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The Volkswagen myth

My wife Lisa has a 2000 VW Golf that has been running like a charm for 51,000 miles. It loves winter, and its nickname is “Blue Thunder.”

But as of this spring it has often baulked at starting. Lisa’s dure for this is to keep a book of short stories in the door pocket so that she can simply let it sit for the time of reading one story, and BT will then, often, start like its old self.

This problem reminds me of a legend of my youth, that gas stations would add water to their products. I recall that the cure for this was to dump and flush the fuel system–and fill up eith a more expensive brand. But my good wife now shops diligently for the cheapest brands. What is to be done?

Has the check engine light ever come on? If so get the codes. It could be many things. Does it fail to start more often when the weather is damp or when the engine is hot?

Exactly what happens when it does not start? She turns the key then??? Nothing, starter noise ???

Is it giving trouble at warm starts or cold starts or both? Just a first-thing-in-the-morning problem?

This isn’t a diesel by any chance? If so, maybe a glowplug problem?

As for your theory, waiting around for 10 or 15 minutes isn’t going to make any water in the fuel go away, so I seriously doubt that is a problem, in fact that was probably not as much a problem as it was often thought to be back in the day. I.E. people blamed “bad gas” or water in the fuel for a lot of problems that were really something else. Just my opinion.

All the little things can add up. If you haven’t been doing the regular scheduled maintenance, this could be the cause, or, at least, a contributor, to the problem. Change the fuel filter, air filter, and the spark plugs, etc. Yes, change those 100,000 mile spark plugs. The engine is having a problem, isn’t it? It would be funny if you spent hundreds of dollars for repairs, and, it was found that the problem was caused by spark plugs, wouldn’t it?

After performing the routine maintenance, and a problem still exists, it’s time for your mechanic to do more in-depth trouble shooting. A scan tool, with a screen to look at the performance of the sensors, would be a great tool for that. Another good tool is the intelligent use of a quality, digital, high impedence, multimeter to check the sensors with. A fuel pressure check should be done, also.

VW has 40,000 mile plugs , not 100K !

It’s difficult to tell what needs to be done because the no-start condition is not defined at all.
Right now your complaint is similar to calling the doc on the phone, saying you feel lousy, and wanting to know the diagnosis.

Won’t click, turns over slow, no click at all, auto or manual transmission, cranks normally but does nothing else, original battery, etc, etc.
The devil is always in the details.

This isn’t a diesel by any chance? If so, maybe a glowplug problem?

Modern VW diesel engines don’t even turn the glow plugs on above 40? F.

It was not clear to me if the OP was dealing with low temps or not.

As OK4450 says, we need more info in general.