I have a VW Golf 3 GSX 1995 carburetor. Yesterday it just died after a few attempts cranking the engine. I noticed the ignition lights were not lighting up. I then checked all fuses: all OK as well as the No18 as indicated as engine but not sure of relays. I checked for spark with a spare spark plug I carry, dead. As I do not have the money to take it in, please advise how to eliminate the problem as I can't go replacing all different parts and have to do it myself I have a multimeter, but advice clearly if I would have to use where to set the tester.

  • Welcome to the site. If the dashboard is not lighting up then this may be a sign that the ignition switch is not changing the switch position to 'On'
    – Zaid
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


I think the problem is most likely the battery. Either it is completely dead, or it has lost connection at the terminal (or somewhere in the chain). Check to see if the battery itself has power. Set your multimeter to read voltage. Next, place the red lead to the positive battery terminal (should have a large + sign near it). Place the black lead to the negative battery terminal (should have a large - sign near it). Voltage should read over 12.5vdc if it's in good shape (usually about 13.1vdc if fully charged). The battery would be in a weakened state between 11-12.5vdc, but could possibly start the vehicle. Below 11vdc it becomes really dicey and getting your vehicle started without a boost is most likely not going to happen.

If this does appear to be the issue, try to get a jump (boost) start first and see if it will at least get the vehicle to turn on. If that doesn't work, pull the battery out of the vehicle and charge it to full capacity. While it's out of the car, clean both connections so they are ready to go back onto the battery when it's fully charged. If the battery does not come back up to full charge, it will need replacing.

If the battery appears to be in good condition, you'll need to look elsewhere. First place to look is at the terminals, wires, and connections where the wires terminate at the other end (away from the battery). Make sure all of the connections are tight and not corroded. Clean/tighten as necessary.

If this doesn't fix your issue, you'll have to dig deeper, such as the ignition switch as @Zaid suggested.

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