Has anyone who owned a Volkswagen Jetta have problems starting it in the winter?

I'm looking to buy a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (the new deisel fuel one) and I heard from someone at work that in the cold winter weather she had a difficult time starting her Jetta. I was wondering if this was a common issue for Volkswagen owners up north...

10 Answers

  • Jon
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have a 1999 Jetta TDI.

    I'm in the habit of putting the key in and just turning it. In the winter, there's a little light on the dash, and you need to turn the key halfway, wait for the light to go out, then turn it the rest of the way to start the car. If you don't do this, it will take a few seconds to start.

    Another possible issue is the fuel gelling. This is fairly rare - it has to get really cold for it to happen. Different states/provinces sell different blends of fuel in the winter time (i.e. fuel sold in Michigan won't gel until it gets to a lower temperature than what would cause fuel sold in Florida to gel). The intention there is to make it so that your fuel won't gel.

    For the 10 years I've owned my car, it's never gelled. I've lived in central Indiana that whole time. I park in the garage at night, though. If you don't have a garage, it's possible it might gel like one morning per year.

    One more thing about the different states' formulations: since these cars can go so far on a tank, say you live in Detroit and go on a trip down South, during the winter, and on the way home you fill up in Lexington, KY. When you get home, you'll probably still have half a tank of Kentucky-formulated fuel in your car. It would probably be a good idea to fill the tank the rest of the way with Michigan fuel.

    They sell engine block heaters - you glue it onto the bottom of your engine (quick and easy, just have to jack up the car then remove a plastic cover on the Jetta to get to it). I think they're like $60. If you don't have a garage, but do have access to a power outlet, then on the coldest winter nights you can just put it on a timer to start heating a couple hours before whatever time you leave in the morning, and you should be good to go.

    Get the car - they're excellent. I should hit 200,000 miles sometime in June. My window sticker said 49mpg highway...when I drive normally (80mph) I get about 46mpg and when I drive like an old lady I get up to 53mpg. Even at 10 years old, it's still nice and peppy. Any problem you ever have, you can find lots of helpful people at forums.tdiclub.com

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The 2009 Jetta TDI is brilliant. The engine is cleaner than a regular gas engine, yet has the same mpg and torque of an old fashion diesel. Older diesels needs to be plugged in to keep them warm, but now with modern technology they start right up. If its under 0 degrees outside, it made take an extra half second to get it started, but i have never even come close to worrying that my VW wouldn't start. Good luck, i hope you get it, because its a great car!

  • Moose
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Use the winter blend fuel and don't ignore the check engine light, and you won't have much (if any) trouble. More often than not, when a hard to start TDI car comes in to the shop in the winter, the check engine light has been on for quite some time and just ignored. The fault stored: Glow plug circuit failure. $50 repair. $150 tow.

  • 4 years ago

    Assuming you have a gas engine and not diesel, I would have your spark plugs checked first. They may be worn and when that happens it is easy for them to get flooded which will make it hard to start. These should be replaced every 40000 miles on the VW gasoline engines. If it is a diesel, replace the fuel filter - these should be done on the diesels religiously every 20000 miles. The click thing in your steering column repair was probably an ignition switch - not related to your current problem. Good luck!

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  • 1 decade ago

    With all diesel vehicles it is important to use a winter blend of fuel. Diesel will jell at very low temperatures without it. Diesel cars have a much higher compression ratio that gasoline cars and because battery cranking power drops with temperature they may be harder to start. Some with diesels utilize engine block heaters to make starting easier. Many trucks with diesels have two batteries.

    Source(s): Driving oil burners for 15 years
  • 1 decade ago

    The thing is if you take good care of it like its a child (kinda don't bring it in the living room) it will start easy but if you hit rocks or are mean to it it will have difficulties so take good care of it and in return it will be a good reliable little car. O ya if you have a garage park it in there so the motor wont get to cold and in winter don't use bio diesel because it will get very thick and gum up the lines. =)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I live in Germany, and It gets REAL COLD in the winter. I never have a problem starting my Volkswagen.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yeah. They are difficult in the winter. That's why I got an SUV because they are good for all of the seasons.

  • 1 decade ago

    its because its a diesel...need to keep engine warmer on it at night

  • 1 decade ago
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