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    VWVortex


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    Thread: Hard to start, but runs perfect - 02 GTI 1.8T

    1. Semi-n00b
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      02-23-2011 11:23 PM #1
      I've searched around and haven't found any other posts that tell about the car being hard to start, but showing no other signs of problems. It cranks over just fine, but won't catch. Wait a minute, try again, may or may not catch. It's been taking me two or three tries and about 5 minutes to get it started. Doesn't matter if it's hot or cold, still has the problem. It just started doing it this past week. In the past 9 months I've had the car, always starts within 1 or 2 cranks. The CEL has been on a while with a code for the catalytic converter. No other problems-idles fine, seems to have normal amount of power, never sputters.

      Another question: I pulled the coils and plugs to check them, and looking down the hole, I could see the top of one of the pistons (must have been near or at TDC). It looked really dirty on the top of the piston, with oily deposits, but plugs weren't oil fouled. Is it normal to have these deposits at 122K miles? I took a picture, it's tough to see, but maybe you can kinda get my drift.

      Image:
      http://imgur.com/6Rnkh.jpg

    2. Member spitfire481's Avatar
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      02-23-2011 11:29 PM #2
      do you hear the fuel pump prime when you open the drivers door? could be a failing relay

    3. Junior Member Low-and-Slow 024's Avatar
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      02-23-2011 11:31 PM #3
      is that what that noise is haha i never knew that. whats the purpose of that??

    4. Member spitfire481's Avatar
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      02-23-2011 11:33 PM #4
      to bring fuel up to pressure in the fuel rail. so its there when starting. pressure bleeds off over time then the rail and lines are empty and it causes long starts

    5. Semi-n00b
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      02-23-2011 11:35 PM #5
      I can't hear the fuel pump, but I've tried getting in, turning the key, waiting 3-4 minutes and then try cranking it (in case the fuel pump is slow or something), but the result is the same, still won't catch. So you think maybe the fuel pump isn't getting started?

    6. Member spitfire481's Avatar
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      02-23-2011 11:37 PM #6
      i have my doors off my car right now (re-spray) and its a pain trying to get the thing started after it sits for a few hours because the pump wont prime because the door trigger is out. once it starts, then i shut it off, i can easily re-start it for a while because the pressure in the rail has not died down yet. does yours easily start once shut down and let sit for say 10 minutes?

    7. Semi-n00b
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      02-23-2011 11:39 PM #7
      Nope, still won't start easy after getting out and running into a store and coming back out.

    8. Member spitfire481's Avatar
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      02-23-2011 11:43 PM #8
      no power issues once its started and driving? when was the last time the fuel filter was done? if it was ignition you should have misfires all the time not just at startup.

    9. Semi-n00b
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      02-23-2011 11:48 PM #9
      No power issues. Don't know about fuel filter, hasn't been touched in the 9 months I've had the car. No misfires.

    10. Member spitfire481's Avatar
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      02-23-2011 11:52 PM #10
      just because its free id pull the fuel pump relay out, pop it open and clean the contacts. they are notorious for problems. if i remember right its under the drivers side of the dash, relay 409. you should hear the fuel pump prime for 5 seconds or so once the drivers door is opened.

    11. Junior Member Low-and-Slow 024's Avatar
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      02-23-2011 11:53 PM #11
      its missing at start up but a fuel filter would be a good idea to change they are cheap and easy to put in and wouldnt hurt. when was the last time you had a tune up?

    12. Semi-n00b
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      02-23-2011 11:54 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by spitfire481 View Post
      just because its free id pull the fuel pump relay out, pop it open and clean the contacts. they are notorious for problems. if i remember right its under the drivers side of the dash, relay 409. you should hear the fuel pump prime for 5 seconds or so once the drivers door is opened.
      Good call, I'll give that a try tomorrow

    13. Junior Member Low-and-Slow 024's Avatar
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      02-23-2011 11:54 PM #13
      and do what he said lol it sounds like a good idea haha

    14. Junior Member aearle1984's Avatar
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      02-24-2011 12:03 AM #14
      Hey more than likely the fuel pump check valve is bad which is built in to the pump. What happens is the fuel is leaving the rail and the lines and going back into the tank so until the pump gets fuel to the rail its not starting. It's pretty common I change at least three a month at the dealer I work at for this. Easiest way to check it is to put a fuel pressure gauge on it start the car it should have approximately 4.5 bar shut the car off and pressure should remain close to the same check the gauge after 15 mins and should have only dropped 2-3 psi. Hope this helps

      sent from Adams HTC EVO

    15. Semi-n00b
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      02-24-2011 12:07 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by aearle1984 View Post
      Hey more than likely the fuel pump check valve is bad which is built in to the pump. What happens is the fuel is leaving the rail and the lines and going back into the tank so until the pump gets fuel to the rail its not starting. It's pretty common I change at least three a month at the dealer I work at for this. Easiest way to check it is to put a fuel pressure gauge on it start the car it should have approximately 4.5 bar shut the car off and pressure should remain close to the same check the gauge after 15 mins and should have only dropped 2-3 psi. Hope this helps

      sent from Adams HTC EVO
      This is another possibility, I'll try and check that as well. It must have gone completely kaput, because even if I try to start right after shutting the engine off, it still exhibits this problem. Can I change the valve but not the pump if it's faulty?

    16. Junior Member aearle1984's Avatar
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      02-24-2011 12:09 AM #16
      Oh easiest way to check your relay just POP your rear seat cushion off and pump cover roll your windows down close your door wait a few minutes and open the driver front door unless your completely deaf you will hear it. In the 7 years I've worked for VW I've replaced 1 fuel pump relay but it could happen. Even if the fuel pump does prime its not enough to start the car if the check valve is bad

      sent from Adams HTC EVO

    17. Junior Member aearle1984's Avatar
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      02-24-2011 12:10 AM #17
      The only way the dealer sells the 1.8t pump is as a complete pump

      sent from Adams HTC EVO

    18. Junior Member aearle1984's Avatar
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      02-24-2011 12:11 AM #18
      I'm willing to bet as soon as you turn the key off the pressure will drop to 0 almost immediately

      sent from Adams HTC EVO

    19. Semi-n00b
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      02-24-2011 12:14 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by aearle1984 View Post
      The only way the dealer sells the 1.8t pump is as a complete pump

      sent from Adams HTC EVO
      Bummer.

      But thanks for the info, this sounds like one of the most plausible explanations yet. I will definitely test things tomorrow when I get a chance.

    20. Semi-n00b
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      02-24-2011 08:42 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by aearle1984 View Post
      Oh easiest way to check your relay just POP your rear seat cushion off and pump cover roll your windows down close your door wait a few minutes and open the driver front door unless your completely deaf you will hear it. In the 7 years I've worked for VW I've replaced 1 fuel pump relay but it could happen. Even if the fuel pump does prime its not enough to start the car if the check valve is bad

      sent from Adams HTC EVO
      So I can hear the fuel pump start going when I first turn the key on, but not when I open the door.

      Also, pulled out relay 409, looks okay, the connections are clean, but not sure what else test can be done. I'm betting it's the fuel pump check valve. It seems like I can start it up if I crank it just at the moment that the fuel pump is done priming. That way it's pushed some fuel up to the rail-if I wait longer it doesn't seem to work, so that must be the sweet spot.

      I want to test the pressure, but I don't have access to a fuel pressure gauge. Also, I can't seem to find where to hook it up if I did have one. According to one website, it is supposed to be hooked up to the fuel filter underneath the car?

      Is there a port in the engine bay I can check from?

    21. Member floridabmx's Avatar
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      02-24-2011 09:20 PM #21
      i changed my coolant temp sensor and it fixed it. good luck

      also check for corrosion on your battery cables, i had some of that too.

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    23. 03-23-2014 02:59 PM #23
      what do you guys mean, the fuel pump primes when the door is open? does it even matter if its closed of open?

    24. 03-23-2014 03:49 PM #24
      "So I can hear the fuel pump start going when I first turn the key on, but not when I open the door."

      If you hear the fuel pump when you turn the ignition key to "on", cycle the key "on" and "off" three or more times, then turn the key to the "start" position. Does the engine start? If yes, your problem is the fuel pump.

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