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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old December 4th, 2011, 12:34   #1
kevinmcgrease
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Default 98 jetta hard start

hi. I've had my tdi for about a year now but have been having starting issues since last winter. I live in upstate NY. It is hard to start even if the temps are above 50F if the engine is cold. My local greasemonkeys don't have the knowledge to address the tdi, and have replaced the glow plugs, relay, etc. with no luck. Where can I go either on this site or otherwise for a hard start tutorial? thanks
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Old December 4th, 2011, 12:50   #2
kevinmcgrease
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I've also been using starter fluid (I know, I know!) which works great, but I'm gonna kill the engine soon!
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Old December 4th, 2011, 12:57   #3
whitedog
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If you have access to anyone with VCDS, you could learn alot about what is going on with your engine but you need to go over some basics like fuel quality and over all engine health.

Have you had the compression checked? Are you running the original injectors and injection pump? How many miles on these parts? How is the power? Any smoke? What is the maintenance history of the car?

There are lots of other questions folks will want to know to help you.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 13:03   #4
sootwagen
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Where in upstate NY are you?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 15:00   #5
greenskeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinmcgrease View Post
hi. I've had my tdi for about a year now but have been having starting issues since last winter. I live in upstate NY. It is hard to start even if the temps are above 50F if the engine is cold. My local greasemonkeys don't have the knowledge to address the tdi, and have replaced the glow plugs, relay, etc. with no luck. Where can I go either on this site or otherwise for a hard start tutorial? thanks
above 50F (actually 40F) the GPs aren't even turned on.

when was the timing belt changed? if the timing is retarded it could lead to hard starting. find (or buy ~ best value) a vagcom to see what is going on.

how many miles? once started does the car have power without any smoke indicating a compression or wear problem?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 15:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinmcgrease View Post
hi. I've had my TDI for about a year now but have been having starting issues since last winter. I live in upstate NY. It is hard to start even if the temps are above 50F if the engine is cold. My local greasemonkeys don't have the knowledge to address the TDI, and have replaced the glow plugs, relay, etc. with no luck. Where can I go either on this site or otherwise for a hard start tutorial? thanks

Does it start hard when the engine is cold? As in sitting over night.
Does it start hard when the engine is hot? As is just drove it 30 minutes, shut is off, 5 minutes later it is hard to start.
Is there any time that is starts well? (not using the spray)

Just trying to lay some ground work.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 09:47   #7
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I just installed a Malone Tuning Stage 2, Fixed my hot and cold start problems!!!
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Old December 6th, 2011, 10:21   #8
alphaseinor
 
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My guess is fuel, or compression... your engine is a AHU, not an ALH, so keep that in mind.

Do you run WVO? if so it's probably an air leak, or some seal somewhere causing an air leak.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 05:33   #9
kevinmcgrease
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I'm sorry to all who have taken the time to try to help me that I haven't aanswered your comments sooner. I don't even know how to answer threads, I really have no experience with these forums, so bear with me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedog View Post
If you have access to anyone with VCDS, you could learn alot about what is going on with your engine but you need to go over some basics like fuel quality and over all engine health.

I don't have that access. also, the computer won't recognize the scanner (or vise versa), which seems to be problem #1, becasue there's no communuication with the engine.
Any ideas about making the ecu read to the scanner?

Have you had the compression checked? Are you running the original injectors and injection pump? How many miles on these parts? How is the power? Any smoke? What is the maintenance history of the car?

I haven't had the compression checked because my local mechanics don't have specific tools for diesel. There is a dealer, about an hour from me, but that's about it. As far as I know, all of the parts you asked about are original, but I will go thru the past bills to be sure. (The previous owner kept great records).
It has great power for 300,000. One other interesting thing about it's mis-functions is that the odometer zeroed out around 5k ago.
Very little to no smoke, except on starting, and especially, of course, hard starts.

There are lots of other questions folks will want to know to help you.
Thanks again, whitedog, and everyone else. I think I have figured out how to respond to answers, and just changed the options for answers to come to my email address (had the wrong setting on).
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Old December 26th, 2011, 05:36   #10
kevinmcgrease
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sootwagen View Post
Where in upstate NY are you?
Hi sootwagen, I am in Sullivan County, 12747.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 06:42   #11
whitedog
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One thing you mentioned about the electrical is that on the 98 Jetta, the odometer will reset to zero at 300,000 miles.

On the generation of cars after your, an aftermarket radio will cause problems connection to the ECU, but I don't know about your A3 generation.

Be very cautious of the dealer since they are known for not knowing much about the TDI engine. Be prepared to drive a few hundred miles to get to a knowledgeable TDI mechanic since they seem to be scarce in parts of NY. But mainly, don't fall back on the dealer to save some time. Often times they will do repairs that cost way more than a days wages than can be done for a small fraction of the price by a competent TDI mechanic.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 09:24   #12
kevinmcgrease
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Hi Greenskeeper, thanks for the input, sorry about not getting back sooner, besides trying to figure out my vehicle woes, I'm also totallly unfamiliar with forums and how to respond, post, etc, but I hope I've got it down now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenskeeper View Post
above 50F (actually 40F) the GPs aren't even turned on.

when was the timing belt changed? if the timing is retarded it could lead to hard starting. find (or buy ~ best value) a vagcom to see what is going on.

Unfortunately, one main problem is that the ecu wont register on the vag com at the dealer who said he needs at least 3 hours just to try and figure out whty it won't register! So I have no readings or hints about timing, etc. The previous owner claimed to have changed the belt, so that would have been about 20-30,000 ago.

how many miles? once started does the car have power without any smoke indicating a compression or wear problem?
I just got off the phone with the previous owner who said he swapped out the motor about 4-5 years ago with an engine that had 140,000 on it, so it probably has close to 200,000. he also put on a new (or perhaps rebuilt) turbo at the same time. He claims he religiously got 50mpg (this was about 3 years ago. I've never gotten above 40 since I've had it for over a year.)
Once running, I don't see any smoke.

Can I check the timing without using a vag com? can it be adjusted without special tools? do I need to also set the timing in the injector pump, as someone told me I would?

Thanks for your help!-kevin
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Old December 26th, 2011, 09:35   #13
kevinmcgrease
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TDI(s): 98 jetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwellp View Post
Does it start hard when the engine is cold? As in sitting over night.
Does it start hard when the engine is hot? As is just drove it 30 minutes, shut is off, 5 minutes later it is hard to start.
Is there any time that is starts well? (not using the spray)

Just trying to lay some ground work.
Hi maxwell, thanks for the response, sorry to take so much time, I didn't see your answer until today!

Hard start only when cold, even in mild (50-60f) temps. Spraying worked fast, but now not at all. (just a tiny 'pfft!" would get it going). when the car cooled down in cooler temps (30-40), it would take a spray to get it going after sitting a few hours.

Runs good when warm, with intermittant power losses sometimes on demand. Bad mpg (less than 40). No compression test done, but has great power when running well, just bad mpg. No smoke after warm up.

can I check for a vaccuum leak or check the timing without using a vag com ?
thanks again., kevin
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Old December 26th, 2011, 09:39   #14
kevinmcgrease
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TDI(s): 98 jetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a3627849
My guess is fuel, or compression... your engine is a AHU, not an ALH, so keep that in mind.

Do you run WVO? if so it's probably an air leak, or some seal somewhere causing an air leak.
Hi lphaseinor, thanks for the response. sorry to have not gotten back sooner; still tring to figure out how to navigate this forum.

what is the difference or significance of an ahu vs. and alh motor?

I do not use wvo, but the previous owner did who reported none of the effects I am experiencing.

Thanks again, kevin
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Old December 26th, 2011, 09:42   #15
kevinmcgrease
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Location: sullivan county, ny
TDI(s): 98 jetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedog View Post
One thing you mentioned about the electrical is that on the 98 Jetta, the odometer will reset to zero at 300,000 miles.

On the generation of cars after your, an aftermarket radio will cause problems connection to the ECU, but I don't know about your A3 generation.

Be very cautious of the dealer since they are known for not knowing much about the TDI engine. Be prepared to drive a few hundred miles to get to a knowledgeable TDI mechanic since they seem to be scarce in parts of NY. But mainly, don't fall back on the dealer to save some time. Often times they will do repairs that cost way more than a days wages than can be done for a small fraction of the price by a competent TDI mechanic.
I have a factory radio in the car, but it stopped working last winter when I changed the battery and never got the code to reset it.

Thanks for the heads up about the dealer. I don't know anything about their mechanic other than he is German and is supposed to eat sleep and breathe diesel. But I guess they all say that...
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