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

UberVW_TDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Location
Austin, TX
TDI
2010 Golf Variant TDI
I am not sure which hose UberVW_TDI is referring to...
Here is a picture of the intercooler system:

I removed the hose clamp #5 on hose #16 (Intercooler inlet side).
I also removed the hose clamp #5 on hose #4 (Intercooler outlet side).

I would of thought the intercooler outlet would of had more water vs the inlet as well.
But I've got a theory...

The water was frozen in the intercooler lines. Then melted in my garage overnight. When I jacked up my car to get it on ramps (didn't want to start it) I jacked up the passenger side first to get a ramp under the front tire......so most of the water inside the intercooler lines ran to the inlet side (drivers side) and settled in the low point of the inlet hose. I then jacked up the drivers side to get the other ramp under the drivers side.

The water amounts inlet vs outlet don't mean much since I probably moved the water around while jacking up the car, one side at a time.
 
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El Dobro

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
NJ
TDI
2017 Bolt EV, 2015 Spark EV
I'm surprised that VW hasn't told the dealers to tell us that it's an act of God and to deal with it, yet. :p
 

superbutta808

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Location
Northern Virginia
TDI
2011 Golf TDI 6sp MT
I pulled the intercooler discharge hose off my 2011 Golf last week. I've put about 3000mi on it in the last two months I've owned it. Mostly highway, mid-atlantic, east coast. We've had lousy weather for several months now. Narrow temp/dewpoints and lots of ground fog and sublimation. I found absolutely NO condensate in the induction lines.
 

UberVW_TDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Location
Austin, TX
TDI
2010 Golf Variant TDI
This is a weird issue that seems to only occur in specific conditions.
My car has 26,500 miles and Feb 3rd was the FIRST time it didn't start up on the first try. I've never noticed a rough engine to indicate my engine was ingesting water on a prior occasion.

I'm glad your intake was dry this time, but that doesn't mean it will never happen to you. There is obviously an issue here.

This is an opportunity for VW to do the right thing. If "The engineers are working on it" is still the answer by next winter I will be very disappointed in VW.

VW is trying to sell 800,000+ cars in the USA market by 2018 (up from the current 250,000 per/year). One of the negative things you will hear about owning a VW is the crappy customer service. I will be interested to see how they handle this specific issue, since they are wanting to improve customer satisfaction ratings.

I still really love my VW TDI. Its a great car.
I just would like to not have to worry about losing my engine due to it hydro-locking from excessive condensation puddling up inside the intercooler on some random cold winters day.
 
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Henry D 8

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Location
NB Canada
TDI
2011 golf wagon highline manual
Just had my first service on my 2011 jsw at my dealer. Once they got my car in the shop, the service guy came and ask me to follow him to my car. Once there the mechanic removed the hard plastic intake pipe on top of the engine and ask me to hang on to it. Told me this is the recommendation from VW and it was only temporary. He told me VW is coming up with a fix and they will call me as soon as they receive it. He then when on explaining to me how the cold outside air would cause condensation and taking the warmer air in the engine compartment would cause less. He also said that my car had not enough millage on it but at my next service they would remove the intercooler pipe to make sure there was no water accumulation. In my opinion, I have no doubt that VW recognized the problem and are working on it.
 

epc

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Location
NJ
TDI
2010 Golf TDI
Just had my first service on my 2011 jsw at my dealer. Once they got my car in the shop, the service guy came and ask me to follow him to my car. Once there the mechanic removed the hard plastic intake pipe on top of the engine and ask me to hang on to it. Told me this is the recommendation from VW and it was only temporary. He told me VW is coming up with a fix and they will call me as soon as they receive it. He then when on explaining to me how the cold outside air would cause condensation and taking the warmer air in the engine compartment would cause less. He also said that my car had not enough millage on it but at my next service they would remove the intercooler pipe to make sure there was no water accumulation. In my opinion, I have no doubt that VW recognized the problem and are working on it.
Very interesting. I just had 20,000 mile service performed on my Golf TDI and this did not happen to me. I note that you are quite a bit north of me (New Jersey, USA). I suppose VW is only doing this temp work-around in extreme cold climate regions.
 

Henry D 8

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Location
NB Canada
TDI
2011 golf wagon highline manual
Very interesting. I just had 20,000 mile service performed on my Golf TDI and this did not happen to me. I note that you are quite a bit north of me (New Jersey, USA). I suppose VW is only doing this temp work-around in extreme cold climate regions.
Good question. I never ask, but it would make sense I guess.
 

jd5016

Active member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Long Island
TDI
--
I am hopefully buying my TDI within a week or 2....
Is this something I should reconsider buying because of?
What type of progress has VW made in resolving the issue with a recall?
 

El Dobro

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
NJ
TDI
2017 Bolt EV, 2015 Spark EV
Very interesting. I just had 20,000 mile service performed on my Golf TDI and this did not happen to me. I note that you are quite a bit north of me (New Jersey, USA). I suppose VW is only doing this temp work-around in extreme cold climate regions.
I've cleaned out the water and goop 4 times so far, roughly at 5000mi. intervals. The first time had the most.
 

itchytweed

Veteran Member
Joined
May 24, 2009
Location
Milwaukee, WI
TDI
2010 Jetta TDI Sportwagen
Gretchen is going in for her 20 k-mile inspection in a couple of weeks. I have a punchlist for them to go over, and one will be to pull the in and out pipes to the intercooler and check for goop. The other two are steering (toe-in) and a slow coolant loss. They are not going to like me....
 

El Dobro

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
NJ
TDI
2017 Bolt EV, 2015 Spark EV
If VW is concentrating on the cold air intake, a fast fix would be to just cover over the intake on the grill, so warm air enters from the back of the duct.
 

itchytweed

Veteran Member
Joined
May 24, 2009
Location
Milwaukee, WI
TDI
2010 Jetta TDI Sportwagen
If VW is concentrating on the cold air intake, a fast fix would be to just cover over the intake on the grill, so warm air enters from the back of the duct.
Actually, no, this does not work. In another thread on the same subject, IIRC, I put up a post as to where I simulated what VW is doing, removing the elbow from the air inlet box to suck air out of the engine compartment. This is the same as taping the outside louvers on the air box.

I did the test and monitored the air charge temp vs. outside air temp using VCDS. This was done on a cold day under different driving conditions. This DOES NOT affect the charge air temperature because of the intercooler doing its job.

You would have to block the intercooler to get it to warm up and keep the charge air temp above the dewpoint of the charge air to prevent condensation in the IC.

This is not going to be a pretty one to fix. The added moisture from the LPEGR will have to be eliminated completely or some system set up to either drain the condensate or temperature regulate the charge air to keep it above dewpoint.
 

Jack Frost

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2007
Location
Rural Manitoba
TDI
2009 Clean Diesel
Just had my first service on my 2011 jsw at my dealer. Once they got my car in the shop, the service guy came and ask me to follow him to my car. ... He then when on explaining to me how the cold outside air would cause condensation and taking the warmer air in the engine compartment would cause less.
This is incorrect. The cause of this problem is not cold outside air or even its humidity. The cause of the problem is the addition of extra moisture from the LPEGR. If you take that out of the equation, then it is virtually impossible to have condensation inside the intercooler!

However, now that we are stuck with the LPEGR, we can only mitigate the risk of experiencing condensation inside the IC. Taking warmer air from inside the engine compartment will reduce the risk under certain marginal circumstances but cannot resolve it complete or take away the cause of the problem.

I think the most effective way of reducing risk is not driving the car under humid weather and understanding what causes the LPEGR to dump moisture into our IC's. VW cannot change the weather, but VW can tell us what kind of driving style will encourge the LPEGR to dump moisture into our IC's. That is one fix they can provide us.
 

MayorDJQ

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Location
Williamstown, Mass
TDI
'10 Golf 2dr 6m, sold.
I don't think an acceptable fix for this issue will be advice from VW to not drive when it's too humid/too cold out.

A software/hardware change will be needed. If need be, I'll unplug the the LP-EGR and make sure it's closed for the duration of the cold weather.
 

Dean

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Vancouver, BC
TDI
2005 Passat TDI(Sold)
Has anyone experienced this problem on the West Coast?
Or are we mostly safe because of warmer weather?
 

itchytweed

Veteran Member
Joined
May 24, 2009
Location
Milwaukee, WI
TDI
2010 Jetta TDI Sportwagen
I don't think an acceptable fix for this issue will be advice from VW to not drive when it's too humid/too cold out.

A software/hardware change will be needed. If need be, I'll unplug the the LP-EGR and make sure it's closed for the duration of the cold weather.
Before disabling LPEGR, I suggest you read the following article. I remember seeing this once and had to go digging for it again. This is probably, IMHO, the best writeup on the emissions system operation and LPEGR plays a big role in this...

http://www.4btswaps.com/forum/showthread.php?11677-Some-info-on-the-New-External-Emissions
 

B25guy

Active member
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Location
Yakima, WA
TDI
'10 JSW 3-pedal. '07 Dodge Cummins, '04 Caterpillar 420D IT, 43' Blue Bird Wanderlodge DP
FWIW, in case you thought this couldn't happen even in Texas, think again.

2010 JSW w/13,200 on the clock...

Last week, we "enjoyed" record cold and snow/ice here in DFW, started getting cold Monday night with freezing rain. Started fine at 18 and 20 Tues and Wed morning. I normally leave the car out in the driveway, but because Thursday was supposed to be in the single digits, I decided to put my car in the garage. Thursday morning, in a 40 degree garage, I started the car. It cranked and started normally but only ran for roughly 2 second, then just shut off. I tried cranking again, but only got a half-turn on the starter before it acted like a dead battery. I tried one more time, but no crank. I then put the battery charger on the battery then went in to call the dealer to make sure they had a new battery. Scheduled the appointment for later in the morning and I then went out again to give it a start...again, half a turn on the crank then nothing. Waited another hour or so (called VW Roadside in the meantime, expecting it wouldn't start). Finally after about 3 hours and 5-6 attempts, it started, but seemed to be running on 3 cylinders for about 15-20 seconds...then it smoothed out. I let it warm up for 15 or so minutes to make sure it wasn't going to die then drove it to the dealer. They ran it in to the shop and did a check of the battery and charging system...all checked OK, no codes and he said here you go. I wasn't happy at all with that...after all, it started just fine in the teens but wouldn't in the 40's??? He said that he'd keep it overnight and start it in the morning when it was supposed to be 12 degrees. Guess what? It started right up and they called to say come get it!

After I dropped the car off Thursday morning, I spent 10 minutes researching this and found this thread. I called the service adviser and told him what I had just learned and perhaps the tech could check the IC hose as described here...they didn't so I guess I will.

A little more background...the Tues and Wed driving were full-on "pansy-style" with barely any throttle usage because of the sheer ice on the roads, so this might help explain the extreme amount of moisture (still to be confirmed) that accumulated, froze then subsequently thawed Wed night in the garage.

For those debating what to call this, I'm throwing in with the crowd that calls it hyrdo-locking... the starter could not overcome the moisture in the charge air and would not turn the motor. This was not fuel starvation/frozen fuel line, etc. (I've driven diesels for 30 years first half of that in Montana).

Since last week, I've run at 70mph for a few highway trips into Ft. Worth (yes, the ice finally melted), totally about 150 miles since the no-start last week and haven't had even a hiccup.

I'll try to post my results once I pop the hose off the IC.

Marc
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
I agree that the "pansy style" driving leads to this, all three of my start/stall stumbles have been after light driving.

I didn't have a problem for the first thaw in a few months yesterday, we'll see what happens this afternoon.
 

dpg

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Location
Chi-Town
TDI
2013 JSW TDI, 2010 JSW - retired
im not sure you can attribute the pansy driving style just yet. We just got hit with 20"+ last week and have had to baby the throttle and driving because of the bad roads. I haven't had any starting issues(knock on wood). im sure it could be the case for others, but I havent experienced it. since the snow, we've had cold single digit temps and highs in the 30s melting some of the snow and creating humid conditions and no starting issues yet. so who knows
 

MayorDJQ

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Location
Williamstown, Mass
TDI
'10 Golf 2dr 6m, sold.
Before disabling LPEGR, I suggest you read the following article. I remember seeing this once and had to go digging for it again. This is probably, IMHO, the best writeup on the emissions system operation and LPEGR plays a big role in this...

http://www.4btswaps.com/forum/showthread.php?11677-Some-info-on-the-New-External-Emissions
Meh, I'll read it later, before unplugging anything. My point was that advice from VW on how or when to drive will be an unacceptable fix for this issue. I'm not going to start watching the hygrometer before starting the car.

I think "pansy driving" is definitely a factor in this issue. It's not the only factor, but one of the factors. We've been telling people for years to "drive like you stole it" to keep oil build up in the EGR to a minimum. Why would this concept not apply to water buildup? Granted, a full throttle/full boost run may not always be possible or wise, but even on a snowy/icy road we should be able to run at a slow MPH/high RPM safely.
 

dpg

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Location
Chi-Town
TDI
2013 JSW TDI, 2010 JSW - retired
Granted, a full throttle/full boost run may not always be possible or wise, but even on a snowy/icy road we should be able to run at a slow MPH/high RPM safely.
This is what i was trying to do the past couple of days. my mpg has suffered bc of it but haven't had any starting issues. that may have had something to do with it, again who knows
 

MayorDJQ

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Location
Williamstown, Mass
TDI
'10 Golf 2dr 6m, sold.
This is what i was trying to do the past couple of days. my mpg has suffered bc of it but haven't had any starting issues. that may have had something to do with it, again who knows
I'll take slightly lower MPGs over a hydrolocked engine any day.
 

El Dobro

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
NJ
TDI
2017 Bolt EV, 2015 Spark EV
What we need is someone to photoshop a guinea pig with a VW emblem on the side of it. :p
 

VolksDudeTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
TDI
VW Golf 2010 TDI
So, looking at the diagram, what direction does the air flow? I assume that when the turbo is fully spooled, the LP-EGR cooler valve is shut otherwise you have exhaust fumes going back...Actually, my question should be, when is the LP-EGR cooler valve open? Only at idle?? Maybe it has been answered in this whole post, but with 30 pages long, I forget..

Cheers
 

tcp_ip_dude

Veteran Member
Joined
May 14, 2010
Location
Cape Fear area, NC
TDI
2010 Jetta TDI Sedan
So, looking at the diagram, what direction does the air flow? I assume that when the turbo is fully spooled, the LP-EGR cooler valve is shut otherwise you have exhaust fumes going back...Actually, my question should be, when is the LP-EGR cooler valve open? Only at idle?? Maybe it has been answered in this whole post, but with 30 pages long, I forget..

Cheers
LP-EGR operates primarily under extended high load situations (hwy cruising). [reference from VW 2.0L CR TDI Self Study Guide]
 

Jack Frost

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2007
Location
Rural Manitoba
TDI
2009 Clean Diesel
Actually, my question should be, when is the LP-EGR cooler valve open? Only at idle??
Cheers
The LPEGR opens under high load or high RPM conditons if you read page 25 of the Self Study Document on the 2.0 Liter TDI Common Rail BIN5 ULEV Engine. That rules out Italian Tuneups as a way of avoiding this problem.

The source of the problem is probably several factors.
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
im not sure you can attribute the pansy driving style just yet. We just got hit with 20"+ last week and have had to baby the throttle and driving because of the bad roads. I haven't had any starting issues(knock on wood). im sure it could be the case for others, but I havent experienced it. since the snow, we've had cold single digit temps and highs in the 30s melting some of the snow and creating humid conditions and no starting issues yet. so who knows
how long were you running it? Driving in the snow will work everything harder even though you're not going that fast.

I should have clarified, when I had my problems, I was driving on clear roads, for 30min plus, more like 45-1hour in temps in the mid teens, then a warm up afterwork. I was driving for mileage and I was getting it 45-48, no high load, no high rpms. so my guess is that the LP EGR wasn't really doing a whole lot if thats when it's run.
 
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