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Mysterious Simultaneus Malfunction of Multiple Autos!

Why??? Why would 2 completely different vehicles (94Toyota, 2008 Jetta) have the SAME starting problem when they have NEVER had the problem before?!..these are both VERY RELIABLE well maintained vehicles. The only outside influences being a father and son who are VERY AUTO SAVVY and love to play practical jokes (bust chops)…and the fact there was a recent cleanup of leaves in the general area where the vehicles are parked. Is it possible to CREATE this problem!!! Can practical jerkers …who happen to be PRESENT at the startup of both vehicles do this to an auto by means of tampering or is my mind working overtime?! Or can just the blowing of leaves near an auto possibly cause it?

The problem was a rough start (flub, flub, flub, flub, die) requiring 3/4 turns of the key to keep them running.



Please help!!! The future selection of my significant other relys on your reply!!!

The leaf blower has nothing to do with the problem.

The practical jokers? Most likely.

What…could they have done?

I want to know if whatever they did can damage an engine…AND WHAT IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THAT THEY DID…ENQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW…AND RETALIATE!!! :slight_smile:

Remove a spark plug wire or two.

Without knowing what they did, it’s impossible to guess whether it might cause damage, but since they’re both car savvy it’s unlikely. There are numerous ways to cause the described “malfunctions” without doing something that would cause damage.

Have you confronted them?

Leaf blowers mean falling leaves.

Falling leaves mean the weather changed (it probably got wetter).

Wetter weather means the possibility of wet ignition components.

Your ignition components got wet.

Relax, Susanne.

It’s likely just a coincidence. Life does that just to @#$! with you if you haven’t noticed that already.

My dad once did a tune up on his Oldsmobile when I was a kid. He changed plugs, wires, etc. When it was time to start the car it wouldn’t start. He checked everything, cursed and swore, finally gave up and had it towed to a shop. Turns out the engine’s timing chain had jumped, probably when he shut it off before he even did the tune up. No relation to what he did at all. Just bad luck.

Unfortunately I think I’ve inherited at least some of his luck.

Some more details about the problem would help but it’s unlikely there is a conspiracy going on.

You might provide a bit more info about this 3/4 turns of the key business. Are you saying that the engine will start and die, run roughly, etc?
Once running for a bit does it smooth out and run fine or what?

I know this goes against all logical prospectives but it may be time to try a different gas station. I don’t believe in coincidence too often, and this is not one of them.

Adding to MikeM95831’s suggestion, I think the coincidence may be the onset of cold weather which provides the final coup de grace to older batteries. I’m guessing that you may have bought your 08’ Jetta in 2007 so your battery is pushing 4 years and I’d guess that the battery in the '94 is also getting a bit long in the tooth. Old weak batteries can get by in warm weather but will die when the weather gets cold. The chemical reaction that produces electricity in those batteries are very temperature sensitive. I’ve learned to just buy a new battery every 4 years to avoid getting stranded in the cold. That said, the best way to deal with practical jokers is to get even, not mad. When they least expect it : )