View original topic: intermittent start
Gordo_89 Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:55 pm


started the van the other day and the engine did not turn over. finally got to look at it today and it started on the first turn of the key, tried starting with all the lights on and nothing. so thinking the issue was the battery i took it off and charged it overnight. refitted the battery turned the key and nothing.

decided to have a look at the starter motor and shorted terminal 30 and 50 and the starter spun into action, great news it must be the ignition. jumped back into the van hoping to turn the key and noting happen but sadly it started.

1. does the starter solenoid often have intermittent issues?
2. it could still be the ignition

i had 12-13v on terminal 30 of the starter when connected to earth.

any other areas to check?

Howesight Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:12 pm

The symptoms you describe are consistent with a failing ignition switch. Intermittent problems on other parts of the Vanagon electrical system are hard to diagnose, but the ignition switch typically fails in exactly this way - - intermittently.

Here is a link to the procedure for removal and replacement of the ignition switch:

the joker Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:18 pm

there must be a moon cycle for this problem

if the ing switch test good ,please try two different know new ones. they have a high degree of failure when new :evil:

if that chks out next thing to look at is the halls unit wiring,and or the transponder ( bently has a procedure ) dizzy internals :idea:

last but not least the coil if it is original it's time :!:

MarkWard Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:02 pm

Its easy to drop the lower column cover and unplug the ignition switch harness. I have made a jumper wire with spade connectors that I can start and run the van with the ignition switch bypassed. While not hard to change, it is a bit involved to remove it if you have not done a replacement before.

Using a jumper will tell you if it is infact the ignition switch or something else. To operate only the starter, there are 2 large gauge wires in the molded plug. Those are the two you cross connect to engage the starter.

Did you specify if this is a manual or automatic?

Gordo_89 Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:21 pm

I didn't specify, its a manual so no cut off switch for neutral.

once I'd tested the power to the starter I was hoping the ignition still wouldn't work so I could try shorting the two cables to prove the ignition is the culprit.

dobryan Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:08 pm

In a pinch you can use a paper clip for a jumper. BTDT.

MarkWard Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:15 pm

You could get your wires into place even add a pushbutton and when it won't crank, you try your pushbutton. The ignition switch is so cheap, probably less than a pushbutton starter switch.

The ignition switch as I said is not the easiest to deal with. You need to remove the steering wheel and the switch stalk needs to be unplugged. Then you remove the upper steering bearing housing and you can access the little screw that secures the switch.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group