2000 2.8 V6 Won't start
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  1. #1
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    2000 2.8 V6 Won't start

    Went to turn her over this morning, and nothing. It would crank, but not catch.

    Backstory: Changed the oil and filter about a week ago. Almost immediately after, coolant sensor says that fluid is low. Ok, so I topped the overflow bag up. Light goes away, and all is good. Well, except that now it sounds like there is fluid rushing just behind the dash. I assumed that I got some bubbles in the line when I topped up the bag, and I'd just need to outgas it when I had the chance. (wouldn't think this was relevant except for reason #3 I describe below)

    Last night, we took the car for a short trip, and it seemed to hesitate a bit for the minute or so after she started, but that cleared up pretty quickly.

    Jump ahead to this morning, and nothing.

    Used an inline spark checker, and the spark seemed kind of slow, weak and yellow, though not having used this tester on the passat before, I dont have a good baseline.

    I am getting fuel at least to the engine compartment as I pulled the line from the fuel rail and cranked it. Got a couple spoonfuls of of fuel in about 3 seconds.

    I;ve been reading the forums all day, and it seems like folks have said either 1. coilpacks, 2. ICM or 3. coolant temp sensor.

    I tried to pull OBD codes with my little actron, but it says no codes available, and I never threw a light either.

    Anyone have any ideas?

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  3. #2
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    Give that fuel pump a look-see. If you're not getting codes, I'd consider something that doesn't code first. Fuel delivery until the injector does not code.

    A few teaspoons of fuel seems inadequate. I would expect a torrent of fuel (which is why I wouldn't do this without a container to catch it in.).

    Are you able to get sensor readings? If you read the signal for the coolant sensor, it should read ambient temperature if the engine is cold.

  4. #3
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    Thanks ctobio. I thought it weird that I wasn't getting any codes either. I think I may have misspoken about how much fuel came out. I taped the hose to a longer plastic hose that fed into a rubbermaid tub. I worked the ignition, and my Dad held the tub. He seemed to say it came out pretty good, I just didn't think it would have been more than a cup or so.

    How would I go about reading the temp sensor?

  5. #4
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    You need a VAG-COM to read the engine coolant temperature sensor data. You can remove the sensor and measure resistance at various temperatures. I've posted the curve data recently. A bad coolant temperature sensor can make the car difficult to start but usually it will start after many cranks.

    Coil packs fail very infrequently on a V6 and the V6 does not have a separate ICM. It's built into the coils.

    The car will not start if the engine speed / crankshaft sensor is bad and that could be the reason for the hesitation you experienced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenblasko View Post
    You need a VAG-COM to read the engine coolant temperature sensor data. You can remove the sensor and measure resistance at various temperatures. I've posted the curve data recently. A bad coolant temperature sensor can make the car difficult to start but usually it will start after many cranks.

    Coil packs fail very infrequently on a V6 and the V6 does not have a separate ICM. It's built into the coils.

    The car will not start if the engine speed / crankshaft sensor is bad and that could be the reason for the hesitation you experienced.
    are you sure they fail frequently? i rarely hear of this ever happening...
    now, they fail all the time on the 1.8t's for sure.

    now, the op said that he had an immediate issue after his oil change.

    seeing as how the oil cooler device where the oil filter goes does have coolant lines, it is possible to believe that the unit could have sprung a leak from old age and being jostled just enough with a filter change.
    hence the "low fluid" code.

    afterall, with the v6 the coolant level sensor is in the bottom of the reservoir and works on continuity, and unlike the 1.8t, you do not need to move it for the oil change. thus i see a problem right there.

    i would want to do an oil sample ASAP to make sure that nothing CATASTROPHIC is occuring!
    Last edited by sipes216; 10-19-2008 at 08:46 PM.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenblasko View Post
    You need a VAG-COM to read the engine coolant temperature sensor data. You can remove the sensor and measure resistance at various temperatures. I've posted the curve data recently. A bad coolant temperature sensor can make the car difficult to start but usually it will start after many cranks.

    Coil packs fail very infrequently on a V6 and the V6 does not have a separate ICM. It's built into the coils.

    The car will not start if the engine speed / crankshaft sensor is bad and that could be the reason for the hesitation you experienced.
    Once upon a time (about a year or so ago) our mechanic said that the coil packs would need to be replaced. We were already something like $2500 in on that trip and said that they could wait. That said, I have no idea why the guy said they needed to be replaced. Im completely unaware of any tests he ran (though he may have) to tell him they were on the way out.

    If they are the packs, they are just a single unit for the V6 as opposed to coil on plugs like the 1.8 right?
    Last edited by Mikey's Satty; 10-19-2008 at 08:48 PM. Reason: can't spell worth a lick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey's Satty View Post
    Once upon a time (about a year or so ago) our mechanic said that the coil packs would need to be replaced. We were already something like $2500 in on that trip and said that they could wait. That said, I have no idea why the guy said they needed to be replaced. Im completely unaware of any tests he ran (though he may have) to tell him they were on the way out.

    If they are the packs, they are just a dingle unit for the V6 as opposed to coil on plugs like the 1.8 right?
    from the price of $312 for one single "coil unit" i do believe that this is one single device/assembly.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey's Satty View Post
    Once upon a time (about a year or so ago) our mechanic said that the coil packs would need to be replaced. We were already something like $2500 in on that trip and said that they could wait. That said, I have no idea why the guy said they needed to be replaced. Im completely unaware of any tests he ran (though he may have) to tell him they were on the way out.

    If they are the packs, they are just a single unit for the V6 as opposed to coil on plugs like the 1.8 right?
    Yes, single unit. I really doubt the coil pack needs replaced. If the spark is jumping across a properly gaped plug, then there is sufficient voltage output (the gap is jumped) and the mixture will ignite. If electronics inside the coil pack fail, a plug(s) won't fire and if the insulation begins to fail, you can get arcing to ground and misfires. A mist of water on the pack and spark plug wires with the engine running when it's pitch black outside will show arcing to ground if the wires or coil pack is bad.

    How many miles on your V6?

  10. #9
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    Read carefully

    Coil packs fail very infrequently on a V6
    So most likely it is not coilpack that is causing the problem. Like suggested before, check the coolant temp sensor, better yet, just replace it and see what happens. It is a cheap part and with little effort can be replaced DIY.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIN_4Mo View Post
    Read carefully



    So most likely it is not coilpack that is causing the problem. Like suggested before, check the coolant temp sensor, better yet, just replace it and see what happens. It is a cheap part and with little effort can be replaced DIY.
    whoops, thankyou. missed that.
    bit of lysdexia

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  13. #12
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    Ok, the coolant temp sensor seems easy and cheap enough to replace. I think I can get that done.

    But man, could a failed temp sensor really keep the car from starting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey's Satty View Post
    Ok, the coolant temp sensor seems easy and cheap enough to replace. I think I can get that done.

    But man, could a failed temp sensor really keep the car from starting?
    Usually not. After you crank a while, do you smell gas? Generally, when the sensor fails, it opens up indicating to the ECM that the coolant is very cold and hence the ECM enriches the mixture way too much during startup which floods the engine.

    You might want to check the engine speed sensor. Disconnect the gray plug (move coolant reservoir to get to it) and measure the resistance on the sensor across pins 1-2, 2-3, and 1-3.

    1-2 = infinite
    2-3 = 730-1000 ohms at 20*C
    1-3 = infinite

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    the smelling of gas is a good indicator to a failed ect!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenblasko View Post
    Usually not. After you crank a while, do you smell gas? Generally, when the sensor fails, it opens up indicating to the ECM that the coolant is very cold and hence the ECM enriches the mixture way too much during startup which floods the engine.

    You might want to check the engine speed sensor. Disconnect the gray plug (move coolant reservoir to get to it) and measure the resistance on the sensor across pins 1-2, 2-3, and 1-3.

    1-2 = infinite
    2-3 = 730-1000 ohms at 20*C
    1-3 = infinite
    After probably 10-15 attempts to crank, (in bursts of 3-4), I could detect no smell of gas.

    This is really buggering me!

  17. #16
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    I'm not sure what the ECM does if it detects that the engine speed/crankshaft sensor signal is bad. It may not operate the injectors. Maybe you get hold of a noid light to check if the ECM is pulsing the injectors.

  18. #17
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    Any ideas on whether a noid light can be rented/borrowed from an Autozone or similar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey's Satty View Post
    Any ideas on whether a noid light can be rented/borrowed from an Autozone or similar?
    no.
    i work there.

    i do believe a test light with an LED instead of a bulb will work as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sipes216 View Post
    no.
    i work there.

    i do believe a test light with an LED instead of a bulb will work as well.
    Man, couldn't ask for a better poster in my thread then eh?

    Could you elaborate a little further about the LED tester?

  21. #20
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    And can I ask the follow on question... If the injectors are getting a signal and firing, where do I test next?

    If in fact it were the coil pack, how would I test to confirm? Or can that even be done?

    As I think I mentioned earlier, I used an inline spark checker I picked up from autozone, and tested several of the cylinders. They were getting spark, but it seemed slow, yellowish and weak. But I had nothing to compare it to before to see.

    Is that at all indicative of a failing coil pack? (Or something else in the spark system generally?)

  22. #21
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    Ok, so I tried some things today, unfortunately to no success.

    I picked up a set of noid lights. Only checked 1 injector, but it seemed to be functioning normally.

    Replaced the coolant temp sensor. I lost the o-ring and broke the plastic horseshoe clip, but the new one is in. (I'll pick up the o-ring and hopefully a new u-clip tomorrow from the stealer)

    I also, just on the off chance that I was stupid, tried jumping the car.

    None of these worked. I still cant get it to catch.

    Any ideas on where to go from here? If I cant get it going soon, a large bonfire with a blue passat at the middle is starting to sound like the most appealing option.

  23. #22
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    If you fill out the rest of your profile, that bit more information may create more interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey's Satty View Post
    Went to turn her over this morning, and nothing. It would crank, but not catch.

    Backstory: Changed the oil and filter about a week ago. Almost immediately after, coolant sensor says that fluid is low. Ok, so I topped the overflow bag up. Light goes away, and all is good. Well, except that now it sounds like there is fluid rushing just behind the dash. I assumed that I got some bubbles in the line when I topped up the bag,..<<<<<SNIPPED>>>>>>
    What is this bag that you speak of?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSO_Passater View Post
    If you fill out the rest of your profile, that bit more information may create more interest.
    Done and done.

    I should also mention that when I tried to start the car today (it was jumped and after I replaced the coolant temp. sensor) I got the STOP STOP STOP coolant something or other message. I tried to pull a code via OBD and no codes were to be found.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris30vB5.5 View Post
    What is this bag that you speak of?
    I had an extra bag of groceries under there when this all started....ran out of room in the trunk.

    Nah, just learned to call a radiator expansion tank an "overflow bag" as a kid. Thats what I was talking about.

  27. #26
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    I sorta figured....good luck with the car, man.

    Overflow bag. Heh heh.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey's Satty View Post
    Done and done.

    I should also mention that when I tried to start the car today (it was jumped and after I replaced the coolant temp. sensor) I got the STOP STOP STOP coolant something or other message. I tried to pull a code via OBD and no codes were to be found.
    Sounds like a coolant temperature sensor or coolant level sensor gone mad. Make sure the plugs on both are properly seated.

  29. #28
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    Try taking a small propane bottle with a nozzle on it and add propane to the air box while you are trying to start it, if it starts you know that you have a fuel delivery issue. Your fuel pump should be putting out at a bare minimum 1 pint in 15 seconds. If your injectors are pulsing and the coils are firing and assuming that it hasn't jumped time or some other mechanial engine failure hasn't happened...like a blown head gasket(you did say that you had to put coolant in it, where did it go, did it overheat at all) then it has to be a fuel supply issue.

  30. #29
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    Ok, got the clip and o-ring so I can complete the temp sensor install tomorrow. I'll make sure its properly seated in the harness (hopefully anyway--I've got big hands, and man is it tight down there)

    As a second question, I've been looking at the crankshaft sensor. Is this the same as the engine speed sensor? Haynes seems to say no, but on the boards, it looks like they are interchangeable. ie. I think kenblasko and sipes said it was http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pro...ition%20Sensor

    I think that would make the two the same, but I just wanted to be clear.

  31. #30
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    Yes, it's called either name but it's one in the same. You also see the sensor called an engine rpm sensor. It senses the position of the crankshaft and the speed (rpm) of the crankshaft as it is rotating.

    I couldn't find anything on what the ECM does if it detects a bad signal from the sensor. I know on a b5, the car will still crank if the sensor is bad but the car will not start. So, the ECM has got to cut fuel or ignition or both. But, your fuel delivery appears okay, the noid light indicates the injectors are firing, and the plug tester indicates spark.

    I'm still puzzled why you don't smell gas if you crank the car that many times and it doesn't start. It seems like the fuel pressure is too low, the injectors are not firing, or the pulse width is too short.

    On your coolant temp sensor measure the resistance across the two sets of terminals on both sensors and compare the results when both are out.

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