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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old July 13th, 2007, 17:59   #1
edyfiction
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Clear Lake, WA
TDI(s): 98 Jetta
Default Cranks but won't start

The car was running sluggish before it died. Intermittently could not climb hills and slow acceleration.
Now it died. Cranks but won't start.
I checked the fuel. No air bubbles and fuel pulses out of the injector hoses. Fuel pump seems fine.
I'm currently working on diagnostics of air intake manifold and other air hoses.
Also, if the alternator is not functioning could that stop the car from being able to start. How do I test the alternator? The car seems to have enough cranking power.
It cranks for a while then fires shortly and smokes when it fires.

Other symptoms:
AC wasn't working just before it went tot.
engine light was on: with P0605 code.
Couldn't really hear turbo.
Battery died recently but I replaced it just before the car died.
Lack of power and acceleration was intermittent.

any suggestions appreciated.
I need a life line.
~eddy
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Old July 13th, 2007, 18:08   #2
Joe_Meehan
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Location: Ohio USA
Fuel Economy: mid-upper 40's city upper 50's - low 60's Highway
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Is that a 98 Jetta ??
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Old July 14th, 2007, 18:14   #3
roni024
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Have you taken a look at your timing belt? It might have lost a few teeth or skipped timing otherwise (tensioner??). Just a thought.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 20:42   #4
edyfiction
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Yes 98 Jetta.
And I looked at the timing belt. Thank goodness it looks pretty well intact.
I took off the air intake manifold today. It was clogged from top to bottom. I'm hoping this is it. I'm in the process of soaking, scraping and hosing it out.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 20:55   #5
roni024
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That's funny...I just did mine today. Go to a paint store and get yourself some Sodium Metasilicate (mine was sold under the name 'Mex'). It is granular. Mix it with some hot water and soak it, brush/scrape it, rinse, repeat. A disposable aluminum baking dish works well as a vat. You can form the walls to keep liquid where you want it. I also used my pressure washer with its stream setting. That worked well. Some folks say to try not to let water enter the vacuum fitting on the EGR.

I hope you get it working by cleaning that out. Let me know.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 11:21   #6
edyfiction
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JUst finished cleaning the intake manifold and put it back on the car.
But it still won't start. Didn't get a good test on starting it because the battery was already dead. It is a brand new battery, however.

Back to the drawing board.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 14:34   #7
roni024
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Recheck your timing belt. I have a feeling your tensioner may have slipped. Check it and make sure the notches on the tensioner pulley are properly aligned. If not, your timing will be off and you will need to correct this.

If the belt is fine, do a compression test.

Also, the TDI FAQ has a pretty good run-down on what could be to blame. Chapter 8 deals with a car not starting and can be found at http://tdiclub.com/TDIFAQ/TDiFAQ-8.html.

I really hope you're facing an easy fix.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 19:52   #8
edyfiction
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timing belt and tensioner seem fine. timing may be off and fuel injection timing may be off. I think i will need to purchase vagcom cable and software to properly diagnose this. i think i'm gonna make the plunge into vagcom. anyone try the obdtool with the 311 software?
Is it possible that the alternator keep the car from starting. The tow truck driver said the alternator tested low.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 18:55   #9
edyfiction
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Location: Clear Lake, WA
TDI(s): 98 Jetta
Default seem to have found the issue but I need more advice

I got my car started the other day!!! Its a miracle.
I figured out how to reprime the fuel injection system and bleed the air and that worked!
But, I definitely have an air leak in the system somewhere, anyone have ideas on troubleshooting air leaks?
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Old August 7th, 2007, 14:52   #10
98JettaTDI
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TDI(s): 1998 Jetta
Fuel Economy: 46 mpg ave
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Start at the fuel filter tee. Inspect it, replace if need, cheap part should have a seal/o-ring.

Check the fuel line for cracks leaks. Anywhere air can get, diesel should be able to get out, so look for signs of leaking fuel. Start in the engine bay and work your way back to the tank. There is fuel line exposed on the undercarriage that could be damaged be road debris.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 17:31   #11
rdkern
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Don't forget to check the "water drain" valve on the bottom of the filter. When did you last change the fuel filter?

Also, in some cases, you won't see any diesel leaked out, especially if the problem in at a high point of the line. The "t" is suspect always, and use a magnifying glass when looking at it. A small crack will let in the air, and all fuel just flows back to the tank.
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