when started rpms fluxuate between 1000 and 2000 rpms but when warm its fine

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Asked by Feb 26, 2011 at 02:26 PM about the 1988 Volkswagen Golf

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

when started rpms fluxuate between 1000 and 2000 rpms but when warm its fine, is that normal for a golf gl?  its an 1988 i just bought it and no nothing about vw's.

30 Answers

1,495

No its not normal thats for sure....what engine you have in it ? 1.8 2.0 2.8 or 1.6 diesel ?

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40

its a 1.8 ltr not deisel

1,495

next time its cold when you frist start it, try unplugging the temp sensors located on the front of the engine where the top rad pipe goes into the engine, on that housing there should be 2 maybe only 1 sensor, theres one with a blue plug the other black they are round with a square two pin/two wire connector, pick one (if two) and unplug it as the engine is running if engine stops surging (fluctuating as you said) then replace that sensor there only about 10 bucks at vdub dealer. If nothing happens plug it back in and unplug the second one right beside it and do the same thing if engine stops surging replace that sensor. If either one of those do not stop the problem you can look for a vacuum leak. What setup of fuel/intake system on yours ? digifant 2 or digifant 1 ?

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to be honest with you i dont have a clue about the digifant thing never ownd a vdub.

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thanx for the help bro it was that first one i pulled actually lol. what is the recommended oil to go into an 88 golf gl 4 dr.?

1,495

ALL Volkswagen's gas or diesel from 1998 and older use 15w40 diesel grade oil and I highly recommend a Volkswagen oil filter from the dealer they are the same price as after market ones but they work much better with the oil pressure system in a vdub then the after market ones.

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there is also some scraping sound going on the front right passenger tire area do you have any ideas on what that could be? ohhh and it sounds like its ticking all the time like the lifters or sometihing someone told me thats normal for them im just trying to make sure that is is true or not. its not a loud tick just soft tick

1,495

The ticking sound your hearing is nothing to worry about if its coming from the lifters (valve cover) 90% of those old Mk1 and MK2's do it but make sure your running 15w40 oil in that 88 golf (MK2) you have tho or it will be a problem down the road. As for the noise from the wheel , does it do it when making a turn ? if so then its your CV joint you will need to replace the CV shaft assy. First thing to check is the mud flap (if it has one) or inner fender if the tires are bigger (not stock) then it may be rubbing on those when turning or hitting a bump. One more thing you can do to check if its the CV joint or the strut, with the car in park running, turn the steering wheel all the way left then all the way right if you hear clicking then its your strut that is bad just replace both struts with new ones (or two good used ones from same car), if one is bad the other one is not far behind it altho you can drive the car a long time with the struts clicking its not a safety factory its just the pivot point in the strut tower that is seizing up or rusty.

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1,495

Just noticed you mentioned "scraping" noise from front, that could be a bent dust shield rubbing on your rotor or the brake shoes/rotor are badly worn

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ok soo my car died on the way to work i turned at a light and it just started sputtering like it was out of gas but i have a half a tank of gas in it and i tried to turn it over again but it just seems like its choking. i can hear the fuel pump so its not that im assuming. can you help me out?

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and where is the fuel filter located exactly? i didnt see it in the engine compartment.

1,495

Fuel filter is located at rear by the fuel tank (you will have to jack the car up)there should be a fuel regulator box just buy a new fuel filter from your Vdub dealer and look at at then match it up under the car, thats assuming you have a 1.8L or 2.0L, the diesel is an entirely different setup.

1,495

I'd start with the fuel filter, if that does not fix your problem post a pic of your engine so I can tell if it is a digifant 1 or 2 then I can give you hints of what to check next. Good luck

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ok so i got it home it starts now but the engine bogs out when i push the pedal slightly

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ok when it is idleing now it wants to bog out then when i press on the gas slightly it goes up to like 3000 rpms .

1,495

did you change the fuel filter ?

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yes i just did and its still choking

1,495

So it idles fine right ? as soon as you give gas it stall out ? that could be weak spark/bad coil these MK2 vdubs are bad for electrical problems which I think is what you have, you will have to get a good vdub mechanic or take to the dealer to fix I could tell you to check alot of things but rather then wasting you time and parts you may not need, I'd just bite the bullet and take to the dealer. I play with my old MK2's all the time here but I have the time on weekends and the car right in front of me so ahard to do over txt. Good Luck

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ok so i found the problem..... it was the cap and rotor the tab on the back was undone.. dont know how it happened but it did should i replace the cap and rotor now? it seems to run fine but it does sound like its got a slight miss to it . i replaced the spark plugs and wires so i know thats not making it. ohhh and can you put cold air intake on an 1988 golf gl?

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1,495

If it has a slight miss did you have a good look at the cap ? if it looks the least bit corroded replace it, it could be your wires too if the miss is worse in rainy/damp weather then its either your wires or both cap and wires. I've included a picture of one of my vdubs, if you have this style intake setup its very easy to install a cold air intake, if not this style and you have the older style digifant then it can still be done I've just never done one myself.

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ok so it did the same thing again today on my way to work and died but i had someone go and look at it while i was working. it sounds like it is choking for gas still do you think it could be the fuel pump? and yes my intake does look like that where can i find a cold air for it? ive been told by 2 different people that its possibly the fuel pump maybe you can give me some more insight on this. i drove it home it seemed fine on the ride home. i dont know if i just want to replace the fuel pump if that is not the problem.

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i found the problem it was the cap and rotor it melted the rotor when the cap came loose. soo get that replaced tomorrow and hopefully wont have to deal with anything else...*knocks on wood* .

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sooo that did not fix the problem it died again to go pick up my pay check but i have no clue what it could be this time . i think im just gonna take it to a mechanic and get it looked at.

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i also replaced the fuel pump today the one in the tank actually and now my gas gauge does not work ??? whaats the problem there? i checked the connections and everything is secure and tight.

1,495

How did you change the pump ? did you use the access panel behind the rear seat under the carpet ? hope you didn't drop the whole tank. You may have to take the pump out the float maybe jammed up when installed, double check those connections, could be just stuck or maybe a bad sending unit in the pump. Note: if you have to rewire make sure you use the exact same gauge and lenght of wire these sending units are set up to runs on a pre set "oms" if the wiring is longer or thicker/thinner gauge it will throw off your reading or not work at all.

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yes i used the access panel under the carpet in the hatchback. and i double checked the connections. i pulled it 3 times to check the float and connections everything seemed tight and in the correct place and its still not working. and can i get a new sending unit or is that built into the new pump that i bought cuz i just bought the bottom part of the pump? and i really dont want to mess with wiring thats not my fortay.

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40

and is there a secondary fuel pump on my vehicle? im just curious cuz i went to autozone and they had two different pumps for it . and it hasnt choked on me at all since i replaced the pump soo it seems like that was the problem.

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i have another question aslo do they have a grill and headlight/lamp conversion kit for an 88 golf gl? if so how much are they and i cant seem to find a body kit for the 4 door they probably do not make them but it doesnt hurt to ask at least since you obviously know soo much and have been a great help!

1,495

It's possible when you removed the pump and sending unit assy that it disturbed it enough to make it stop working, I'd suggest replacing the sending unit if your absolutly sure you have eveyrthing hooked up right don't want to waste money on parts you dont need. As for a secondary pump, there is only one pump for a gas MK2 (which you have) there are some Germany build units that have a boost pump unit with a fuel filter assy, that was diesel only tho. As for body kits keep looking there are kits out there you just have to search online for them, some body kits if its the ground effects on the sides your concerned about fitting as long as they are not molded for the doors a 2-dr kit will fit a 4-dr in the MK2 series golf/jetta. An example is the factory molding that runs from front to back wheel on the very bottom will fit both 2 and 4 door MK2 series they are the same body lenght. Hope that helps TC Vdubs forever!

1,495

Missed the one on the headlamp and grill, yes there are a few different style you can get and I've only known them to be imported from the UK. 82-92 are exactly the same as for bolt on, if you find a grill with headlamp conversion it should say for 87-92 or 82-92 golf/jetta. I am a member of a vdub owners site in the east coast of Canada with ties to the UK for importing stuff I can give you a web addy and you can just go in there and ask for links and ppl will post them for you within 24hrs. Thats all they do on this site it mods and engine swaps to vdubs of all models and years. you can email me at mark1vdub@gmail.com if you need more info

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