Died on highway, cranks but won't stay running

Discussion in 'VW Mk4 Jetta, Golf, New Beetle, Passat TDI forum' started by zealer, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. zealer

    zealer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
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    Car:
    2001 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    Quebec
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    Stock
    Hi all,

    2000 Jetta 1.9 TDI, ALH, 300 000 KM on it, timing belt/waterpump changed 40 000 km ago

    Yesterday I encountered a "fun" problem. Was driving on the highway at 120 km/h, on cruise control, when all of a sudden the engine shut off. No warning, nothing else turned off - just the engine. It will crank fine, sometimes even starts normally for one second but dies immediately. The immobilizer on the dash is not flashing, glow plug light working fine, gauges all working fine, just can't keep the engine running. Unfortunately I was 150 km km into a 1000 km trip and got caught with my pants down (so to speak) when this happened. More or less caught in no man's land, I had to call for a tow and it was dropped off at a VW dealership. No fault codes.

    Below is some more background info.
    It's been cold, -20 celcius. Car did not start first thing in the morning (even plugged in) and I had no one around to boost it so I put a battery charger on it and also waited for the ambient temperature to warm up a bit. After about an hour on the charger, starter was able to spin fast enough to start engine. Headed off and after about 140 km I stopped at a gas station to fill up the tank. I actually left it running while filling up and headed off with a full tank. 10 minutes after filling it the engine cut on the highway. I am certain I put diesel in.

    Initially dealer technician thought was that the fuel had gelled, so they left it in the shop all night to defrost. Come back this morning, still same problem - cranks, will start and run for 1-2 seconds before immediately shutting off. Then they decided to check for fuel contamination - result came back that the fuel was OK. No fault codes according to them. They want an additional 2 hours to attempt to diagnostic (first hour was inconclusive). Up until yesterday, the car had been running fine in these temps, never had an issue with bad fuel or gelling.

    Any thoughts? I have never brought a car to a dealership before, but given the situation, I figured it would be best (hopefully someone there is familiar with TDIs). I don't really have time to mess around, I need to head back to work (where I was going).

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. zealer

    zealer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Messages:
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    Car:
    2001 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    Quebec
    Mods:
    Stock
    Just got a call from dealer, they are now suspecting crank position sensor. Spent $400 in diagnostics so far... quoted $215 for sensor change but some wiring is damaged that they want to redo and they quoted 3 hours to do that so around $620 worst case, plus the original $400 in diagnostics.
    Ouch.
     
  3. Dave N

    Dave N Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
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    71
    Car:
    06 Golf TDI BEW 09A
    Location:
    Spokane Wa
    That's exactly what mine did when the lift pump in the tank died. Not sure if yours has one but if it does I hope they checked it.
     
  4. zealer

    zealer Member

    Joined:
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    Car:
    2001 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    Quebec
    Mods:
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    I suggested that but was told that my year does not have it, which I have confirmed as well. The crank sensor they ordered didn't fit (I presume they ordered incorrectly) so they sent out for another one. I was forewarned that if this second version didn't fit then it could mean the hole is plugged or something to that degree LOL fingers crossed for a pleasant phone call tomorrow.

    Never before have I brought a car to a dealer, and never again will I. I thought they'd be the quickest to diagnose and fix (not necessarily the cheapest) but boy was I wrong. Burning a lot of time (not at work) and cash right now..
     
  5. Dave N

    Dave N Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Car:
    06 Golf TDI BEW 09A
    Location:
    Spokane Wa
    Did the new CPS fix it?
     
  6. red16vdub

    red16vdub New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
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    Car:
    03 VW jsw
    Location:
    city of champions Ma
    Mods:
    Rc3/pp520/SBC daily
    ALH TDI's doesn't have a crank position sensor, So no wonder the dealer ordered the incorrect part. However it does have Engine speed sensor behind the oil filter housing.

    I think the OP best bet is to cut his losses and tow the car to someone that deals with diesels, sounds like the dealer is guessing, which is costing him money.
    Bajan
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018 at 1:14 PM
    Dave N likes this.

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