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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.
I'm new to this site and hopefully I can get some people to comment and help me out.

A couple weeks ago, I tried to start my car on a Saturday and my car wouldn't turn over. Everything came on in my car (lights, radio, dash), but my engine would not turn over. It was cranking, however. It sounded as if my car would start at any second, but just wouldn't. Anyway, that happened on a Saturday and my car had to sit until Monday because that's when the garage down the road was opened. I got my car towed to the garage on Monday, and called them on Wednesday. They told me that my car gave them a little trouble on Monday, like it started a little funny at first, but then immediately started up just fine. And kept starting up fine for 3 days (Monday-Wednesday). They wanted me to leave my car there with them for another day, because my car wasn't putting out any codes since it was starting up normally. I decided just to get my car. I received no answers on why my car didn't start for 2 days. Now, a couple weeks later, the same thing is happened. I tried to start my car this morning, it started up, and then immediately shut off. Now it is only cranking. I got my car towed to the same place, and asked them to hook up the scanner to my car as soon as it gets there, that way it will catch the code. They said they probably won't call me until Monday (they're closed Saturday and Sunday). I just wanted to see if anyone had any insight on what may be causing this or how I can fix this. Thank you.
 

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Did they check the battery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did they check the battery?

Yes, they checked the battery. I got this car last September from a used dealer. And after a couple days of having it, it wouldn't start. Nothing came on. They gave me a new battery and alternator for free.

This is what they checked when my car broke down last time
 

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Can't see your uploaded image. There could be quite a few possibilities: immobilizer kicking on (starts, then dies), fuel pump dying, crank/speed sensor failing, etc. You really need to get some trouble codes; to get some direction, to know what is going on, preferably with a VW compatible scan tool. If you end up with the car and the issue is unresolved; you might consider purchasing your own scan tool, look at the VAG 401 or Foxwell NT500 on amazon.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Can't see your uploaded image. There could be quite a few possibilities: immobilizer kicking on (starts, then dies), fuel pump dying, crank/speed sensor failing, etc. You really need to get some trouble codes; to get some direction, to know what is going on, preferably with a VW compatible scan tool. If you end up with the car and the issue is unresolved; you might consider purchasing your own scan tool, look at the VAG 401 or Foxwell NT500 on amazon.


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The picture was just a receipt they gave me listing what they checked. It said:

Test starting and charging system, including parasitic draw and starting load. Car started first try. Battery and alternator are good at this time. No codes stored in ECM. Air temp and coolant temp sensors reading correct. Spark plugs are newer and show no signs of flooding.


With what you suggested, what sounds mostly like the problem I have? And how much for the cost of labor and parts? If you have any idea. Because I really don't.
I'm worried that it's the crank/speed sensor you suggested. Because I have an ABS and brake light that are always on because of a sensor going out. I had my brakes inspected when the lights first came on and they are fine.

What's weird is that my car wouldn't start, then decided to start again on its own. Then a couple weeks go by, and now it's not starting again.
 

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Well, I can only assume they are not using a VW specific scan tool; as they did not get any abs trouble codes, from your abs light being on. They did traditional testing for the starter and charging system but not for more advanced VW specific issues, like the immobilizer system malfunctions.
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Intermittent problems; can be hard to figure out, it would be nice if you had your own VW scan tool and you could check things yourself, instead of having to rely on a shop to do it for you.

Fuel pump and crank sensor intermittent problems; can be related to heat, so they can work ok cold and when hot, cause problems or just be in the process of dying, causing problems at random times.

Immobilizer problems; can crop up when battery voltage is low or just about any time, when one part of the system is malfunctioning. Bad speedo clusters; are a known issue, causing a problem like this. This is the code thrown; related to immo problems:

17978/P1570/005488 - Engine Start Blocked by Immobilizer

http://wiki.ross-tech.com/wiki/index.php/17978/P1570/005488

In the cases of the immo or crank sensor; you should get a trouble codes but a bad fuel pump, you won't (unless the fuel pump relay is bad).

As you can see; problems like the immo or abs system; require a VW scan tool to diagnose. You might get a scan tool and scan things yourself or find a shop that specializes in Volkswagens and get better troubleshooting results from a shop that is more familiar with diagnosing these cars.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I can only assume they are not using a VW specific scan tool; as they did not get any abs trouble codes, from your abs light being on. They did traditional testing for the starter and charging system but not for more advanced VW specific issues, like the immobilizer system malfunctions.
.
Intermittent problems; can be hard to figure out, it would be nice if you had your own VW scan tool and you could check things yourself, instead of having to rely on a shop to do it for you.

Fuel pump and crank sensor intermittent problems; can be related to heat, so they can work ok cold and when hot, cause problems or just be in the process of dying, causing problems at random times.

Immobilizer problems; can crop up when battery voltage is low or just about any time, when one part of the system is malfunctioning. Bad speedo clusters; are a known issue, causing a problem like this. This is the code thrown; related to immo problems:

17978/P1570/005488 - Engine Start Blocked by Immobilizer

http://wiki.ross-tech.com/wiki/index.php/17978/P1570/005488

In the cases of the immo or crank sensor; you should get a trouble codes but a bad fuel pump, you won't (unless the fuel pump relay is bad).

As you can see; problems like the immo or abs system; require a VW scan tool to diagnose. You might get a scan tool and scan things yourself or find a shop that specializes in Volkswagens and get better troubleshooting results from a shop that is more familiar with diagnosing these cars.


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Thank you a ton for all your help and insight! They actually called me today, and said it was the fuel pump. And I also have to have my filters replaced because they can ruin the new pump if they're not working right. Something along those lines, I'm not a car expert at all and it sounded like he was speaking a different language when he was explaining it to me. All together... $760 to fix. Which seems outrageous to me. Hopefully this is what is causing the problem and it won't happen again. Because this is all my savings (I'm 18 lol)
 

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Yeah, that sounds expensive; unfortunately, if you take a car to a shop, it isn't going to be cheap! Let us know; how things go and if it fixes your problem. In the future; I really recommend, you get your own VW scanner and we can help you figure out what is wrong. Then, you and maybe a family member or friend; can fix it and save yourself, allot of money. :)
 

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FWIW, The fuel pumps don't tend to be intermittent when they go out in the bugs. If they are not up to pressure and working properly, the car will never start and you will consistently have zero fuel pressure.

You may still have a problem after replacing the fuel pump.

If you have any other problems, you likely have a bad ignition switch (on steering column) or you have a bad crank position sensor.

Those two parts tend to die at around the 10 year mark, and they make the bug have intermittent starting and running problems.
 

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This is not always the case with fuel pumps; from my experience. There have been a couple of different failure modes; that I have seen lately.

On my 1.8T New Beetle, I was having a hard time starting in the morning; testing showed, that the internal valve was bad (stuck open) and so, the pressure would go to zero, when the car was turned off. It was supposed to maintain pressure; after 10-15 minutes or so. If I cycled the key a number of times; the fuel pump would get the pressure up and then start normally. So, residual pressure; was zero but when the car was running, it maintained factory fuel pressure spec and the car seemed to run well without any major performance problems. After I installed a new pump; however, the car ran much better. Another case; of degraded performance over time, is hard to discern as it is a progressive degradation and hard to notice.

On a Jetta 2.0L, the car was having a hard time starting and eventually would not start at all, when the car was hot and at normal operating temps. When, in the morning it was cold; it would start fine. This was accompanied by high load misfires and then, it got to the point, where it misfired when you just revved the car and at the end, would idle rough when hot. Keep in mind; the problems became progressive; misfires at highway speeds for a while (high load) and then, the hard start, no start, eventually misfires at just revving the motor, then even at idle. Testing showed; that it met factory specs for fuel pressure but I did not test for fuel volume, I can only assume the car was suffering from fuel starvation. I later learned; a "dead head" test, is also a way to test this issue; in addition to a traditional measuring of fuel quantity.

So, I think; it has to do with what specifically is failing in the fuel pump assembly. In both of the above cases; at idle, both maintained factory fuel pressure spec. More testing and thinking through the problem; was required and in the case of the Jetta, a volume or deadhead test, would most likely, proved that the fuel pump could not maintain the full volume needed during load conditions.

These two testing scenarios; taught me a lot, as I would just assume a pass/fail test at idle, would be enough to determine if the fuel pump was good.
 
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