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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old September 17th, 2017, 13:32   #1
AceTdi
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Location: Manitoba
TDI(s): Golf ALH
Default ALH TDI "Cold" Start Issue

Researched and diagnosed relentlessly, can't figure this out.

Trouble starting from overnight sit (even in summer). Takes long cranks to start, and for first ~30sec it idles extremely rough, spewing heavy white/blue smoke. After it warms up, it purrs like a kitten. Cold starts also seem to cause massive fuel consumption (more than normal starting). Glow light plug only comes on for 1-2sec (shuts off before other dash lights when moving from key-on to start position).

Symptom seems to get worse based on how wet it is out (dew or heavy overnight or current rain). But only when cold starting (IE hot wet starting is fine). This really confuses me. I want to diagnose and fix before Canadian winter.

Diagnosis: Tested resistance in all glow plugs, all 4 are reading 0.8 to 0.9ohms. Checked glow plug harness, seems to be in good condition but unsure of proper method of testing function. There is new diesel fuel filter. Haven't gone into injector pump.

Symptoms that are NOT occurring:
-Hot starts are perfectly fine, starts on first crank when engine warm.
-Low idle when warm is excellent, purrs like a kitten.
-No smoke or power loss when engine warm.

Just cold starting issues. Please help as I am lost! PS. Model is 02 TDI Golf.
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Old September 17th, 2017, 14:28   #2
turbocharged798
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Fuel Economy: 40-50mpg
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Pump timing is out would be my guess.
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99.5 Red Jetta TDI. Saved from the crusher. 270K
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Old September 17th, 2017, 14:30   #3
AceTdi
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Even though it runs excellent after warming up? If pump timing was out, would I not have symptoms all the time? Also, how to check timing?
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Old September 17th, 2017, 16:26   #4
turbocharged798
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Yes because the ECU can compensate to a point. You need VCDS to check it.
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99.5 Black Jetta TDI; DLC1019 nozzles, G60/VR6, ASV .5mm pistons, EGR delete, ASR/EDL, bilstein TCs MFA cluster.. Beater car. 365K miles and climbing.
99.5 Red Jetta TDI. Saved from the crusher. 270K
04 Jetta TDI .MFA cluster, reverse light mod, bilstein TCs 200K.
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Old September 17th, 2017, 16:28   #5
AceTdi
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Excellent, there's a guy around here who has it. I'll run it over to him to check.
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Old September 17th, 2017, 16:58   #6
burn_your_money
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Sounds like you have air entering the fuel system somewhere allowing the fuel to drain out of the pump overnight.
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Old September 17th, 2017, 17:08   #7
AceTdi
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Burn_your_money. That was my first suspicion. Sounded like it was losing prime. I originally thought there was a fuel lifter pump so ordered a new sending unit, except I realized these cars don't have a lift pump.

Any tests I can do? Procedures to go through? This deep into diesels is above me (still learning). And I don't want to go screwing up anything on that timing belt loop.
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Old September 17th, 2017, 17:19   #8
burn_your_money
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Do you have a vacuum pump like a Mitivac?

Do you have clear fuel lines going to and from the pump from the filter? Even clear PVC would be fine temporarily.
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Old September 19th, 2017, 22:47   #9
BabyHuey
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Not looking to Hijack here, but I too have this exact problem. I do have a Mitivac and would like some info on a procedure to test the pump or lines. Thank you...
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Old September 20th, 2017, 01:47   #10
UhOh
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All sorts of things enter into the picture here.

Timing
Compression
Starter
Air in fuel system

If you're not seeing any significant air bubbles in the clear fuel line going to the IP then this might not be the issue.

Cranking speed is fairly critical on a cold engine. I think that Bentley says is should be a minimum of 150 RPM: I like to see higher. If battery isn't responsible then the starter might be getting tired: many times just removing, cleaning and greasing up a bit can do wonders.

If timing is too retarded then cold starts are going to be rough.

IQ can also play a part here, though I am unsure about how much so. If IQ is high then starting tends to be a little harder.

Injectors/nozzles can also com into play, but there is lower-hanging fruit to investigate before getting to this point.
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Old September 20th, 2017, 06:34   #11
BabyHuey
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Thanks for the reply. No consistently noticeable bubbles in the clear fuel line, although i have seen a couple at one point.

As far as cranking. I felt it was slow, so I had the battery tested and it's good. So I pulled a used starter down and cleaned it up and installed it. Also cleaned the cables and grounds under the battery good. The cranking speed is much better and it has helped with the issue, but it still persists. Smokes like crazy and very rough for 30 secs or so. After that, it's great the rest of the day.

I bought a vcds, but am not the most computer savy guy. From what I've seen on here and the ross tech site (yes I bought the tdi club supporting member cable) my iq says it's good. It's right in the middle of the lines.

I must ad I'm fighting an intermittent limp mode condition as well, but I don't think it has anything to do with starting.

Last edited by BabyHuey; September 20th, 2017 at 06:37.
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Old September 21st, 2017, 02:14   #12
BabyHuey
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Nobody???
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Old September 21st, 2017, 03:02   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyHuey View Post
Nobody???
I'd recommend starting your own thread in order to reduce confusion/crosstalk. This thread is pretty new and the OP hasn't had much chance to work through his problem.
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Old September 21st, 2017, 03:19   #14
BabyHuey
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Fair enough, thank you.
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Old September 21st, 2017, 08:04   #15
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To the OP, unless the temps in Manitoba are dipping into the mid-40sf (about 7 centigrade) or lower, glow plugs do not kick in. The light will come on for an instant at 100f (38c) but that does not mean the GPs glowed. Inside the GP relay, are two contacts, one is to send the light a signal as well as the ECU for operational purposes. The other contact sends current to the GPs. The first contact always activates when the ignition is turned ON, thus GP light for an instant on hot days or an already warmed up engine. The engine temp sensor is where the ECU gets info to activate the GP relay when temp is at or below the threshold. Do you have a DTC for the Temp Sensor (I believe the code is P0280)?

I suspect you have a timing issue as has been suggested ... the white smoke after the start-up is a pretty good indication.
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