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-   -   Culprit of intermittent engine shut down on cold starts? (

jesus_man January 11th, 2019 08:14

Culprit of intermittent engine shut down on cold starts?
So his scenario has happened twice while under my ownership. The first time to my wife as she was attempting to take her parents to the airport and second time was yesterday to me.

I had used the car to run the kids to school, get some errands ran, and return home; about a 45 mile adventure. Temps that morning were fairly cold; in the high 20's, but there were no hints of issues.

Early that afternoon I get in the car to go get the kids from school, temps now in the 30's. I started it normally, but it ran rough for a second then died. hmmm. So I turn off the key, and cycle it back on and allow the glow plugs to do their thing for about 5 seconds and I start it again. It takes about 5 seconds of cranking before it fires. Still running rough, I begin to back out of the driveway. As I switch from R to D, the car dies again. I restart again after more than normal cranking; puzzled as to what is going on. There is no CEL or any indication on the dash. I restart again, this time backing into the driveway, popping the hood and not seeing anything that would seem to cause issues. The engine appears to be running normally again on this startup. So I close the hood, say a little prayer and head out. The car ran normally from there on. This morning, temps in the low 20's I feared it may not start but it did normally and ran great.

I'd love any advice. I do have VAG-COM, but am a very novice user. I have owned the car 11 months and I did not get any service history. I am at 112k miles and I know the timing belt R&R is around the corner. I have changed the oil regularly with the right stuff from and am making plans to replace the fuel filter.


Swinging Steel January 11th, 2019 08:38

That just happened to me this week. Probably too much water in your lower intercooler pipe...passenger side. Make it a regular maintenance task to drain it and wipe out the sludge. maybe every other oil change. be thankful it didn't hydrolock. I guess it's a common issue...see the first sticky in this forum. Seems like some people get away with drilling a small hole in the bottom of the pipe, but I wonder how that doesn't affect the turbo's performance, because that whole line delivers pressurized air. My first issue didn't occur until I just plan on draining it every other fuel filter change. Good luck with the car.

piotrsko January 11th, 2019 08:52

A 3mm 1/16 hole isn't going to leak worse than some of the seals, but it's enough to drain the pipe fairly fast.

jesus_man January 11th, 2019 10:05

It was worth the shot, but there was very little water in there. Some sludge that I cleaned out best I could, but only 2 or 3 drops of water.

Back to the drawing board.

Matt927 January 11th, 2019 14:34

Block your lower grill during cold weather. Problem solved.

jesus_man January 11th, 2019 15:00


Originally Posted by Matt927 (Post 5473241)
Block your lower grill during cold weather. Problem solved.

I fear it isn't that simple.

INSW20 January 11th, 2019 19:33

I had something like this happen when ambient temps were 30F, but my car was facing bright sunlight (my ambient air temp display on the dash showed 56F). Not sure if the sun heated something to the point there was a mismatch between measured and actual air temp which then caused improper fueling/timing? Just an idea.

jesus_man January 14th, 2019 08:15

I had experienced a small fuel leak from the outlet of the small pump near the coolant overflow tank. I discovered that I did not tighten it well enough before as it was loose again. So I got more serious about tightening it and will check that after a few days to see if it's still holding.

It's plausible that the leak might cause my issue, but it wasn't that much of a leak unless fuel was siphoned out of the injection system??

No problems since that day and the car handled the 5" of snow we received Friday night quite well!

jesus_man February 17th, 2019 09:49

The problem came back this am. Would start very hard and idle rough and die. After 3rd start where the battery barely turned the engine over it stayed running. After a few seconds it ran normally for being cold. Had the charging system checked out and while the battery passed they said the regulator is failing. Failed 4 times in a row.
So would low voltage cause the car to run rough and die? I saw where to test battery for AC to see if the regulator isn't doing its job and I will test that soon.
Any advice? Anyone source and successfully replace just the regulator?

Wilkins February 18th, 2019 10:05

I think it is unlikely you have an electrical problem more serious than perhaps dirty battery terminals. I would look for backup before accepting the statement the regulator is failing. If you get 13.6 V across the battery with the engine running all is good there.

I think your problem is simply water in the intercooler. Before i drilled a hole I occasionally and infrequently had this problem after driving the car gently for longer periods. The simplest fix is to rev the engine briefly in the last few miles before shutdown. eg rev it to 3500 for 15 seconds . The increased airflow will blow any water out of the intercooler. Caveat that if a big slug comes through you do run the risk of serious engine damage from hydrolock. Experience says this would be a rare and unusual but not unheard of event.

jesus_man February 18th, 2019 10:19

When I pulled the intercooler pipe just a few weeks ago, I only got a couple drops of water. Do you think that revving the engine forces the water into that part of the tube? That comes with the risk that if there is indeed substantial water in the intercooler, then the engine can then ingest it?

But why then would the regulator fail the test? I will stop at a different shop tomorrow and have them perform the test again.

oilhammer February 18th, 2019 11:00

Sounds like you need a cold weather intercooler kit.

jesus_man February 18th, 2019 11:13

What does that involve?

oilhammer February 18th, 2019 13:06

An intercooler, a vacuum switching valve, and a few vacuum tubes.

jesus_man February 18th, 2019 13:45

Sounds interesting. But that would hinge on if there is indeed water in the intercooler. I assume they are not real easy to just remove and dump?

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