First diesel, first week, first problems...

Discussion in 'VW Mk4 Jetta, Golf, New Beetle, Passat TDI forum' started by mhep, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. mhep

    mhep New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Car:
    VW Passat TDI 2005
    Location:
    North tip of Utah
    Just got my first diesel after shopping for one in my price range for quite a while. Got a 2005 Passat TDI. I've had it a week running perfectly and suddenly over two days it's become unusable.

    First and largest issue:
    Nearly no acceleration and impossible to maintain speed above 60 now (got worse as I limped home).
    Leaving work I saw a fresh puddle under my car. Pink color. No smell. I checked and didn't see any dripping, so I pulled out. Looks like it started center front beneath the engine, based on the puddle location. Reservoir for coolant has liquid still, so doesn't look like the coolant all dumped out and it's running fine. It's 45 miles to home and all freeway, so I go for it.

    Driving home and suddenly my MPG on the display started to go way above normal (normally 35–36MPG at 75mph all freeway). It's hitting 42 or so now at speed.

    I'm not sure what to think at this point, but the first little hill (5-7% grade) and I'm losing speed. I turn off cruise and take over. Pressing the gas does not increase speed, but if I barely press it I can maintain speed. Next little hill I stomp the gas and the car downshifts, but no increase in power or speed. I'm holding 65mph now on flat ground. Car won't get above that.

    Just before home there's a big hill about half mile steep down and half mile steep back up. I try my best to build speed going down the steep half mile hill. Can't get over 65mph. Going up, I just keep the pedal in the barely down sweet spot and kick on the hazard lights. I made it to the top, then finally home.

    It doesn't buck or anything like that. The only other thing I noticed was yesterday it was giving poor acceleration the first couple of seconds in first gear as I was getting on the road. It was fine after that.

    No check engine light. The shop near me is great, but closed for a week. I live in a tiny town.

    Second issue:
    Car won't turn off. Keeps running even with the key out. Even with the battery disconnected. Strangely, I can solve this by moving the sun visor. Yep, the sun visor is my off switch. Seems like a short, but it doesn't make sense to me.

    BTW, my previous car was a Passat V6, so I'm somewhat familiar, but the diesel thing is still so foreign.

    Any help would be extremely appreciated!

    M
     
  2. Tom MacDonald

    Tom MacDonald Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    118
    Car:
    2004 Jetta TDI Station Wagon (North American)
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Whoa I was thinking EGR cooler leak the whole time until you mentioned that the car won't turn off till the sun visor gets moved.

    Creepy.

    Hopefully you don't have coolant migration issues....
     
  3. mhep

    mhep New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Car:
    VW Passat TDI 2005
    Location:
    North tip of Utah
    Can the EGR cooler issue cause the inability to accelerate? I haven't heard of EGR before.
     
  4. Tom MacDonald

    Tom MacDonald Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    118
    Car:
    2004 Jetta TDI Station Wagon (North American)
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    The pink fluid is coolant. You need to figure out where it's coming from to proceed.

    If there is/was white smoke coming from your exhaust, it means the coolant was making its way into the engine and getting burned.

    Check the coolant level again, its possible that the reservoir looked full but then drained as soon as you started driving.

    If you get the car started, also examine/listen to the coolant pump to see if it is making weird noises (grinding/whining).

    Also check for coolant migration: see here for description of how to do that ... this could explain why your car keeps running with the key out until the visor is moved.

    Its also possible that you moving the visor when the car shut off was a coincidence? Be careful with this one... it could be that you had a diesel runaway that the car tried to stop by shutting down the airflow to the engine but if you had a defective anti-shudder valve then perhaps there was enough air still getting to it to allow it to "idle" without surging in RPM.
     
  5. mhep

    mhep New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Car:
    VW Passat TDI 2005
    Location:
    North tip of Utah
    Thanks for the help so far.

    The visor issue is 100% duplicatable, but started the day before the other issue. Basically, if the visor is down the car won't turn off. However, if the car's already off the dash lights come on when the visor is down. I don't think it's related to the other issue, though. Unless the MAF is also disabled when that happens. That would put it in limp mode, I think, which might be what I'm experiencing, but I doubt it.

    No coolant migration (mine isn't the round overflow, either), but my overflow is below the min line.

    I picked up a fuel filter just in case, but haven't changed it yet. Any idea how to see if the leakage was from the EGR?
     
  6. Tom MacDonald

    Tom MacDonald Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    118
    Car:
    2004 Jetta TDI Station Wagon (North American)
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    I guess you could try to shunt the coolant lines to the EGR with a male/male adapter (or piece of copper pipe?) such that coolant is no longer being supplied to the EGR and see if your coolant leak goes away. I'm not 100% sure but I think it's safe for the EGR cooler to not be receiving coolant...

    You can also check to see if your exhaust smoke is white.
     
  7. mhep

    mhep New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Car:
    VW Passat TDI 2005
    Location:
    North tip of Utah
    Time to add First Fix to the list!

    EGR was completely stopped up, so I cleaned, chiseled, wire brushed, and vacuumed that out. Fuel filter was also looking very old. Replaced that as well, but made a rookie mistake and left it empty. After realizing the error I popped the T merge out, filled it with fresh diesel, cleaned it up and it's running better than it did before the issue.

    Visor issue is, apparently, not unheard of! Found a few other reports and some tips.

    I'll post my results.
     
  8. mhep

    mhep New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Car:
    VW Passat TDI 2005
    Location:
    North tip of Utah
    Well, power loss has happened two more times since then. Not fixed. Both times I turned the car off and back on (while still moving) and it came back to life with proper power.

    Also, every time I start going forward after backing out of my driveway it barely crawls for about 1–2 seconds before moving like it should. Does this only the first time or two after a cold start, but it's every time.

    The closest dealer that does servicing is an hour away. I made and appointment and hope it gets there okay.
     

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