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Re: engine making loud rattling from top end
Hiya from uk from your description of symptoms i would say the timing belt has worne or gone slack due to adjuster bearing failure? this then would result in the pistons hitting valves the rattling you heard? however when you stopped engine then tried restart ? the load applied on starting would have caused belt failure so the engine now spins over with apparent no compression ? as you do not mention milage? if it is high then the cyl/head will have to come off to assess damage ? hope this helps ?best of luck
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Check you can hear the fuel pump running with ignition on, remove a plug lead from the spark plugs and hold I cm away from top of spark plug with insulated pliers while someone cranks the engine there should be a clear spark between lead end and plug top, if not then most likely the ECU is faulty.
Since you do have A fully charged battery and also you do receive fuel smell after crank start and the car wont start,either you do have an Ignition fault means not giving the spark,advice remove the spark plugs and check whether are wet with fuel,see whether are black,if so change them and before start check by leaving an HT lead off a spark and use one of the old ones connected to the HT lead and earthed to the engine,ask somebody to start the engine checking for any spark comes out. If yes then put the HT lead back to the new spark on the engine and try. If ther is not any spark,then you have to go backwards from the HT leads to distributor,Rotor Arm,Electronic igniter,Coil if is fitted,Fuse and relay. Good Luck.
change faulty sparkplug or ht lead,check lead by holding sparkplug end near to engine nearly touching,have someone turn engine over whils checking for spark jumping,if spark present then not lead,change spark plug,if sparkplug ok then check pressure in cylinder, poss piston damage
I'm very surprised pouring water onto the engine makes it start, if anything you are pouring water into the sensors, electrical wiring and surrounding the spark plugs. Water and electricity shouldn't mix, ever.
Check the distributor cap for any cracks - replace if there is.
Check a spark is getting to the spark plugs by holding an HT lead (one by one) to the engine block, crank the starter and if you see a spark that lead is OK, repeat for the other leads. If there is no spark, change the coil or coil pack.
Once you have established a spark then it could be fuel related. Check the injectors are wet after you have pumped the gas pedal. Hold the throttle wide open and try and start the car, if it starts then you timing could be out.
Adjust the timing with a timing gun.
I hope this helkps you and please vote for me and please don't pour any more water on your engine :)
If still relevant I have a 98 polo- same symptoms-showed spark everywhere only the one at the plugs was not as strong as one at coil. Anyway ended up taking it to Volkswagen and 70€ later they could not find out what was wrong-diagnostics came clear. As advised went to the brokers, got a new coil and distributor, but no luck-spark plugs, distributor cap and stick are all new. In the end I was already driving another car when an older mechanic told me that he's seen them not starting because of the HT leads. Mine- double silicone looked good and everyone said they were ok -no cross firing in the dark. Anyway, in the end changed the ht leads and the car started-now I have to tune it back after all the stuff everyone tried...
have you checked that the points in the distributer are set ok and havent closed or burnt,as this is what makes the coil spark the ht lead to the distributer cap to the rotor arm then to the plug leads. hope this helps