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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a problem i've had for about 3-4 weeks now.

This is how my morning routine goes;

  • 1. Start the car, sparks up fine and engine runs, for about 1 second, then cuts out
    2. Repeat about 3 times with about a 1 second idle, then cuts out.
    3. On the 4th attempt it will idle for about 3/4 seconds.
    4. On the 5th/6th attempt it will hold its idle, its not too happy but after 20/30 seconds or so give it a rev and its fine,
    5. After 5 mins of driving it lovely and smooth.
    5. Need to note that at any point during the above initial stages 1 - 4 i touch the accelerator it cuts out even quicker.
Attached is a picture of my engine. Its a 1.6 cl mk3 golf.

Here is where it gets slightly wierd. The engine code for my reg and on the chassis is an AEE however when i got it serviced on Saturday my mechanic said that the parts he had didnt fit the engine especially the fuel filter (he needed a much bigger one to fit the engine i had) this leads me to believe that the engine has previously blown and they have replaced it.

Plus points
Throttle body is clean, new spark plugs, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, oil change, coolant change, and cam belt (needed doing), fan belt too. two new exhaust parts to pass its MOT a few weeks ago aswel.

after a good run and up to temperature the car starts first time (up to a max of say 5/6 hours then it needs 2 starts for it to stay running again)

Bad points
Had a VAG-COM scan performed today and his software at first didn't read the car, then it did but came up with little information about the car only VAG number and component came up. It found no faults but im unsure it even worked to be honest, it also said something about the key fault but considering the engine turns on in the evenings with no trouble this again is hard to believe. It really struggled to read any codes off the ecu's.
It also uses lots of fuel at the moment, even more so after my service which i don't understand, its gone from around 35-40mpg to 26-32mpg in a matter of days (i'm driving like a granny too). I have seen a slight drop in coolant too.

I'm pretty sure its not an ignition problem.
Air intake im not sure, concidering the throttle body is clean and its had a service i dont think its this.
Fuel... hmm again im not sure.

What i have searched and found similar to my problem are;
coolant temp sensor - my temp starts off right at the bottom, then after 5-10 minutes drive its up to 90 degrees C and stays there, never fluctuates.
Idle control valve
Rubber flange between carb and manifold.

Thank you for taking your time to read this i really appreciate all the help you can offer!
Anyone got any ideas?


· Registered
37 Posts

Concentrating on the start and warmup problem, my first guess is that you have an air leak on the fuel system that is letting air into the pipework and until this air is digested by the engine you have some uneven running. This would also explain why you have to let the car sit for a longer time to have the startup issue/routine. Having said that, and with you saying that you had a drop in fuel economy it could be the case that wherever air is going in, fuel may be coming out (FIRE HAZARD!!!), so do you notice a smell of unburnt fuel around the car?
I do not have particular experience with that engine, but I assume the fuel pump is mechanical and works off the camshaft? If your fuel pump is electrical and pre-primes the circuit when you turn the ignition on (you should hear it running for a couple of seconds and then stop if you don't crank the engine), try to prime it a few times by turning the ignition on and off without cranking the engine and see if that helps the startup routine. If so, you can be almost sure that you have an air leak. If you have a mechanical pump, check that you have fuel at the entry of the pump by disconnecting the in-tube and simply checking there is fuel up there and then check the fuel circuit downstream of that.
Nonetheless, I would be very wary of a fire risk because your symptoms seem to indicate a leak on the fuel system, so I would have a good check before running the car much longer. It may be a simple fix but it takes time to track-down and if you don't it may go up in smoke.
I am assuming the fuelling on your engine is still by carburettor, so if you find nothing on the lines themselves, I would take the carburettor apart and give it a thorough clean and rebuild with new gaskets.
Good luck!
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