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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I havn't driven my car since bringing it home from the dealer a week ago, but today I just tried to start it and it wouldn't start. It is a 2001 tdi diesel. It only made that crank noise, but the engine never started. The ABS light turns on when I try...also the car salesman told me to wait until the blue (coolant temp light I think) turns off to try to start the engine but it doesnt go off. Sorry guys, I know nothing about cars really, but I'm trying here. It's cold and rainy outside if that makes a difference and I started the car a few times but didn't drive it...

Thanks!

UPDATE (11/23)

I jumpstarted the car a week ago and it worked but I didn't drive it for 7 days (had to get a new license from sec of state) and today I tried to start it, battery was dead again. I tried to jump it and it didn't start this time. I replaced the battery with a new one (old battery was from 2011 and much smaller than the new one) and it started up fine on it's own but what worried me is that there was a massive cloud of white smoke that filled the air within seconds. It was 10 or so below freezing but it scared me so I shut it off pretty quickly after that. It normally blows a tiny bit of smoke from the exhaust but never a giant cloud that engulfs the car...I'm praying it's something affordable because I'm low on money at the moment and really need to start driving it. Btw this is the fourth car I've owned, but I only started recently paying attention to the condition of my vehicle and proper maintenance because I've wanted this car for many years now and all my past cars I spent at most 1000 on.

Also this is kind of off topic, but after I called the dealership to ask about it not starting I went in like a week later to get my license plate and I sat out in the car for a minute or so then went to the door. All the lights were turned off inside, but I opened the door and said is anyone here? It was quiet and I asked hello? I walked in and all of a sudden the car salesmen started talking on his phone and handed me my plate without more than a "here you go"...that worries me that he was hiding and scared I came in to yell at him about something that went wrong with my car :/

I'm taking my car to a repair shop Monday to get it checked out (is it safe to drive?) and checking the oil/coolant tomorrow. Getting my "dream car" has turned into somewhat of a nightmare, but I really should have gotten it checked out before I bought it...it just seemed right. Anyone have any idea why its smoking? I understand the giant cloud today might have been mostly because it's cold out but it smokes a bit from the exhaust during normal driving? I think it might be the head gasket. My nerves are out of control right now.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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You need to wait for the glow plug light to go out before you start it. The blue light is for coolant temperature and won't go out until the engine is up to temperature.

Have you tried jumping it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do wait for the glow plug light to turn off before I start it. I havn't tried jumping it yet, so I'm buying a solar trickle charger and a battery powered jump starter and hope that solves this problem so I can atleast drive it to the repair shop to get looked at. Luckily I work from home won't be needing to use the car til the middle of the month so I have some time to figure this out. Thanks for the response smiley! :]
 

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I would guess the dealer jumped the car to get it running for you to look at rather than charging it fully. So the only charge in the battery would be the dubious amount given by the alternator on your drive home.

I think it's almost a universal condition that the battery drains down to empty if left undriven for a long time.


Also, check the battery. I've seen a number of members posting that the previous owners had installed the smaller and less expensive battery found in the gasoline engine cars. The older TDI like yours and mine need a Group 48 battery with 650CCA minimum. In warm climates maybe you'll get away with less, but once you get north you'll want that big battery to crank that iron monster under your hood.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would guess the dealer jumped the car to get it running for you to look at rather than charging it fully. So the only charge in the battery would be the dubious amount given by the alternator on your drive home.

I think it's almost a universal condition that the battery drains down to empty if left undriven for a long time.


Also, check the battery. I've seen a number of members posting that the previous owners had installed the smaller and less expensive battery found in the gasoline engine cars. The older TDI like yours and mine need a Group 48 battery with 650CCA minimum. In warm climates maybe you'll get away with less, but once you get north you'll want that big battery to crank that iron monster under your hood.
Thanks this helped alot! I'll check what kind of battery it has in the morning..also I'm from Michigan so it gets cold here. One odd thing I noticed was the car was running when I got there and they said the reason was that someone just came to look at it...I called the dealer today and they said they never had problems starting it but who knows if they're being honest with me. I'm hopeful that the jump will help it start, but waiting on an amazon order is not really helping my nerves at the moment.
 

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Is it the green TDI from Bay City? Back in July they had it, my dad stopped in once and called once, both times they said it was being worked on and they didn't know when he might be able to drive it, so we gave up on it. I know they still had the same one last month.
 

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Thanks this helped alot! I'll check what kind of battery it has in the morning..also I'm from Michigan so it gets cold here. One odd thing I noticed was the car was running when I got there and they said the reason was that someone just came to look at it...I called the dealer today and they said they never had problems starting it but who knows if they're being honest with me. I'm hopeful that the jump will help it start, but waiting on an amazon order is not really helping my nerves at the moment.
Well, honesty is a trait that used car salesmen are known for around the world. :)
 

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Someone find a trusted mechanic close to this person so they won't be ripped off by a Stealership....We all know diesel fuel will gell sometime in cold cold weather. My advise to help stop this is to add some Power Service to the fuel during fillup's, or splach in a few ounces every now and then. It sure won't hurt. Pick up the white bottle from Wal Mart. It will help on colder startups. The Gray bottle is for warmer climates.
I wonder how many miles on this car. What happens when the key is turned. Does the engine turn over. We know the glow plugs don't really fire unless it's below 40 degrees. However the glow plugs do go through a simple test when the temperture is above 40. The owner might take the vehicle by Auto Zone and have them run a test on the battery, and for fault codes. There is no charge for this to be done. If any fault codes are shown, they might post for furthur help and direction....
Also the Timing Belt needs to be checked out....and the Fuel filter. Does the vehicle smoke when running.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I jumpstarted the car a week ago and it worked but I didn't drive it for 7 days (had to get a new license from sec of state) and today I tried to start it, battery was dead again. I tried to jump it and it didn't start this time. I replaced the battery with a new one (old battery was from 2011 and much smaller than the new one) and it started up fine on it's own but what worried me is that there was a massive cloud of white smoke that filled the air within seconds. It was 10 or so below freezing but it scared me so I shut it off pretty quickly after that. It normally blows a tiny bit of smoke from the exhaust but never a giant cloud that engulfs the car...I'm praying it's something affordable because I'm low on money at the moment and really need to start driving it. Btw this is the fourth car I've owned, but I only started recently paying attention to the condition of my vehicle and proper maintenance because I've wanted this car for many years now and all my past cars I spent at most 1000 on.

Also this is kind of off topic, but after I called the dealership to ask about it not starting I went in like a week later to get my license plate and I sat out in the car for a minute or so then went to the door. All the lights were turned off inside, but I opened the door and said is anyone here? It was quiet and I asked hello? I walked in and all of a sudden the car salesmen started talking on his phone and handed me my plate without more than a "here you go"...that worries me that he was hiding and scared I came in to yell at him about something that went wrong with my car :/

I'm taking my car to a repair shop Monday to get it checked out (is it safe to drive?) and checking the oil/coolant tomorrow. Getting my "dream car" has turned into somewhat of a nightmare, but I really should have gotten it checked out before I bought it...it just seemed right. Anyone have any idea why its smoking? I understand the giant cloud today might have been mostly because it's cold out but it smokes a bit from the exhaust during normal driving? I think it might be the head gasket. My nerves are out of control right now.
 

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Get the car looked at quick.

Most states have lemon laws and the car if purchased from a dealership of any type should have a 30 or 90 day warranty. (unless it states none offered on the window, and in that case it's all on you to flip the bill)

My asst. manager purchased an 05 Impala that just didn't seem 'right'. It had a 30 day warranty and I pressured him to having it checked by a decent repair shop.

The shop he purchased the car from went into "Hide/Drag Arse Mode" quick. Seems it needed new front wheel bearings and the engine had to be replaced due to it overheating and no one could figure out the exact cause. (You know it's bad when even a mechanic of 40 years can't figure it out) The work was ordered on the 25th day of his 30 day warranty. The shop brought the car back and did the work for free.

If you've got any warranty? Act quick so it's covered. If the place you purchased the car from is dodging you? Check the lemon laws in your area. Worse case would be you have another shop repair the car for reasonable repair cost--and then it's off to small claims court.

S-
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok I just check the oil and coolant, the coolant is a solid orange color and there's plenty in there and the oil is very dark (solid color though) and a bit low, but atleast it doesn't look "milky" or irregular at all besides being darker than I'm used to... This gives me some relief that maybe it isn't the head gasket. Getting an oil change tomorrow with my inspection..
 

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Diesel oil goes from golden brown to black death in color in about 1 second after adding the oil to your engine.

Based on what you mentioned, the big white cloud, my guess is that your little diesel has a very clogged intake manifold which is common and normal after time with these little diesel engines. Also you may have a bum mass air flow sensor or rotting lines that are causing the pressure to be off.

It's not a rule or anything, just my own thought here, but I found that the better tuned/running my diesel the colder it needs to be to cause the big white smoke. I get a big cloud around -35, but when I had no money to really take care of the car I'd get the big cloud closer to freezing.

I bet if you go out on the highway, and get your engine running if you put the foot down while driving 50mph in top gear you'll really have a dead response. Limp mode and it will take forever to get up to 60.

Limp mode occurs most commonly with a bad mass air flow sensor which causes your engine to run on settings that allow it to keep turning but not turning efficiently or powerfully.
 
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