Bad lifters?

turbonem

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Location
southpark,CO (fairplay)
TDI
'02jetta wagon red
Hello to all
My 2002 wagon has symptoms of bad lifters.
When revved cold it will miss,
If its pushed beyond 2000 rpm cold it will stall and if its attemped to restart sounds like there is no compression.

After 10-15 seconds from what I am assuming is the lifter pump bleeding down restarts normally.

When cold, if the rpm reaches
1800-2000 rpm it begins to miss,
And surges until it gets past whatever is causing this.

If I short shift it and keep the rpms below 1800 after a few miles this symptom goes away.

Im in colorado so a cold start is usually 32 f or below this time of year.

If It is left to idle and warms up 10 minutes or so its past the third hash mark on the temp guage (160F) it can be driven without this symptom.

The data:
Mobil 0-40 euro oil.
The oil pressure:
45 psi on a cold start @ idle.
Max oil pressure at any temp is 65 psi.
Idle is 1100 rpm with dynamic idle from malone stage 4 tune.

I posted a question about this symptom a while back and a guru said bad oil pump relief,
So I replaced the oil pump with a factory vw oil pump with no change.

The oil pressure measured with a guage where the oil idiot light switch resides measures the max pressure when cold is 65 psi when revved cold,
You can see the relief open on the guage.

Idle pressure when warm or hot is 25 psi.

Once fully warmed up,
Temp guage reading 190 F and a few miles of hwy driving this symptom goes away at any rpm.

Once warmed up it can be driven across 5 states without a problem.

Iv read thousands of posts to tried to find someone with a similar problem and the only post with similar symptoms and a resolution was replacing the cam and lifters ( that was all that was replaced and the symptom disappeared and cured the problem.

So,
Does this sound reasonable?

The facts are oil pressure is in spec,
Cold starts are the only time it misses,

Once warm it runs normally.

Im getting ready to do the timing belt anyway and would also replace the cam and lifters if this would solve the cold miss.

Thanks for reading
Cheers!
 
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STDOUBT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Location
Portland, effing Oregon
TDI
dos jettas
How many miles on the engine?
Also, physically inspecting the cam and lifters is the thing to do.
You can run a thin piece of plastic like a zip tie tip over the lifter surface to check w/o cleaning them off completely.
Should be mirror smooth. Closely inspect the cam lobe edges and tips too.
Hand rotate the engine by the crank nut only.
If you suspect the lifters are bad, you should stop running that engine.
 

burpod

teh stallionz!!1
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
cape cod, ma
TDI
82 rabbit vnt ahu, 98 jetta vnt ahu, 05 parts car, 88 scirocco.. :/
only 45 psi on a cold idle? how cold? all tdi's i've seen are much higher psi at cold idle.. if it's below 32F i would expect to see at least 80 psi
 

turbonem

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Location
southpark,CO (fairplay)
TDI
'02jetta wagon red
How many miles on the engine?
Also, physically inspecting the cam and lifters is the thing to do.
You can run a thin piece of plastic like a zip tie tip over the lifter surface to check w/o cleaning them off completely.
Should be mirror smooth. Closely inspect the cam lobe edges and tips too.
Hand rotate the engine by the crank nut only.
If you suspect the lifters are bad, you should stop running that engine.
I put a new vw longblock from german cascade ( was bora parts in 2014) in it at 330 K miles after a bent rod in #3 from what I suspect was a slug of oil from the intercooler.

So theres around 250 K miles on this longblock,
587K miles on the rest.
Its the original injection pump,
Power steering pump
Vacuum pump and ac pump.

At the same time as the longblock I put a stage 4 malone tune on it with vnt 17 and
dlc 1019 nozzels.

Im not to worried about the lifters causing further damage, its been this way
for 100K + miles, and I drive it daily.

I just know not to push it when its cold.
I drove it 1000 miles a week for years.

I lived at 10k foot altitude for most its life
(Southpark) and all winter it had below freezing starts.

When it was below 0F I'd plug in a 250 watt oil pan heater.

Really im just looking for people with similar symptoms to pass on there experience with a cold miss that goes away when warm and what there solutions were.

Its been a great car,
I wish I had bought another one.

I know its the best car Ill ever have.
I bought it new and want it to last forever.

It raised Two kids, outlasted my marrage,
And pulled motorcycles from Colorado California and back every Christmas for the last 20 years.
 
Last edited:

turbonem

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Location
southpark,CO (fairplay)
TDI
'02jetta wagon red
only 45 psi on a cold idle? how cold? all tdi's i've seen are much higher psi at cold idle.. if it's below 32F i would expect to see at least 80 psi
When I checked it tonight it had sat in the shop for and hour before I checked the pressure with a guage.

So it was probally 50-60° F

With 5-40 I think it would be a little higher pressure @ idle.

I put 0-40 in to try to help with the lifter jack but it dident change much.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
Had a very similar issue with my tune. Too much fuel when it s cold (in a nutshel)
Oil pressure seems low for a cold start. Sould be up into the 60s if not 80s hot idle should be 15 to 20 give or take.
I would suspect your stage 4 and your nozzles are not happy and are filling up your bowls a bit too fast.
Try retarding the timing. I noticed a huge difference from going from at the top of the graph to the bottom.
Worth a shot.
 

turbonem

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Location
southpark,CO (fairplay)
TDI
'02jetta wagon red
Had a very similar issue with my tune. Too much fuel when it s cold (in a nutshel)
Oil pressure seems low for a cold start. Sould be up into the 60s if not 80s hot idle should be 15 to 20 give or take.
I would suspect your stage 4 and your nozzles are not happy and are filling up your bowls a bit too fast.
Try retarding the timing. I noticed a huge difference from going from at the top of the graph to the bottom.
Worth a shot.
Iv wondered if it was a problem besides the lifters pumping up and holding the valves open, but the lack of compression when restarted after revving when cold has me pretty sure its a lifter problem.

But I have wondered if the injecrion pump could be on its way out and have a symptom similar to this.

For a while I thought there was a combination of problems that had similar symptoms to this but the loss of compression when revved up beyond
2 k rpm when cold has me pretty sure its lifters pumping up.

I wonder if the years of below 0F° starts can cause the springs in the lifters to malfunction until warm.

I also thought that the inj pump was getting air in it, but its never lost prime or leaked.

Could it be a combination of problems?
Possibly.

But the loss of compression has me convinced that the majority of the problem is caused by the lifters pumping up and holding the valves open when cold.

The oil pressure guage is a napa test guage thats 0-300 psi.

Could it be off a little either way?
Possibly.
But I think its good enough to rule out
A stuck oil pump relief valve
and / or 100 + psi caused by a bad oil pump.

As its revved up you can see the relief open at 75 psi and settle at around 65 psi.

But the previous suspetions of sky high oil pressure and the lifters getting jacked up by too high an oil pressure have been ruled out.
 
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Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
Iv wondered if it was a problem besides the lifters pumping up and holding the valves open, but the lack of compression when restarted after revving when cold has me pretty sure its a lifter problem.

But I have wondered if the injecrion pump could be on its way out and have a symptom similar to this.

For a while I thought there was a combination of problems that had similar symptoms to this but the loss of compression when revved up beyond
2 k rpm when cold has me pretty sure its lifters pumping up.

I wonder if the years of below 0F° starts can cause the springs in the lifters to malfunction until warm.

I also thought that the inj pump was getting air in it, but its never lost prime or leaked.

Could it be a combination of problems?
Possibly.

But the loss of compression has me convinced that the majority of the problem is caused by the lifters pumping up and holding the valves open when cold.

The oil pressure guage is a napa test guage thats 0-300 psi.

Could it be off a little either way?
Possibly.
But I think its good enough to rule out
A stuck oil pump relief valve
and / or 100 + psi caused by a bad oil pump.

As its revved up you can see the relief open at 75 psi and settle at around 65 psi.

But the previous suspetions of sky high oil pressure and the lifters getting jacked up by too high an oil pressure have been ruled out.
What is the compression # when it happens? Uou said it just feels like that.... that's how my symptom felt. Like a bent a rod. Once the bowls cleared ot was normal feeling again.
Why would a lifter stick open due to oil pressure? Would it not fail in the not opening mode!?
I'm in no way much usefull on this..... just thought that this sounded very similar to my fuel issue. I don't see why oil pressure would indicate a stuck hard lifter... only that low oil pressure would indicate a worn gally for the lifter...?
 

Prairieview

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Location
Too close to Sturgis 'ithole
TDI
Two 2000 Beetles, 2002 Jetta, 2002 gas avh Jetta, fleet of older 1.6 turbo and non's
A few years ago, I retrieved a 2002 Jet from Colo. Spr. which had very similar problems. I did a massive amount of work trying to remedy it. Turned out to the be lifters. As soon as they went in, all was good. Lifters would have been a lot easier and faster than pulling the oil pan. I had "inspected the lifters" as stated above and did not see squat.

The thread you found was probably mine. I tried to obtain advice here and got all the usual far-out ideas including eating more garlic and patting my head and my stomach at the same time. None of it helped. Don't be afraid of your own judgement.
 

wonneber

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Location
Monroe, NY, USA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen, 2021 Atlas,2003 Jetta 261K Sold but not forgotten
The loss of compression symptom could be the ASV being stuck shut.
I had that fast cranking when it needed to be cleaned inside the opening.
I think it was in cold weather the very few times I had it.
 

jettawreck

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Location
Northern Minnesota-55744
TDI
2001 Jetta and 2003 Jetta
I'm not convinced it's a lifter issue but since you are soon to do the TB and are at 250k miles (next TB interval aprox 330k) I would replace the cam and lifters. As pointed out (and sure you have priced them), the cam and lifters aren't a lot of $$ and won't take much extra time while you are doing the service.
At least it would rule out that possibility and if it solves it, all the better.
On an unrelated (sort of) my 1L twin cylinder diesel Shibuara tractor is doing a similar thing. Upon cold start it is running on one cylinder missingand popping, smoking profusely, and occasionally stalls but will restart and continue to run awful until it gradually warms up and comes out of it and runs normally. It's a rough running vibration little beast anyways. I'm sure it's solid pushrods/lifters design but I'm fairly convinced a valve is sticking. Probably need to take the valve cover off and have a look someday.
Sounds similar .....I'm hoping it's not IP related.
 

turbonem

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Location
southpark,CO (fairplay)
TDI
'02jetta wagon red
My next attempt will be a
temp sensor G62 and fuel thermo T
Only due to the relationship of the anomaly and the temperature.

The G2 half of the G62 may be doing some thing That I can't see with out vagcom.
But if it causes strange happenings with the fueling /timing/ boost its easy enough to rule out.

I know the loss of compression is a different problem but I may have a combination of low temp issues.

This enging has had literally thousands of cold starts below 0°F from living at
10,000 feet altitude for 20 years.

Allways starts first few compression strokes.
Never had a fuel leak or lost prime.

More theories are welcome.

Keep them coming.

My Tdi brotherhood can figure anything out.

Until then I just warm it up.
Cheers!
 
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Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
My next attempt will be a
temp sensor G62 and fuel thermo T
Only due to the relationship of the anomaly and the temperature.

The G2 half of the G62 may be doing some thing That I can't see with out vagcom.
But if it causes strange happenings with the fueling /timing/ boost its easy enough to rule out.

I know the loss of compression is a different problem but I may have a combination of low temp issues.

This enging has had literally thousands of cold starts below 0°F from living at
10,000 feet altitude for 20 years.

Allways starts first few compression strokes.
Never had a fuel leak or lost prime.

More theories are welcome.

Keep them coming.

My Tdi brotherhood can figure anything out.

Until then I just warm it up.
Cheers!
Until you actually get compression numbers when this is happening...... most of all this is just pie in the sky speculation as to oil pressure issue or a lifter or lifters failing.
Why not get hard data and try doing a leakdown test... if a lifter or more is sticking open.. it would be easy to diagnose vs just tossing random parts at the issue...
I wonder is an oil pan heater would solve the issue for now....
 

tgray

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Marengo, IL
TDI
'02 Beetle, '05 Golf, 2000 Jetta, 2001 Jetta, 2002 Jetta
I had a similar problem with one of mine. I checked oil pressure and everything thing else. Some days were worse than others but it would die, no re-start and sound like free wheeling no compression and then start right back up after sitting a little. Doing a compression test was pointless because it had good compression after sitting and always start. You can tell by the sound of the starter motor there is no resistance of the compression. I replaced the lifters and the cam and I am happily driving the car ever since with no issues. The strange part was my car ran fine until it sat for a year before I fixed it up.
 
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