Question about 2000 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Our Volkswagen Polo is made in Argentina and has the 1.8litre non-turbocharged petrol engine. It runs fine normally but in our heavy tropical rain here in Brasil, it starts to run rough and then dies. It only happens in very heavy rain when the car is driven through some standing water (we get a lot here). After standing for 30 minutes, the car eventually starts again and can be driven for another 5 minutes, then dies again, and so on and so on. The next day, the car runs fine again.
Car has new plugs, air filter, new dizzy rotor and I cleaned the HT leads and dizzy cap with wire wool and alcohol. Also the battery seems very good and has no problems cranking the motor.
When we have the problem, I checked and there is no water in the air filter box or in the distributer cap and I still get a weak looking spark on all 4 HT leads to the plugs (I put the leads close to the block and can see the spark jumping across).
Last night it happened again and spraying some oil on the outside of the distributor cap and all HT leads and all the electrical connectors in the engine bay, allowed me to drive the last 3 km to get home but it may be co-incidence. Parts are very expensive here and very hard to find so I can't afford to change out everything. I'm thinking it's probably the ignitor/coil that is getting old, but maybe it's water on the lambda sensor, bad HT leads or anything else I didn't think of.
Many, many thanks if anyone can please point me in the right direction,
P.S. I posted this in the Jetta forum first by mistake and now can't delete it; sorry
I was having the same problem. None of the explanations actually helped. Finally, a friendly mechanic recommended to me that there is an aftermarket splash guard that can be fitted on just inside the the front wheel that kept the water from splashing onto the distributer, etc. This worked like a charm. I'm having the same problem with another Jetta now, but can't find where to buy the spash guard. My friendly mechanic doesn't remember. But this is definitely the answer.
Posted on May 15, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
Girlfriend's 99 Polo had same issue. In fact it recurred yesterday! Anyway, am not expert, but it seems to be due to deposits building up inside distributor cap area and then getting damp in wet conditions, causing shorting of ignition 'signals'. Found solution is to clean inside cap every 6 to 12 months with a cloth and IPA (or water if you're stuck - just make sure to dry it properly!) and the problem goes away. Silly thing about her Polo is that there's no decent splashguard to protect the engine area from splashes from puddles etc. I've lost all respect for VW coz of the amount of silly things that have gone wrong with her car...! Hope this helps - sounds to me like it's exactly the same problem.
Posted on Jan 16, 2009
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