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    Thread: cold start / rough idle / misfire

    1. 12-29-2007 02:06 PM #36
      I had this very same problem, it turned out to be quite a few things:

      MAF was really dirty
      ISV was shot
      Distributor timing was off (from what I've been told, this can happen pretty easily)
      Harness connectors for MAF/ISV/TPS were corroded
      Intake boot had a small tear

      this is a really hard problem to figure out/solve because it could be so many things, or all of them working against you at once.


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      01-02-2008 09:24 AM #37
      Just checking in to see if the OP has gotten any sort of solution found. I am having a similar problem on a 2.0 jetta. The car will crank and crank when it hasnt been run in a day or so. While its cranking and not starting it kind of starts to turn over then goes off. Do you ever see that happen?

      I too have spray tested everything and it had no effect cuz the problem only seems to be the first start after the engine really cools down.

      Not trying to hijack but htere is a ton of threads about things like this and im lookin to see if rabbit figured anyhting new out.


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      01-02-2008 10:22 AM #38
      Still waiting on my O2 sensor to arrive. Interestingly, I started the car yesterday after sitting for a week, and it ran fine. I'm not making anymore theories until the new sensor is installed and I clear the codes.


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      01-02-2008 04:00 PM #39
      My sister's '96 Mk3 Golf 2.0 tarted with this same behavior last week, too. A wet evening (fog, snow, rain, etc.), and the car won't start. It will crank and crank, but then takes forever to start. What's weird is that you do hear the engine "catch" every now and again...just not consistently enough to get the engine to start easy.

      Once it does get started (several frustrating minutes of trying later), then it runs fine.

      I replaced the plugs, wires, cap and rotor. That makes me think to change the ignition coil, next.

      But reading through this (and other) threads...that doesn't seem to be a 100% cureall.

      Is this the result of some other common weakness in the MK3 2.0? My sister's 1994 Golf did this same thing before, too. For reference, the 1996 has ~130k miles, and the 1994 had 143k miles when I sold it.


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      01-02-2008 04:18 PM #40
      I've had other non-VWs exhibit rough starting in cold/wet/foggy weather. Gotta be something to do with moisture, condensation, maybe grounding, IDK.


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      01-05-2008 02:15 PM #41
      Quote, originally posted by Dan J Reed »

      dont forget that internal engine parts like valve seals also wear and cause a rough start.

      I am very glad I swapped mine out last winter. Its seemed to have fixed my blue smoke/poor start/fuel rich smell at start up. The oil was leaking down onto a valve and causing the cylinder to foul on a cold start.

      The colder the weather the worse it was. The valve guide shrinks at a different rate than the valve stem. And the seals leak.

      That's what I have been thinking is going on with my car as my symptoms are exactly the same, I really don't feel like rebuilding the head though!


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      01-05-2008 06:19 PM #42
      Update:

      Replaced 02 sensor today finally. The weather wasn't too cold, and the car didn't have any rough idle or misfire symptoms on startup. BUT, I still have a CEL. I disconnected the battery, hoping that would clear them, which it didn't. Perhaps it needs some adjustment time, or perhaps this O2 sensor is bad (it was a low-mileage used one). Or, perhaps my new(ish) MAF is bad.

      Took it down to Autozone to see what the codes were:
      P0131, 02 sensor
      P1128, MAF sensor
      P0102, Mass or Volume Air Flow low voltage

      So apparently I haven't fixed anything. I'll know on the next cold/wet morning.


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      01-05-2008 06:22 PM #43
      Is there a way to have sensors tested, off the car?

    9. 01-05-2008 06:33 PM #44
      I had somewhat the same problem as rabbit but my car wouldn't stall. My codes were 2 for the downstream o2 (I ripped the wires out on a speedbump), 1 for the coolant temp sensor, 1 for an evap leak somewhere, and a pending code for MAF low voltage, I guess that means its bad?

      Anyway I replaced the coolant temp sensor because it was the cheapest. It fixed my cold start/high rough idle for about a week and it went back to normal again


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      01-05-2008 06:54 PM #45
      im having the same trouble as most of you. rough cold start, and then runs perfect after about 30 seconds.

      i replaced everything that has been listed above except the 02 sensor. im gonna try to unplug it tomorrow when i start it up.

      keep us updated... im curious to know if that 02 sensor fixed your problem

      +3500 posts as VWDR1VER

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      01-05-2008 07:12 PM #46
      Me too, hafta wait until the 'right' weather to see if that was it .


    12. 01-15-2008 12:48 AM #47
      Same problem on my 95 ODB 1. Changed the valve stem seals in the last month and that improved the rough start somewhat - stopped the choking blue smoke. It still takes 30 seconds to get all 4 running, but only in the winter time (and for the last 5 winters; at least the machine is consistant.)

      I was wondering if there is any chance that it might be related to the fuel injectors? dripping/fouled?


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      01-15-2008 09:18 AM #48
      I dunno, it really is a strange problem. It is interesting that you are experiencing this on an OBDI car....tells me it may indeed be something other than a MAF or O2 sensor.

      Update on my situation:
      Had a friend clear my codes, since touching the battery cables together didn't work. I wanted to see if the codes were current, or just stored from before. Well I drove it around for a day with no CEL, but I could tell the problem was still lurking.....it will occasionally buck when I am shifting gears, and sometimes the idle dips way down and almost stalls before it stabilizes. But sure enough, the CEL came back on, so now I get to check the codes again to see which of the three has come back.

      It hasn't been running rough on startup for the last dozen or so starts, but I know I'm not out of the woods yet.




      Modified by RabbitsKin at 8:19 AM 1-15-2008


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      01-19-2008 02:09 PM #49
      01/19/08 Update:

      Took the car in for a code-reading just to confirm what I suspected: P0102 MAF sensor low input again. At least that was the only code. Pretty sure the used MAF I bought is the problem. But I think the CEL and erratic idle from the bad MAF are a different problem than the rough startup.


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      01-21-2008 01:33 PM #50
      1/21/08 Update:

      Using Dan J. Reed's excellent MAF diagnosis thread here, I was able to determine that both the old and the new MAFs are, in fact, bad.

      Pin 1 -- 1.1 Ohms
      Pin 2 -- 1.2 Ohms
      Pin 3 -- 14.4 Volts (awesome battery)
      Pin 4 -- .1 Volts, no change at any RPM

      Just for kicks I plugged the old MAF sensor in, it reads a low of 1.0 Volts and a high of 1.9 Volts, so it isn't reading the full range of .9-3.8 Volts DC either. Thank you Dan Reed! At least now I can purchase a new MAF with confidence that there isn't some wiring issue.

      borrowed pic from the other thread:



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      01-31-2008 04:04 PM #51
      Update:

      New MAF in place, reset the TB and cleared the codes with a buddy's vag-com. Replaced the two tiny vacuum lines coming off of the manifold, which looked suspect. Been driving it a couple of days with no CEL. I will be driving about 300 miles tomorrow, so we'll see how she does. There is also a cold front and ice storm moving in tonight, so tomorrow morning will be a good test to see if it is still misfiring in the cold.

      It still has an occasional wonky idle for some reason....it'll drop way down to about 400, almost die, and then chug back to life. Just randomly, it seems. I'm hoping it is still trying to adapt to the new MAF.


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      02-01-2008 09:01 PM #52
      CEL is back on

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      02-02-2008 04:59 AM #53
      I'm sorry man. Excellent thread, it'll be great for the archives. FYI I do also have the same problem, 30 second warm up and all. Once in a while it'll shutter bad, starting in first. I thought it was clutch, or maybe just the car asking for some maintenence. I'll be waiting to find out what you've got. (95 2.0 Golf here.)

      I didn't know autozone read VW codes (I have no idea why I assumed they didn't). We learn something everyday.


    19. 02-02-2008 06:46 AM #54
      Quote, originally posted by import600 »
      I'm sorry man. Excellent thread, it'll be great for the archives. FYI I do also have the same problem, 30 second warm up and all. Once in a while it'll shutter bad, starting in first. I thought it was clutch, or maybe just the car asking for some maintenence. I'll be waiting to find out what you've got. (95 2.0 Golf here.)

      I didn't know autozone read VW codes (I have no idea why I assumed they didn't). We learn something everyday.

      they can read any car as long as its obd2


    20. 02-02-2008 12:36 PM #55
      Same thing is going on with my 90. it has the 2.8 12v in her but all the same symptoms you guys are describing. im begging to lean toward valve guide seals, or just bad plugs. I want to fix this problem because i want to know what it feels like to have a car that idles smooth

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      02-04-2008 03:53 PM #56
      Update:

      Although it still has a CEL, the car is running really good. The wonky idle problem seems to be gone. It still chugs on cold mornings, but the situation has definitely improved a lot. I just installed a VR6 exhaust, and the little 2.0 really winds out nicely now.

      Getting the codes read yet again leads me to believe I am really chasing a vacuum or exhaust leak somewhere:


      P1127 - Long Term Fuel Trim mult., Bank1 System too rich
      P0171 - Fuel Trim, Bank 1 System too lean
      P0103 - Mass Air circuit sensor input high

      So, after replacing the MAF twice, the 02 sensor and cat once, I'm back to my friend the CEL. I love a good puzzle.


    22. 02-07-2008 01:35 AM #57
      I have the same problem on my 03 GTI 1.8T and it's been there for about six months. Replaced the coils and plugs about four months ago and it took care of the problem, only for it to come right back about a week later. I'll keep you all posted on what I can find out.

    23. 02-10-2008 10:23 AM #58
      I have the same problem with my 2003 Jetta 1.8t. If I don't keep the RPM's above 1,100 when it is cold out the car will stall if I don't push the clutch and when I do push the clutch it misfires terribly until I give it the gas. After I drive about .5 to 1 mile the problem is gone. I am going to take a look at my coil and my MAF. I'll let you know what I come up with.
      I STILL have to take the car in for its recall on the brake lights. When I do that I'll see if their mechanics can pinpoint anything.


      Modified by FitchHollister at 2:25 PM 2-10-2008

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      02-18-2008 10:08 PM #59
      Quote, originally posted by nineeightgolf »
      Just checking in to see if the OP has gotten any sort of solution found. I am having a similar problem on a 2.0 jetta. The car will crank and crank when it hasnt been run in a day or so. While its cranking and not starting it kind of starts to turn over then goes off. Do you ever see that happen?

      Same exact thing has started to happen to me. If the engine is warm, it'll fire right up. But cold, it can take a few minutes of cranking to finally catch. Even when it does start up, it idles terribly for a few seconds. I haven't looked at anything under the hood yet, but this thread seems to be a pretty good guide


    25. 02-20-2008 02:49 AM #60
      Could it possibly be dirty injectors? Ive had the same problem with my 2.0 in colder weather, and as soon as it started chugging my coolant light would come on too, but i topped off my coolant and it still chugs, ive done almost everything litle thing i can think of so im thinking of sending my injectors away to be cleaned, ill possibly start replacing hoses around the intake to make sure im not getting a vaccum leak, but ive changed:

      -FR8DS silver spark plugs
      -STIwires
      - Bosch cap
      -Bosch rotor
      -Cleaned maf
      Cleaned up and lower intakes (soaked them in hot water with simple green and then took them to the car wash)
      -Cleaned TB
      -New temp sensor in the upper intake (casue i broke it taking it apart, haha)
      -New Air filter
      -Fuel filter (have yet to start it with this on since its parked for the winter)
      -New Exhaust plus High flow Cat
      -The car runs nice when warmed up for when driving, itds just that rough idle when first started is driving me insane, i need to find out whats wrong and fix it, car only hass 145k on it (kilometers, so like 87Miles).... but anyone dirty injectors?


    26. 04-06-2008 08:23 PM #61
      Wow i thought i was the only one with this problem and im completly lost on what to do ive only had my car for 4 months and it never ran like this untill recently on cold start runs rich and on idle it will almost die but then goes to normal just like all your guys is doing Does autozone read codes for an obd1? i have a 1995 jetta 2.0l

    27. Member Plain's Avatar
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      11-24-2008 11:52 AM #62
      Anyone ever figure out stuff?

      I get rough idle on start with misfire light. It also smells really rich when it's running like ass. I have replaced plugs, but debating between buying either a coil or wires/cap/rotor.

      Paul

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    28. 01-26-2009 02:15 PM #63
      Bump.

      Same issue.

      Cold start, have to hold the gas a bit for 30 seconds or so then it runs fine.

      RabbitsKin, did you ended up finding the culprit?

      I read through the whole thread and couldn't find a conclusion.

      My guesses are, MAF, O2, coil or bad valve seals

      What about ISV (Idle stabalization valve?)

      .


      Modified by GarbatyA4 at 10:26 AM 1-26-2009


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      01-26-2009 03:56 PM #64
      Never found the culprit, almost a year since my last update. Car behaves exactly the same way. During the past year I blew an oil cooler O-ring and ran the car out of oil, which has now caused a valvetrain clatter in the car. WHICH, in turn, lead me to purchase a very low-mileage ABA head .

      The car will be coming off the road soon to swap the head and other maintenance, so I have my fingers crossed that Dan J Reed's valve-stem-seal theory will prove to be the answer.


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      01-26-2009 04:24 PM #65
      My car does this too, and I think I've got a lot of the same issues, 95 2.0...

      Rough start up sometimes
      misfire on start sometimes
      runs incredibly rich at all times
      valve stem seals are shot for sure, only get the blue cloud on start up, then it evens out and runs better.

      I get a nice hesitation while on light throttle, heavy throttle will make it go away.

      I did a tune up using the GAP tune up kit about 6 months ago, and it made 0 difference. I've cleaned the MAF, no difference. I guess I just need to start diag on it and figure out which sensors aren't working.

      I wish my car was OBD2 so I could watch their voltages.

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    31. 01-29-2009 11:16 PM #66
      Same thing with my 92 1.8 jetta it sat for a while at the local garage while waiting for parts in cold weather. after i got it back it sounds like its only running on 3 cylinders but idles rough but doesn't die. when i rev it/ drive it, it wont go back to normal it says on the two/three cylinders the whole time. i'm thinking its a clogged injector or possible moisture build up somewhere inside ?

    32. 01-29-2009 11:23 PM #67
      what octane fuel are you running?

    33. 01-29-2009 11:26 PM #68
      i believe its 87 octane regular

    34. Member lowdubmk3's Avatar
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      01-30-2009 03:20 AM #69
      my 97 golf does the smae ****. Summer runs and starts like a dream. Winter when it starts runs like a bag of $hit. I think something like a cold start valve if it has one. My cure was a small portable heater under the hood all night. When i wake up and start it, its like starting it on a warm summer day. Try that.

    35. Member oxygen454's Avatar
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      11-14-2009 01:17 AM #70
      I have the same problem, anyone find a answer? This is driving me nuts!!
      1995 golf. 1.8L auto

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