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AAboy, VW Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 294
Experience:  HND mech engineering
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My 97 Seat Ibiza 1.4 starts

Customer Question

My '97 Seat Ibiza 1.4 clx (engine code AEX) is misfiring and down on power. Temp. guage is reading very low the car starts and idels fine just spluttery when you try and excelerate. How can I cure this??
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  AAboy replied 8 years ago.
Hi there

First thing I need to ask is did you have the problem before the timing belt and water pump?

By the sounds of things, you probably have an ignition misfire. Most often caused on this model by faulty HT leads. You said you checked them.....if they have the metal heat shields round them at the sparkpug end, then they are near impossible to check best to replace them.

Have you already changed the HT leads and plugs or just checked them?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hi. Martin.


Temp. sensor fault.


The temp gauge is sitting very low even though the car is warm and done some miles.

Starts fine when cold but will start to "splutter and hesitate" once she gets warmer.

Plugs, leads and distributor checked.

Timed on marks as manual when pump and belt changed.

The car is not mine and I am not sure if the "miss" was there before the water pump went!

Hope this is of some use to your diagnosis and you can confirm mine!



Expert:  AAboy replied 8 years ago.
Hi again

If temp sensor is at fault then the heater motor will blow continuous hot air inside the car, despite the gauge indicating cool....if it does, then you need to change the sensor.

With the engine running and using insulated pliers, briefly remove one of the HT wires to identify which cylinder has the misfire. When you remove the wire from a good cylinder there will be a noticeable drop in revs, and when you remove the wire from the problem cylider there will no noticeable change in revs.
Once you identify the problem cylinder, fit a sparkplug to the end of the lead and check wether its firing or not. If it fires, remove and check the plug from the bad cylinder and if it fires also, you want to do a compression test on that cylinder. This should determine wether the miss is due to a missing spark, faulty plug or HT cable or lack of compression.

Let me know what you find there.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hi. Martin,


Have fitted a new temp. sensor and it is now as it should be.

Guage reading half way and the fan coming on.


Car running almost perfect except for a slight hesitation.


Will change plugs and clean trottle body with carb. cleaner and hopefully all will be 100%.


Anything else you can suggest!!!!!!!



Expert:  AAboy replied 8 years ago.
Hi again

You are correct that the throttle bodies can be problematic and cleaning will do it no harm. When you replace the plugs, pay particular attention to their condition as you remove them and note if any one plug appears different ( burnt, sooted, cracked or discoloured )....this would give you a good indication which cylinder has the misfire. Or you can use the previous advice to identify the cylinder.
It may be a good idea to do a compression check whilst the plugs are out too.

Hope this gets you sorted 100%