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Diagnose wifey's 2.0l diesel Golf c.2008


Doesn't like starting about 70% of the time. I'm thinking maybe glow plugs but I dunno.

We've owned it for about 4yrs, well maintained by a reputable mechanic we've used for 10+Yrs.

New battery about 12mths ago, only gets shell diesel, BP if there is no shell about. Does a suburbia-to-the-CBD commute weekdays and a longer drive most weekends. No error codes according to mechanic & seems counterintuitively to happen more from a hot/lukewarm start, so mechanics can't reproduce it easily as they're generally cold starting it. I have put a few bottles of fuel additive through it over the last few months which seem to have made it a little happier overall & improved this issue a little bit.


If I owned it Inwould test the glow plugs, also it's worth checking for air in the fuel. I've no idea how the modern cars fuel filters are set up and if there is a vent on the top ?

You can get air in the fuel from the return which can cause a similar noise on startup.



I came here to drink milk and kick ass..... and i've just finished my milk!!!!

It has odd spacing on the speedo over 100, there's your issue..




It has done more than 100k miles and the engine is in the process of grenading.


Driving a Galaxy far, far away

So if the tech II doesn't spit up a code your mechanic cannot diagnose a fault? Can you run it around then bring to to them warm if that is when the problem arises?

It could be any number of things though, failing fuel pump, blocked EGR, air in the fuel or just at the age that VAG dervs go boom.

I would trade it in against a Mondeo estate just to be safe.

Doubt it would be glow plugs at that engine temp. Most VAG dervs can start easily without plugs even in cold weather.

Sounds like it's out of sync at start up, like the timing's slightly out, but I doubt it's that.




Not glo plugs - for the reasons already stated.

Tried the obvious things like air filter, forte injector cleaner etc?

take to dealer, hand over car, take out cheap R lease



Existence is pain ...



Faulty Injector!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get the leak back rates tested or if you can get a diagnostic machine hooked up get them to show the live injector rates.

Virual fiver says its one or more injectors:D

Is it a 2.0tdi? There was a recall, faulty injector on misses replaced foc. Sounded like bag of spanners.

Still pos to drive but all sorted without much hassle.

Thats a point is it common rail or Pumpe Duse injectors?

The Mechanical PD ones are prone to splitting the little follower that sits under the rocker arm in half. A repair kit is available from VW for those.

PD injectors new from VW are about 700 + vat each, mind.

cheers all, I'll make a note and do some more poking around. in order of your response:

filters et cetera should be fine as they get checked/cleaned/replaced every service. dunno where the fuel filters is physically, but i'll make a note for the mechanics to double check it next time for air ingress

Rich B
i just drive >100km/h everywhere to avoid confusion.


they can diagnose but have been unable to recreate the issue while they've had the vehicle (i can't write them a blank cheque, so they drive it around a bit and stop/start within reason. doesn't always happen.

trading it in is a consideration but i'm not rolling in cash at the mo' (hence driving a 2008 diesel golf...) so ideally want to keep it movin' until I can just purchase something more interesting and it returns to being the second vehicle.

i thought glow plugs were a bit of a long shot, but wasn't sure what else it could be. timing is a thought, but i'm pretty sure they check all that when serviced. i'll make a note to double-check it all the same.

yeah as above filters get replaced/checked every 6mth service. injector cleaner is what i was referring to in original post, seemed to improve but not fix things. i put a bottle through (3 'treatments'/tanks per bottle) every 2 or 3 months.

if i was going to lease something it would be a Toyota, a Holden or a BMW as that's what my employer get for cheap. i don't want a Toyota, a Holden or a BMW though. also new cars are for chumps, especially in Oz.

Flewy & Schlergen
Yeah it's a 2.0tdi, not sure if PD or CR, it's on the cusp as a MY07/MY08 vehicle. i'd have to poke in the engine bay and it's way too forking hot and humid and dark for that sort of thing at the moment.

i've been trying to avoid the thought of injectors as i know they're an arse and will cost me shedload of $$$, but i'll get the mechanics to check it out nonetheless, as it seems the most likely culprit.

i might google VAG AU recalls and see if i can get them to fix it for me, maybe i can cry about NOx emissions cheats or something....

//editted for stupid quotes not working

Updated February 12, 2018 at 11:32 AM

Phut, can you read off the engine code from the sticker on the boot floor? I will be able to tell you which injectors it has then:D

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