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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone - new to the forums here. I've always wanted to work on cars, so I'm starting with my wife's 2004 Beetle 2.0. It's been sitting for 10 months, so it probably needs a lot of TLC. I'm going to do all the basic and routine stuff myself - but I just need some assistance on what other variables I could be working with.

I recorded a video of its rough start up and put it on YouTube - it'd be amazing if someone could check it out and give me their impression. I know it'll take more than a 1:15 video to really diagnose problems, but the video should be of some use, right?

https://youtu.be/fr8EvscPE-c

2004 Beetle 2.0 - 99k miles - Here's some of the work it's had since 2007 when my wife got it:
Alternator
Fuses
O2 sensor
Brakes - pads and rotors twice.
All struts replaced

I'm gonna do the following work tomorrow:

1) It needs a battery and most likely an alternator and serpentine to go along with it.
2) It's throwing a 0420 code with a blue coolant light, but since the O2 sensors have been changed - I'm going to change the coolant temperature sensor. Might get rid of the code so I can smog it.
3) It would occasionally lose acceleration while driving (while pressing the pedal) - so I'm going to replace the fuel filter.
4) I've been told it needs a power distribution block.
5) I'm gonna replace the air filter
6) Gonna bleed to brake lines and flush them - get new fluid into the brakes.

Any advice you fine folks have would be very much appreciated!
 

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http://wiki.ross-tech.com/wiki/index.php/16804/P0420/001056

As for the coolant light; the above code is not coolant temp related. A blue coolant light is normal; when the engine is cold and should go off after the engine warms up. Here are the cts light modes:

Blue coolant light = engine cold
Flashing blue coolant light = fault in the coolant monitoring system
Flashing red coolant light = low on coolant
Steady red coolant light = engine overheating, pull over and stop engine IMMEDIATELY and do not run until the problem has been identified.

Watching the video; it looks like the battery is low, i would have the whole charging system tested.

As for losing acceleration under load; it maybe fuel delivery or ignition related.

Before troubleshooting those areas; be sure to fix and confirm the charging system is working as it should. A bad battery or alternator; can cause all kinds of drivability problems.

Later, if you continue to have acceleration problems; you might try a fuel pressure system test:

http://workshop-manuals.com/volkswa...m_information/specifications/system_pressure/




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throttle valve

I would also clean the throttle valve since it's probably never been cleaned before, that could be causing the acceleration problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice folks.

But why does it sound like a crappy sewing machine when it's idling? Certainly doesn't sound healthy. It's like "Chk Chk Chk Chk Chk". Is that a belt or tensioner issue?
 

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If it has been sitting for 10 months it is need of an oil change. Probably the fuel should be drained and replaced as well. Even if you added fuel conditioner beforehand it is probably questionable if it has any ethanol in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had the battery tested today, it was toast. However, I pulled it out and it was still under warranty, so I picked up a new one :)

I haven't installed it yet, because I'm gonna replace the air and fuel filters, then flush/replace the brake fluid reservoir first.

The blue coolant light is solid at startup, then will start to blink after its idled for awhile. The last time it was driven on the road, it got about 1/2 mile from the house before the RED coolant light came on. I left it on a residential street for about 3 hours - started it up and drove it a 1/2 mile home with the blue light blinking. Not smart, I know - but I'm learning.

Is cleaning the throttle valve something I can do myself? Is it easy?

Do the belts sound bad? (Video is linked in OP)

I'm so very grateful and excited to read your replies!
 

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As noted above: "Flashing blue coolant light = fault in the coolant monitoring system". When this has happened to me; either the coolant temp sensor was bad or the electrical connector was compromised (one of the wires came iff the plug). I replaced the plug and the terminal ends; i got these from my local vw dealer.

$9.95
Coolant Temp Sensor Connector (A4)
OEM VW

OEM Part Number: 4B0973712
Manufacturer Number: 4B0973712

You can also purchase the connector with the terminals; already installed:

https://www.google.com/search?q=4B0973712&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari


You can clean the throttle body yourself; i use a old toothbrush and carb or throttle body cleaner. Many times you can reuse the tb gasket but installing a new one, is a good idea (autozone typically has a felpro version in stock).


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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Here she is again, after some minor repairs:

https://youtu.be/d3KpB0pw74k

I changed the oil, fuel, air filter, fuel filter, got a new battery, new tires and wheels, all new pads and rotors and a brake bleed.

I did just the minor stuff so I could get her started and diagnose further.

Upon starting, I got the blinking blue coolant light which goes away after a few minutes.
I drove her slowly around the block twice - seemed okay. Little rough, but it didn't seem abnormal after sitting for over a year.

Then I decided to take it to 40 MPH. She ran at 40 MPH for about 5 or 6 seconds before I got a flashing red coolant light - which indicates low coolant. I stopped and shut her off for 10 minutes - then drove her home at 15 MPH - the red light did not come back on.

As previously stated, it's throwing a P0420 code - Catalytic insufficiency. From my research, a bad catalytic is only a symptom of another problem.

So - I got some advice from a gearhead friend of mine. He said the water pump is probably shot. Which I hear is highly common on this car what with plastic impellers. Failure range is 40k - 100k miles.

When I was changing the oil, the bottom of the oil cap was gooey and oily - like chocolate syrup. Which I've read indicates a head gasket leak. It wasn't making a mess, just the top was gooey. Is this true? Or is it because I had just changed 13 month old non running oil?

SO - I'm trying to create a plan to fix this vehicle once and for all. She's only got 99k miles! I think there's more life in her. Or should I just sell her and say heck with it?

Should I replace the water pump (and timing belt cause its right there), catalytic converter, coolant temperature sensor and have the head gaskets repaired?

Watch my short YouTube video and listen for any issues :D

Thanks!
 

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First of all, it looks like your timing belt is original. This needs to be taken care of right away because if it breaks the cost to repair is very high. The coolant pump is replaced at the same time as well. Next on my list would be the heater hoses and fittings. Here is a recent post from someone in a similar situation:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/questio...7897-common-problems-look-out-new-beetle.html

The P0420 needs to be diagnosed carefully. It does mean that the conditions for a bad catalytic converter have been detected but there can be many causes, so a lot of other things need to be eliminated first.
 
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