring.

I'm thinking that whatever is preventing it from starting is connected to the battery problem and was drawing on the battery.

Since it won't start, I can't take it anywhere to have the codes read and I don't have a reader myself.

I'm leaning towards a crankshaft sensor and am going to try that tomorrow evening - but looking to see if anyone else has had similar problems/knows a solution. Stumbled upon this which is what brought me here:


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