Question about 1986 Volkswagen Golf

2 Answers

I have a 86 golf 1.8 with 450,000 miles. the car runs great but the other day when i can to a stop sign i put the clutch in and the car just die. The car would start but it would not idle. when the engine is cold it will idle ok but when it warms up the engine dies. hope someone has an idea what it might be. i checked all of the basics. all the wires are good timing is right, battery is new. Hope someone can help

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  • tfreitas69 Apr 29, 2010

    after the car sits for an hour or so it will start right up and run great. After about a min or two of running it will not idle. The car will run if u keep it at 1000rpms or higher but once u take ur foot of the gas it dies. Idid check all vacuam lines. They are all tight and have no cracks. I am use to working on gm cars so this is alittle different for me. Would it be the MAS sensor if the car has one. Or is something with the computer.

  • tfreitas69 Apr 29, 2010

    I have a 1986 VW Golf 1.8 4cyl with 450,000 miles on it. The other day coming home from work i cam to a stop light and when i put the clutch in the car just quit running. It would start up but would not idle. I got the car home and once it cooled down i started it and it fired right up. The car idled like normal. Once the car warmed up it stalled again. when the car cools down it will start right up. i was able to keep the car running today for 20mins. it idled low but it kept running, so i took the rpm to 2,000 then let off the gas and the car stalled again.
    I have check all the vacaum lines and all electrical connections. I know the car has a cold start injector in the manifold to help it start in the cold. Now if that injector is still giving fuel when the car is warm would that cause the problem with the idle. If not my other 2 ideas were the MAS sensor or something with the computer.
    Thanks for your time. I hope u can help.
    I work on cars in my spare time so i do understand how they work and how to fix them. Most of the time they are GM products. This is my first VW.



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Distributor cap and rotor replaced lately? How about the coil to create spark? How did you check the wires? Wires break down, anything over 8K ohms resistance and those things are probably bad. When were the plugs replaced? Is the choke opening when warm like it should? If not it would explain alot also.

Posted on Apr 29, 2010

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  • Volkswagen Master
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It may be a vacuum leak. Look at ALL of your vacuum hoses and make
sure they are all connected.

The fuel pump should only run when the engine or running or is being
cranked. You should be able to hear a "buzzzz…click" when you release the key after an unsuccessful start. The buzz comes from the pump, and the click comes from the fuel pump relay. Have a friend listen to see if the fuel pump is running while you crank. If not, perhaps the fuel pump relay is bad. Some fuel pump relays have their own fuse on top.

If so, check the fuse. Assuming that the spark is good, that there’s no water in the gas, and that there are no obvious vacuum or air leaks, there are a variety of causes for no start. You really need a good manual to troubleshoot this problem, preferably a Bentley manual.

Have you checked the cold-start enrichment system? That’s the first cause suggested in the manual. There is a single electronic injector in the manifold that enriches the mixture when the engine is cold. It’s energized by a so-called thermo-time switch. It closes a circuit when the engine is cold, and there is a heater element to warm it up quickly and open the circuit. The circuit energizes the injector. This system shoots a jolt of fuel that’s needed to get started from cold.

Get the manual to see how to test the system. You let the engine cool down, disconnect the wire from the distributor cap center post and connect it to ground, remove the injector and hold it into a deep glass jar while a friend turns over the engine for a little while. It should spray an even conical pattern of fuel for some few seconds, then shut off cleanly. Careful, as naturally the fuel mixture is very explosive.

Get the manual if you want to pursue it… Thermo-time switches have been known to pack it in, but infrequently. Engine heat can cook the wires after several years, though.

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Posted on Apr 29, 2010

  • ZJ Limited
    ZJ Limited Apr 29, 2010

    This vehicle is not equipped with Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF), EGR Position Sensor. If you want to chec the Control Module-Ignition, this is located under hood, driver side, upper firewall, mounted below

    plastic drip tray. Also check the fuel injection system...

    VW CIS Fuel Injection
    CIS fuel injection vehicles can be identified by the absence
    of electrical connections on the fuel distributor. Also, the fuel
    distributor is usually painted black on these models. Try this...


    Certain 1.8 Liter engines are equipped with a manual pre-heat valve
    located on the air cleaner housing. The valve is marked "S" (summer) and
    "W" (winter). When adjusting the idle speed, position the valve to S
    (unless work area is below freezing). After servicing, return the valve
    to the position that matches climate conditions.

    1985-89 EXCEPT FOX

    1. Run the engine until normal operating temperature is reached. Make
      sure the ignition timing is set correctly. Read the underhood emission
      sticker for any special instructions which differ from these procedures.

    2. Pinch off the hose leading from the idle speed boost valve(s) with
      a clamp. Disconnect the crankcase ventilation hoses.

    3. On Cabriolet and Scirocco, disconnect the carbon canister hose
      from the T-connector on the air intake boot.

    4. On Golf, Jetta and GTI, remove the T-connector at the air intake
      boot. Rotate the connector 90 degrees, then insert the blank side with
      the 0.059 in. (1.5mm) restrictor into the air intake boot opening. Some
      engines may not be equipped with this type of restrictor T-connector.
      This plug is available from your Volkswagen dealer as part number 026
      133 382D.

    Fig.: Pinch off the hose leading from the idle speed boost
    valve(s) with a clamp (1)-nl-> Disconnect the crankcase ventilation
    hoses (2 and 3)-nl-> The T-connector location (4)-nl-> The idle
    speed adjusting screw (5)

    1. Connect a tachometer to the engine. Start the engine and check the
      idle speed. Compare it to the specifications shown in the tune-up chart
      (in this section) or the underhood sticker.

    2. If necessary, adjust by turning the idle speed screw on the side
      of the throttle body. Turning the screw in reduces idle speed, turning
      it out increases idle speed.

    The air/fuel mixture is measured by sampling the exhaust gas with a
    CO meter. If this equipment is not available, the mixture should be
    adjusted at a properly equipped shop.

    Most models have a CO test point near the back of the engine
    compartment (a metal tube with a cap). Make sure the probe is a tight
    fit and will not draw in outside air. Others may have to be tested at
    the tailpipe. Always follow any special instructions on the underhood
    emissions label. If this label is missing from the vehicle, you should
    be able to order it through your local dealer. Keep in mind that
    ignition timing and idle speed must be correct before checking and/or
    adjusting the fuel mixture.

    On 1981 and later models, the fuel mixture adjusting screw is
    covered by a tamper resistant plug to prevent adjustment of the factory
    setting. The mixture adjustment is not a normal maintenance or tune-up
    procedure on these models. Refer to

    for procedures.

    With the engine at normal operating temperature, check the CO level
    at the test point. If adjustment is needed, follow these steps.

    1. Disconnect the charcoal filter hose from the air cleaner. Turn the
      headlights on high beam (except 1979 Canadian Rabbit/Jetta/Scirocco).
      On 1980 models, unplug the oxygen sensor connector (if equipped).

    2. The removable plug covering the mixture adjusting screw has a wire
      loop attached to it. Remove the plug by pulling it straight up. Insert
      tool VW-P377 or a 3mm hex wrench in the hole. Turn the adjusting tool
      clockwise (in) to raise the percentage of CO and counter-clockwise (out)
      to lower the percentage of CO.

    Fig. : Mixture adjusting screw location


    Do not push down on the adjusting tool or accelerate the engine
    with the tool in place.

    1. Remove the tool after each adjustment. Accelerate the engine
      briefly, then check the CO reading after the engine has stabilized.



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