Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I have a 1989 vw cabriolet. When I 1st got it, it ran fine but would not start on the 1st try.

asked by on

Then on day it didnt start at all. I put oil in it and it started so I took it to the mechanic. the mechanic changed the head gasket, timing belt, spark plug, both fuel pumps, fuel reservoir, cleaned the tank, flushed the fuel system. Then it took it for a test drive, it was fine. Then when he brought it back it did start. So he then changed the fuel distributor, still not start. There is a spark and gas coming to the motor and a has a good crank, but it is not turning over. My mechanic is out of ideas, do you have any suggestion?

My car has 20000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

I suggest having a compression test done on the vehicle to determine if the engine is making enough compression to run. This test would also help determine if the cam timing is correct. If the cam timing is not correct, you will not be able to start the vehicle because the valves would be partially open during the time the cylinder is trying to create compression. Your vehicle needs air, fuel, compression, and spark and the right time for it to run. If any one of these are not correct, the vehicle may not start. A weak spark can also cause a vehicle to have a hard time starting. Make sure that the fuel injectors are actually spraying gas into the cylinders. The can sometimes become stuck closed or plugged with contaminants preventing fuel flow from reaching the combustion chamber. If you would like further help, I suggest having a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, determine the exact cause of your starting concern.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I have a 1989 vw cabriolet. When I 1st got it, it ran fine but would not start on the 1st try.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My car smoked and now it will not start. 2003 Toyota Corolla

Hello. From what you are explaining it sounds like you have a serious internal engine failure. If you got smoke coming from the tailpipe prior to this occurring and if the engine will not crank over then you more than...

Q: Key won't always start the car

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 2006 Saturn Vue. This sounds like the contacts in the ignition switch are worn and not making good contact when turning the key every time. I recommend having the ignition electrical switch...

Q: After major engine work, car's response is slower. Having to push the pedal harder then usual. Seems like torque or power loss.

I looked up your vehicle and it does not list a 1.8 l turbo engine for a Golf. It does for a GTI. This is a gas turbo engine. Replacing the head should not be that hard and as long...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.