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General VW Discussion This is a place for General VW topics (the company, not your vehicle). General topics about a specific vehicle should be posted in the General TDI Dicussion Forum sections for that vehicle platform. A4, A3 & B4, B5, etc.

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Old April 1st, 2012, 15:49   #1
PDJetta
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Default 2.5 Jetta Won't Start--Any Suggestions?

My son left the lights on and ran the battery down on his 2005 2.5 liter Jetta. He then jumped the battery and the starter turns normally, but the engine will not fire. He says there is a VERY strong gasoline odor as well. I figure the engine is flooded, perhaps from the battery voltage being too low to spark the plugs as it was cranking. Just a guess, though. I suggested he let it sit a while and then attempt to start the car later with the accelerator floored to clear the gasoline out.

Anyone have any experience with this engine not starting and have ideas on what to do? It does have some wierd aftermarket alarm system the previous owner inistalled that may prevent the engine from running as well (I plan on ripping it out as soon as I can), or perhaps the ignition switch or ignition is not working. It sure is getting gas, though. I am at a loss. I am not familiar with this engine at all.

Thanks.

--Nate
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Last edited by PDJetta; May 7th, 2012 at 08:21.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 16:02   #2
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I would focus on that aftermarket alarm thingy. Sounds like fuel is injecting but spark may be getting interrupted? Maybe also try disconnecting batt, touching leads and reconnecting. Some electronics freak when volts come up slow. I too know nothing about that motor.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 16:03   #3
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First order is to see if there is spark at the plugs. Take one out, put a straightened paperclip in the plug boot, hold it a 1/4" from a ground area and crank the engine. If there is a strong, blue spark that arks,that is good. Then look at fuel supply.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 06:29   #4
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Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately my son had his car towed to the VW dealer and for $75 they are "dignosing" the problem. From my son the dealer tech has said conflicting things, so I plan on calling the dealer later when the service advisor gets in. My son was told that there is poor, or no, compression. Then he was told it might be less severe and a problem with the aftermarket alarm system (they told him that when he went to have the car towed to my house so I could look at it.) So he let them look at it some more, but under the understanding they wan't charge any more without authorization. But the dealer was pretty sure about the compression being poor. I had no idea how this could happen without the car running (would not start when jumped because the battery ran down, Son said it turned over fine, just would not fire and it flooded.

But I reasearched the 2005.5 2.5 liter VW engine and there are rampant problems with failed timing chains (actually its the chain guides or tensioner) in the 70,000 - 100,000, miles range. His has 85,000 on it. There is a design flaw that was corrected by 2008. And his car had the tell-tale cold rattle of the chain going, I believe. If this is the case, its a $5000 plus dealer job, because the cylinder head valves get trashed too, and I read that the engine has to be removed to get the clearance to replace the chain. So I don't know if I am up to tackling this, or not. My guess is that the previous owner was onto this problem and sold the car in the nick of time.

I think I'll let him have it towed to my house and make the best of it. I may even attempt the cylinder head rebuild myself. I've replaced valves and valve guides and seals in the 1.6 liter diesel and it would be awsome if my VW special-purpose valve spring compressor, 8 mm valve guide punch and seal tools worked!

I have a new and appreciative view of the trusty TDI after this!

--Nate
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Last edited by PDJetta; April 3rd, 2012 at 06:34.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 16:29   #5
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Oh boy-my nephew has one of these 2005.5 Jettas w/ 2.5 and between 90k-100k on it. Next time I see car I'll have to listen to see if I hear anything.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 08:23   #6
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Doh! My son just told me he tried to push start the car IN REVERSE, BUT USING SECOND GEAR, because the jump start with the battery did not work. Since it was backed in to a parking space on a hill he rolled it backwards and popped the clutch with the transmission in second gear! This made the engine turn backwards. He attempted this a couple of times and the last time, the engine "Stopped abruptly". Maybe that is when the chain let loose and the valves got munched! I hate to say it, but I thought he was smarter than this. At least he should have tried reverse.

Got it in my garrage last evening, put it on a battery charger and later gave it a start. The engine just spins over extremly fast like the spark plugs are removed. No compression pulses. Just an uninterrupted whir. Absolutely no compression. There are no interference sounds either, so I may be lucky. The timing chain(s) must have let loose. Oddly, car drove fine when my son parked it and turned it off.

My son bought the car (paid $7000) without me looking at it (although I may have not noticed any issues) and has driven it about 500 miles since bought. When I did ride in the car, the engine sounded absolutely flawless and had ample power. What a bummer.

I have the Bentley CD on order and will review what is involved in replacing the timing chain and I'll decide if it is worth it to fix it our put a used engine in it or what not. I'll also look at the lifters and see if I see obvious damage. This is an interference engine.

--Nate
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Last edited by PDJetta; April 4th, 2012 at 08:37.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 08:38   #7
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If it's an interference engine an spinning like crazy, then you can bet some head parts (valves) and maybe pistons are damaged. Good luck!
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Old April 4th, 2012, 08:44   #8
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I would like to think an engine can tolerate some reverse spins without damage. Heck I'm not sure the TB tensioner on my ALH will keep belt tight rotating in reverse.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 12:25   #9
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This is probably what happened, the chain was probably on its way out when your son did the reverse screw up. That was probably enough send it over the edge and totally fubared it.

And yes, the engine has to come out to fix it because the chain is on the transmission side. Big $$$. Common issue with the early 2.5s.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 13:02   #10
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"And yes, the engine has to come out to fix it because the chain is on the transmission side".

That's why! I thought it was a lack of clearance on the "normal" timing belt end (even though its a chain). I was looking at the passenger side of the motor, trying to figure out how to get the cover off! Wrong end.

--Nate
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Old April 4th, 2012, 13:09   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbocharged798 View Post
This is probably what happened, the chain was probably on its way out when your son did the reverse screw up. That was probably enough send it over the edge and totally fubared it.

And yes, the engine has to come out to fix it because the chain is on the transmission side. Big $$$. Common issue with the early 2.5s.
What he said. You can leave the engine in and remove the transmission instead, though, if you like. If it is a stick you won't be able to get the engine out by itself anyways I don't think. The clutch/flywheel assembly won't clear the bellhousing, because the other end of the engine is jammed up so tight against the body already.

I'd also put a new vacuum pump on it, they go bad and start barfing oil too. That is a great engine... for about 75k miles. Then you'll wish it was a TDI, LOL.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 13:41   #12
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Thanks Oilhammer. That is a good tip. I can handle that. Question: If I replace the timing chain and related parts, will the new parts be improved where the engine should not have this issue again? (I read the issue was resolved for the 2008 model year on the 2.5 L)

Also, being an interference engine, can I simply look for cracked/dimpled lifter faces and if all looks good, avoid removing the head, or is this a "must do" regardless? Do all valves have to be removed from the head and checked for straightness? Can I just check the ones with obvious lifter damage?

And if I remove the head, is valve replacement something I could do? (I've replaced the valves, guides and seals on a 1.6 L diesel before, myself). Do the guides have to be replaced in locations where a valve bent?

Thanks.

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Old April 4th, 2012, 13:58   #13
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The head is gonna have to come off for sure. Get me the engine code and I can look up some parts for you. It is a BGP or BGQ.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 14:08   #14
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What a cheery thread. I have a 2007 Jetta 2.5 that was born in Feb 07. Has 74,000 miles on it. Any way to tell if mine has improved parts or is it a time-bomb? I'm tempted to sell it and get a new 2.0 Jetta bottom feeder for longevity and better fuel mileage.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 14:10   #15
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Basically all the BGP and BGQ engines (which were in use through the 2007 model year) are the more problematic ones.

2008 is when the CBTA/CBUA engines came out.
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