Hard Start / No Start - Is your intercooler frozen? Check Here!

dataiv

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Location
Ottawa, ON
TDI
2015 Golf Wagon TDI 6MT
Yeah... one thing I find amazing is in that original TSB it listed affected vehicles: 600 as an approximation. Really? I wonder how many they've actually installed... for sure in the thousands, but I wonder really how many.

On the good side, the last week and a half up until this morning we had weather ranging from -30C to about -10C, never warmer, and I'd been doing lots of driving and had counted at least 4 regens during this time. Car is parked outside and today at +4C no stumbling, so no melting, I guess. I would've thought the range of temperature conditions plus length of time some ice might have built up, but it seems not.

I do have the lower grille blocked off and also when cold drive about 1 gear lower than I normally would in warmer weather. Who knows if it helps but I am surprised I had no stumbling or water ingestion after these wild temperature swings and weather we've been getting here.
 

Loafing

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Location
Hamilton
TDI
09 Mexican Jet
Trundled around the hollers of NY around Ellicottville, London & Toronto past few days, through heavy rain, flooding, lightning and all the heavens could throw at us. TDI did not miss a beat and no more warning lights, life is good.....
 

Shaft

Veteran Member
Joined
May 16, 2012
Location
Coquitlam, B.C.
TDI
2012 Golf TDI Highline 6spd Black Pearl
So while I had my car into the dealer to replace a faulty injector, I mentioned this TSB and explained to the service advisor how much my car would swallow cups of water every now and then and puke out a bunch of steam. The advisor knew exactly what I was talking about and he said that he already took care a bunch of these cars with the kit. So without any further talks or even checking the car, they ordered one. :) Waiting for my appointment for the install. No hassle.
 

SkeeterMark

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Location
North Branch, MN
TDI
2013 Jetta TDI 6M
Nice work on the map VeeDubTDI.
I'm assuming the pins are located via the survey consisting of volunteered information regarding the problem. I'm curious if they are all from the intercooler issue, or if some of the reported cases may also be from other causes which were assumed to be the same problem.

So far there is only one 2013 on the map, so I'm kind of hoping that might be something else with similar symptoms. Weather has been what seems very conducive to this problem this winter, and I drive the exact "prime" condition - 1 hour commute at 2000 rpm - daily and have been through freezing drizzle, fog, -0 temps and had no problems so far. Though there is no visible "fix" to the 2013's, I suppose there is a chance they changed something that would help alleviate the problem. Probably not, and the lack of data on the 2013's is probably more of a result of the general lack of them out there yet.

It does look like the map indicates it is less of a problem in areas that are generally a dryer climate, which is to be expected.

Anyway, nice work.
 

sickmtbnutcase

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2009
Location
SE WI
TDI
2009 Jetta TDI DSG
I did a little logging of IATs with my '09's grille stuffed with foam pipe insulation (and intake snorkel removed). I gotta say that stock intercooler works really, really well. Temps were -12 C on my drive. Lowest IATs I got were -8 C during low-rpm cruising around 40-45mph. Getting on it some would bring IATs back above freezing by a few degrees. It's an improvement over just the lower grille blocked where IATs barely get above ambient even when getting on it.

I'd love to see some datalogs from someone with the kit with no grille blockage, lower blocked, and all the grille blocked.
 

PlaneCrazy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 3, 2000
Location
Province of Quebec, Canada
TDI
Gone...
Nice work on the map VeeDubTDI.
I'm assuming the pins are located via the survey consisting of volunteered information regarding the problem. I'm curious if they are all from the intercooler issue, or if some of the reported cases may also be from other causes which were assumed to be the same problem.

So far there is only one 2013 on the map, so I'm kind of hoping that might be something else with similar symptoms. Weather has been what seems very conducive to this problem this winter, and I drive the exact "prime" condition - 1 hour commute at 2000 rpm - daily and have been through freezing drizzle, fog, -0 temps and had no problems so far. Though there is no visible "fix" to the 2013's, I suppose there is a chance they changed something that would help alleviate the problem. Probably not, and the lack of data on the 2013's is probably more of a result of the general lack of them out there yet.

It does look like the map indicates it is less of a problem in areas that are generally a dryer climate, which is to be expected.

Anyway, nice work.
Our 2013 has been through the range of prime conditions for this issue. So far not even a hiccup. However, our 2011 even though it has the TSB done, has had a few hiccups. Not as bad as the nearly no-start of the previous winter, and no issues at speed like the previous winter, just lots of stumbling and stuttering when starting in the "ideal" conditions (long cold drive, park in garage just above freezing overnight). So I have fingers crossed as well that the problem is fixed for 2013.

Apart from being a wagon and having 16" instead of 15" snow tires, the big difference I noted with the 2013 is that driven by me in exactly the same conditions, over 3500 km of driving the MFD is showing 6.0 L/100 km average, whereas the 2011 shows 5.4. Since it's an average over a similar distance in a similar time period, I'm wondering if it's just a hatch-vs-wagon difference or something else has changed.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Nice work on the map VeeDubTDI.
I'm assuming the pins are located via the survey consisting of volunteered information regarding the problem. I'm curious if they are all from the intercooler issue, or if some of the reported cases may also be from other causes which were assumed to be the same problem.

So far there is only one 2013 on the map, so I'm kind of hoping that might be something else with similar symptoms. Weather has been what seems very conducive to this problem this winter, and I drive the exact "prime" condition - 1 hour commute at 2000 rpm - daily and have been through freezing drizzle, fog, -0 temps and had no problems so far. Though there is no visible "fix" to the 2013's, I suppose there is a chance they changed something that would help alleviate the problem. Probably not, and the lack of data on the 2013's is probably more of a result of the general lack of them out there yet.

It does look like the map indicates it is less of a problem in areas that are generally a dryer climate, which is to be expected.

Anyway, nice work.
Skeeter, thanks! Yes, the info is based directly on the info reported in the survey. It is definitely possible for there to be some mis-reports, as I don't verify the information that is reported. It's based on the honor system and that you know what symptoms you're experiencing and what they mean.

Yup - still only one 2013 on the map. Perhaps there aren't enough of them floating around yet for the moisture accumulation to have become a problem, or perhaps VW has made some programming changes that reduce or eliminate the problem without the "kit."

Time will tell... still collecting data and posting it on the map. It's so much easier to administer this map now that I have moved it over to BatchGeo. Wow! :cool:

One caveat to using US zip codes is that we have a few different people reporting issues in the same zip code. When this happens, you'll only see one pin on the map for the zip code, but you'll see two reports when you click on that pin. This can visually suppress the amount of data on the map - the only way to get around this would be to use zip+4 and that might reduce anonymity to the point that people are reluctant to report an incident. The Canadian postal codes work much better, as each one covers a much smaller geographical area.
 
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crashtested

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Location
Nelson, BC
TDI
2016 Q5 TDI Technik, 2014 GSW CL 6MT (RIP), 2004 Jetta GLS 5MT (sold), 2010 GSW HL 6MT (buy back)
So while I had my car into the dealer to replace a faulty injector, I mentioned this TSB and explained to the service advisor how much my car would swallow cups of water every now and then and puke out a bunch of steam. The advisor knew exactly what I was talking about and he said that he already took care a bunch of these cars with the kit. So without any further talks or even checking the car, they ordered one. :) Waiting for my appointment for the install. No hassle.

Which dealer?
 

Loafing

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Location
Hamilton
TDI
09 Mexican Jet
Life is not so good....

Trundled around the hollers of NY around Ellicottville, London & Toronto past few days, through heavy rain, flooding, lightning and all the heavens could throw at us. TDI did not miss a beat and no more warning lights, life is good.....
Took car out first time in renewed deepfreeze after the warm wet event. Rear back brake locked up & won't go into details other than to say I hope I didn't do damage freeing it up. Handbrake cable was frozen in applied position and had play in handle till thawed out overnight. That was scary.... My guess is that water got into cable sheath somewhere & froze, locking handbrake on (bad design).

Car was garaged (warm-approx 10C) last night and this morning had a real hard start. Took about 6 tries before engine would stay lit.
So, my conclusion is that the cold weather IC kit doesn't work.... This element of unreliability leads me to question my choice of vehicle, maybe the fuel efficiency ain't worth the aggro & potential stranding....
 

sgoldste01

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Location
Webster, NY
TDI
None; Replaced 2010 Golf TDI with 2012 Subaru Impreza 5-door with manual tranny
This element of unreliability leads me to question my choice of vehicle, maybe the fuel efficiency ain't worth the aggro & potential stranding....
I came to the exact same conclusion.
 

Thunder Chicken

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Location
Sioux Lookout, Ontario
TDI
2012 Golf Wagon
I wanted to pass along a big thank-you to Downtown VW (in Thunder Bay, ON) for the excellent service replacing my IC. I had a hard start and phoned them, once in town, they took a look and found water and ordered the kit. It is now installed. I have a 1200km drive coming up so once at my destination I plan to remove the belly pan and take a look in the new intake hose for water/sludge. However it is a little cold, -30/-20c and very dry!
 

Type_TDi

Active member
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Location
CT
TDI
2010 Golf
Folks, I just wanted to post a few pictures of what I found today in my lower inter-cooler hose. My car is a 2010 Golf TDi 6 speed manual with 42k miles on the clock. I experienced the same tell-tale signs of this problem this winter (I'm the second owner, 1st winter for me).


 

schultp

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Location
Michigan
TDI
2010 Jetta Sportwagen, 6sp manual
Folks, I just wanted to post a few pictures of what I found today in my lower inter-cooler hose. My car is a 2010 Golf TDi 6 speed manual with 42k miles on the clock. I experienced the same tell-tale signs of this problem this winter (I'm the second owner, 1st winter for me).
The brown "chocolate milkshake" is classic for mixed water and oil. It is expected that a small amount of oil can end up in the IC on the older TDI models. So, while I don't have enough experience with the CR-TDI models I would assume the same can happen since the oil comes from the turbo.

I'd empty it well and then keep an eye on it. If it was an accumulation of 40K+ miles of driving I would expect when you check it in the near future there would be much less oil....and much less milkshake!

Out of curiosity, do you lose a little oil between oil changes?
 

gumaku1

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Location
Ohio
TDI
2010 Sportwagen TDI - DSG
We need to start a map or a posting for after IC kit installed, hard start/no start.

I have had two hard starts, my last one was this past sunday. It was almost a no start, I just kept on cranking through, it almost didn't crank, it was as close to a no start as you can get. And that is after I have my kit installed!!!

The temps/humidity that created this were:

7F 72% humidity friday 2/1/13 at 7am, 30 minute commute
13F 65% humidity friday 2/1/13 at 6pm, 30 minute commute

I parked it outside friday at work between drives, so it never thawed out

I parked it in my garage friday night and didn't start it until sunday morning when I had the start, stalls, re-start holding down the key for about 30 to 40 seconds, runs super rough for about 1 minute, smooths out, go to take off and it keeps stuttering and makes noise, finally cleans itself out and white steam coming from the exhaust for about 5 minutes on warmup.

My judgement is that the kit is not effective, VW did not do their homework......
 

thanatos

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Location
HRM, Nova Scotia Canada
TDI
2011 Golf Sportwagen TDI
We need to start a map or a posting for after IC kit installed, hard start/no start.

I have had two hard starts, my last one was this past sunday. It was almost a no start, I just kept on cranking through, it almost didn't crank, it was as close to a no start as you can get. And that is after I have my kit installed!!!

The temps/humidity that created this were:

7F 72% humidity friday 2/1/13 at 7am, 30 minute commute
13F 65% humidity friday 2/1/13 at 6pm, 30 minute commute

I parked it outside friday at work between drives, so it never thawed out

I parked it in my garage friday night and didn't start it until sunday morning when I had the start, stalls, re-start holding down the key for about 30 to 40 seconds, runs super rough for about 1 minute, smooths out, go to take off and it keeps stuttering and makes noise, finally cleans itself out and white steam coming from the exhaust for about 5 minutes on warmup.

My judgement is that the kit is not effective, VW did not do their homework......

I have to concur - I had almost the exact same experience recently. The car turned over but wouldn't catch. Finally did, and stalled. Then after some more cranking in short intervals it caught but was going to stall out again if I didn't hold the pedal down. It ran quite rough for a couple of minutes and then levelled out. I had my kit installed about a year ago.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Make sure you guys fill out the SURVEY link in my signature so I can add you to the intercooler icing database. :)
 

Type_TDi

Active member
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Location
CT
TDI
2010 Golf
The brown "chocolate milkshake" is classic for mixed water and oil. It is expected that a small amount of oil can end up in the IC on the older TDI models. So, while I don't have enough experience with the CR-TDI models I would assume the same can happen since the oil comes from the turbo.

I'd empty it well and then keep an eye on it. If it was an accumulation of 40K+ miles of driving I would expect when you check it in the near future there would be much less oil....and much less milkshake!

Out of curiosity, do you lose a little oil between oil changes?
So far I've noticed about 1/2 quart lost over 8k miles during the past two oil changes.

If I keep this car, I do want to rig up an inline catch can for the fun of it.
 

gumaku1

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Location
Ohio
TDI
2010 Sportwagen TDI - DSG
Make sure you guys fill out the SURVEY link in my signature so I can add you to the intercooler icing database. :)
Veedubtdi. I think you need to update you survey link to include a few more fields. My wish list of data would be to add the following:

Does you car have inter cooler kit installed? (Yes/no)
Kit install date?
Hard to start/no start date?

And maybe too much data to ask for but this would be nice to have:
Drive date that created the icing?
How many miles did you drive between icing & last thaw (try to understand the customer drive mode)?
Drive temp/humidity before the hard to start/no start (maybe not needed, we can get this history from wunderground.com if we have the drive date and zip code)
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
It's too late - everyone would have to retake the survey to collect the data from the 300-some people who have already done it. More info would be great, but the original intent of this survey was to compile geographic data on intercooler icing (which it has done quite well).

When the EA288 TDI engine comes out, this intercooler icing business will be a thing of the past anyway and we'll be focusing on some new problem.
 

gumaku1

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Location
Ohio
TDI
2010 Sportwagen TDI - DSG
when ea288 comes out I will still have intercooler icing...... that is the point, we do not want VW to forget us who want to drive our TDI's in the northern states high mileage
 

ARGH

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Location
Chicago
TDI
2012 TDI Sportwagen 6MT
after brainstorming i think i have the solution to this;

basically, do not baby the car during the rainy melt / freeze conditions.

when i experienced the hard starts on the 25F night i was very easy on the car for that tank of fuel (or two) to maximize economy. i would just shift in the gear that the mdi was asking. i was in 6th gear at 40 mph...whatever the mdi was telling me. i believe this allowed water to build and sit in the intercooler.

since then i decided to give some WOT with spirited driving during these types of weather patterns and have not had the issue anymore. with allowing the turbo to spool up the little condensation in the intercooler gets sucked into the endgine harmlessly. but if the turbo is not spooled much then the condensation keeps builded up until there is enough that it gets sucked into the engine in a large quantity and causes the rough starts. chicagoland area has experienced more melt / freeze conditions than snow this winter so i am stating this with confidence.

edit; if you find yourself in the rough start scenario just give it throttle during the engine start and the symptom should instantly clear up. more fuel gets squirted into the cylinders to ensure combustion even if water also gets sucked in from the IC. i think this is the reason why i read so many people claiming that their car started up when the tow truck arrived....because the tow trucker gave some throttle during the engine start.
 
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VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Or you could completely hydrolock your engine if there's enough water in your intercooler.
 

charlesworth

New member
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Location
Central,NJ
TDI
2012 Golf /Tech Package
after brainstorming i think i have the solution to this;

basically, do not baby the car during the rainy melt / freeze conditions.

when i experienced the hard starts on the 25F night i was very easy on the car for that tank of fuel (or two) to maximize economy. i would just shift in the gear that the mdi was asking. i was in 6th gear at 40 mph...whatever the mdi was telling me. i believe this allowed water to build and sit in the intercooler.

since then i decided to give some WOT with spirited driving during these types of weather patterns and have not had the issue anymore. with allowing the turbo to spool up the little condensation in the intercooler gets sucked into the endgine harmlessly. but if the turbo is not spooled much then the condensation keeps builded up until there is enough that it gets sucked into the engine in a large quantity and causes the rough starts. chicagoland area has experienced more melt / freeze conditions than snow this winter so i am stating this with confidence.

edit; if you find yourself in the rough start scenario just give it throttle during the engine start and the symptom should instantly clear up. more fuel gets squirted into the cylinders to ensure combustion even if water also gets sucked in from the IC. i think this is the reason why i read so many people claiming that their car started up when the tow truck arrived....because the tow trucker gave some throttle during the engine start.
I concur with this theory. I rarely use 6th gear in rainy melt / freeze conditions and haven't had a hint of this issue.
 

GoFaster

Moderator at Large
Joined
Jun 16, 1999
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
Intercooler freezing happened to my dad - who is not internet connected - a couple of weeks ago. Replacement was covered under warranty. Failure mode was the MIL and flashing glow plug lamps happening while driving, accompanied by limp mode.

2011 Golf TDI, approx 50,000 km, Kitchener ON.
 

schultp

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Location
Michigan
TDI
2010 Jetta Sportwagen, 6sp manual
Intercooler freezing happened to my dad - who is not internet connected - a couple of weeks ago. Replacement was covered under warranty. Failure mode was the MIL and flashing glow plug lamps happening while driving, accompanied by limp mode.

2011 Golf TDI, approx 50,000 km, Kitchener ON.
Did you add this to the intercooler freeze up map?
 
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