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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2010, 11:06 PM
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Car: 1998 1.9 TDI
Default 1998 TDI Beetle will not start

It has been really cold here in Texas and I think my beetle has decided to go on strike. I drive about 120 miles a day and I have not had any problems since the cold weather stared. About 6 months ago I had to have the injector pump replaced and I am still shaking from the cost. I went out to start the car yesterday and it just kept turning over. I went to the store and got some Sea Foam and put some in the tank. It started after about 30 minutes but died after I let it idle for a couple minutes. (I think I really messed up letting it idle based on some other posts) Now the engine just turns over and never even tries to start. The dealer did the injector pump as well as the glow plugs, fuel filter and several small things about 6 months ago. I live about 45 miles west of Fort Worth and unfortunately no one in my town works on diesels like mine. At this point I feel like the guy from "War Games" who said "I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it would do any good." BTW I change my own oil and other small things like that. After loosening one of the nuts on the injector 1/2 turn, and trying to start it, I did get some fuel on the shop towel I put under it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have a Bentley's book and a Chilton's. I can drive my wife's car a few days so I have a little time.

Thanks,
Don
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2010, 11:44 PM
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How many miles/years on the timing belt and water pump?
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedoylefamily View Post
It has been really cold here in Texas and I think my beetle has decided to go on strike. I drive about 120 miles a day and I have not had any problems since the cold weather stared.
The 98' have an inherent ecu programing defect that makes cold starts brutal. You can get this fixed with a reprogramming. I highly recommend Jeff (RocketChip.com - The best in Chip-Tuning Performanc for European, Import & Domestic Cars.). It will require you calling him and mailing your ECU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedoylefamily View Post
About 6 months ago I had to have the injector pump replaced and I am still shaking from the cost.
When it comes to VW TDI, the dealer is not your friend.

Check out TDI club (Fred's TDI Page. TDIClub.com. VW TDI Enthusiast Community) for a local guru mechanic.
Cheaper and more knowledge on your car
Such as:

TDI Innovations, LLC
Brian Hague (alphaseinor)
Redirecting you...
sales@tdiinnovations.com
214-257-8221
We're in North Dallas, and we work anywhere in the Metroplex.
VAG-COM, Timing Belts, Maintenance, Troubleshooting, Intake Cleanings, Suspension work, Have tools will travel!

Trusted TDI Mechanics - By State - TDIClub Forums

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedoylefamily View Post
I went to the store and got some Sea Foam and put some in the tank.
I have used this in gas engines, but I have never heard anything good about using it in diesel engines.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2010, 01:25 AM
CoriBug's Avatar
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Car: 2005 Blue Lagoon GLS TDI 5spd
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I second the above post. PLEASE consult a TDI guru for any future work on your TDI. The dealer is too expensive and too much of a risk for just about anything on your car.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2010, 01:26 AM
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Car: 1998 1.9 TDI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoriBug View Post
How many miles/years on the timing belt and water pump?
I have 177,000 miles. I bought the car in June of 2008 and had the belt changed at that time. The water pump has not been changed out to my knowledge.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2010, 01:37 AM
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Car: 1998 1.9 TDI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm22071985 View Post
The 98' have an inherent ecu programing defect that makes cold starts brutal. You can get this fixed with a reprogramming. I highly recommend Jeff (RocketChip.com - The best in Chip-Tuning Performanc for European, Import & Domestic Cars.). It will require you calling him and mailing your ECU.

When it comes to VW TDI, the dealer is not your friend.

Check out TDI club (Fred's TDI Page. TDIClub.com. VW TDI Enthusiast Community) for a local guru mechanic.
Cheaper and more knowledge on your car
Such as:

TDI Innovations, LLC
Brian Hague (alphaseinor)
Redirecting you...
sales@tdiinnovations.com
214-257-8221
We're in North Dallas, and we work anywhere in the Metroplex.
VAG-COM, Timing Belts, Maintenance, Troubleshooting, Intake Cleanings, Suspension work, Have tools will travel!

Trusted TDI Mechanics - By State - TDIClub Forums

I have used this in gas engines, but I have never heard anything good about using it in diesel engines.
Thanks, I will call you tomorrow.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedoylefamily View Post
Thanks, I will call you tomorrow.
that's not the poster's shop, but alphasenior is the man, i've used him, and he's unbelievably good. he took on my 1.8t when i was stuck in dallas one time, got me back on the road in no time.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedoylefamily View Post
Thanks, I will call you tomorrow.
Yeah, thats not my shop. Just a place I've heard good things about.

Any update?
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-19-2010, 04:01 PM
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Car: 1998 1.9 TDI
Default Issue resolved

First of all, thanks to everyone for helping me out.

I called Brian and he came out hooked my 98 up to his computer. Nothing serious was being reported. He got it started but it died again. He suggested I replaced the fuel filter to make sure it was not the problem.

Just let me stop real quick here and say I think Brian may be a Jedi. I am not sure he will confirm it though.

Anyway, the next day I went and got a Wix filter and then had to go to Northern Tool and get the Mityvac Brake Bleeding Kit. Everything went exactly like Brian said and it started up. It took about 45 minutes to do the whole thing. I have had no problems since then. The bottom line is:

1. Have someone you can trust to ask questions. (I tried using the dealer earlier this year and ended up paying almost $2,000 after all was said and done)
2. Have the tools on hand. (You can get the Mityvac for $42)
3. Do not use the dealer. (I do not think they are trying to cheat you, I think they just do not know enough to do the job right)

I cannot say thank you enough to Brian and to everyone here for taking time to help me figure this out.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-19-2010, 05:35 PM
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Car: 2002 Reflex Silver TDI w/ 5 spd swap! (PAID OFF 3/14/14)
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Congrats! Glad your issue is fixed. I think you have learned the single most important thing about owning a diesel. "Have someone you can trust" whether this be a specific mechanic at a dealer/repair shop or someone from the TDIclub or elsewhere. As long as you can trust them, and they know what they are doing when it comes to TDI's.....you should be good!

Just FYI, fuel filters should be replaced every 20K (some people will run them longer). So, every other oil change...change your fuel filter and you shouldn't run into that issue again.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:29 PM
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Car: 1999 Techno Blue GL 2.0 5-speed (RIP), 1984 Jetta GL TD, 2003 20th GTI
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I will say a mityvac is a great tool to have. We've used it many times on our '84 TD. Great for priming after you replace the fuel filter! I also know that changing out a fuel filter on a diesel is where I will always start in a situation where it won't stay running/running poorly. Our TD had a gunked up tank so even after we'd replace the filter, often times, it would get clogged quickly. And of course, it was the last thing we'd think of ("we just replaced it last week!"). Coworker of my fiance had the same thing happen on his Mercedes diesel. He thought maybe it was an injector problem and was worrying that he would have to give up the car (at 326k miles!). Turned out, just a fuel filter and now its running like a champ
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2010, 03:44 AM
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Car: 98', Red, TDI, 5sp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm22071985 View Post
The 98' have an inherent ecu programing defect that makes cold starts brutal. You can get this fixed with a reprogramming. I highly recommend Jeff (RocketChip.com - The best in Chip-Tuning Performanc for European, Import & Domestic Cars.). It will require you calling him and mailing your ECU.

Mine had starting issues, hot, cold, etc, got mine tuned about a month ago, and starts soon as you turn the key to start position.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2010, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sullyTDI View Post
got mine tuned about a month ago, and starts soon as you turn the key to start position.
Sweet !!
Always nice to see another 98' getting treated well.
RC 3 is fun, it is a good bit diffrent than RC2.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 02-27-2010, 03:13 AM
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YAY! I am SOooo glad this worked out for you. Honestly, if you listen to what has been said and go with a trusted TDI mechanic, you have got a no fail situation.

I am with MichelleRose, change the fuel filter often. I actually change mine out with every oil change. New oil, new oil filter, why not new fuel filter too? That may be excessive, but it's easier for me to remember when it was done last that way. The every 20k, or every other time you change your oil is fine too, I'm sure but I just tend to get mixed up. If you change it with every oil change (every 10k) there is never any question about when you last had it changed.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 05-25-2010, 07:20 PM
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Boise, ID,
Car: 98 New Beetle TDI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm22071985 View Post
The 98' have an inherent ecu programing defect that makes cold starts brutal. You can get this fixed with a reprogramming.
Is it easy to just reprogram it.I would not like to open another project such as a tuning.I already have the Vag-com,but have not used it yet.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superdiesel View Post
Is it easy to just reprogram it.I would not like to open another project such as a tuning.I already have the Vag-com,but have not used it yet.
No, it is not easy to reprogram it your self.

The best thing to do is pull it and mail it to jeff. His phone number is listed on his website, call him first.

He will solder it and send it back to you the next day.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2010, 02:51 AM
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Speaking of the parts that a TDI Beetle that can have, have you tried some branded parts, like the CVU water pump or the timing belt? Maybe it needed to be changed in order to make the start of the vehicle more efficient. I don't know if this would help but try searching for more stuffs in order to make it fixed. Hope that all is well by now.

Last edited by armandjones82; 10-19-2010 at 01:32 AM..
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