Question about 1990 Volkswagen Passat

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It will not start up

Hi my name is keith I put in a new coil & leads & spark plugs & rotur arm & dis/cap

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Ok, you need to do some other testing. Turn the ignition on, you should hear a whirrling noise for a few seconds coming from the gas tank
,or have somebody listen with gas cap off.If you don't hear it the fuel pump is bad.If you do hear it, have the crank and cam shaft positioning sensors checked, plus the computor.It's a pain,but with these no start problems,you need to use process of elimination, or keep replacing things you don't need. (expensive).Good luck.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009

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Wiring diagram


check the coil first. if ok you need a spark plug tester to do the tests, then remove the leads at the plug put in your tester check for spark if not found check and clean the contacts on your distributor cap and rotor arm. test again for spark at the spark plug leads if ok remove the plugs one at a time .smell for fuel if this is found change the plugs.

Dec 21, 2013 | 1995 Nissan Maxima

1 Answer

Not getting spark


check the coil first with a spark plug tester. then go to the leads at your spark plugs if no spark at the coil change it. .if spark found at the coil but not at the leads at the spark plug. then check the distributor cap and the rotor arm clean the contacts then check the plugs smell them of fuel if that is found change the spark plugs.

Dec 21, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I have a Mazda astina 323 94 model it cranks but won't start doesn't seem to be any spark from the leads I have recently changed the leads , Im guessing it's the coil and distributor cap please help


1 remove the cable from the coil to the distributor.
check this agains earth, when you turn the engine over.

if spark, suspect rotor arm is not setting spark to each spark plug lead.
open distributor and clean the rotor arm with a cloth or wire wool
not sand paper as this will take off too much and cause a problem

2 check inside distributor for moisture. spray inside with WD40 or equiventy water repelent.

3 if not spark at coil open distriutor cap and with ignition on, open and close points in distributor with a screw driver and check coil again against earth again if you get sparh, problem is points not opening and closing.

4 turn over engine with distributor cover removed to see if rotor arm is moving if not then cam drive to distributor is defective. this controls points and rotor arm.

if rotor arm turning and spark at points but no spark at coil suspect Low tension wiring or coil needs replacement.

i hope this was helpful

Dec 12, 2010 | Mazda 323 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Mk1golf cabriolet gti 8v firring sequence.


1 3 4 2. take dis cap off ,remove spark plug 1,use a long thin screwdiver 2 place in plug hole when rotating engine by hand to check no1 piston at the top also notch on crank pulley will line up with arrow on timing cover.check position of rotor arm ,lineup with relevnt plug lead on cap this is no1 work clockwise round the cap lead order will be 1-3-4-2.

Oct 21, 2010 | 1989 Volkswagen Golf

1 Answer

My 1990 sierra has a miss in it when i accelarate. I replaced plugs and wires but not the fuel filter or fuel pump.I also smell fuel outside between the bed and cab on the drivers side


Check out the distributor cap and rotor arm, - and make sure the plugs ar gapped properly - should be 1mm on 1.6 1.8, and 0.75mm on the 2 liter.
Check the oil level urgently, if it has been misfiring for some time you will have acuumulated all that unburnt petrol in the oil sump!!! (you can test this by getting a bit of oil from the dipstick and putting a drop on your fingers, rub together and sniff the oil, if it stinks of petrol change it -you need to change the oil filter too since it wil be full of petrol tainted oil also.
Once you are sure you have good oil and either it was ok after testing it from the distick "golden, clean oil" or you replaced the contaminated oil and filter you can move on to sorting out this misfire.
- You didn't mention if you checked or replaced the HT coil - Check for strong sparking from the main HT lead from the coil itslelf, Pull the lead from the centre of the distibutor cap - have someone crank the engine while there is a "spare" sparkplug in the main ht lead (ground the plug to the engine, holding the rubber insulation of the cable with pliers - Use a normal HT lead if the main coil lead wont reach a suitable grounding point with the sparkplug) - check for solid bright blue spark, it should be regular timed, and strong EVERY time - any missing or weak sparks indicate electrical problem either - the coil is failing - or the battery is weak - or the distributor is faulty. - a faulty distributor would be expensive to replace and more so to repair, a reconditioned distributor costs around £120.
for now I assume the coil checked out fine and gave a strong steady uniform set of sparks. ----------------------- With a fully functioning coil, you're left with the distributor cap and rotor arm - the distributor cap comes off with 2 screws at the left and right sides of the cap between the HT Connectors - unscrew them - (note the original orientation of the distributor cap before you pull it off to aid refitting) you can now pull away the cap from the rest of the distributor.
INSIDE the CAP there are four "poles" round the outside, and a spring mounted contact in the center - make sure the poles are clean and shiny with only light markings at most, if they are blackened, whitened ro rounded and pitted then replace the cap - ford dealers or local part shop, most shops will stock both the rotor arm and distributor cap for around £15-30 - phone around for the best deal.
Still on the distributor is the rotor arm, this pulls off - it has to be pulled dead straight off the distributor shaft - once you have the rotor arm off you can inspect the metal contact on the top for general dirtiness and decay, it "should" be shiny brass/copper in colour. if it looks pretty bad, pitted or blackened/burned- - get a new rotor arm from ford dealers or from local part shop (not expensive)
Once you are sure of a clean or new rotor arm and distributor cap you can try the engine again - hopefully the misfire is gone.
If it is still there....
we are here

DISTRIBUTOR CAP - FINE ROTOR ARM - FINE OIL + FILTER NOT OVER LEVEL + CLEAN, NO PETROL IN IT HT COIL - GOOD STRONG REGULAR SPARK. -----

If it still misfires with all these things in perfect order then you are left with: Clogged Fuel Line/Filter or Failing Fuel Pump or Ignition TIMING - ( 10-12 degrees BTDC) have igition timing checked and set if not correct. OR... Faulty Distributor - pretty much worst case scenario. Tell me how you get on - Often it is the distributor cap and rotor arm - If not I hope its the fuel filter!
Good luck,

Jan 22, 2010 | 1990 GMC Sierra

1 Answer

1988 audi 80 4cyl. no spark from coil,new coil fitted,coil lead


hi i have a coupe 1994 have same prob told by audi to replace the distributor as was common failt on audi's i have replaced new leads ,coil ,dissy cap, and arm ,still the same awaiting on distributor to see if this works hope this helps

Apr 27, 2009 | 1988 Audi 80

1 Answer

Wont start


ok you said it has fire from the coil but no spark? pull a plug if it wet put in all new and use one to ck fire at plug wire end

Sep 23, 2008 | 1994 Volvo 850

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