Re: [MH-list] VW Jammed Starter Motor?


In a message dated 03/01/2009 22:10:23 GMT Standard Time, writes:

My son's 1994 VW Holdsworth (Type 2) seems to have a jammed starter
motor. Seem to remember that rocking the vehicle in top gear might free it
hitting the starter motor with a hammer.

Hi Martin,

If the starter motor has jambed IN MESH, the starter will not turn, and
neither will the engine. It will feel exactly like the engine has seized solid.
Warming lamps will dim as you turn the key to try to start it. There should be
a click from the solemoid.

This will only apply if you have the old fashioned inertia type starter. I
don't think it applies to the more recent (and expensive) pre-engage starter.
1994 sounds modern to me.

Assuming you have the inertia type starter, you will need to turn the
starter motor backwards to disengage it, which can be done in either of two ways.

1. Locate the starter. On the end, you will find a square peg, actually the
end of the armature. It might be hidden under a protective cap, which you can
jemmy off with a screwdriver. Apply a small spanner to the square peg, and
turn. It will only turrn one way, but might feel reluctant for the first couple
of degrees. If this works, carry a spanner with you for ever after.

2. Engage TOP gear, release handbrake. Rock the vehicle back and fore, with
emphasis on pushing it back, as your intent is to turn the engine backwards.

This may be difficuly if you are parked on a hill. I would them chock the
other wheels, jack up a drive wheel, engage top gear, and juggle the elevated
wheel - hard. I've never done this, so don't know if it will work.

If the engine is able to turn, even a little, I don't think this is your


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