Question about 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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2002 Volkswagon Jetta won't start in cold weather

I have had my 2002 Jetta TDI into my mechanic multiple times for this to no avail. So far we have replaced glow plugs and changed oil to 5W30 for cold weather starting which had no effect. We replaced the battery as it showed weekness when cranking under load. Didn't work. We also added a heated battery jacket which didn't really have any affect either. Had starter rebuilt as the brushes were worn... Not that either. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, I have been told in the past that adding a block heater to a Jetta will cost in excess of $500 as for some reason, VW didn't install them on these cars for cold weather starting here in Canada. Does anyone have any suggestions? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Patchy452000 Feb 05, 2009

    Thank for replying. Unfortunately, the car barely cranks over when it's cold so I'm not sure if starting fluid will help, but it may. This morning it's -29c and it's almost like the battery is dead. It reads fully charged but when it's cold (-15c or below) it seems to barely turn over. If I connect booster cables and let them sit for a few minutes before trying, it will typically start no problem. As mentioned previously, it's a brand new battery (Interstate) and that didn't seem to solve the problem.

  • Patchy452000 Feb 05, 2009

    That's a possibility. I believe my mechanic called and ordered the recommended battery based on the cranking amps (which I believe is 700) but you're right, perhaps it needs to be higher. Believe me, I stay home every chance I can get! :o) My wife actually drives the vehicle and I travel frequently for work so when I'm gone, she's pooched if it doesn't start. We also live in the country so it's a little more frustrating for her when it happens and she can't make it to the office or to hockey for our boys etc. I'm surfing the web for info on block heaters or oil pan heaters to see if that's on option. When it's warm, no problem. Thanks again for your assistance Jerry!




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I had a similar problem with my older 2000 model jetta 1,9TDi and also with my current 2002 1,9TDI.
On both cars the problem started once the cars got past approx.160th KM.
Take the car to any Bosch diesel dealer and ask them to increase the dwell time on the glow plugs (increase the time that the glow plugs stay on, when the ignition is swtiched on)

Posted on May 27, 2009


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I have an 03 jetta tdi I just installed a FROSTHETER it heats the water. Works great. you can purchase them online. only costs dollars. plus shipping. Easy to install. Maybe that will help you out.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009


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Well will it start using a little shot of starting fluid ? if so you might have a weak pump . try this and see . thanks Jerry

Posted on Feb 05, 2009

  • Jerry Koski
    Jerry Koski Feb 05, 2009

    first if its that cold maybe you should stay home-- just kiddin.. say just what type cranking amps does your new battery put out ? look on the top of it and see if it says 500 600 or what .. might be you need a very high cranking amp battery for a diesel engine (800 or better )? possable if you put cables on it it sounds like it needs help or something is draining it .. thanks again Jerry holler if you need more


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