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Discussion Starter #1
My 1997 A6 engine occasionally cut off and stop running. Can't get it start again but hearing "click...click" sound when turning the ignition key before turning the key full. The engine won't start but continue with small clicking sound. If I wait for a while and try again, the Car run normal again. It has happened twice over the last 10 days. I am afraid of some serious problem somewhere. I am a new owner and getting them serviced, especially in Malaysia can be very expensive.

Regards/alex
 

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Well it doesn't sound like a serious fault although anything intermittent is a pain and when it causes the car to cut out can be dangerous. The way you describe it sounds just like a starter motor solenoid bad connection type issue......... except that wouldn't explain the cutting out.

It could also be an electronic issue with a sensor or the ECU but again that wouldn't explain the starter motor not turning over.. puzzling

Is it just the engine cutting out? or are all the electrics dieing?

The only thing I can think of at the moment is ignition switch contacts faulty / intermittent, this would be random though so if possible try to see if there is a definite pattern, for instance if it is always 15 mins before it will start again then that points more towards to something getting too hot, but working again when it has cooled down, or a possible fault with the immobiliser.

The ignition switch can crack / split inside but it usually just causes the key in the lock to be stiffer to turn and not to return to the "ignition on" position after stating rather than not actually starting, I've noticed an Audi sourced replacement ignition switch was different / improved internally to prevent this, so I think it's a known issue...... The part is cheep enough, (in the uk at least), but it's not a pleasant job to do due to lack of access, and the steering lock.

Need more detailed info really, next time it happens wiggle the key in the lock to see if that helps before trying to start it again.... also if you can locate where the click you hear is coming from is it inside the car, in the engine bay etc....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advise. I am away at the moment except that my wife uses the occasionally and so far is OK.

One of my Mechanic suspected that it could be electrical problem or weak battery or bad connections ?? I just changed a new battery a month ago.

I forgot to investigate more thoroughly last time as I was in a hurry to get the car start. I heard small clicking sound as if from the starter ?? in the first few attempts. I remembered taking in and out my car a few times before the car get started again and I tried a few times after that without any problem. I also forgot to check whether everythings were cut off or not ..

Luckily, both times happened just infront of my house on parking mode, first time wanting to park the car and other time wanting to go out.

Regards/alex
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I meant putting my ignition key in and out a few times. I was also informed that my Ignition key was changed by previous owner, Key not returning to old position after kick starting the car and caused damage to the starter. I think is not the same problem as I checked the position of the key and made sure is not on the maximum position.

Regards/alex
 

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Ok, and it sounds as if the ignition switch has been replaced due to the internal splitting I mentioned. (seems to be a regular fault after a lot of use), but if it has been replaced then it's more unlikely to be the cause of your issue.

I'm still not 100% sure if you mean the car is cutting out while running / driving along or just not starting or when starting?

The battery terminals or the earthing to the chassis could be the cause if there is corrosion, and was partly why I asked if everything electrical went off or not.

Might be worth checking and cleaning the battery terminals. If they are corroded once cleaned a coating of Vaseline, (petroleum jelly), on the battery posts will prevent further corrosion. However once the car is running the alternator should cope even if you disconnect the battery in most situations so this is unlikely to be the cause..

Might be worth getting a small note pad in the car and noting down exact events each time incase it has a regular pattern.
 
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