Cranks, won't start, battery light flashes

Discussion in 'VW Mk4 Jetta, Golf, New Beetle, Passat TDI forum' started by Paul Burgener, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Paul Burgener

    Paul Burgener New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Car:
    VW Jetta early 2005 MK4
    Location:
    Newport News, Virginia, USA
    The last week or so I've had to crank my early 2005 MK4 Turbo TDI Jetta BEW engine longer than usual, but it's always eventually started. Now, no matter how long I crank the engine, it won't start. Sounds like it's turning the usual cranking speed. I "cycled" the glow plugs (it's maybe 65 Fahrenheit now) a couple times. The glow plug light turns off faster than I recall, and the battery indicator light flashes while I'm cranking, which I never noticed flashing before. Can't find the year of manufacture on the battery. I've had the car for 3 years. No record of when the previous owner bought a battery. Should I take the battery to be checked at a parts store (after I clean the terminals, of course)? Should I try to jump start from the other car? Should I hot wire the glow plugs?

    Meanwhile, its got poor acceleration. It automatically shifts at high speed, like 3200. I've been dealing with this for a couple weeks, and just get used to it. I doubt it's related the above no-start issue, not sure. Maybe the vacuum hoses are leaking again. Had that problem a couple months back. Figured I'd wait for worse trouble before taking it into the shop again.

    Any advice ?
     
  2. Tom MacDonald

    Tom MacDonald Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Car:
    2004 Jetta TDI Station Wagon (North American)
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Glow plugs shouldn't be a big deal at those temps. Closer to freezing and it's a different ball-game.

    If there's no check engine light when its running then I'm guessing it probably isn't vacuum related... I think vacuum issues causing no/poor start condition would only be due to the turbo actuator not actuating to the correct position, which should throw a CEL since it is a smart actuator (i.e. has a sensor that would tell the computer what position the actuator is in).

    If I had to guess based on your symptoms I would say it has something to do with the fuel delivery system (specifically, no/not enough diesel making it into the cylinders). The classic reason for this would be the in-tank lift-pump not working, leaving the tandem pump to do all the sucking. In such cases the car eventually starts after several minutes of cranking as the tandem pump finally "self-primes" and sucks some diesel from the fuel tank to the engine. I believe however that the car doesn't run correctly anyways once it does start though because the tandem pump is still starved for fuel.

    While you're cycling the glow plugs, listen for the in-tank fuel pump to switch on. If it doesn't then you need to replace it most likely (unless its a fuse/wiring issue). For a more conclusive test, unhook a fuel supply line and do the same (see if diesel shoots out of the fuel supply line... and catch it with something ;) )
     
  3. Paul Burgener

    Paul Burgener New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Car:
    VW Jetta early 2005 MK4
    Location:
    Newport News, Virginia, USA
    Tom - Thanks for the advice. I ended up taking it to the shop last night. He has to order a "Anti shutter" device which blew a fuse, that also powers 4 or 5 other electric gizmos. I told him to order the part and proceed. I forgot to tell you the check engine light stays on, yes. Weeks ago, the code said the engine was too cool, so my mechanic replaced the thermostat. The light came on a couple days later, with the exact same code. He concluded there was a glitch in the computer, and it wouldn't be worth replacing the computer. Maybe when he replaces the "anti-shutter" gizmo, it'll go off, we'll see. I'll keep you posted. -paul
     
  4. Tom MacDonald

    Tom MacDonald Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Car:
    2004 Jetta TDI Station Wagon (North American)
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Ah, that makes more sense. Yep anti-shudder valve will do that. Its basically a valve between the turbo and the intake manifold that (when shut) cuts of all air to the engine. Used to reduce shudder when turning the vehicle off and also to shut down a runaway engine.

    If the check engine light (CEL) keeps coming on because of a coolant temp too low code being thrown, I'm guessing that the coolant temperature sensor is bad.

    The computer probably doesn't have a "glitch". That would imply that the program memory of the computer chip itself has been damaged in some way. More likely it is a problem with the wiring and/or solder connections (possible where the chip connects to the circuit board).

    But the most likely explanation for those CEL codes is a bad coolant temp sensor (G62)... that is assuming you really do have a CEL on, and aren't confusing the CEL with the coolant temperature light (thermometer in liquid).

    The G62 is $12: http://www.idparts.com/coolant-temp-sensor-green-4pin-wseal-and-clip-a4b55-p-351.html

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Paul Burgener

    Paul Burgener New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Car:
    VW Jetta early 2005 MK4
    Location:
    Newport News, Virginia, USA
    Tom - Well, it's out of the shop now, $560 later. He installed a new Anti-Shutter valve that chokes off the air when the key is turned off. Took a day to have it delivered. He charge me some $350 (as I recall) for the part alone, which I THINK is maybe twice what I can find it selling for online. He charges $100 for diagnosis every time I take it in. Not sure of his hourly rate (someone else does the actual repair), but I'd guess $100 is about the cheapest you can get a car fixed these days. I'm sure he used a high quality part, not the Chinese junk I might have bought if I was doing it myself. The Jetta runs great now. There's no more Check Engine Light. Thanks again for your advice.
     

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