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Volkswagen vanagon: I have a 1987 vanagon on with a 1990

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Hi I have a 1987...
Hi I have a 1987 vanagon on with a 1990 engine in it. It isn't starting unless I push start it. It has a new starter, a new fuel pump, a new fuel filter and a good battery. I have determined that it is probably something electrical I hope someone can lead me to the problem that is causing this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: VW
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Answered in 55 minutes by:
5/12/2015
VW Mechanic: Juan Crespo, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago
Juan Crespo
Juan Crespo, ASE Certified Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 1,529
Experience: A.S.E. Master Technician, Advanced Level, Emissions - Asian, Domestic, & European
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Hi there. Welcome to our site. I agree with your assessment that there is probably an electrical issue preventing it from starting on its own. Now, to diagnose the issue, you'll need to use a test light or, better yet, a voltmeter to trace the starting circuit. Do you have one of those handy?
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
My uncle had one he can bring over what would I so with it specifically?
VW Mechanic: Juan Crespo, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago
First, you'll need to shift the transmission to Neutral, apply the Parking Brake and turn the ignition switch to START; then, while still holding the key in the START position, check if there is voltage at the Red/Black wire coming out of the ignition switch. If not, the electrical part of the ignition switch is bad and needs to be replaced. If yes, keep the key in START and check for voltage at the same Red/Black wire coming out of the fuse box on terminal D24. If not, check fuse #6 (15A) in the fuse box and replace if necessary. If yes, turn the ignition OFF and check the Red/Black wire for continuity from terminal D24 of the fuse box all the way to the starter solenoid. If continuity OK, the problem is related to the starter solenoid. If no continuity, repair or replace wire as necessary. If you think the information I've given you to this point has answered your question, kindly accept and rate my answer now. Otherwise, please reply. Best Regards.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Alright so I cleaned the connections to the starter and now it turns over. I realized that the fuel pump wasn't working I tapped on it and it started working. managed to start it a couple times and then it died while running. The fuel pump is practically brand new so I am sure whats going on. Is there something else that would regulate how much fuel goes to the fuel pump?
VW Mechanic: Juan Crespo, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago
I'm a little confused. On your original question you said "It isn't starting unless I push start it"; then you added "I have determined that it is probably something electrical I hope someone can lead me to the problem that is causing this." So, based on those statements I provided the answer that lead you to the problem, which ultimately resulted in you not having to push start the wagon anymore.What confuses me is that now you say the fuel pump wasn't working until you tapped on it and got it going. All of which leads me to ask you the following questions:Before you contacted us, was the engine running once it was push-started?The fuel pump you had to tap on, is it working OK now?If the engine now starts but dies while running; does it restart right away? will it keep running if you increase RPM?
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I'm sorry for the confusion. I forgot to check the connections on the starter and when I cleaned them it started turning over.
1. Yes the van can be push started then and It still can.
2. As far as I can tell the fuel pump is working now.
3. The engine only starts some times with the key now. And no after you run it you can't start it immediately after with the key.
VW Mechanic: Juan Crespo, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago
My apologies, it seems that I'm not communicating effectively. Please allow me to try again:Before you contacted us, did the engine stay running once it was push-started?When you say "the fuel pump is working now", do you mean it is putting out about 30 psi fuel pressure?When you say "The engine only starts some times with the key now", did you check the ignition switch circuit as I indicated in my first response, i.e., "First, you'll need to shift the transmission to Neutral, apply the Parking Brake and turn the ignition switch to START; then, while still holding the key in the START position, check if there is voltage at the Red/Black wire coming out of the ignition switch. If not, the electrical part of the ignition switch is bad and needs to be replaced."? If so, what did you find?Do you have access to a voltmeter or test lamp? how about a fuel pressure tester?
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VW Mechanic: Juan Crespo, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago
Hi again! Just checking to see how you were doing and confirm you’ve been able to solve your issue with the help I’ve provided. If so, kindly accept and rate my answer now. If not, please reply and we’ll continue our session.
Best Regards.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
1. Yes it would stay running for a long time but after a few hours would start slowing down more and more until it died.2. I don't know what it is putting out but it is making the sound it is supposed to make.3. No I didn't check that but it is turning over anytime you use the key it just doesn't start.4. I can get a hold of a volt meter. I don't have access to a fuel pressure tester.
VW Mechanic: Juan Crespo, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago
Well, the truth is that I can give you all the diagnostic instructions you need to find out what's wrong with your vehicle, but nothing will happen if you can't follow those instructions because you don't have access to the necessary tools. For example; a fuel pump might make the same noise whether is putting out 10 or 30 psi - that's why we need a fuel pressure tester. Same thing can happen with a perfectly looking connection that might actually have very high resistance - we won't know that unless we use an Ohmmeter to test it.Having said all that, how would you like to proceed?
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Juan Crespo
Juan Crespo
Juan Crespo, ASE Certified Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 1,529
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Experience: A.S.E. Master Technician, Advanced Level, Emissions - Asian, Domestic, & European

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