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Not a morning bus anymore. cold start issues
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VWGirl
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Not a morning bus anymore. cold start issues Reply with quote

Okay, so every time I think I know where to start with this problem I go back to the drawing board.

bus: 78 stock FI 2.0L bus manual trans

Symptoms: won't start when cold, starts like nothing ever happened when warm. today's temp when tried 60F

What happened leading to issue, possible coincidence: Pulled the engine back in October to replace the trans due to not being able to shift. Is a used 6 rib trans I pulled out of another 78 bus. Used the same ground strap as before. During the engine r&r the coil got caught between the body and the engine and has a nice dent in it now.

First time problem appeared: Camping at Kip's VW party in November, went to start the bus in the cold FL morning and it didn't want to start but after several tries did. After it started we drove to Bulli Brigade, the day warmed up and it started fine. At this point I saw no issues and didn't think twice about it.

Second time was the next morning starting up to go to bug jam. Bus would not start sounded like the battery was dead. Got a jump start and it started right up. Went to Bug Jam and parked on a hill just in case. I guess the engine was wrm enough to restart cause i started it 5 min after I stopped it and it was fine. Going home from the show was also fine.

Next day I drove back to GA during the day and no issues... totally forgot about the problem.

December rolls around and I went to start it one morning was going to drive it to work... no such luck, acted like a dead battery... granted it was cold enough out I was wearing a jacket and gloves. Left it alone for a while. Then one afternoon I forgot about it, started it up and moved it.

Went to start it again a week or so ago to drive to work and it again didn't start, took another car. Next day it was raining out and kind of chilly, but not so bad. didn't seem to want to start at first but did. Drove to the auto parts store and it started right back up and came home.

I did the test during the same day just a few days ago. Tried to start in the morning and it just turned over slowly, you know that dead battery sound. That was at about 9am. Tried again at 1pm and it started up just fine like nothing ever happened...

So, ideas? I was initially leaning towards the cold start injector back in December when it wouldn't start in the cold, but now I am more thinking that it might be the battery or something to do with the starter? maybe my ground is bad? It's really weird and I don't think this is standard Bentley material stuff...

I need to take the bus to a show at 6am tomorrow... I know I am going to have to jump start it that early in the morning, so I am planning on going at about 4pm today to fill up the gas tank since I know that I will be able to start it under its own power then.

Maybe she just needs coffee?

ideas?
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So to clarify...... on cold mornings the bus cranks fine at normal speed but won't fire? or the bus cranks very slowly?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of "Ladies that own Bays".....

Sunshine, did you see that thread?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
So to clarify...... on cold mornings the bus cranks fine at normal speed but won't fire? or the bus cranks very slowly?


x2 - your description states that it didn't turn over. The CSV injects a little fuel when cold but the engine can't use it if it doesn't spin or spins slowly when trying to start it.
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VWGirl
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the confusion...

It will turn over when cold just won't start. It sounds EXACTLY like adead battery, but obviously its not because once it warms up it starts fine without charging or a jump start.

You know the real slow sound of a near dead battery? That's what I get. All the lights come on though and are bright. Door buzzer is super loud... Just won't turn over fast enough to start
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so assuming you've had the battery tested start by removing, cleaning and tightening both ends of both battery cables and the ground strap at the nose of the transmission.
Does the dome light dim when you crank?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the starter bushing in the new transmission is worn and causing the starter motor to bind. Check the current draw.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Battery was tested prior to the trip to fl. Wasn't sure if connections would be temp dependent.

Good call on the bushing. I didn't check that at all... But weird that would be temp dependent too..

Sucks that I generally don't have time to test this when its cold out.

Keep in mind that I can jump start it and it works fine... Just like the battery was dead.I will try these things, but I am running out of cold time to do it in.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VWGirl wrote:
Keep in mind that I can jump start it and it works fine... Just like the battery was dead..

All the more reason to suspect the terminals, attaching the booster cables connects to the cable side of the terminal downstream from a bad connection between the post and cable. A weak battery also acts like that.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still confused. Please Yes or No. When it is cold does the starter spin the engine at the normal starting speed when the key is turned to start?

If yes, then why does it need to be jumped?

If No, you have either dirty battery/ground connections, a sticky starter solenoid or the battery is going dead (and possibly all of the these).
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VWGirl wrote:
You know the real slow sound of a near dead battery? That's what I get.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
Still confused. Please Yes or No. When it is cold does the starter spin the engine at the normal starting speed when the key is turned to start?

If yes, then why does it need to be jumped?

If No, you have either dirty battery/ground connections, a sticky starter solenoid or the battery is going dead (and possibly all of the these).


It spins slowly. Battery was tested prior to this and was normal. I can't remember if I replaced it last summer or the summer before. I can check the battery date when I get home.

So dirty battery/grounds, sticky starter solenoid or dead battery can all be temperature dependent? I will clean the grounds as that sounds the most likely. If the starter is sticking when it is cold what is the remedy for this? Replace it? If the battery only doesn't crank when its cold is that the same remedy? Fairly certain the lights don't dim when I turn the key, but I will check that again too
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VWGirl wrote:
It spins slowly. Battery was tested prior to this and was normal. I can't remember if I replaced it last summer or the summer before. I can check the battery date when I get home.

So dirty battery/grounds, sticky starter solenoid or dead battery can all be temperature dependent? I will clean the grounds as that sounds the most likely. If the starter is sticking when it is cold what is the remedy for this? Replace it? If the battery only doesn't crank when its cold is that the same remedy? Fairly certain the lights don't dim when I turn the key, but I will check that again too


The most common reason an engine spins slowly is the battery is weak. This can be caused by overcharging, undercharging or just an aging battery. It can also be caused by bad battery to cable connections. The first thing to do is clean the battery connections and if that doesn't get it I would replace the battery with a known good one and see if the problem goes away. Sometimes cables go bad inside.

Usually when my batteries start to spin slower I just buy a new battery and get the best I can after looking at Consumer Reports. If you really don't know if the battery is good or bad and don't want to replace it until you know for sure, pull one from a known good car and try that to see if the issue goes away. When a battery is colder it puts out less electricity.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the cutoff point must be between 60 and 65. Came home and it felt almost as cold to me, but got unanswered she fired right up like nothing ever happened... At least I know to expect this for the 6 am departure time... Gonna check the connections anyway...
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good suggestions above. First step is to make sure the connections are bright and clean.

I had a problem like this in the past. For me, it turned out that the positive battery cable was bad. Looked good on the outside, but was bad. If cleaning everything doesn't help, this may be the next step.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had this identical problem recently, and also suspected the battery or my terminal connections (although everything checked out fine). I poked around a little bit more, and discovered that the connector for my thermotime switch, located under the intake runners to the left of the intake plenum, had vibrated loose. I plugged it back in securely, and viola! No more cold start issues. It sure sounds like you're dealing with the same issue... Good luck!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer your question: Yes, cold weather can do what you are describing when your starting system is having issues.. I'm sure there is some kind of scientific reason, but I don't know what it is.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, connections looked clean as always (how do people get nasty looking terminals anyway?). So took em off, cleaned them up and put them back on tight... We will see what happens in the morning!

Oh and I found a random greasy bolt on top of my engine... Doesn't look like it goes to the engine, but I don't remember there being a random bolt there either... I set it on the aux battery tray, hope I remember to move it in the am
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats the missing bolt that holds the whole westy together Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ddesh wrote:
Thats the missing bolt that holds the whole westy together Laughing


I'll throw it back on top of the engine for good measure then.. really it had like axle grease on it.. random
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