1985 Volkswagen cabriolet misfire

50

Asked by Jul 15, 2015 at 06:30 PM about the 1985 Volkswagen Cabriolet Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Ive got a 1985 Volkswagen with the 1.8L. It has all new plugs and wires along with a
new distributor, rotor button and cap. It has a hard time starting, you have to pat the
gas a keep turning it over it'll start and run rough until you rev it up about 3000 RPM.
Then when it idles at about 1000 or 1100 RPM it has a small miss. When switching
between gears you get a small miss at gear change (5 speed) but when you get into it
runs fine. With all this being said what could the problem be? This is my first
Volkswagen so im very unfamiliar with these cars. Thanks in advance!!

28 Answers

19,110

Was it doing any of those things before you changed the plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor button or just started afterwards ?

50

It was doing it before unfortanrly. It did sit for a while and the wiring isn't the best but I wasn't the one who did it

19,110

That year vehicle has a Idle Air Control valve I would try cleaning it first and if does not work replace it and clean throttle body. Also check air filter.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
Best Answer
50

Will do and I'll be sure to let you know if it works! Thanks a lot

50

Meant to ask where that would be located on the car? Thanks

19,110

It is near the throttle body.

9,845

Please tell me this does not have the fuel injection system on it ... all the models of vw engines with the automatic fuel injection system work off a flap in your air box from 1983- 1990 It was the worest headache i ever had with my audi 5000. Half the time if it was an aidle issue it was because i left the car sit for to long with out a start, So like 1 month with out starting would cause the idle to sputter because of the push rod into the fuel distributor. Im not sure if they were much of an issue in the cabrio's but if all else fails you may need to rebuild it or replace it. Most likely scenario is the seal *which is a simple rubber tube donut) rots out and breaks apart and causes bad air flow. I would like to save this as a last resort to solve the issue, So hopes is its a gummed up vacum system which is 50% the most likely culprit.

9,845

The Best and largest american based company to buy parts is www.rockauto.com They offer the widest range of new and used parts for all older make cars, Thats where i purcahsed most of the scarce parts for my 85 audi 5000

50

Thanks for all of yalls help! I cleaned the air idle value and I think it got worse. I might try to replace it but I'm almost at my budget for this car. That's why I'm a bit worried about spending to much and it still not be fixed

9,845

well You can get a new idle control valve off rock auto for 250$. When you pluged it back in did you hear it turn the pump or was there no sound from it ? also start removing hoses and look for signs of cloged or broken vacum lines.

50

When I plugged it in there was no noise but the one on rock auto is not the correct one. Mine is different. Also, where should the temp run and how will I know of the water pump is good?

9,845

Well regular operating temp is about 90degrees C anything over that usaly indicates a cooling issue.. Try turning the car on and taping the idle control vavle and see if it spins up. I know that ussaly if these things go they commanly need replacement. Post a picture of the one you got and ill see if i can't find one simalure

50

I can't post a pic due to my phone but I'll find a link to a pic

9,845

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/BWD0/23100/02169.oap?year=1985&make=Volkswagen&model=Cabriolet&vi=1280337&ck=Search_02169_1280337_-1&pt=02169&ppt=C0018 Is this the one ?

50

http://www.carid.com/standard/inte rmotor-idle-air-control-valve-mpn- av50.html? gclid=COmF5KH338YCFYiPHwodid MNhQ

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
9,845

Both valves are litteraly the same thing the one from rock auto is the one made by bosch and the other is just a differant varient of that part if you notice there is two styles on that websites idle vavle page.

50

So should I replace it and see how it runs? I went and rechecked I had forgot to hook up something. It runs the same as it did before now. I think it might be a fuel issue due to its hard to start cold or hot

9,845

ok jsut for a refresher The car runs what way on start, push gas to floor on crank to start and does not start with out ?

50

As soon as you hit the key it'll start then it dies. Then you have the pay the gas while cranking it and it'll hit a few times, you keep going and it'll start and Misfire a few times and then rev it and idle by itself with. Misfire here and there. Then when you accelerate it misses a few times until about 3 gear and then it's good for the most part

9,845

check your timing belt. This sounds more like a timing belt thats jumped its teeth or lost some teeth. also check your distributor cap and rotor again make sure they are in fact on right. Also check the ignition coil , its possible this could be the issue as well. when was the last time you replaced it ? and how many miles have been put on the car since its been in the car?

50

I'm pretty sure the coil is the one from the factory. The car has 123,000 miles. I'll double check the timing belt and distributor and rotor button and cap

9,845

I find it can bevery easy to get the rotor cap on wrong on these old cars and screw up the fireing order So as a refresher and a check ill post a fireing order chart for you to double check against also check the rotors positon and make sure its on mark ill post a pic of that too.

9,845

http://www.cabby-info.com/Files/AdjustingTheTiming.pdf This document will show you how to make sure the distributor is on mark.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
50

Thank you!! I'll check all this as soon as I get home

9,845

kk hopeuflly its one of these couple things since it should not cost much money to fix. Keep me updated and ill do my best to help solve the issue as cheaply as possible.

50

Well, I put it in time and now it idles where it should be (right under 1000 RPM), but it still has a misfire. I ordered a new coil it should be here within a few days. Ill be sure to check back in after i have replaced it. In the mean time, is there anything else I can do?

9,845

yea grab a bottle of soapy water in a squirt bottle and go over all your vacum hoses and find any sign of leaks. The lines should blow bubbles if there is a leak. Also spray around the bases of the fuel injector distributor and see if any air is escaping there. its that 4 point thing onto pof the air box. also check the air way for that metal thing that goes to the throtal body. These old engines really can act funny with tiny leaks.

Did you ever resolve the rough running?

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