[Audi-VW-Diesels] RE: [Vwdiesel] Help, no start

G. Matthew Bulley gmbulley at bulley-hewlett.com
Sat Jun 15 16:40:08 EDT 2002

Lacking tools sucks.
Back on the Delta, under a barrage of enemy fire, I had to use a steak
knife, a paper towel roll, and the lid from can of chewing tobacco to
remove, rebuild and reinstall a Jeep motor... I feel your pain. (purely

So, let's proceed with some experimentation. I believe it MAY be your

To remove your suspect Vanagon battery from the test, remove the
negative lead from your current Vanagon battery, and isolate it with a
dry cotton towel (not the monogrammed ones from Lovie-dove's bathroom, a
rag will do).
Attach the jumper cables EXACTLY as follows: First the positive on your
good battery, then the positive on the bad battery, then the negative on
the good battery, then
Clamp the jumper cable to a piece of clean grounded metal on your van
(the lower slider on the door might do). Attempt to start the van.
Did it start? Of course it did. Now with the Vanagon running, turn on an
assortment of electrical loads, (rear defog grid, blower fan, the
headlights). Turn on the interior light and carefully observe its
intensity during the remainder of the test. It will supplant for a
voltage gauge, sort of.

Remove the towel, and reattach the battery lead to the suspect Vanagon
battery. Now, carefully watching the interior light, remove the NEGATIVE
jumper cable lead (that went to the Vanagon body. Did the light dim
significantly? If yes (it dimmed), your alternator is not charging
properly. Did it dim just a little? rev the motor slightly and observe.
Did it get brighter?  Then your battery is toast. Remove that battery,
and try charging it via a charger, or via supplanting it to a vehicle
whose charging system is know to work properly.

Try swapping out the battery in the vanagon, even if temporarily with
the one that you know starts the van. Drive around for a couple days.
Does it still start okay? Go get a new battery. No, it doesn't start
okay after a few days/nights of driving? Go get a new alternator. Also
pick up an el-cheapo multimeter from Radio Shed. $15.

Developing sulotions and improvising stuff since 1996,

G. Matthew Bulley
Marketing & Communications
Business: www.bulley-hewlett.com
Phone: +1.919.658.1278

-----Original Message-----
From: jon.sykes at ps.ge.com [mailto:jon.sykes at ps.ge.com]
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 7:43 PM
To: vwdiesel at vwfans.com; Audi-VW-Diesels at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Audi-VW-Diesels] RE: [Vwdiesel] Help, no start

Now my 82 diesel vanagon won't start.  I can start it from jumper cables
the battery doesn't have enough power to start it without them.  It was
starting no problem before today.  I'm guessing there's something wrong
the alternator, not charging the battery.  I powerwashed the engine
yesterday but made sure the alternator was well covered.  I don't have
tools to check any voltages or anything on the alternator.  Is there
anything I can do to troubleshoot this?  I did notice that there's a
connector which the electrical wires run through and connect to the
alternator with.  Mines a little loose.  Any help much appreciated.

-----Original Message-----
From: Duncan L. Forbes [mailto:duncan.forbes at ints.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 9:59 AM
To: vwdiesel at vwfans.com
Subject: RE: [Vwdiesel] Help, no start - Problem Solved

Well, I walked back up to the 7-11 and pulled the dipstick and checked
oil level. Sure enough I was low on oil. I usually add a quart every
fill up (600 miles). Tomorrow is when I am due for a fill up again. So
oil consumption must be up.

I added a quart of oil. Then got in and turned her over and she fired

I am not sure if this is because the added oil or the fact that the oil
the engine had a chance to cool down.

Al suggested that at higher oil temperatures the seal on the rings would
break down. This would seem to fit with what happened. Does being low on
increase oil temperature?

Loren, suggestion of a blown head gasket being the cause seems logical,
I don't have any other signs that I know of for a blown head gasket, no
coolant in my oil or coolant leaks at all.

My water pump and thermostat are relatively new, did them about 18
ago. I may be going through more oil lately because I have a leak in my
valve cover gasket and I'm leaking oil onto the intake manifold (that I
haven't had time to fix). This would account for my increased oil
"consumption" lately. I also recently switched from the Mobil 1
synthetic I
use during winter back to Chevron Delo. Should I not be switching back
forth like that. I have been doing this for the last couple of years as
starts easier in the winter when it has the Mobil 1.

Anyway, thanks to all who responded.


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