[T3] cool weather idle hunt

Daniel Nohejl d.nohejl at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 17:55:30 PST 2017

I found that Bob responded to me b/c I was using a work computer and had to go to the archive to see if I had a response. Then, I logged into gmail and found Bob’s message in my spam folder with this notification 

http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/1597117.jpg <http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/1597117.jpg>

Then, I added Bob to my contacts and his message showed up in my inbox. It was roundabout, but it worked. Hopefully, his messages will go straight to my inbox in the future. 

Anyway…..as to the ECU….If plugging in a new one started the the engine up and got me home and plugging, unplugging, and re-plugging the old one only produced (or re-produced) a no-start situation, how could it not be an ECU issue? I know the ECU is supposed to be “bullet proof”, but I sent Jim a bunch (5 IIRC) of ECU’s with issues ranging from “won’t start the motor” to “doesn’t ground the fuel pump” and only one was fixable. The ECU I removed today was one I bought from Jim and installed in July and now it seems to have “died” which leaves us with one backup ECU and that’s one that Jim repaired so that it would ground the fuel pump relay. 

I know people drive their FI cars every now and again and even in bursts of many thousands of miles every two years for the Invasion and etc., but I wonder if us driving our car in 4 seasons (with temps ranging from below 0 to over 100) has exposed a limitation in the electrical parts. We’ve put over 21k miles on our car in the last year in 4 season driving if that matters. 


> On Jan 17, 2017, at 7:53 PM, Bobsnotch at aol.com wrote:
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> In a message dated 1/17/2017 7:12:25 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
> d.nohejl at gmail.com writes:
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> O, boy, what a  mess!
> Car started fine this morning but idled very roughly when cold. I  made a 
> note to myself to adjust idle and timing after work in case changing  the AAR 
> adjustment threw off the idle speed. I figured that was possible  depending 
> on where the AAR was set when I last did the idle. 
> After  getting off the highway on the way to work, the motor stalled every 
> time I  took my foot off the gas but for one time when the idle stayed 
> steady. After  work, it took five tries to start the car. Very unusual as it 
> always starts on  the first or second try. I pulled out of the parking lot and 
> stalled. I then  proceeded to stall every single time I let my foot off the 
> gas but it drove  perfectly well on the highway. I got close to home and 
> stalled at a light.  This time it wouldn’t start. It caught on one or two 
> occasions but wouldn’t  fully fire up. Then, it’d crank and crank but nothing 
> else. Of course it  started pouring rain after a few minutes…..
> Anyway, I checked the  following partly by myself and partly once Jessica 
> showed up (the benefit of  breaking down only 2 miles from home)…the list isn’
> t in sequence:
> —fuel  pump relay clicked and pump primed when key was turned
> —FI power relay  clicked when key was turned
> —MPS sensor plug wasn’t loose
> —all injector  plugs were secure
> —trigger points connector was secure
> —injector grounds  and ECU ground at case center line all secure
> —wires to generator were  secure
> —12V to black/white wires from FI ground to T2 connector and 12V  from T2 
> connector to ECU
> —resistance of both temp sensors was  fine
> —dwell was ok and everything in the distributor looked fine
> —12V to  coil
> —took out the ECU and verified that the plug wasn’t loose
> It  was pouring out and I was staring at the ECU laying there in the cargo 
> area  and decided to take the plunge b/c Jessica showed up with one of our 
> spare  ECU’s. I plugged it in and the motor fired right up. Just to confirm I 
> wasn’t  hallucinating, I tried the ECU I had just removed. No start. Tried 
> pressing on  the harness in case it was loose on the card edge. No start. 
> Put in the spare  ECU and it fired right up again and I drove home without any 
> problems!!
> So all along my "intermittent warm idle lope" was the ECU  taking a dump 
> until it finally died?!?! Is that even a  thing??
> Well, I don't know if it's a sign of a dieing ECU, but it certainly  sounds 
> like it's possible. At least having a spare ECU to put in and get the  home 
> helped. I guess you'd have to try the replacement ECU for a couple of days  
> to know for sure.
> Bob 65 Notch  S with Sunroof
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