My Volkswagen Polo has endless starting problems - what could it possibly be?

I've been having a series of issues with my 2012 Volkswagen Polo for the past couple of months and I’m at my wits end as it appears to have an ‘undiagnosable’ problem. It's leaving Volkswagen and my local garage stumped, costing me a lot of money but getting nowhere. Last September (2016) my car underwent the ‘emissions fix’. About two months ago my car was having trouble starting and the engine light came on. I took it back to Volkswagen and they replaced two glow plugs. This seemed to work intially, however the problem came back. Two more separate times my car got returned to Volkswagen only for them to tell me it had started for them every time and they couldn’t diagnose a problem. The problem continued to persist until three weeks ago my car failed to start completely and made a whirring noise suggesting a starter motor issue. It got towed to my local garage who changed starter motor, flywheel and clutch for £1100. Within two days of this, my car still had problems starting. It went back to the local garage who could only suggest the battery as the problem. The battery got changed and within 24 hours, my car still has problems starting. The car has a brief initial sound when you turn the key, but it then cuts out, makes no noise and the lights go off the dash. When you turn the key another couple of times it does absolutely nothing, no sound, no lights. After a couple more attempts and holding the key it makes a clunk and then starts to kick in, makes a noise the dash lights appear as normal and it starts. However the dash time, trip counter etc is reset to 0. Any suggestions on what I can do next or what the potential problem may be, would be really helpful.
Reads like a relay problem to me. Maybe the earth to the relay or the earth to the battery. Could well be that a lot of the work carried out on the car was unnecessary because the underlying fault was not diagnosed. Get it to somewhere else entirely, preferably an independent Volkswagen specialist. If they fix it and it turns out to be nothing more than a loose earth, then pay them for a written report and take the people who charged you £1100 fore the unnecessary new starter motor and flywheel to Small Claims. I don't think it's linked to the emissions fix. Once it's traced it should not be expensive to fix. Less than £100.
Answered by Honest John

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