2001 VW Eurovan prolonged starting

Our check engine light came on earlier this summer. A local mechanic who supposedly specializes in German autos said there was a vapor lock leak in the fuel system. He replace our gas cap and reset the warning light. A few weeks later the light came back on. This time he replaced fuel pump and reset the warning light. This created a new problem: when you turn on the ignition it now takes 20-30 seconds before the car ignites/starts. The engine turns over but takes that long to start. If you turn the ignition on and then quickly turn if off and then on again it starts immediately.

A few weeks went by and the check engine light came on again. I took it to a new mechanic. He said the fuel pump appeared to be fine and replaced a fuel line sensor. This didn’t help at all as far as I can tell.

Now the check engine light is back on and we still have the prolonged starting problem. Now that the temps are cold the starting issue does seem a little better.

Any ideas appreciated!

First, if you can provide the specific error codes that are associated with the check engine light. (They look like “P1234”).

My best guess is that the new fuel pump has a defective check valve in it. Its a valve that keeps the fuel lines full when the car is off. I’d also guess that you probably never needed a new fuel pump anyway - but that depends on what the codes were and how the van was running at the time.

There’s definitely something wrong. You need to get this fixed or you will eventually damage your starter motor. Your gas pressure for the fuel injection system is not holding. It should hold steady for days without driving the car. There’s a leak somewhere, likely a result of changing the fuel pump. A leak may or may not produce actual gasoline dripping on the garage floor. It could be – like said above – an in-line check valve not operating correctly. That would allow the pressure to drop but the gas would simply flow back into the gas tank, not on the ground.

The first thing you need to do is park the car overnight and check the next morning to see if you have any gasoline dripping on the ground. Putting down paper under the car can sometime help to make it easier to see if there are gasoline drips. If you do have gasoline dripping, that requires immediate attention.

Thank you for your comments. I had the error code checked today: P0455 Large Evap Leak. I have an appointment with a third mechanic tomorrow to fix the evap leak (he thinks it is a hose that needs to be replaced that has been a known issue on similar VW’s). He seems to think that the longer crank start times is not related and is a separate issue?

It does sound like I should have never had the fuel pump replaced.

I just found the attached on another blog. It reminds me that I left out a key piece of info - the longer start times started every time we filled the tank. It used to go away once you got it started but now does it almost every start. Hoping this is the answer:

2001 VW Eurovan
Fault codes - P0455 Evap system large leak
“Every time I put fuel in the tank, the car has a hard time starting - long cranks.“
VW/Audi Dealer Mechanic Response:
“You need to replace an evap purge valve. It is stuck open. There’s a good chance the purge valve is also causing the system too lean issue also. Remove the engine cover and it will be on the left hand side of the engine by the intake.”