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Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, GTI: 1993-1999, Cabrio 1995-2002 (A3) 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please


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Last Post: Aug 28, 2013 9:54 PM Last Post By: FKH161
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 20, 2013 8:50 PM
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She died while driving like someone shutting off a light. Had it towed home where I've been attempting to diagnose the problem. Battery and starter were OK. No sound from the fuel pump so I replaced it. Still no start. With Key to start position, starter cranks but nothing from the fuel pump. If the fuel pump relay is jumped, the pump runs but still no start. With key on there is no juice at the fuel pump fuse (#18). With a jumper from the battery to the fuel pump fuse, the fuel pump runs but still no start. There is power at fuse #15 for engine electronics. I'm not sure where to go with this from here. I don't have a manual so help will be greatly appreciated. (Automatic tranny).
tcovenant2000

Posts: 1,802
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 21, 2013 11:10 AM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Check for spark.
If you don't have spark, the Bentley or Haynes can give you troubleshooting.
Not sure which system you have. Older cars use the hall sensor to create spark. Newer ones use a crankshaft or camshaft position sensor to tell the computer when to create spark.
Thomas
VWAdict

Posts: 33
Registered: 05/26/09
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 22, 2013 10:41 AM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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try replacing relays 35 and 75 they do get old and moisture creates dry joints if that does'nt work try replacing the entire fuse box for the same reason "dry joints" my last option would be to replace the distributor rotor.i had the same symptoms i replaced the distributor rotor and relay 35.problem disapeared forever
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 22, 2013 5:52 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Here's what I have done, so far:

When cranking, tach moves up a bit and check engine lites come on.

Checked both sides of big round wire connector by radiator for broken wires, all OK.

Replace distr. rotor (did not look very good) but still no start.

Uncovered ECU but have not been able to remove plug cover (don't want to break it). How does cover come off?

Tomorrow I will begin with continuity checks, etc.
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 23, 2013 4:55 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Checked crank sensor today:
Pulled 3-wire connector at distributor. Measured 11.5 volts from center wire to battery positive (should only be around 4 volts?). Then with connector back in place, tried to check for light pulse from center wire with LED test light while cranking (no light flash) but may have not done test properly. Will repeat test again.
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 24, 2013 2:58 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Guys, I think I found the problem but I need someone with experience to confirm it.

You have given me some very good info and I admit to being slow at this and not always following everything, so I apologize.

Today, I pulled of the crank sensor plug, then with my DVOM I measured across the two contacts on the crank sensor, where the red and green wires attach. I read where the resistance should be around 700 ohms. My reading was zero.

Is this reason enough to replace this expensive part?????

I see the two screws inside the distributor that hold the part on. While it come out just by loosening these screws or is there more to it?
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 24, 2013 11:17 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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False alarm. I've been getting the cam and crank sensors mixed up. Now I'm back to ground zero. I did test for spark, and as expected, there isn't any. Guess i'm in over my head but there has to be a defective component that is causing this so I will keep on checking until I find it. Any help with this will be deeply appreciated as I don't have the money to just throw a basket of parts at it.
KasesAudi

Posts: 40
Registered: 01/23/07
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 25, 2013 1:34 AM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Did you check the immobilizer. Which is part of the alarm system. If you have one, i believe there is a way to bypass it somewhere in this forum.

Just a thought.
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 25, 2013 7:55 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Today's tests:
Injector - Two wires going to the injector, test light on one wire stayed on all the time. One the other wire nothing (no light) while cranking.

Coil - Three wires go to the coil. Only one wire had power. Nothing from the other two wires.
FKH161

Posts: 7,661
Registered: 12/29/05
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 26, 2013 12:37 AM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Immobilizer (Alarm Module) on A3 cuts starter operation... so if she cranks, not an Alarm issue.

Injectors get power from fuel pump relay, the other wire is grounded by the ECM. You need to attach your test light to battery + and then see if the other wire pulses when cranking. Or attach a noid light across the injector harness plug.

The 2 outer wires on coil connector are + & -. The middle one is coil trigger. Same as injector, attach test light to + and see if it flickers when engine is cranking.
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 26, 2013 2:46 PM   in response to: FKH161 in response to: FKH161
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Tests done today (Friday):

Re-did injector test - Good (test light pulsed while cranking).

Coil Test again - Got power at both outer contacts.

Pulled coil wire out of distr. and held it near block while back probing center wire at coil.
Then turned key on and grounded the ctr. coil wire to battery neg. terminal. No spark.

Is this proof positive that the coil is bad or is there another way to test it?
FKH161

Posts: 7,661
Registered: 12/29/05
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 26, 2013 9:15 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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The "power output stage" (transistor) mounted to the side of the coil is what collapses the coil when it gets a signal from the ECM.

With key ON, the transistor could already be getting a ground from the ECM, so if you then also supply ground via backprobing... nothing will happen, since the transistor has already switched.

So no, backprobing is not proof positive.

As per Bentley & VW Manuals, with the coil harness plug disconnected, if the test light (attached to center pin of harness plug & bat +) flickers when the engine is cranked, then ECM has control of coil and coil needs to be replaced if you are NOT getting any spark when coil is attached to harness plug.

If the test light does NOT flicker, then ECM is not controlling the coil. Wiring, relay, bad crank sensor, bad ECM etc.

Since you have Injector pulse (light at injector harness plug flashes when cranking) your crank sensor is most likely OK and you "should have" coil control.
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 27, 2013 4:54 PM   in response to: FKH161 in response to: FKH161
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Re-did coil test as you outlined
With test light connected to coil center pin and battery +, got rapid flicker while cranking. Is it safe to assume the coil is toast? (Still no spark).

Today I borrowed an OBD II scanner from a friend and took a reading for codes. Got two codes. P1500 (01/02) and P1240 (02/02). Need translation on these codes. (This is a cheap scanner).
FKH161

Posts: 7,661
Registered: 12/29/05
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 27, 2013 5:02 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Yes, I would now also say that the coil is bad... you didn't already try a different coil did you?

Aftermarket scanners are not always accurate when it comes to pulling codes... however:

P1500 points to a fuel pump relay issue (but that may have been set if you pulled the relay and then turned the ignition ON / cranked the engine).

P1240 points to a problem with Injector #4... but if you disconnected it for testing (test light flicker), that would explain that code.

Sounds like both codes were set by you... my guess.

Clear the codes and replace the coil.

Should start (I hope). :-)
FKH161

Posts: 7,661
Registered: 12/29/05
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 27, 2013 5:09 PM   in response to: FKH161 in response to: FKH161
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Just going back to the beginning of your Thread here....

Regardless of fuel pump running or not, you should have spark when cranking.

If you find that you have spark AFTER replacing the coil, but the fuel pump still does not run, replace the fuel pump relay.
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 27, 2013 5:21 PM   in response to: FKH161 in response to: FKH161
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By temp. jumping the fuel pump relay, would that help to prove the coil is bad? and yes, when I ran the OBD II test, I still had the injector plug off, so that accounts for the P1240 code.
FKH161

Posts: 7,661
Registered: 12/29/05
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 27, 2013 5:27 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Jumping the fuel pump relay will not help diagnose the coil further... you now know that the ECM is triggering the coil, but you are not getting spark.

You might have to bypass / bridge the fuel pump relay AFTER you install a new / used coil (if you then have spark, but the pump still does not run).
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 28, 2013 9:29 PM   in response to: FKH161 in response to: FKH161
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Tonight I got curious about the fuel pump relay and pulled it out to test. With 12volts across the two smaller pins and an ohm meter across the two large pins, I got no continuity reading. I assume that it should click when it powers up but this one didn't. I only heard a faint buzz. Looks like the relay is junk. So I need a FP relay and a coil. Hopefully, I will find them tomorrow
train.stamp

Posts: 170
Registered: 07/30/06
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 29, 2013 4:45 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Not a good day today! Bought an Ign. coil and a fuel pump relay (both used parts) and put them on thinking the car would be fixed. Nope, its exactly the same, still no spark and I tested the FP relay and it tested just like the old one. No click and no continuity. Still can't hear the fuel pump run for three seconds before starting. The new nick name for this car is "The Royal Pain". 8-)

So, what's going on? Did I get to bad parts? Or is there something else that has failed? How is a coil tested when it's off the car? If I were to connect the primary up to 12volts then check for spark, would that be a proper way to check it? or is there a better way to do this with an ohm meter?
FKH161

Posts: 7,661
Registered: 12/29/05
Re: 97 2.0L Golf No Start - Help Please
Posted: Apr 29, 2013 8:14 PM   in response to: train.stamp in response to: train.stamp
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Not sure what to tell you... coil & injector control indicates a good ECM (at least what I think at this point) and a good crank sensor (coil or injectors wouldn't flicker if crank sensor was bad).

The fuel pump relay should have a small pin that also looks for a tach signal.

Used coil could be bad?

You can try triggering it by attaching jumper wires... power is pin 3 & ground is pin 1 and then briefly touch the center pin to ground.

I failed to recommend that test, since you had good coil control.

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