Question about 1996 Volkswagen Golf

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1996 Volkswagen Golf won't start in rain

I have a 1996 Volkswagen Golf that will not start in the rain. I've taken off the distributer cap and inspected it. It appears dry. I've sprayed some W-D40 inside the distributer cap (that has worked in the past) but isn't working now. I typically have to wait one or two days until everything is dry; then it will start. My guess is that water is getting into the engine somehow but I have no idea where. Any ideas?
Thanks,
A poor Golfer

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  • Anonymous Mar 06, 2009

    dude i have the same problem with my 95

  • julieturner4 Mar 14, 2009

    i have same problem sometimes can jump start with leads or just leave for hour or so usually stops when hitting water on wet or damp day have tried everything friend had same problem suggested fixing plastic undernesath to mprevent engine getting any water on it this may help . im fed up with spraying with wd also could try wax coat spray gfrom halfords coats all electrical

  • passatsyncro May 11, 2010

    igntion coil, rebuildrex is on the right track, seen it hundreds of times.

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It's the coil. To be sure spray water on it when it will start, if it kill the motor its the coil. Just put one on with the same problem. You might see alittle crack if you like close.

Posted on Apr 04, 2009

  • rebuildrex Apr 04, 2009

    You might see alittle crack on coil if you LOOK close.

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I had this problem before, replace your cap & rotor if it wont start in the rain after that then replace your spark plug wires it will run you about 60 bucks for everything depending on where you go and then your on your way in the rain. Some hair line cracks can form in the cap that are not visible to the eye, and for the wires the can be shorting out to the block or head which is also not visible to the eye.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009

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Sometimes the ignition switch at the key can be sensitive to humid conditions after years of wear and tear. If you've tried WD-40 under the hood, try some in the switch. Remove covers above and below steering column, then unbolt switch from back of ignition lock tumbler. Blow out with pressurized air if you can, and spray WD-40 in the top, just a little. See if this makes a difference, and post me your results. Good Luck. TT

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

  • Patrick Dennehy Mar 12, 2009

    Sometimes the ignition switch at the key can be sensitive to humid conditions after years of wear and tear. If you've tried WD-40 under the hood, try some in the switch. Remove covers above and below steering column, then unbolt switch from back of ignition lock tumbler. Blow out with pressurized air if you can, and spray WD-40 in the top, just a little. See if this makes a difference, and post me your results. Good Luck. TT

  • Patrick Dennehy Mar 20, 2009

    VWcaper sounds like he may have you on the right track. These hairline cracks can be hard to see in daylight. They will wreak havoc in high humidity. All the waterproofing sounds like a waste of time unless you are opening the hood and finding it drenched! I used to change caps and rotors on my aircooled models more than once a year. They were just throw-away items to me. I didn't care if they weren't that bad, it got a new one every third oil change. I love VWs but remember that even with Bosch parts, they have lots of Mickey Mouse tinkertoys bolted on. They need tinkering and attention to keep them tip top! All three of you should buy ignition parts, and report back.

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