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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The story of my car -

It is a 2002 VW Golf GTI 2.0 4-door with about 100,000 miles.

I purchased this car about a year ago. The instrument panel is bad in that the speedometer (and the resulting odometer) does not work, I drive using the tachometer and GPS just fine so I don't speed. The result is also that the cruise control doesn't work properly, but I learned to live without it.

With the help of a neighbor, I attempted to fix the speedometer issue by changing the transmission speed sensor, no effect. The car continued to work fine though otherwise for about 9 months.

About 3 months ago, my wife ran down the battery and jumped the car. Shortly after, the car failed to start on several occaisions. The engine would turn over continuously (new battery), but would fail to catch. Waiting anywhere from 2 minutes to 5 hours would allow it to start normally again. No other rhyme or reason.

The local dealer had us replace the starter and told us it was fine, but the car failed to start immediately out of their parking lot when I went to pick it up. - $350

Another mechanic had it for almost a month, in which he had us buy 2 replacement ECU's and in the process cracked our windshield. Car randomly started for him also, despite his clearing out codes and such. Total cost to us - $800

Finally he offered to tow the car to the VW dealer about 1.5 hours away, where they re-flashed one of the replacement ECU's and told us it was fine. The key was reset with the ecu reflash. It failed to start again the next day when we brought it home. - $150 well spent.

Getting very fed up. I'm out about $1000 or so and haven't had our single family car for about a month. Now its dead in my driveway again.

Turning the key partway I can hear some clicks and light taps, but then the engine just turns over and over and fails to catch. I'll try again in a few hours and try at least to go get some gas in it to get it back to the far away dealer, but I think I'll be pushing it a few blocks after I fuel up. It may or may not start later anyways. All other systems seem fine.

Spark plugs are fine, checked those, plenty of spark. Using starter fluid I can get it to fire, but it dies after a few seconds.

Anyone else had a similar issue?
 

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well if youre getting good spark and it runs on starting fluid then it sounds like its a fuel problem, like your engine is not getting any...
 

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try changing your fuel pump relay. its under the dash. i had a very similar problem, changed that relay and havent had a problem
 

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shitty mechanics, your fuel systems sounds fubared. also kill the guy that charged u for two ecus. if the first new one was "busted" the parts dealer should of replaced it under warrenty.
 

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sounds like the pump actually when a relay goes bad it stays bad. the pump is cuaseing the intermident problem best bet to replace both. start with your relaybut dont be suprised when you pump goes out soon. they basicly work hand in hand
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I came to that conclusion today from some very deep forum issues about the relay.

Someone else posted a list of error codes that exactly mirrored mine...long list, but it involved a lot of "short to grounds", evap leak, and speed sensors.

I went and pulled mine, dusted it off, dinked around with it, and put it back. The car fired right up, but no idea if that particular voodoo helped. I put a replacement on order and will have it tomorrow for $30.

As for the ECU's, we bought one that was shipped to us without a VIN, so the mechanic here messed with it for a week and couldn't unlock it (crash locked), so he had us order another one that did come with a VIN, and the mechanic here messed with that one for about a week again before offering to just take our car to the VW place. By then all the old codes were cleared and all they did was reflash the ECU and told me to come pick it up, it was fine.
 
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