Question about 1995 Volkswagen Jetta

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95 Jetta won't start consistently

I was away for a year, car was stored outside but started and driven periodically. Upon return it started fine for the first week, now it only randomly starts. There may be sediment or moisture in the gas tank, the problem seemed to start when the car had 1/4 tank or less of gas so I added fuel injector cleaner and a gas additive. Now there's smoke, usually white, at first then goes away after a while. The battery is new, replaced the plugs, rotor, distributor cap and air filter. When it does start, it's idling high, takes 3-4 minutes for it normalize but still tends to idle high. The plugs are firing and the rotor is turning. I smell gas on the dipstick when I check the oil. I'm changing the oil today, not sure if I should also replace the fuel filter.

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  • adstolze May 22, 2009

    Thanks for the response, still having the same problem after I changed the oil and added 5 liters of premium gas (there's about a half tank in total) and checked the vacuum lines. I haven't changed the fuel filter yet though. It hasn't started yet (since the oil change) but usually if I wait long enough, the car starts and runs ok, but if I turn it off and try to start it again, it won't start at all.

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  • Volkswagen Master
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Probably a good idea to change filter. Gas in oil due to attempted starts and flooding. Additives will draw out water and make white smoke. Been there, seen it. New gasahol will separate within 6 months and will draw and accumulate moisture like diesel. Since no default lights are on you could still try autoparts store like Autozone or similar and ask for test but without faults probably a no show. The additives could cause high idle until you are burning 100% gas. Check to see if all vacuum lines are correct after removing air filter.

Posted on May 22, 2009

  • fordexpert May 23, 2009

    It almost sounds like vapor lock. Coils and starters can act up with heat. The autoparts can check the starter on the car and the coil is easy to remove and check. Have the autoparts look up for a low oil pressure cutoff switch. If the oil is thin and if the starter is not cranking fast enough that may be the problem on a hot engine.

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