Eurovan won't start, electronics acting wierd


Asked by Sep 12, 2011 at 01:41 PM about the 2002 Volkswagen EuroVan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Our 2002 Eurovan Camper won't start - here are the symptoms:
Battery shows over 14v, so no lack of charge issues
Radio turns on when you turn the ignition, cuts out when you remove the key from the ignition, just like normal
Headlights are on all the time - even when key is removed, headlight switch is off, AND even when a battery cut-off I have installed for long-term storage is disconnected.
EPC and Transmission Check lights are on, and the car beeps when you open the door, as if the key is in the ignition but it's not.

Any thoughts?

6 Answers


It could be the ignition switch. It is common on Eurovans and Jettas. The switch is screwed to the back of the key tumbler. I believe this part is the same for all years of Eurovans. Link to part and pictures:,_Lighting_and_Body/Switches/Ignition_Starter_Switch/pagenum1/tabS

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Hi Perry, i have same problems wonder how did you resolve the issue?


It turns out that a part of the ignition cylinder (referred to above as the key tumbler?) broke off mid-turn when we first turned the ignition key on. So, in effect, the van was stuck in "ig-on" mode, if that's what VW calls it. The ignition switch made it to ig-on mode but never got to "engine start" mode. The part that broke was a little knuckle that is part of the casting of the igintion cylider that is what turns the actual ignition switch to the different ignition positions. It took our auto electric specialist mechanic several hours to diagnose and repair this, but he only charged us for about 1.5 hours because he felt he should have been able to do it faster if he was better at diagnosing the VW's. Thanks for asking!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Is your passenger seat turned in the driving mode? facing forward? If it is turned toward the back (as in when you are camping) the ignition won't engage. Try this out. j

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Had the same issue. It's a faulty ignition switched. Camped next to a river in Quincy, CA.. was advised that we had to go to a dealer b/c the fix involves a new key. Towed to Reno. Verdict is $1,125 fix to replace the ring, ignition switch, lock & cylinder. $500 part, $575 labor. Will end up with a new key that will only work for the ignition, so will need to carry 2 keys for the vehicle. Understand its a common failure, didn't know it would be such a sting. Going to research now to see if this is a rip off fix, or reasonable. This is a 2002 Eurovan, 147,000 miles, out on our second camping trip after purchasing the van a couple months ago. Welcome to the club eh?

It's the ignition switch which is plastic piece that Is behind the lock. You don't need a new lock. The ignition switch is about $20 online (much more at the dealer) it's a major pain to install though, because you need to unscrew the old one with one little screw right between the lock and the steering column accessed from the bottom up. People have used a bent philips screwdriver, I completely took off steering wheel and everything behind it to get to it and still had to use the bend screw driver :-( But, 1 Saturday later we're back in business

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