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martin jones
martin jones, UK Car Mechanic
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 723
Experience:  25 years as a mechanic and mot tester, owned own business for 10 years city and guilds trained
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VW Polo: My 2003 Polo 1.4 auto suddenly would not start this

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My 2003 Polo 1.4 auto suddenly would not start this morning. No warning message or error message. Started OK yesterday on second try - up to now it has always started immediately. Sounds like none of the cylinders are catching.
Hi there and welcome to JA.COM, i will try to assist you with your problem, when you say that none of the cylinders are catching, do you mean it sounds different, also when you are cranking the engine over, does it sound like there are no spark plugs fitted, ie, no compression,please advise, kind regards XXXXX XXXXX do you have any engine managment lights on.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
When I tried this morning it seemed as if one or more cylinders fired, but the engine immediately died. I've just tried it again (don't want to flatten the battery by trying too often). All the warning lights come on as usual, and then go off when I turn the key to start, apart from the battery light. EPC goes off, as does the 'engine' symbol. It sound as if there is compression but no spark.
Hi there, the first thing i would check is the cambelt, make sure it has not broken, you will need to remove the top cover to expose the belt, get someone to turn over the engine, make sure the camshaft sprocket is rotating on crank, if this is ok we will go further, please advise, regards martin.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It's nearly 11 p.m. here and I can't do this check now. How do I remove the top cover?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Did you get my last reply -

It's nearly 11 p.m. here and I can't do this check now. How do I remove the top cover?

Hi there, ok, have a look in the morning, there should clips holding the top cover on, if you release these you should have enough room to see the pulley whilst you crank the engine, i will be back on line in the morning at about 10 am, regards martin.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I've taken the engine cover off - it's a 1.4 16V 2003 so it just pulls off (not easily!). I can see the top part of the cambelt cover (black plastic) but it doesn't look easy to remove, so I didn't try. I charged the battery overnight and tried again this morning, with a booster battery for good measure. Same result - the engine turns and seems to nearly fire, but doesn't make it. As far as I can tell the engine is turning normally
Hi there, ok thanks for that, seems like that is ok then, apart from the obvious like lack of fuel/immobilizer problem, you may have a faulty crankshaft sensor, but like i said this would be hard to diagnose without seeing the car, the next logical thing to do would be to have your car code read on live readings, this would determine the cause of your fault, you could try to see if you are getting a spark from the ht coil pack/plugs, but to be honest unless you have access to test equipment spark plug jumpers you have a problem, so i really suggest a code read first, also possible fault could be fuel pump, but a code read is the way forward, hope this helps, kindest regards XXXXX XXXXX advise.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Just to let you know that the car was seriously flooded, and keeping it turning for a long time eventually cleared it. Going to have plugs checked.
Hi there, ok thanks for that extra info, all the best, if there is anything else i can help you with please ask, kindest regards martin.