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sluggish/cold start "problems"with any VW group product can be put down,in a lot of cases,to dirty injector nozzles,use redexe/wynns injector cleaner at 1 can to 1/2 tank fuel and you will feel a difference.as for the oil,VW group,use 10/40 semi synthetic in ALL their engines.(except w12 0/40)using a thin oil would pass the rings/valve guides and cause a carbon buildup inside the chamber......try it and see.....
If you live where it is cold, your battery may need to be replaced . They will discharge with the cold during the night. Try changing the battery or checking your curent one. Install a known good battery that you know is fully charged, start the car and then turn it off leaving it for the night. If it does not start in the morning then you know it is not the battery. More than likely the alternator or regulator.
this is a common problem for these cars glow plugs go bad like spark plugs however the smoke would lead to bad mass airflow meter. it is not telling ecu corrcet miss. disconnect mass airflow meter. when cold see if this makes it start better. it should would means you need new m.a.f. glow plug issue take a test light place clamp on positive of battery then pull off glow plug connectors place tip of test light on glow plug the bad one will have a dull light unlike the good one which will be brighter. will need new plugs and wire harness four **** connectors and wire striper and crimper will fix concern good luck
It sounds like the hydraulic lifters are bleeding down after sitting for a while... there are ball checks which are supposed to prevent this... Try using a good engine flush (a product that frees sticky lifters) and replace the oil with a good synthetic... Hope this helps...;-)