How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask vanagonman Your Own Question
vanagonman, VW Mechanic
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 274
Experience:  11 years experience running VW shop and parts store focusing on VW vans.
Type Your VW Question Here...
vanagonman is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 2001 Passat V6 2.8 L Wont start. I used a retail code reader

Resolved Question:

My 2001 Passat V6 2.8 L Won't start. I used a retail code reader to see if computer registered any fualts and got a "no Codes" response. When I turned the key, I could not hear the fuel pump running. I checked the voltage at the fuse to the fuel pump and no voltage present with the key in any state including start. Tested the relay, and it makes proper contact when 12V applied accross terminals with battery. I checked the relay socket and have 12V at control line and switch line. If I manually ground the other half of the control line I hear the fuel pump running. I tried to start the car after engaging the relay manually but it still would not fire. The starter turns correctly car just won't start. In my troubleshooting process I did remove the spark plugs and clean them. my guess is the engine control module is not working correctly. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
Was it running the day before? Did it run long enough to get warmed up the last time it was running?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
We had not run the vehicle for ~ 1 Week prior to the problem. It was in a garage and the temperature never got below ~-10C. I can not say for certain that it was warmed up fully however I would expect that it was based on our typical driving practices.

I also forgot to mention I did try pulling the Fuel pump fuse and running it to clear out the cylinders and then put the fuse back and run again with no luck (saw this solution on the just answer site when searching)
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
Have you checked for spark?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have not checked for spark purely based on the fact that the fuel pump was not running so I assumed that was the trouble. Will checking for spark tell me if the ECU is faulty?
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
Check for spark and get back to me.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Will not be able to check until this evening. will get back to you tomorow. Do I need to check for spark on all 6 cylinders or just 1?
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
One should be sufficient. You want the spark to be bright white and also you should get several in a row not just one at the beginning of the cranking. Let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I checked for spark. It is present and saw it 1/2 dozen times. Spark is mostly white with a little blue at the edges.

I didn't mention before that when I try and start teh car it sometimes sounds like it will start (getting some firing) but never fully starts. This only happens when I have caused the fuel pump to run manually while trying to start. Seems to get the closest to starting after I have stopped the fuel pump manually.

Also, When the ignition is in the "on" position the check ingine light and EPC light are both on. Is this normal?
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
I am thinking that your Engine Speed Sensor has failed. Normally this will cause a code to be generated though that is what is confusing about this. You can test this sensor with an ohm meter. It is a grey three pin connector that is located near your secondary air injection pump. Unplug this and you should see the three prong sticking up out of the oval shaped plug. These are numbered from the end that has a stub sticking out from it. You want to measure the resistance between the pins two and three. You are looking for(NNN) NNN-NNNNohms. Between pins 1 and 2 and 1 and 3 you should see both of those readings be infinite resistance (open). If the readings are not within the limits then this sensor has failed and should be replaced. Here is the part number 06A 906 433 C. It sells for around $100.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I will test the sensor tonight and let you know the results.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I have checked the speed sensor. Lines 2-3 reads 853 Ohms. 1-2 and 1-3 read OL (high resistance).


Could the problem be a fuel pressure regulator?

Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
Sounds like your speed sensor is testing fine. Plug it back in. I have been checking into this problem further and it seems like it is a common one with the VR6 engine. They seem to have a carbon fouling problem that can cause this issue. It seems the best way to deal with this is as follows:

You need to remove the spark plugs, clean them with a wire brush if they're fairly new or replace them with new NGK plugs if they aren't. Pull the fuel pump fuse (third from the bottom on the left most verticle row of fuses) and crank the motor for about 10 - 20 seconds with the plugs removed. Then you need to put the spark plugs back in and crank the motor over for another 10 - 20 seconds. Now put the fuel pump fuse back in, hook jumper cables or a battery charger to the car, hold your foot to the floor on the accelerator pedal, and crank it for about a minute or until it starts.


It will start to kick over at one point but will stutter and not be started, don't stop cranking until the rpm starts revving up or you've been cranking for a minute already.


Wait 5 minutes and try again if you crank for a minute and it doesn't start. It will smoke like crazy when it gets going DO NOT turn the car off until it gets up to operating temperaute.


Another suggestion is to remove the air intake boot to the intake and use starter fluid to get the car started. Then replace the intake boot and start the car on it's own holding the pedal down to keep it going until it clears the carbon out of the system. Always run it until it reaches operating temperature (radiator fan comes on or needle points to around 190 deg F) after doing these things so that it will burn off whatever is causing this problem.


If this helps let me know. Click Accept if you get her running this way.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The suggestion you just made for the carbon Fouling is a solution that I have already tried. The plugs are fairly new so I didn't replace them but I did clean them with a wire brush.

In any case how will the car start if the fuel pump is not running? Whether I use starter fluid or not.

Until we can fix whatever is causing the fuel pump to not run the car will not stay runing even if I get it started.

Is there anything that could cause the ECU to keep the fuel pump off but not generate a code? Other than a busted ECU?
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
What I am thinking is that the fuel pump is not running because the computer needs to see the engine turning over for the fuel pump to keep operating. If the engine isn't starting the fuel pump doesn't come on. This is normal. It keeps the fuel pump from running when the key is on and the engine is not running in case of an accident so that the fuel pump doesn't pump gas all over a stalled engine if there was a hose rupture. Even when you jumper the pump and make it run you are still not getting the car to start so I am thinking it is more than just the pump not running. I think it is the carbon fouling issue. Try starting the car with the starting fluid and then see if it will keep running and blow the carbon out of the system. That should fix the problem. It seems that this is a fairly common problem and most folks have fixed it by following the directions I listed above.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I will try and get by a parts store and pick up some starter fluid and give it a shot. may have time tonight. If not, then tomorow night.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Finally got around to trying the Starter fluid. Car still would not start. The starter fluid did not seem to make any difference. I tried sprying it into the air intake at the front of the car and then also after the air filter and what I think is the air sensor.
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
If you have good spark (which is what you are claiming) why wouldn't the starter fluid work? It definately should. You want to pull the boot off of the aluminum intake and spray directly into that. Then go immediately and crank the engine over. If you are getting good spark it should start up and run for at least several seconds. If it isn't starting at all I am wondering if you are still getting a spark. Maybe you should test for this again. Perhaps it is being intermittant. I still want to help you. Let me know if you want to keep going on this one.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Ken,
I totally agree with you.. I spent the better part of the weekend scratching my head about this.... I have decided that I am going to tow it to a mechanic and have then professionally read the codes, I am worried that the reader I borrowed is not telling the whole story. Then depending on what the result of that is, I may try and fix it myself or I may have them do it. Either way I will let you know the result and if I have the problem solved I will go ahead and accept since you have spent a bunch of time with me on this.
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
Sorry we couldn't figure this one out. I know that sometimes the aftermarket code readers aren't giving the full story. Please let me know what your guy figures out. If you give me your area I should be able to recommend a VW specialist that is recommended by other VW owners in your area.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am in Calgary Alberta SE. I have taken it to the dealership 5th Ave Auto Haus but am not pleased with them. Another VW owner recommended I take it to Concept 1... Let me know who you are seeing is recommended.
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
Try this place it is highly recommended:
Tony's Auto Service XXXXXSE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 0Y8
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have booked a spot for Thursday. I will let you know how it goes.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Ken,
Sorry for the long delay... I have been waiting to get to some kind of conclusion on this before I sent you any more information.

Guys at the auto repair told me the the car was showing poor compression (50 -60) on most cylinders. They figured it was something to do with the timing belt. They took it apart and found no problems with the alignments. With the car apart they did manage to get it started (not sure how) and said they have gotten it started a few times.

They think there may have been an oil pressure spike causing the valves to be stuck open/ closed but could not find any information that there is a history of this.

I am having them do the timing belt service while he has everything torn apart.

the mechanic seems pretty confident that it will continue to start but I am a little worried since we didn't find the source of the problem. Any suggestions?
Expert:  vanagonman replied 8 years ago.
Usually the low compression is caused by worn rings not valves. You can have the head sent out to a machine shop and get the valves checked and also a valve job done to be sure that they are sealing. I would also replace the rings while you have it apart and that should fix the low compression problem.

By the way you said you were going to pay me last time we talked. I still haven't seen anything. Just FYI.
vanagonman and other VW Specialists are ready to help you