Died while driving down interstate now cannot start

Reesa

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Location
Kansas
TDI
VW beetle 2003 1.9 tdi
Bare with me as this is my first post to the tdi forum. I have been through a lot of post and although they have been helpful with a lot, I am stuck on this one.
A couple years back I bought a 2003 vw beetle 5 speed TDI. I have slowly spent the last 1.5 years cleaning up and fixing bits and pieces of the car as apparently the previous owners did not understand diesel engines. I say I know enough to be dangerous on my own, with a book and instructions I can go pretty far, but I prefer to stay out of the depth of the engine itself if I can.
I have slowly replaced several sensors, filters and random other parts (I will make a complete list) in an attempt to restore this car to it's full potential. A little over a month ago while driving down the interstate going up a hill I lost speed and suddenly, like I turned the ignition off, it died and I have not been able to get it to start since.
So far I have fully cleaned and/or replaced:
Snow screen
air filter and box
oil filter
Fuel filter
Map sensor
Maf sensor
Intercooler (had a large chunk broken off)
Asv selonoid
All fuses
109 relay
Crankcase speed sensor
All hosing on either side of intercooler leading to turbo completely cleaned out and reconnected.
EGR cleaned out (it was not pretty, minimal opening.
ac compressor and clutch.
Wiring to fuel shut off and fuel pump all checked out and good.
New fuel sending unit coming in just because by looks like it is the original.
New battery back in Jan.
A few other cosmetic parts as well.

We were finally getting a little smoke as it tried to turn over the other night, but still no luck on actually starting. Is it possible it is still gunked up further down and I haven't dismantled and cleaned far enough, or is there something else I'm not thinking of?
Really love this little abused car and I believe it has a lot of life left to it.
 

Hyde7278

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2012
Location
Central Mich
TDI
2001 Golf GL
When was the last time the timing belt was done?

Check the belt it doesn’t break it usually shears off teeth off so look for missing teeth.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
Agreed, you need to pop the top timing belt cover off and with a 19 mm, 12 point socket fitted to the crankshaft bolt turn the engine over. Put some kind of mark on the belt so you can be sure to turn it at least one complete revolution. You will be looking for missing teeth on the belt.

If you find the belt is missing some, put the engine, or attempt to put the engine at TDC and see how far off it is. Missing teeth mean a new head at a minimum.
 

Metal Man

Vendor
Joined
Sep 29, 2001
Location
Sunbury,PA 17801
TDI
1998 NB TDI, 2006 Jetta TDI, 2014 Tiguan gas, , 2019 E Golf X2
Any codes?
Check timing belt, cam and injection pump spin when cranking.
If the check engine light comes on with the key on the 109 is good.
When cranking open an injector line at the injector, should have plenty of fuel flowing.
 

KLXD

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Location
Lompoc, CA
TDI
'98, '2 Jettas
Do you hear the pump make some clicks when you turn the key on?

The fuel solenoid gets power for a few seconds when you turn the key on or if you have someone to turn the key does it have power while cranking?
 

Reesa

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Location
Kansas
TDI
VW beetle 2003 1.9 tdi
We have a click, and we checked with tester, we have power at fuel shut off when cranking and trying to start. New fuel sending pump arrived and I got that dropped in tonight, but because of some stripped bolts (most are rusted or oxidized on the turbo and manifold) it's been slow progress in the evenings trying to get in and clean out the other parts. Double checked the vacuum lines for cracks as well and they appear in good shape.
 

Reesa

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Location
Kansas
TDI
VW beetle 2003 1.9 tdi
Double checked the belt again, dirty but completely in tact no sign of worn teeth
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
I'm lost ........ didn't know that an 03 NB has a fuel pump. Did someone install a lift pump in the tank? If so, removing the IN hose on the fuel filter and turning on the ignition should show fuel flow (old pump or the new one).

A totally missing Turbo or a clogged Vanes in the Turbo will not cause the engine to die or not start. If the Actuator moves freely down to the set-screw, the Vanes are okay, thus, no need to remove the Turbo. However, the Vanes could be draggy but that will not keep the engine from starting.

As Metal Man suggested, crack the 17mm nuts at the injectors and crank the engine to see if there is fuel. If there is fuel, you need to confirm that the air to the Intake is not obstructed. Air and Fuel is all a Diesel engine needs, of course, at the right time and amount. Also, check the IP Cog to make sure the Three Bolts are at or near the middle of the slots. If the bolts are all the way to the right, well, that "may" be an indication of problems.

Lastly, you may need to remove the Cam/Valve Cover to confirm that the Cam has not slipped on the Morse Taper. Set the engine at Top Dead Center and observe where the Intake and Exhaust Lobes are pointing (should be roughly 10 and 2). If they appear to not be in the proper place, remove the Vacuum Pump to observe where the slot at the end of the Cam is aligned. The slot should be horizontal to the top of the engine block.
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
So, throwing parts at it didn't help...
I would start with timing, as the others have stated, look up the timing procedure for the ALH engine, put the crank at tdc using the pointer on the flywheel, pull the valve cover and vacuum pump and make sure the slot on the end of the cam is parallel with the top of the head (you can use a piece of metal, like a hinge or something to make sure) then check and see if the hole to pin the injection pump lines up.
Timing being off can be one of the most common reasons for the symptoms you describe. There are others, but rule timing out first.
You mention that the water pump needs replaced? That could cause a timing belt to jump, depending on how it's failed.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Sounds to me like one of the big air pipes has popped loose. Remove lower engine cover, get under it and look.
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
It is a BEW not AHL engine. Most of the parts I have been replacing over the 1.5 year as they have worn out or look close to going in process of restoring. The water pump has not failed, but is starting to show signs of wear. There is no signs on the belt that is has worn or slipped. No teeth missing, perfectly sitting snug in every groove.
So is it a 2004 then? They're easier to check the timing belt timing then. Pop the cover off, there's a mark on the lower timing cover that will give you approximately tdc, then see if the cam pin will fit in.
 

Reesa

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Location
Kansas
TDI
VW beetle 2003 1.9 tdi
Only history on the engine I have been able to uncover is that the original owner drove it through water and the engine itself was replaced. (Just the engine)
 

jettawreck

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Location
Northern Minnesota-55744
TDI
2001 Jetta and 2003 Jetta
It is a BEW not AHL engine. Most of the parts I have been replacing over the 1.5 year as they have worn out or look close to going in process of restoring. The water pump has not failed, but is starting to show signs of wear. There is no signs on the belt that is has worn or slipped. No teeth missing, perfectly sitting snug in every groove.
Then it's not a 2003 or it would have an ALH engine. If it's a BEW the engine was replaced and a LOT of conversion work was done to install a BEW, which would have to have an in tank fuel pump.
Need more "accurate" info....
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Lots of missing or incorrect information. Throwing parts at something isn't the best way to diagnose a problem.

You got the car as a no-start condition?
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
Jettawreck, Oilhammer, that's why I am in observation mode ........ confusing info.
 

Reesa

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Location
Kansas
TDI
VW beetle 2003 1.9 tdi
The parts I have replaced were all well worn and in need of it, they were done before the issue occurred (other than the fuel sending unit in the tank). This poor little car has definitely been abused and not taken care of. The only part I have actually replaced since the issue is the fuel sending unit, other than that I have only done cleaning and checking/testing.https://photos.app.goo.gl/aoHtzVgNMNVMZZpc7 I finished getting the manifold off and I am going with carbon build up. Not sure if my attempt at adding the picture worked or not just yet but it was almost solid carbon. And the cam, timing belt and vacuum were the only things that actually look in great condition.
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
Some good advice might be posted if the engine is verified. I agree with Dannyboy, it appears to be an ALH engine based on the manifold photo.

So, since you have the Intake Manifold off, you need to inspect the ports in the head. Does it look like any of the crumbly brittle stuff has broken off and fell inside. The ports should be cleaned and do it with the Intake Valve Closed. The build-up of crud is very brittle and more so in the head ports due to heat. Bolting on a clean Intake will cause turbulence as air goes across and into the head ports. If any of the junk breaks off, well, your engine will likely be terribly compromised.

Insert spaces between the link and the narrative so it will be easier for the readers to click and see. https://photos.app.goo.gl/aoHtzVgNMNVMZZpc7
 

Reesa

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Location
Kansas
TDI
VW beetle 2003 1.9 tdi
Lots of missing or incorrect information. Throwing parts at something isn't the best way to diagnose a problem.

You got the car as a no-start condition?
[/QUOTE]
I am not 'throwing parts at it to diagnose the a problem'. Please read the whole of what was dine prior and what was going on. The parts were replaced in the process of restoring because they were worn out. The car died after that.
I am learning a lot of what the former owner tried to say was..shall we put it as a 'a moron who didn't know his ass from a hole in the ground'. And I'm learning.
The cam and timing all look to be in perfect condition when I opened that up. Trying to clean the rest up a little more and put things back together with some new bolts as several heads stripped and others are so rusted they make me nervous. Still trying to get the buildup out of the tubes inside the exhaust cooler. Figure if I'm cleaning it out, I'm cleaning ALL of it out.
 

Reesa

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Location
Kansas
TDI
VW beetle 2003 1.9 tdi
Unlike the previous owner tried to tell me, I have verified, it is an AHL engine. There doesn't seem to be chunks lower down, but I have been wiping at the sides with a carb cleaner soaked cloth trying to clean them up. I've been trying to get an actual camera down at an angle as they face the firewall it's a bit of a tight spot.
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
Lots of missing or incorrect information. Throwing parts at something isn't the best way to diagnose a problem.

You got the car as a no-start condition?
I am not 'throwing parts at it to diagnose the a problem'. Please read the whole of what was dine prior and what was going on. The parts were replaced in the process of restoring because they were worn out. The car died after that.
I am learning a lot of what the former owner tried to say was..shall we put it as a 'a moron who didn't know his ass from a hole in the ground'. And I'm learning.
The cam and timing all look to be in perfect condition when I opened that up. Trying to clean the rest up a little more and put things back together with some new bolts as several heads stripped and others are so rusted they make me nervous. Still trying to get the buildup out of the tubes inside the exhaust cooler. Figure if I'm cleaning it out, I'm cleaning ALL of it out.
[/QUOTE]
Have you actually verified timing with timing pins? You can't just look at the timing belt and see it's not broken and assume the timing is correct. With a car that died on the highway like that, that would be the first thing I would check. It's not hard to check either.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
This is what you posted:

"A little over a month ago while driving down the interstate going up a hill I lost speed and suddenly, like I turned the ignition off, it died and I have not been able to get it to start since.
So far I have fully cleaned and/or replaced:
Snow screen
air filter and box
oil filter
Fuel filter
Map sensor
Maf sensor
Intercooler (had a large chunk broken off)
Asv selonoid
All fuses
109 relay
Crankcase speed sensor
All hosing on either side of intercooler leading to turbo completely cleaned out and reconnected.
EGR cleaned out (it was not pretty, minimal opening.
ac compressor and clutch.
Wiring to fuel shut off and fuel pump all checked out and good.
New fuel sending unit coming in just because by looks like it is the original. "

I read that as "my car died, I have no idea why, so I replaced XXXXXX parts". Sorry if I misread your post, maybe clarifying your timeline would help. And nowhere did it say you availed yourself of the car's own OBD, and you were not even sure which engine it had.
 

jokila

Vendor
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Location
Houston, Texas
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS, Manual
I agree with Oilhammer. Your initial post is contradictory to the way it came across then. It may seem logically and chronologically progressive to you, but you start out telling us what you did and what parts you are about to change. All this after the engine died. That's the way it reads to me too.

Have you actually verified timing with timing pins? You can't just look at the timing belt and see it's not broken and assume the timing is correct. With a car that died on the highway like that, that would be the first thing I would check. It's not hard to check either.
I also agree with Mozambiquer about the timing verification. It's really the #1 thing to check on a situation that took place. It's not uncommong that we don't know if someone knows how to correctly time the engine. You seem like you are new at this and there was confusion on which engine you had. It would be good for you to help us know what you are doing by getting the engine set up at TDC and show us with pics that you have the crank showing that its at TDC the injection pump with the pin in the correct place, and the camshaft tool installed.

You have gone down so many rabbit holes (a clogged intake manifold is not going to stop the engine from starting up and idling.) and taken so much off that I recommend you go on and get it reassembled.
 
Last edited:

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
I'll say this one last thing and I am out. You shouldn't be wiping, digging, chipping, etc., in or around an Head Intake Port with the Intake Valve Open. If the Intake Manifold is clogged, you can bet those runners into the head have baked-on crud and the backsides of the valves and stems will be caked with it too. Use a good bright light to inspect and you'll be surprised.

There are some very experienced people commenting, asking questions, and trying to help.

Hope this works out for you.
 
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