Question about 1997 Volkswagen Jetta

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In cold or damp weather my 1997 voltswagon jetta will not start. It cranks and does not catch. Had a diagnostic test and no sensors are bad also had the engine coil and spark plugs changed. If I get it started, if it's raining, it'll die.

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  • kathykilleen Jul 02, 2009

    I didn't have the wires changed. The shop I took it too didn't seem to think it would help. I'll have them changed and distributor cap to see if this helps. Since the car is old, I didn't want to put much money into it by trying differnt things to figure out what's wrong. There is a little currosion around the battery connectors, would that cause it not to start?

  • kathykilleen Jul 04, 2009

    changed wire plugs and distributor cap. The car started after changing these yesterday. It's been damp all morning and now raining, my car will not start. Any other ideas how to fix this? Please help!
    Thanks, Kathy

  • kathykilleen Jul 08, 2009

    When it is wet, damp, or cold the car will crank. I usually need about a hour before I can get it to start. I go and crank it about 3 or 4 times then try again every half hour then it will finally turn over and start. Do you have any ideas what could be wrong?

  • kathykilleen Jul 10, 2009

    Thank you for your advise! I'll let you know tomorrow what happens.



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Change the coil. They are part plastic and crack - allowing the slightest bit of moisture to enter - which results in no spark to the cylinders. $30 part, easy install.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009

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What about plug wires ? If they weren't changed, I would. Distributor Cap too, if it has one.

Posted on Jul 02, 2009

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  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jul 04, 2009

    The car does turn over right, just won't start & run, when wet?

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jul 08, 2009

    A couple of things I would try. First, when wet (obviously) and fails to start, I'd remove the air intake hose where it connects to throttle body, and with key off, I would open throttle and spray some WD-40 into the throttle body. (it's like using quick start) Then get back in car & try to start it, and see if it fires up at all, even for a second or 2. If it does, then that's a pretty good indication that fuel delivery is a problem when wet, and we can concentrate on narrowing it down from there. Second, I would go to parts store & buy some Di-electric grease, then I would start pulling as many connectors off sensors etc as I can find in the engine area & applying the grease to the plugs & re-installing them. This should help protect connections from moisture if one of them is the culprit. Let's see what happens.

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jul 10, 2009

    For sure !

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jul 10, 2009

    Sorry I have to clarify, this is a 2.0L engine correct. Also, you said if you get it going and drive it in the rain, it dies, is this correct, and does it happen everytime pretty well? What happens if vehicle is inside garage in rainy weather, does it start, or have you not been able to try that?



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