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    VWVortex


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    Thread: Car died on the Highway

    1. Member
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      1987 VW Scirocco 16V, 2010 Toyota Yaris Sedan
      04-25-2012 08:14 AM #1
      I was wondering if anyone can help me with this. Yesterday while I was driving on the highway, I noticed that there one of the relays was clicking at cruising speed (50-60mph) and everytime it would click the car would lose power and sputter. At first it was just every few minutes then every few seconds until it was just undriveable. I felt around the fuse panel and felt that one of the realys was much warmer than the others. I called a friend and he recommended that I pull that relay out and let cool down and try starting it once it's cool. I did and it started only to idle like crap and backkfire and then die again. Has some one ever had this happen to them. A friend of mine said it could be the relay that went out or a fuel pump issue. When I go to try and start the car I can hear the fuel pump prime. Any help would be greatly appreciated I'm so frustrated, I just spent $1800 on a new head gasket, cams, springs, machine work on the head only to have something else go wrong. Againb I appreciate any help that can be given to get my car back on the road

    2. Member
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      1986 16v Rocco
      04-25-2012 08:18 AM #2
      best thing is tell us which relay it is since you seem to know.
      this will be of great help instead of us guessing. you can also feel the relay as it clicks and know its that one.

      I hope this is for your year

    3. Member
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      04-25-2012 08:45 AM #3
      Mine is an 87 but I can't imagine the fuse panel could be that much different. If I remember correctly it was Relay 17. I can double check tonight. Thanks a lot this diagram should help a lot

    4. Member
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      04-25-2012 09:40 AM #4
      if its the fuel pump relay you can just jump it so its on all the time and see if the car runs better

    5. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      04-25-2012 01:13 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by hatchbackkid82 View Post
      Mine is an 87 but I can't imagine the fuse panel could be that much different. If I remember correctly it was Relay 17. I can double check tonight. Thanks a lot this diagram should help a lot
      #17 is a fuse. It wouldnt make any clicking sounds. Im betting its yer fuel pump relay, #2.
      "Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people."
      -George Bernard Shaw

    6. Member
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      04-25-2012 01:20 PM #6
      Yeah thats what I thought too. I'll have to double check the numbers when I get home.

    7. 04-25-2012 11:31 PM #7
      One thing to keep in mind; that top row of Relays (as shown in the diagram) are clip-in or transitory- what I mean is they may or may not be in the factory designated position anymore due to the ability to slide forward and flop around.

      I've seen this where the one you think it is, it isn't.

      (Hah, Introducing Uncertainty; it's one of my superpowers...)

      Also, if a Fuel Pump is straining it'll heat up all the wires in the loom, some spots to a greater degree. It doesn't mean the pump is guaranteed bad, but something is causing problems. Rule out tank trash and/or collapsed pick-up tube, low voltage tot he pump(s), working Main but Dead Pre-Pump, (OK, I'm just fling'n stuff at the wall now...)

    8. Member cuppie's Avatar
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      04-26-2012 12:28 AM #8
      I'll throw my thoughts in, because I've been there with that set of issues (back when I had my Golf.) And, more than once, too. :/

      Failure #1 that caused that craziness (bucking, doesn't want to idle, hard start, backfiring.... and, rapid-clicking fuel pump relay):
      Faulty coolant temp sensor. Yes, really.
      Go unplug it (the two-pin sensor (the smaller of the two - the bigger one is the thermo-time switch) on the end of the head. If it now runs (it'll run rich, and a bit down on power; but, it'll run) reasonably correctly, replace temp sensor.

      Failure #2 (this one was spendy) was when the knock control crapped out. However, it would start & idle normally when it happened. Put the car under any load, though, and all hell would break loose. Bucking, surging, rapid-firing of the fuel pump relay - but, only when driving.) Hopefully, this isn't it.


      A couple of other things that can cause this set of issues, too:
      - faulty engine grounds. Bad ground connection (loose, corroded, or just plain not hooked up) for either the Jetronic, or the knock control, will create, ah, issues. Check all of them (some on the head; the rest are at the battery negative clamp.) Clean, inspect, repair as needed.
      - wonky hall sensor, loose/faulty plug connection there, crappy wiring to hall sensor.
      The knock control needs this for timing control; as a side thing, it also uses it for control of the fuel pump relay.

      Start with the grounds. Try unplugging the temp sensor. If still broken, check hall sensor & wiring, repair/replace as needed. Still broke? On to the electronics, quite likely....
      - Cup
      '88 Scirocco 16v, 'tastefully' modified.
      Click here for my Cincy pics
      things currently broken (Scirocco): 5
      things currently broken (QSW): 5!!

    9. Member 16V_Scirocco_GTX's Avatar
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      04-26-2012 01:23 AM #9
      I'm thinking that the relay has the number 17 on it, not that it was in the #17 location. Like this one



      which would make it the load reduction relay from the diagram.
      Last edited by 16V_Scirocco_GTX; 04-26-2012 at 01:26 AM.
      Tobias

      90 Corrado TDI, 84 Scirocco GTi, 75 Scirocco 1.8T, 09 Triumph Bonneville

    10. Junior Member Tread64eight's Avatar
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      04-26-2012 07:54 AM #10
      I went and looked at an 86 yesterday, and it wouldn't idle, and bucked a lot. Could this be the same issue? It liked to cut out when braking hard or cornering?! It wouldn't rev over 4500 either... I'm getting it for $200 though! Sorry for the thread jack!
      Is a turbo turtle faster than a N/A Rabbit?

    11. Member
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      04-26-2012 10:14 AM #11
      Alright, I had a chance to dig a little deeper. A friend helped me pin point the problem. We picked up a new fuel pump relay from the dealership tried starting the car. And it still wouldn't, when it did it ran it struggled to start and idled like crap. I remember when when took the distributor off the cylinder head there was a plug with 3 wires coming from the distributor. Needless to say I'm pretty sure this may be the original distributor. I was looking through all the paperwork the PO owner gave me, it dates back as early as 1995 and never found a receipt for a new distributor. When my friend moved the plug back to its original position it would start right up and idle perfectly. As soon as he let the plug go, it would start to idle bad again and eventually shut off. We tried this again a few times just to make sure. Already ordered a new distributor. Thanks for all the help guys. Anything else I should look at replacing before it goes bad? Timing belt, headgasket, valve guides, valve stem seals, water pump, fuel filter pretty much the whole cylinder head had been has been replaced. Thanks again guys
      Last edited by hatchbackkid82; 04-26-2012 at 10:19 AM.

    12. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      04-26-2012 11:27 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by hatchbackkid82 View Post
      there was a plug with 3 wires coming from the distributor
      That would be yer Hall Sender dude. Mines zip tied in place haha
      "Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people."
      -George Bernard Shaw

    13. Junior Member Tread64eight's Avatar
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      04-27-2012 08:20 AM #13
      Bump. Anyone care to help me with this issue?
      Is a turbo turtle faster than a N/A Rabbit?

    14. Member
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      04-27-2012 08:26 AM #14
      is the car home yet?

    15. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      04-27-2012 09:38 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Tread64eight View Post
      Bump. Anyone care to help me with this issue?

      Whats it idle at when you start it? Pop The ISV off and clean it really well, then let it air dry, and see if that does anything. Bet its a combination of that, and the coolant temp sensor is crap.
      "Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people."
      -George Bernard Shaw

    16. Member
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      04-27-2012 09:53 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by euroteknique View Post
      is the car home yet?
      My car? Yeah it's just sitting out front waiting on the new distributor, cap and rotor.

    17. Junior Member Tread64eight's Avatar
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      04-27-2012 12:38 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Teighlor O' View Post
      Whats it idle at when you start it? Pop The ISV off and clean it really well, then let it air dry, and see if that does anything. Bet its a combination of that, and the coolant temp sensor is crap.
      Thanks!
      Is a turbo turtle faster than a N/A Rabbit?

    18. Member Teighlor O''s Avatar
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      04-27-2012 12:44 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Tread64eight View Post
      Thanks!
      Mine was doing the same stuff when i got it. I did those 2 things + replaced all the vac lines(10 minutes and about 10$ worth of vaccum hose) and replace the O ring on the throttle body screw, and it never did that again... Oh yeah also the knock sensor. Made a world of difference.
      "Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people."
      -George Bernard Shaw

    19. Junior Member Tread64eight's Avatar
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      04-28-2012 01:02 PM #19
      Anyone else have problems with not being able to rev very high? Or is this a different issue?
      Is a turbo turtle faster than a N/A Rabbit?

    20. Member SciroccoPowered's Avatar
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      04-28-2012 07:12 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Tread64eight View Post
      Anyone else have problems with not being able to rev very high? Or is this a different issue?
      Your car sounds like a bad in-tank fuel pump, you cant just easily figure this out on the internet though, we cant read you cars mind you need to do a little bit of diagnosing and make your own thread for starters.

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