Sick 90 90Q

Marc Boucher mboucher70 at
Wed Feb 4 21:56:06 EST 2004

Statistically there seems to be a disproportionate number of people North of
the border who's car won't 'quite' start in this cold weather, myself
included.  It will be interesting to see, when the final causes come in, if
they were across the board, or if they tended to focus around one or two
components that give out in very cold weather.

I'm still working on mine and have the problem isolated to two or three
things.  But from my experiences in this case, here's some advise I'd give.

Don't expect it to be a quick solution.  You might go up there and find an
obvious problem in a few minutes that you can fix with readily available
parts (eg a cracked vacuum hose).  But you may also be troubleshooting and
tinkering for days.

If the problem comes down to an unavoidable replacement of a fuel pump or a
fuel distributor or even a DPR (one writes from their own experience ) be
prepared for major sticker shock if you go to the local Audi dealer...if
there is one in North Bay :-)

Make sure you've got everything that you need...Other than the obvious tools
here are some other items that might be handy:

-A male and female 'bosch' type plug (not sure what they're called...) with
wires attached...useful for testing current flow, voltage, resistance, or
for manually powering something (say a cold start valve)
-A trickle charger or
-Perhaps one of those combo charger/boosters if you're going to be cranking
a lot...for example:
-A multimeter

One interesting thing in my case was that the car would start and run if the
cold start valve was energized with 12 volts permanently.  May not be an
interesting test in other cases but for me in was a quick way of eliminating
many possibilities and narrowing the focus.

Good luck,

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <SuffolkD at>
To: <quattro at>; <l.valadas at>
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 9:05 PM
Subject: Re: Sick 90 90Q

College huh?
Have junior pull the battery and keep it indoors overnight.  Then every
college town has an auto parts store.
Find one to trickle charge the battery $5 for the day (get up and be there
when they open)
Get the thing back to the dorm and hold it there untill you start to tinker
with it.
ALSO have Jr (while at the auto store) get some gas line antifreeze and put
two bottles in.
SHAKE the car back and forth to circulate gas around in the tank to mix in
the antifreeze.
Buy some ether too. Starting fluid.  and put that into the air intake/ air
filter inlet (easiest)/ boot after the fuel distributor (most effective)
when you
try and first start it.
THEN start your diagnostics

'At Auto parts:
Get battery charged
By either and 2 gas line antifreeze bottles.

Get everything in your favor FIRST then try to tinker with it.
Pull battery warm it up then charge, keep it warm.
While doing that gas line antifreeze SHAKE the car
then ether (starting fluid) to start it on first attempt


Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 18:29:14 -0500

> From: "Lino M. Valadas" <l.valadas at>
> Gentlemen,
> My son's 1990 90q will not start and as a result he's stranded up in North
> Bay Ontario at College.  I'm in Toronto, but this Friday will drive up
> Km) to see what I can do to revive it. (I must be nuts it's -20 C up
> The battery is dead now.  He's had several attempts at starting it with
> boosts from friends and CAA to no avail.  The fuel pump buzzes, so I
> fuel is not an issue.  It appears that sometimes the engine almost catches
> but never starts.  The car has a history of being very hard to start when
> hot.
> Any tips on where to look first, would be greatly appreciated.  Even
> I'm a 10v kind a guy,  I'm not familiar with the 90 90q.
> Thanks

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