Fuel Injection Flooding

I have a 1982 VW camper, with 2.0L watercooled engine, 4 speed manuel. It has a bad habit of flooding on occasion when the car is running and then is impossible to start (for hours) unless the car is pushed and the clutch popped, when it starts immediately. The dealer has no idea what the problem is. Can anyone help?

It was about 95k miles on a rebuilt engine.

A 1982? And your using the overpriced dealer shop? Find a good independent mechanic that specializes in VW and Audi. You’ll get better results and a more reasonable price.

Of course, this camper bus is 27 years old. Anything and everything is suspect. I’d start at the fuel pressure regulator and the injectors. If you pull the spark plugs one at a time, the ones with black soot are the ones flooding. If they all look black, then the regulator is suspect. If the fuel pressure is OK, and during this flooding event stays within limits, then the ECU itself is suspect. What parts has the “stealership” mechanics replaced?

Not as bad as it sounds. Firstly the car is in France and I use it only when I am there. Secondly, in France, mechanics know only French cars and this besides is a US model that is doubly confusing. So, the dealer is the only one who knows anything about it, and so far it has cost me nothing since when I bring the car in, there is never any problem, by definition.
I would suspect that all the cylinders flood at once given the absolute inability to start unless jump-started. I will have the fuel pressure checked when I am back. Thanks for the advice.

It seems to me that each time you have problems, you are able to start it by jumping it or push starting it. In other words if you go around the starter/battery system it works.

I suggest you start your troubleshooting with the battery, cables, starter etc.

There is never a problem starting otherwise and the car cranks well. In addition, the car is usually running slowly when it stalls, or sometime bucks at highways speeds. Finally there is often a smell of gasoline when the stalling occurs.

“Flooding” is usually used to describe why a car would not start as in “my car would not start because it was flooded”. You are describing a car that dies while being driven and is hard to restart. Your aditional info. that a push start works makes me think you are not correctly describing what happens when you try a restart after the car dies while being driven.

That is about as close to what happens that I can see. When driven slowly, the car will die suddenly and not restart…often there is a smell of gas but that may well be flooding due to trying to restart it (although it is fuel injected). The other symptom is this happening at highway speeds where the car will buck several times, often then die, but then usually re-start because of the continued turning of the motor. I assume these two are the same (slow and high speed).