Hello all, first of all I have owned a 1998 New Beetle TDI for about 4-5yrs now and I have to say that my experience hasen't quite been what I had expected. Don't get me wrong, I love the mileage and mabye I just got a lemon. Besides the fact that the New Beetle body style doesn't quite match my image ( I am 35, 6'2", and 245-275lbs and have been told that I look mad all the time), which I bought out of sheer desperation due to high fuel prices and an 84mi round trip commute to work every day, I have not been pleased with the overall build quality of the interior components and and some of the mechinacals not related to the TDI engine (such as the air conditioning vents, window regulators ext..). Anyway, I am glad that I found a site like this (from wikipedia no less!!) and look forward to any help anyone may have to offer. So, my serious problems all started after I installed the EGR delete/race pipe and blockoff plate during my first timing belt change. With the pipe installed I could never get the injection timing correct so I just lived with my hard starting (very hard starting in the winter!!) due to the fact that I had a terrible exaust leak on the turbo from the EGR pipe coming loose and the EGR looked very unhealthly as did my intake manifold. Then the worst thing happened about a week ago, I went to start the car (not really that cold of a morning either) and it wouldn't start (cranked it until the battery died). As I was walking to my motorcycle to drive to work I noticed that there was a fire under my car! I opened the hood and lo and behold a hole had melted trough the battery and dropped out onto the wiring harness. I repaired the harness this weekend and am in the process of repairing the starter. Thanks for any info you may have on fixing the hard starting issues but I think most of my questions will be answered in the "1000 questions answered" section. Thanks again for a great website!