I’ve bought this car used in 2012. It’s a 5 cylinder engine. 4 times out of 5, I have to turn the key twice to get the engine to start. I’ve had the car tuned and added injector cleaner to the gas. Twice in the 3 years, one of the cylinders has had a misfire and each time the plugs replaced. The 2X starting starts again after a few days. While it doesn’t seem to be a major issue to the car, it’s just a nuisance to start. Every VW mechanic I’ve asked does not know why it takes twice to start the engine.
The next time you go to start the engine, don’t start it.
Turn the ignition switch on so the dash lights come on for two seconds, and turn the ignition switch off.
Repeat this a half dozen times and then try starting the engine.
If the engine starts right up, it points to a problem with the anti drain-back valve in the fuel pump.
Tester’s idea, known as the key dance, is a good one. Each time you turn the key from Off to Run, the fuel pump should run for a few seconds. You may hear it. That brings fuel and fuel pressure up to the engine.
I’ve needed to do it a few times on my 1999 Honda. Once my wife ran it out of fuel. The mechanic who put some gas in told her to do it before turning the key to Start. Worked like a charm for her, too.
Good luck. Please let us know if this takes care of it for you.
My first thought, too, was a bad or weak fuel pump.
Why not hold the key in the start position until the engine starts, instead of turning it to the start position twice?
If holding it in the Start position doesn’t produce a start, it may be due to lack of fuel. Try the key dance and see if that works. It has for me.
I’ve found that the engine will just keep cranking and I don’t want to have it do that for a long time. It will always start on the 2nd crank, so once it doesn’t catch I can tell it won’t start, then I just turn it off and try starting again.
That makes perfect sense. For added insurance (fuel and fuel pressure) try some key dance before the second start attempt. To avoid the problem before the first start attempt, do the key dance before turning the key to Start. Result?
Once you mentioned a weak fuel pump in the back of my mind I thought I had it tested and it was ok. BUT, I went through all of my service records and do not find any mention of it being tested.
Will try the key dance. Thanks.
You can crank it for 15 seconds continuously without causing any harm.
I think Tester had the right idea…
the anti drain-back valve in the fuel pump.
Turns out Tester was right. Now the car will start by just once turning the key 1 click to the right and then off before turning on the engine. I found out that VW has to sell a complete new fuel pump about $380 and who knows the labor to fix it. A anti-drain valve can be purchased online for $10-$15 and I’m wondering if it can just be inserted into the fuel line. Probably not but we can live with the 1 time key dance for now.
Thanks for all of your help! VW mechanics could not figure this out.