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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 April 3rd, 2008, 16:56   #1
belewmoon
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Default Engine stalls then won't start for 5 minutes...

'04 TDI Jetta - 83k miles, 5 speed.

Engine stalls while driving & won't restart for at least 5 minutes. This has happened 5 times in the last 3 weeks.
#1-#2 - 1/2 mile down the road in the morning after sitting all night. Shifting from 3rd to 2nd gear to make left turn
#3 - After 30 mile highway commute. Get off highway, pull into parking lot, in 1st gear.
#4 - 25 mile highway commute, stop & go traffic, 1st gear. Had to push car to side of road.
#5 - 20 mile highway commute. Off highway, thru a couple of lights. Pulled into parking lot in 1st gear.

Happens at low speeds. Doesn't matter if cold or hot.

I have had this car for about 9 months. Put about 15k miles on it in that time. It has always, when starting and after it has been sitting awhile, puffed a cloud of blueish smoke. Since the stalling problem, it still does this but not as bad.

The engine usually starts in only a couple of rotations. Since the stalling problem started, it takes a good 5 seconds to get the car started.

Lastly, when the engine stalls & I'm on the side of the road, it will restart after ~5 minutes. And when it restarts, it takes a good 10 seconds of key turning the engine before it finally starts.

Any ideas? Please let me know if there are any other questions.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 07:45   #2
jettawreck
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Any CEL?? Had it scanned for trouble codes with VAG COM yet??
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Old April 4th, 2008, 07:49   #3
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Tried an experiment this morning. Started car & let it run while I got ready for work. When I went back to car, it had stalled. Tried to start it & it wouldn't start. Sat for 5 minutes & it started but immediately stalled & wouldn't immediately restart. Sat for 5 minutes & it started but immediately stalled & now it won't start at all. Just cranks & cranks.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 07:53   #4
weedeater
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has this car ever used biodiesel?

2ndly, this could be a lift pump about to crap out. Also, the 04s had issues with tandem pumps. There was a recall.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 07:58   #5
belewmoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jettawreck
Any CEL?? Had it scanned for trouble codes with VAG COM yet??
No CEL. That would be too easy...

Haven't scanned yet. That will be next if putting a new fuel filter on doesn't help.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 08:00   #6
belewmoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weedeater
has this car ever used biodiesel?

2ndly, this could be a lift pump about to crap out. Also, the 04s had issues with tandem pumps. There was a recall.
I get bio (20%) from Annapolis Naval Station every once in awhile. Not on a regular basis tho.

Any way to check lift or tandem pumps?

Thanks.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 08:13   #7
jettawreck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weedeater
has this car ever used biodiesel?

2ndly, this could be a lift pump about to crap out. Also, the 04s had issues with tandem pumps. There was a recall.
Good call. I'd seriously look at the lift pump first.
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2001 Jetta TDI GLS Silver-current driver (salvage)permanently vented-Panzer Plate-Sprint 520s-ScanGauge-CheckTemp III-ZeroStart heater-CAT 2 filter
2003 Jetta GLS Black w/leather (New Project Car) fixer-upper w/broken TB
2004 Cadillac SLS (wife's)
1999 GMC Suburban (It's MN-you need one)
197? Shibura 2cyl diesel 4WD tractor-loader/brushhog (very handy unit)
196? International TD340 Dozer-w/Drott 4-in-1 bucket/back ripper attachment
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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:56   #8
belewmoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jettawreck
Good call. I'd seriously look at the lift pump first.
Installed new fuel filter...still no start.

How do I check the lift pump? Where is the lift pump?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:20   #9
weedeater
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It's in the fuel tank under the rear passenger seat. Listen when you turn the key to start to hear it running (or not).

No run = no go.

The kind of symptoms you're reporting are typical of a pump going bad. It's not a cheap part ($250+), but you can replace it yourself. You might want to talk to a dealer about the recall and see if your VIN is in the lucky group.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:22   #10
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Check the lift pump first.

Lift up the right rear seat bottom and then the cloth cover and the round plate for the in-tank lift pump is what you will see. You should be able to hear the pump run better, now that the seat bottom is not covering the pump (provided the pump is working).

After you do this, turn on the key and listen carefully for the pump to run for a couple of seconds. If its working, it will run briefly and turn off again, unless the engine is started (in that case, the pump should continue to run). Not hearing it run confirms the pump (or wiring or relay) is not working. If you do hear the pump run, its not a dead giveaway that the pump is OK.

Tandem pumps can leak air in (its on the cylinder head. driver's side).

A remote possibility is a bad crank angle sensor (or wiring for it). I would reference a Bentley to find out how to troubleshoot this, or the tandem pump.

--Nate
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Old April 4th, 2008, 13:39   #11
belewmoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDJetta
Check the lift pump first.

Lift up the right rear seat bottom and then the cloth cover and the round plate for the in-tank lift pump is what you will see. You should be able to hear the pump run better, now that the seat bottom is not covering the pump (provided the pump is working).

After you do this, turn on the key and listen carefully for the pump to run for a couple of seconds. If its working, it will run briefly and turn off again, unless the engine is started (in that case, the pump should continue to run). Not hearing it run confirms the pump (or wiring or relay) is not working. If you do hear the pump run, its not a dead giveaway that the pump is OK.

Tandem pumps can leak air in (its on the cylinder head. driver's side).

A remote possibility is a bad crank angle sensor (or wiring for it). I would reference a Bentley to find out how to troubleshoot this, or the tandem pump.

--Nate
I will definitely check the lift pump next. Thanks for the detailed instructions.

A relay 109 was mentioned by someone on VWvortex. They said it's a common problem on TDI's. Any thoughts on this possibility?
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Old April 5th, 2008, 19:41   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belewmoon
A relay 109 was mentioned by someone on VWvortex. They said it's a common problem on TDI's. Any thoughts on this possibility?
Very common on early A4 TDIs ('98-'01). Uncommon on later ones. But you can buy spares for about $10 at one of our tdiclub vendors. Many club members keep a spare in the glovebox, just in case.

There are easy ways to check for a bad relay 109. When you turn on the switch, the dashboard warning lights do not come on for the usual one second or so.

What you've described sounds more like a fuel problem (lift pump) than a relay 109 problem. At least you now have information that will help you confirm the lift pump diagnosis, or not.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 09:02   #13
belewmoon
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After replacing the fuel filter, the car wouldn't start. Tried a few hours later & it would start. It is now running good. No stalling & no hard starts.

I'm thinking since I did not prime the fuel filter that caused the initial no start.

The big puff of blue smoke is back at startup. Any thoughts on this?
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Last edited by belewmoon; April 6th, 2008 at 14:16.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 12:23   #14
TornadoRed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belewmoon
After replacing the fuel filter, the car wouldn't start. Tried a few hours later & it would start. It is now running good. No stalling & no hard starts.

I'm thinking since I did not prime the fuel filter that caused the initial no start.
The lift pump in the tank should fill the fuel filter, priming it is less important/unimportant unlike the older TDIs without the lift pump.

Replacing the fuel filter may help, but it does not explain why you had a problem with stalling. I can't believe the filter was so severely clogged that it would cause a stall -- maybe loss of power, but not zero power.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 13:12   #15
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It is your in-tank lift pump. Just flip the rear seat up and turn the key. You should hear the pump run for about 2 seconds. I bet you won't , though.
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