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Amedee
Amedee, VW Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 24427
Experience:  ASE certified Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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I have a 2003 Jetta 2.0L engine with 170K miles. As the

Customer Question

I have a 2003 Jetta 2.0L engine with 170K miles. As the weather gets colder the engine will either not start or starts very hard. Sometimes the only way to start it is to hold the gas pedal to the floor and crank it continuously until it starts however that doesn't always work. I usually smell gas while cranking it but I can't tell if it's getting any spark. This problem started happening last winter but has gotten much worse over time. Also when the engine does start it never seems to have an idle flare or high idle like most other cars do no matter whether its hot or cold outside. I have replaced the coolant temp sensor in the head but that didn't do anything. Do 2003 Jetta's have any common problems that would cause the engine not to start or start hard when cold?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I can assist you with your question. Can I start by getting your VIN? Thank you!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My VIN number is *****
Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the VIN! Just out of curiosity, have you checked the fuel pressure regulator?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No I haven't checked that yet. Is that a common problem on these?
Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

Big time

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

Just remove the vacuum hose or line going to the regulator and see if there is fuel in it. If so, the diaphram has ruptured inside and the regulator will need to be replaced.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I will try to check that today however would I be smelling fuel when I'm cranking it if it was the fuel pressure regulator? And would this only cause a problem when it's cold out?
Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

YES and YES

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

Some other possible causes would be a bad engine coolant temp sensor, a no spark issue caused by a bad crank senor or even a bad mass air flow sensor (which is very common).

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

I am glad I can help!

It has been a pleasure working with you. Please dont forget to honor your good faith deposit by rating my answer as "Excellent Service" for assisting you today.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** check these things out. Where is the fuel pressure regulator located?
Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

Right in front on the fuel rail.

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

The round looking like thing where two fuel lines go into.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I checked the fuel pressure regulator and also the mass air flow sensor and they both checked okay. If it were a crank sensor wouldn't it throw a code? What should the compression be in that engine? 3 of the 4 cylinders are only at 75 lbs and one cylinder is 100 lbs.
Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

According to the manufacture, the compression should read anywhere from 145 psi to 189 psi

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

Your engine compression sounds very low. If this were the case, it would misfire or throw misfire codes all of the time. Thats not what is happening based on what your telling me. Are you sure your compression gauge is working correctly?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It has thrown various misfire codes in the past. I've also had to replace the coil twice this past year. I work at a car dealership and had one of my technicians check the compression for me. He is my most experienced technician and I believe his compression gauge is accurate. It does have one other problem that may or may not be related and none of my technicians can figure it out because their Subaru technicians and don't know very much about VW. I've had a knocking or pinging sound for a while that seems to occur when under a slight load. This knock has gotten progressively louder over the past few months. I can duplicate it by putting the transmission in drive, holding the brake and rocking the engine. It sounds really bad like there is something about to come apart inside the engine however when I rev the engine up in park there is no noise. A WV technician down the street came here and looked at it for me with a stethoscope and he thought the noise seemed to be coming from between the engine and transmission. We've seen a broken flex plate on a Subaru make a similar noise in the past. Another one of my technicians thinks its coming from inside the motor. Usually this noise occurs while I'm driving up an incline and if I punch the accelerator the noise stops when the RPM's increase. Do you have any idea what this noise may be and if it could be related to my no start/hard start problem ?
Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

The low compression is a big issue. This needs to be addressed. As far as the noise goes, without hearing it myself it is hard for me to say what is causing it. If the engine is misfiring due to low compression, that might just be the noise you are hearing. It might be the pistons ratteling around or maybe even pinging. IF tnat is not it, then I would suspect it is between the engine and transmission as well. Like you said, possibly flywheel..

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Where we should start looking for the low compression issue?
Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

A cylinder leak down test should be done using a cylinder leak down tester.

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

.

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

Hello! It's Amedee from just answer.

I am just checking in to see if you need any further assistance?

Let me know!

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

Hello! It's Amedee from just answer.

I am just checking in to see if you need any further assistance?

Let me know!

Expert:  Amedee replied 11 months ago.

.

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