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2000 Volkswagen Cabrio Question: Cranking, no Start

 

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cherishtheday, 2.0L 4 Cylinder, Tucson, AZ, March 09, 2011, 20:42
 Rookie

Car will not start, cranks. Wont turn over. Replaced the fuel filter today. Thought I ran out of gas,added gas & fuel cleaner. Same issue. Not too cold here in Tucson, mild days,cooler nights. What would be the next most common things to check without buying an expensive fuel pump?

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    patrick mannion from Greg Solow's Engine Room, March 09, 2011, 20:49
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     Master

    Could be so many things its so hard to guess without being able to do some basic diagnostic tests. If the engine cranks over the battery and starter are most likely OK. Keep in mind an engine must crank over sufficiantly fast enough for the engine to suport combustion and run. The engine needs three things to start, fuel (gasoline), ignition (spark) and mechanical integrity (it must develop compression in each cylinder to start ie mechanical components must be in synchronization with each other), your engine uses a timing belt, may have a broken timing belt. If it had run well previous to this no start condition chances are the engine is well mechanically. Had the Check Engine light been on? The engine may have lost spark or fuel which could be due to any one of a number of sensors having failed or the fuel pump or related components are not delivering fuel to the fuel injectors. The engine uses many sensors to report engine temperature, air flow into the engine, crankshaft and crank shaft position sensors to allow the computer in your car to make calculations controlling fuel and spark to the cylinders. Check for spark at the spark plug wire when cranking. Check for fuel pressure (you will need a fuel pressure gauge and look the specified fuel pressure for your vehicle). Remove the fuel hose that goes to the fuel rail and get a friend to crank over the engine to see you have adequate fuel volume (you should have approximately 1 pint of gasoline in ten seconds of cranking). Next "listen" to the fuel injector. Using a mechanic's stethoscope (or use a long screw driver placing the handle end up to your ear place the metal tip end of the screwdriver against the body of the fuel injector), get a friend to crank over the engine while you "listen" to the fuel injector listen to each injector at the same point of the injector body. You should hear click, click, click as the injector is electrically opened and closed by the computer, if the injector is not being triggered you will not have fuel getting into the engines cylinders. Disconnect the electrical connector at the fuel injector with the ignition key in the "on" position, (next position after the accessory position) you should have 12 volts at one of the two wires at the injector. This true for most vehicles but you need to consult a workshop manual for your vehicle to see that this is true for your vehicle. When the engine is running the second wire at the injector gets grounded by the computer in your vehicle many times a second controlling exactly when and how much fuel gets injected into the engine. Autozone have some popular workshop manuals for free on line once you register (for free) on their website http://bit.ly/autozone_repair_info.
    and get an online repair manual subscription.

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    Visitor, March 15, 2011, 02:43

    Thank you so much. That is a lot of info, but will take one step at a time. Did take to a mechanic, his first suggestion was replacing the ignition & key at a cost of $1-3,000. I dont see where the problem points to this. Could it be a key problem? I lost the origianl ignition key and have been using a spare key. I see from this website that could be a problem on other model vehicles. Thanks again.

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  • Answer #2

    TDAH64 March 14, 2013, 16:24
     Rookie

    This happened to me on my 98 cabrio. After about 3 months of trying everything under the sun, it turned out that it was a faulty connection under the hood. There is a multi-connector on the right side of the engine. It is round and twists off with approximately one full turn. I simply unplugged it and repluged it and it started right up.

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