Help Re. Audi A4 starting problem - ?immobiliser or ignition barrel

Hi,
Over the past few months I have been experiencing problems starting my car (1996 A4, 1.8, 83,000 miles).
On occasions it takes me 4 - 8 attempts to start the engine. There does not
seem to be any pattern as to when this is likely to happen.
I spoke to the previous owner, who informed me that this had happened to him several times too, and that he had taken it to the Audi dealer who supplied him with a new ignition key - suggesting that the original one was worn. As this does not seem to have cured the problem I was wondering if anyone had suffered similar problems?
I am thinking that either the ignition barrel is a bit worn, or the immobiliser is faulty, but would welcome any other thoughts on the matter (before I change the barrel un-necessarily). Also, do you know if there is an easy way to by-pass (turn off) the immobiliser, so I can test this too?
Many thanks,
Gary
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X-no-archive: yes Gary Murison wrote:

So what, exactly, does it do/not do? Some more information would help.
FWIW, I had a similar problem in a 97 A3, would start the car, engine fired up then immobiliser light would flash and engine would die.
Only cure was to remove the key and reinsert it again. This always worked 100%.
The permanent fix was to get the key barrel replaced.
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Hi Graham,
That sounds like exactly the same problem as I am experiencing. The immobiliser light flashes and the engine dies. On most occasions, removing the key from the barrel solves my issue, but there have been a times when I have had to do this several times before any joy.
So, it sounds like a barrel change may solve my problem.
Thanks for the advice.
Gary

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Yeah its the coil inside the barrel, its a known fault with A4's, I just give it a wiggle and its ok :)
Ronny
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Thanks Ronny,
I'll take your tip and 'give it a wiggle' - it'll save me the hassle of changing the barrel.
Best wishes,
Gary

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If its any consolation mines been doing it for 4 years, it can be a pain but it costs 150 quid to get repaired and I got better things to spend my money on :)
The AA said you wanna be carefull you could get stranded it if it goes totally, but i'll take my chances, anyway I've part ex'd it now :)
Ronny
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First try and clean the groove in the key metal to spotless condition. A buid-up of dirt caused this condition in my A4's ignition system
JP Roberts

just
but
money
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