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    VWVortex


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    Thread: won't start in this cold weather :(

    1. 01-21-2008 08:16 PM #1
      Ever since the weather turned my diesel hasn't started. Not a surprise. I forgot to plug it in the night before. It usually has lots of trouble starting when it's -5 degrees outside or colder, but this time it won't start at all.

      I moved it into the garage where it's been sitting in about 60 degree temperatures for 2 hours or so. I went and bought some anti-gelling stuff for the fuel, put some in the tank w/ fresh diesel. Still won't start. It kind of half-catches as I'm cranking it over.

      The glow plug timer goes for about 8-10 seconds. Replacing the glow plugs is the only thing I can think of at this point but why the car won't start AT ALL is beyond me seeing as how before the weather got cold as hell it started fine all the time.

      Is it possible the diesel in my fuel lines have gelled? If so, how do I "un" gel them?

      she's dead in the water


    2. 01-23-2008 01:08 AM #2
      I'm no mechanic, but could it be the battery? The diesel requires more juice than a standard battery as far as I know, and the cold will kill a battery. Mine would barely turn over in the cold, like you're talking about. It would start right up if I had it pluged in, really weird, but I changed the battery, and no problems.

      If it's a gelling problem, leaving it in the heated garage will ungel them. Are you running any blend of biodiesel? If so, bio will gel at a higher temp. With the glow plugs, I'd test them before throwing money at it. Typically a CEL will be thrown if even 1 is bad. I doubt this is your problem.

      Hope this helps, if not, another great resource is tdiclub.com



      Modified by griz419 at 9:11 PM 1-22-2008


    3. Member QuantumSyncro's Avatar
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      01-23-2008 01:20 AM #3
      First, your GP indicator works whether your plugs are or not. It's unfortunate that the GP indicator light isn't powered by the plug current but that's the way the system works. At any length, if you've never replaced them I would pull one or two and bench test them with a 12V source, ground one end and apply current to the other, if it smokes and then glows red you're fine. Don't hold the plug in your hand when you do this!!

      Second, as mentioned, your battery needs to be in tip top shape, and plenty of CCA for your climate. Also, your pos / neg battery cables need to be in good order too, so a thorough cleaning of the connections at the battery and at the starter / block should be done. If you replace cables switch to the 2ga cables. Also, your starter needs to be able to spin the engine pretty well, so have your starter checked as well.

      Finally, if new GP's didn't fix the problem you'll have to check to see whether they're actually getting power (test light) or not. If not I would suspect two things first, 1) the fusible link below the battery in the loom, or 2) (more expensive) the GP relay itself. Check your Bentley for further diagnostics on the system.

      A garage at 60 degrees should have resolved any fuel gelling issues although I would be sure to add an adequate amount of anti-gel.

      You won't get a CEL because this system isn't computer controlled.

      good luck and let us know what you find out!

      The words you're using, they don't mean what you think they mean.

    4. Member XClayX's Avatar
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      01-23-2008 03:08 AM #4
      It was -16 ambient out and mine started. -30 to -60 wind chill. I would say the battery for sure. Did you cycle the glow plugs before you cranked it over.

      FYI Regular diesel gels at about -20 f
      bio diesel gels at 32f

      So a blend will alter the gel temp. So if it's going to be -5 out, run straight diesel for a week or so untill it warms up.


    5. 01-23-2008 05:00 PM #5
      Quote, originally posted by XClayX »
      It was -16 ambient out and mine started. -30 to -60 wind chill. I would say the battery for sure. Did you cycle the glow plugs before you cranked it over.

      FYI Regular diesel gels at about -20 f
      bio diesel gels at 32f

      So a blend will alter the gel temp. So if it's going to be -5 out, run straight diesel for a week or so untill it warms up.

      This is saddening. It is warmer than that here and mine still doesn't start.

      The battery is practically new, so I know that's not the problem. It holds a charge very well usually stays 13+ volts. The starter is fine, it cranks over fast enough.

      I replaced the glow plugs yesterday. It started great for the rest of the day.... This morning I went to try and start it and it does the exact same thing. Cranks over fine, motor half-runs (starts to catch as if 1 of 4 or maybe 2 of 4 cylinders are running) but won't start fully.

      I try cycling the glow plugs twice even and still no start.

      I'm starting to think the timing is off just enough to cause this but still run well enough to not tell when it's warm.


    6. 01-24-2008 12:36 AM #6
      When's the last time you changed your fuel filter? Maybe the fuel in the filter is thickening up just a little and that is just enough to block it.

    7. 01-24-2008 02:26 AM #7
      Quote, originally posted by weefek »

      I replaced the glow plugs yesterday.

      As per the previous posting... have you confirmed your glow plugs are getting power ?? Best bet is to use a multimeter or test light to confirm you have 12V at the glow plugs when you first turn on the key.

      If not, check for voltage on both sides of the glow plug fuse... its in a small black box bolted to the firewall near the brake booster and has two large red wires attached. If it's dead it should be fairly obvious although sometimes there is a hairline crack... they are about a buck so cheap to shotgun if you're not sure.

      Otherwise, if you have a good fuse and you're not getting power to the glowplugs then it's pretty much the relay. Not so cheap, but if the dash glow plug light is working then probably it's not to blame.

      Vince Waldon
      Edmonton Alberta Canada
      2001 silver TDI Jetta, .205s and Malone Stage 1.5
      2001 blue TDI Jetta, .216s, SB III, and Malone Stage 3. grrrr baby...very grrrrrrr ;-)

    8. Member MattRabbit's Avatar
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      01-24-2008 06:42 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by weefek »
      If not, check for voltage on both sides of the glow plug fuse... its in a small black box bolted to the firewall near the brake booster and has two large red wires attached. If it's dead it should be fairly obvious although sometimes there is a hairline crack... they are about a buck so cheap to shotgun if you're not sure.

      I've had this exact problem. My car wouldn't start to save my life, and I did everything I could think of. The problem turned out to be the glow plug fuse. 10 seconds later, the car roared to life. Definitely make sure to check it.

      2001 Golf TDI, 1981 Rabbit Diesel
      http://matt_lisa.home.sprynet.com/

    9. 01-24-2008 11:12 PM #9
      Was your problem only in cold weather?

      Cause when the car is warm it starts perfectly fine.

      I'm gonna go out and check voltage and amperage tomorrow when it's a little warmer during the day rather than at night.


    10. 01-25-2008 02:10 PM #10
      checked.

      for some reason the glow plugs are only getting 9v. after one cycle they are barely warm, and they're BRAND NEW. ??? The fuse is fine, the only other thing I can think of is the relay?? which relay is it that does the glow plugs ?


    11. 01-25-2008 02:50 PM #11
      I have the same damn car. For sure you have to plug it below -5. But you can do some easy thing that help diesel..! It's true that diesel needs a lot of power when stating.. i have friend that plugs two direct battery instead of one. Personally, i have just one big battery.. 1200amp. cold start! make sure to keep the tank half-ful always.. cause diesel produce some humidity and that's what keep your gas line freezed. I plug my diesel every day.. and it took about 3 to 6 second for the glow plugs to do their job... if it's like 10 sec.. your plugs are no longer alive! now my problem is the thermostat.. i think it's over.. but i don't know nothing about those stuffs

    12. 01-25-2008 03:34 PM #12
      The glow plugs represent a heavy draw so will lower the system voltage... but 9V does sound pretty low for the plugs to generate enough heat.

      You might want to see the exact voltage at the battery posts during the glowplug cycle... if it's substantially higher than 9V that speaks to a voltage drop in the system under heavy current draw... bad big grounds most likely.

      Vince Waldon
      Edmonton Alberta Canada
      2001 silver TDI Jetta, .205s and Malone Stage 1.5
      2001 blue TDI Jetta, .216s, SB III, and Malone Stage 3. grrrr baby...very grrrrrrr ;-)

    13. 01-25-2008 04:48 PM #13
      I did that as well, during the glow plug cycle voltage at the plugs was 9v and at the battery was 12.1v. I'm going to clean up all connections incl grounds and see if that helps.

    14. 01-25-2008 05:00 PM #14
      Good man... sounds like you're losing 3 critical volts somewhere.
      Vince Waldon
      Edmonton Alberta Canada
      2001 silver TDI Jetta, .205s and Malone Stage 1.5
      2001 blue TDI Jetta, .216s, SB III, and Malone Stage 3. grrrr baby...very grrrrrrr ;-)

    15. 01-26-2008 05:38 PM #15
      also check the large fusible metal fus eon eth fire wall .. floow th e wires etc ..check that it could look good but be bad.. also may want to check your compression.. as too low will make cold starts a real bear but still start ok in warm weather..
      sonds like a battery and the relay issue to me...\
      laterr,
      Deo

    16. 01-27-2008 10:22 AM #16
      At first, I thought your problem was your ignition switch in the steering column, but you have 9 volts at the GPs. If your problem is not your battery or relay or grounds, I'm no mechanic but it maybe the timing like you suggested. Adjusting the timing is described in the Bentley Manual if you don't have one. I feel your pain, as I have had this same problem.

      I just had a throttle bushing replaced on my injection pump, and my car would not start once the ambient temperature was around +5 F. Do these 1.6L NA diesels just not start at that temperature without an oil pan heater or block heater? I got all kinds of fumes and white smoke, but the battery quickly decreased her cranking power.

      The engine turned over like it wanted to start but would not quite do it. It was on the verge of starting though. Does that sound like the battery is the problem?

      I bought an oil pan heater, battery warmer, with a thermostat that turns off at 45 F and turns on again at 32 F, from Industrial Heaters Inc. in Ontario, Canada. It comes with a 3 yr warranty. I sure hope the oil pan heater doesn't cook the oil. Anyone have experience with these? I'll post some pics when I install it this week.


    17. 01-27-2008 07:23 PM #17
      thats one of th emain reasons to do a DI.. direct injection the tdis start so well in the cold..all my old 1.5s and 1.6s started like crank in the cold..my mechanical tdis were great same with my electronic ones...
      Later,
      deo

    18. 01-28-2008 07:10 PM #18
      Weell after checking EVERYTHING and being insanely confused, I made a double wire 10 gauge ground strap for my valve cover and voila. I re-pulled every plug, bench tested, then i tested the whole thing while in the car but not in the block, tried basically everything possible and then realized i had no ground strap on my head/valve cover.

    19. Member burn_your_money's Avatar
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      01-28-2008 08:49 PM #19
      they normally don't

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