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Starting problems - any four cyl. VW guys here?

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Starting problems - any four cyl. VW guys here?

Post #1 by Guest » Mon Jul 28, 2003 1:48 am

The golf I just got is having starting troubles. The falcon I can deal with- fuel injection and all the wiring under the hood is another matter :? Most times it turns over 2-3 times and starts right up. sometimes it turns over and over and over and so on. I turn the key off, try starting again (after doing this anywhere from 1 time to 10 times) and it starts immediately- no misfire, does not act like it's flooded or anything or run rough. The cap and rotor look good ( no points) but I have not had plugs out yet. The problem seems to be getting worse -took me almost 10 min to start it today. The first time it happened the engine was warm, but it was cold today- or air temp of about 75 deg. I tried it this evening after cooling down and it started right up. One thing I have noticed is I do not always hear the electric fuel pump come on when I turn the key, but that is not consistent with when the starting problem occurs. Any ideas?

Thor

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addo
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Post #2 by addo » Mon Jul 28, 2003 5:15 am

Try squirting some Avgas or similar fuel into the inlet via a vacuum fitting. If it coughs and possibly starts briefly, then it's fuel delivery. Spark can be checked with one of those series-connected things that clips on the plug. I'm not sure if just grounding the lead will be good for its operating system. Is the battery OK?

Adam.

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Post #3 by Guest » Mon Jul 28, 2003 11:46 am

If it's like the VW Scirocco I had, the electronic fuel pump located near the tank is good for 6-8 years. When it goes out, the low pressure in the tube that feeds the injectors can cause the starting problem you describe. If you have a shop manual, it describes a procedure to check the pressure with a gage. If your not hearing the fuel pump come on, the fuel pump is the likely problem. Before mine went out I could turn the key to start about a half a dozen times to prime the system and get the pressure up to the injectors and it would start, but eventually it went out completely.
As Adam said, if you prime it through the throttle body and it starts for a few seconds, you’re probably on the right track. If not, pull the plugs and keep looking.

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Post #4 by Guest » Mon Jul 28, 2003 1:41 pm

I was afraid of this- the whole fuel system started going (injectors, metering system, fuel pump) on my old rabbit and it was pricey to say the least- I think I got a used fuel pump for close to $100 and that was about 1995! But that car's symptoms were differant- hard starting but flooding/ running rough once it's started.

Addo- by battery is fine as the car will turn over- about 5 min worth- and it does not go dead. What OTC (over the counter ) product will work to spray in and make the car fire up- WD-40? Brake cleaner? I have carb cleaner but that does the opposite. I also have starting fluid- I'll try that next time, although the car started fine this morning :roll:

Is there any kind of relay switch that turns the fuel pump on, since sometimes it comes on and sometimes not? Like I said, sometimes I hear it come on when I turn the key several times in a row and the car still does not start.

How would the car act differantly if it was just a plugged fuel filter? I may try that first- after I find out how to de-pressurize the system.

As for checking for spark the old fashion way- puting the plug up against the block and turning the engine over looking for spark, will that work with an aluminum head? Not sure if the block is steel, or as you might say, Addo, aluminium :wink: Thanks for the ideas, guys- you never come up short!

Thor

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Post #5 by Guest » Mon Jul 28, 2003 2:29 pm

Ragtopman (I like your name :D ),

Do you remember what your spark plug wires looked like? I noticed something odd yesterday. The plug holes in the distributor cap each have a little stud or rod in the center that protrudes up into the spark plug wire boot, as does the coil. However, the coil wire is the only wire that has the proper fitting for that little rod to go into- both on the coil and and the cap end. The four plug wires have regular ends like on our falcons- and the stud does not touch the copper wire fitting as far as I can see. Shouldn't the plug wires have the fittings to fit tightly over the studs in the cap?

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Post #6 by Silver Shadow » Mon Jul 28, 2003 5:28 pm

Had VW Dasher thet devoloped this type problems a long time ago. The fuel pump would sometimes not run. Cracked fuse block cost lots of :cry: $$$$ :cry: to replace. Happened again wired the fuel pump lead to the left tail light put the park lights on to prime things then shut them off and pray then maybe it would start. Gave it to my teenage son to drive to school. taught him about prayer. When he left home it went to be crushed. :D :D :D And thet was the only cure I could find the I could afford. I've a frind thet has been a VW dealer mechanic for over twenty years and he drive a ford pickup mit the 300 I 6. Mybe thets why he not there no more.
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Post #7 by Guest » Mon Jul 28, 2003 6:41 pm

3pennyford wrote:I've a frind thet has been a VW dealer mechanic for over twenty years and he drive a ford pickup mit the 300 I 6. Mybe thets why he not there no more.


*hehe*- could be! I hope this is not deja vu with my rabbit all over again- swore I'd never have an older foreign car again and here I am. The problem happened again today- I sprayed starting fluid in the pcv hose and it started right up, stalled and then started and ran. I don't understand how once it fires it runs, since it's an electric fuel pump- more voltage maybe? I'm going to try changing the filter first, if that does not work I'll have to replace the pump. ~ka-ching~

BTW., what fuse block are you talking about- the one for the whole car or is there a special one for the fuel system?

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Post #8 by MustangSix » Mon Jul 28, 2003 7:08 pm

Try checking the fuel pump relay first. It is a small black cube in the fuse box and should be marked. You can swap it for one of the other relays to test it. this happens a lot.
Jack Collins

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Post #9 by Guest » Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:04 am

Will do. You have to pull it out anyhow to de-pressurize the system. But aren't the relays differant for each slot, like some fuses are? Maybe they have some sort of rating so I can find another to swap it with that's the same. If that's all it is I'd be happy- just the fuel filter for this thing is $25.00- I don't even want to know how much the pump is.

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Post #10 by addo » Tue Jul 29, 2003 6:38 am

OK, it's fuel delivery. First suspect the pump. If it's in-tank, the road service guys here first whack the tank, or sink the boot in. If it then starts readily, it's the pump. An inline pump is another issue; somewhere along the way a fuel pressure gauge will be a good thing to invest in.

Adam.

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Post #11 by Guest » Tue Jul 29, 2003 4:21 pm

I'm going to play around with the relays today- the rear window defroster relay is the same one- I can do without that in this 90 degree heat. If that does not work I'll weigh the price of a fuel pressure tester against a new fuel filter and go from there.

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Post #12 by Kinky6 » Tue Jul 29, 2003 5:43 pm

Ragtopman, I've owned an '83 GTI since new, and drove a '90 Jetta for quite a few years, also. Check on how many fuel relays you have - my GTI has two, and when they both went out, it drove the mechanic nuts sorting that out.

Good luck with it, Kinky6.
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Post #13 by BIGREDRASA » Tue Jul 29, 2003 5:52 pm

Duh, I know I'm getting old. :( I thought for a minute I would get to share my knowledge of the old air-cooled fours. :roll:
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Post #14 by Lazy JW » Tue Jul 29, 2003 6:00 pm

Yup, me too Bigredrasa :) I must be older than I realised. But then, the old VW's are so simple that no one really needs help fixing them. Ah, for the good old days!
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Post #15 by Guest » Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:56 am

Well, SOME old VW's are simple :roll: I did not have the starting problem today, but I think maybe I put the relay from the rear defroster in the slot for the fuel pump without realizing it. I swapped them back tonight, so we'll see if the problem re-appears tomorrow. If the problem has dissapeared, I will be forever worried that the fuel pump is going to go out at some unexpected time. I've never been stranded by a simple old ford as they tell you ahead that something's wrong! Kinky six's story about the two relays reminds me of a bad wire in the charging system in my old rabbit- about $125 of labor (in1994) for them to find and fix it.

Sedanman

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Post #16 by Guest » Wed Aug 06, 2003 2:33 am

The problem seems to be coming and going. Just as I thought it was better, it re-appeared today. Swapping the fuse for the relay (I thought it WAS the relay until the shop told me it was actually the fuse yesterday!) with another one immediatly showed that is not the problem as the problem is still there. The guy I spoke with at a vw parts/repair shop said if the relay was bad it would not work. Diagnosing this seems to be getting more unclear- he said this car has two fuel pumps- one in the tank and one outside and either could be faulty.

It may also be a problem in the ignition switch as turning off the key does not always turn off the radio or door buzzer. Turning the key "on" does not always make the fuel pump do it's thing. But the ignition switch is not cheap to replace and needs to be drilled out or something. However, I think it's not just the ingnition switch. If it were, why would the problem happen mostly when the car is warm and has been sitting for about 10-20 min ( usually when I go into the store and come out and try to start it ) :?:

Either way, I'm staring to wish I'd bought another escort......

Thor

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Post #17 by addo » Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:02 pm

Have you tried the "whack the tank" trick? This is standard practice for roadside service...

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Post #18 by BIGREDRASA » Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:18 pm

Earlier this year I had a similar prob with my '96 Mystaque. Fuel pump. $300+. :(
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Post #19 by Guest » Thu Aug 07, 2003 7:43 pm

If you have two fuel pumps, how do you know which is bad? This is why I still think there's an electrical problem as if one pump is working I'd at least hear it, right?

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