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Q: intermittent starting problems on 2001 Audi Allroad Quattro

Last week it would shut down two seconds after starting and after six tries I gave up. it started fine the next day and started easily every day since until this evening, when it did it again.
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there is an icon in the dash that looks like a car on a key. if this icon was flashing it's an immobilizer (key) issue, if not, it could very well be a fuel pump. keys and vacuum leaks don't usually cause intermittent problems. a fuel pump can be affected by temp changes. this could all be mute if a code is stored for stuff like a speed sensor or something. pull some codes.
This will require someone who has the tools and ability to diagnose this type of problem. Beyond trying to verify the problem, they should check all of the technical service bulletins from Audi, and verify that the vehicle has all the latest software available. They will check for any diagnostic trouble codes stored in every system on the vehicle and then come up with an idea as to what there next steps should be.
It may end up being something simple like a vacuum leak, but it could be many other issues, so it really helps to find a shop that can tackle all these other things I mentioned.
Good Luck, let us know what you find out!
We had non-electronic copies of our key made which worked formerly. The electronic key's battery failed and we had it replaced. Apparently after that, the car rejected the copies and shut the engine down after starting as a theft prevention device. Could one brand of automobile be more irritating? The original key costs $240 to replace, as opposed to the $75 (still ridiculous) "plain" copies, which are now rendered useless. However, when a non-Audi Audi specialist heard my symptoms, he diagnosed it immediately (unlike the Audi dealer, who thought it was a fuel pump which I would have probably replaced there at a prohibitive cost) and the battery powered key worked fine.
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