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Bought a non running 1999 Beetle 2.0L 5spd as a project. Engine cranks over freely but will not start. Verified spark, signal to injectors, fuel to the fuel rail, and engine has good compression. Previous owner replaced ignition coil, plugs, wires, and coolant temperature sensor. I have replaced the fuel pump, crank and cam position sensors, and changed oil and replaced all filters. There is no check engine light and my OBDII scanner isn’t showing any codes. It still refuses to even attempt to start, even with starting fluid. What should I look at doing next?
 

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Hmm, sounds like you replaced allot of parts; what scan tool are you using, is it vw specific, like vcds by ross tech?

Has the car been dead and sitting for a long time? Bad gas can cause a no start problem; something to check, bad gas has a distinct smell, compared ti fresh gas and just doesn't ignite like good gas. You might pull the fuel pump and siphon out, the bad gas and fill with fresh. I would normally do a fuel pressure test but the engine should start with stater fluid, which is a quick test to try.

What compression and fuel pressure readings did you get; all in spec?
 

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Hmm, sounds like you replaced allot of parts; what scan tool are you using, is it vw specific, like vcds by ross tech?

Has the car been dead and sitting for a long time? Bad gas can cause a no start problem; something to check, bad gas has a distinct smell, compared ti fresh gas and just doesn't ignite like good gas. You might pull the fuel pump and siphon out, the bad gas and fill with fresh.
I only have access to an OBDII scanner for now but I might be able to take it to a local retired VW mechanic that has the proper scanning equipment.

It had bad gas when I got it, but I siphoned it out and replaced it.
 

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I only have access to an OBDII scanner for now but I might be able to take it to a local retired VW mechanic that has the proper scanning equipment.

It had bad gas when I got it, but I siphoned it out and replaced it.
I only have access to an OBDII scanner for now but I might be able to take it to a local retired VW mechanic that has the proper scanning equipment.

It had bad gas when I got it, but I siphoned it out and replaced it.
I don’t remember the compression readings but I know they were well above 100. I did not get fuel pressure readings.
 

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Fuel pressure testing procedures and specs:


Compression:

Note: 109 psi is the wear limit:

 

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Fuel pressure testing procedures and specs:


Compression:

Note: 109 psi is the wear limit:

Compression was around 135 in all 4 cylinders. I don’t have a fuel pressure tester and have no way of getting one at the moment.
 

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Ok, compression; sounds like it is in spec.

You can rent a fuel pressure test kit, for free; from most auto parts stores. Do the pressure test and rule that out, as a possibility.

Another odd problem that sometimes happens; when working on the engine, is people will hook up the fuel rail backwards; the rubber fuel lines (feed, return), when backwards will cause a no start issue.

We are just trying to confirm the basics; work down the list of possible reasons for the no start issue.
 

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Ok, compression; sounds like it is in spec.

You can rent a fuel pressure test kit, for free; from most auto parts stores. Do the pressure test and rule that out, as a possibility.

Another odd problem that sometimes happens; when working on the engine, is people will hook up the fuel rail backwards; the rubber fuel lines (feed, return), when backwards will cause a no start issue.

We are just trying to confirm the basics; work down the list of possible reasons for the no start issue.
As far as I can see the fuel lines are hooked up correctly. I’ll try to get my hands on a fuel pressure tester in the next few days. Is there anything else I can do in the meantime?
 

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Other issues to considor:

Are the timing marks in phase; is the timing belt in good shape and undamaged?:


are the spark plug wires; installed correctly and not mised up?


throttle body: a dead battery; can cause the settings to be lost, causing a no start condition, throttle body needs to be, cleaned, adapted, aligned, to resolve this issue:


So, those are some other things; to check, while you wait for the fuel pressure test kit.
 

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Did you verify fuel pressure with a gauge/tester?
My 2000 bug had been sitting for a long time [year] my scanner showed code for throttle body problem. I purchased a scanner that allowed the eco to talk to the throttle body and now it runs
 

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Not sure if you've already tried this but it sounds like a familiar situation to me. So what worked for me might for you as well. Starting fluid.

With what you've verified Im not certain that you've verified theres actually fuel to the cylinder, just to the fuel rail. Giving it a bit of starting fluid can get it going enough to go that last bit. May be too simplistic, but sometimes those are the small things that get overlooked.
 

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Not sure if you've already tried this but it sounds like a familiar situation to me. So what worked for me might for you as well. Starting fluid.

With what you've verified Im not certain that you've verified theres actually fuel to the cylinder, just to the fuel rail. Giving it a bit of starting fluid can get it going enough to go that last bit. May be too simplistic, but sometimes those are the small things that get overlooked.
I tried starting fluid and it did absolutely nothing, which leads me to believe there is a problem with the ignition system (which was just serviced before I bought it). Cam timing is fine
 

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It’s probably some small thing I’m overlooking seeing as all of my mechanicing experience is with old ford trucks and Honda motorcycles.
 
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