VW Jetta - very hard starting in cold weather. 2.0 liter 4 cylinder?

Why is my 1998 VW Jetta hard to start in cold weather?

I had the Mass Air Flow Sensor replaced; car runs great once it starts and gets warm, but it cranks forever before starting in cold weather, and runs rough for a few seconds, then it's fine. It has 2.0 liter, 4 cyl, manual trans. No dummy lights are on. Mechanic says it may be the throttle body or distributor.

Here are some related answers from recent posts:

Automatic Choke may not be working properly, mass air flow sensor might be defective. Are there any dummy lights on?

I had this problem on my '98. Hairline crack in the voltage regulator had the car stall / hard to start / no start often in the winter. Later in spring the car would die in the rain. I sprayed various ignition parts with water (coil, wires, etc) and the car died when I got the voltage regulator wet. It revived after sitting 10-20 minutes and drying. I replaced the regulator and have had no troubles since. The regulator is at the top of the dash near the wiper.

7 Answers

  • Joe S
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I would check the distributer cap. It may not be sealing tight as the clips used are notorious for not sealing properly. Also check your wires while you are at it. My 97 starts hard in 20 degrees or colder if not started daily.

  • 1 decade ago

    Look at electrical first. Pull a plug wire off and hook it into another plug which you hold to the block....and have somebody else try starting the car.(it will start on 3) What you are looking for is a spark. While it is being cranked over. If there is no spark in the gap, you know it is the electrical part of the ignition switch or the module inside the distributor.. However, if you got blue fat sparks and the car ain't starting, it is something to do with fuel system. Got an in-line fuel filter? Check it/change it.

    Remember too that fuel injection cars do not start very well if you have your foot on the gas pedal while cranking.

    The regulator is to keep the altenator under control (which charges the battery)

    Source(s): mechanic
  • Wendy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Because rejection is the hardest Emotion to deal with. Men can get extremely violent, women can go off into the deep end! It hurts a lot, and all these things make you freeze up inside because you just don't have the confidence it takes to confront your own feelings up front and personal. You are baring your soul to this person and letting yourself in for a painful experience, possibly? I mean what are you settling for? At least now you get to talk to him but could you still talk to him if he rejects you? And right now that feeling of getting to talk to him feels really good, and even that though really small when taken away will hurt a lot. So either tell him straight out, or write him a short letter and then get his answer and know once and for all, or just settle for being friends and get over it, especially if you think it is one sided. Ask yourself what has he actually done to make you feel that he feels the same as you do? Truth time is a scary time, but I always find it is better to softly go in and say how you feel and gently wait for his reply. If he says YES, you go from there. But if he delays or stalls or says out right NO, then ask if it is OK for you two to remain friends? At least from this point you can go on. Right now all you are doing is putting off the truth.

  • 1 decade ago

    Probably ignition timing or just the fact that it was made in germany. might check the timing belt as well.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Move to Florida or walk until July.

  • 1 decade ago


  • 1 decade ago

    try a tune up

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