Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Car turns over, won't start

I’ve got a 2000 VW Lupo 1.4 automatic. It used to work just fine, with the exception of a small idiosyncracy. If I should try to start the car two or three times in succession, within intervals of 5 or 10 minutes, it would start only with difficulty and sometimes not at all. Then I’d have to wait maybe 15 minutes before it would start. At any rate, recently the car stood unused for 3 weeks while I was on holiday. In that time the weather got cold. Now I can’t start the car at all. The battery died. With a jump the car turns over but won’t start. The battery itself is a good one and fairly new. The car’s got gas. I tried starting it with start gas through the throttle body. Nothing. Any suggestions welcome. Thank you.

Have you checked for a good extremely bright blue spark using a spark tester?

Have you performed a compression test?

Please define?

How old?

Has the battery been tested?

Is the engine cranking over at a normal speed, or very slowly?

The idiosyncrasy you noted is probably the engine is getting too much gas at start up for some reason, and flooding out. You’d have to research what method your car uses to set the cold engine start fuel delivery for that. I doubt that’s the reason for the current problem. You may have a broken timing belt or chain. See if you can peek into the oil fill hole and see the camshaft lobes. If so, verify they are turning when the crankshaft is. You might want to turn the crankshaft slowly by hand for this test, as if the timing belt/chain is broken, cranking the engine with the starter motor could damage it.

If the camshaft is turning, and you are seeing no spark, I’m guessing you have a faulty crank position sensor or ignition module. If you are seeing a spark and the camshaft is turning ok, and it wont’ start , remove the spark plugs, check their condition, and determine if the tips are wet, fuel soaked or not … if so, it may be the first problem is indeed related.