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Good day all, I recently picked up a 98 Beetle, a basket case, really. It sat for two years with a holed rad which I have replaced. Now it comes to start the car. I turn the key to the start position and hear a servo on the throttle body cycling repeatedly , the motor coughs a couple of times but does not start. I've never owned a non-diesel vw before, so I don't know if this is normal. I suspect not, since it won't start :) the car has just over 200k kilometers on it, its a 5 speed. I am relatively competent but new to vw maintenance issues.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
 

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Good day all, I recently picked up a 98 Beetle, a basket case, really. It sat for two years with a holed rad which I have replaced. Now it comes to start the car. I turn the key to the start position and hear a servo on the throttle body cycling repeatedly , the motor coughs a couple of times but does not start. I've never owned a non-diesel vw before, so I don't know if this is normal. I suspect not, since it won't start :) the car has just over 200k kilometers on it, its a 5 speed. I am relatively competent but new to vw maintenance issues.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
Personally, I would not have even replaced the radiator until I knew the engine would start/run. I'm assuming you know nothing about this vehicle other than what you were told.

Lets see. Sat for two years. (Sounds like your basically resurrecting this from the dead!)

Possible fuel problems:
Varnished gasoline
Water in the gasoline
Contaminents blocking the tank pick-up screen or filter
Fouled injectors
Fouled spark plugs

Possible electircal problems:
Bad battery
Bad starter
Bad spark plug wires
Bad coil
Coding issues with the ECM

Possible mechanical problems: (Think about what the overheating from the bad radiator may have caused)
Timing belt
Blown head gasket
Cracked or warpped head
Cracked block

There are a multitude of other things which could be the cause/play a part in the engine not starting.

I'd start with getting the OBD read, and dependent on what that reveals,
Then check the battery and the starter
Then check for spark at the plugs
Then check for fuel at the plugs
If all these check out a compression test of the cylinders is the next logical step, without compression and engine will not start.

Then come back here and post up.

Once you get it started and running, and know your not dealing with a cracked or warpped head, a cracked block, bent valves, etc, there are many things which you will have to do, just as a matter of course.

Timing Belt and misc assorted related
Water Pump
Serpentine Belt and misc assorted related
Complete engine and cooling system flush and fresh fill
Fuel filter
Oil change and filter
Depending on the fuel level in the tank, you may have contaminent issues requiring a complete removal and cleaning, the varnishing can probably be dealt with by adding a fuel stabilizer and the water by adding a fuel dryer.
 
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