Why won't it start up ?

50

Asked by May 27, 2014 at 11:05 AM about the 1988 Volkswagen Vanagon GL Passenger Van

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have an 88 vanagon and will start right up ! But you drive it and then if u stop to get
something at store it won't start again ? We tried starter fluid but didn't work ! But then
wait bout hour or so and starts right back up again ! I was wondering if anyone has any
tips we could try to do to fix it

23 Answers

22,905

It could be many things as the Vanagon is a notoriously complicated beast with an overabundance of wires, sensors, vacuum hoses- lotsa vacuum hoses- my Vanagon Crystal Ball is down for the day, some kinda maintenance needed- maybe another Guru has an answer, but I would say, unless you are an expert mechanic, go find one- and take him a 6-pack if he is good-

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
3,255

If your not getting spark check coil

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
50

Yeah I'm not getting spark . So I'll check coil

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
16,865

I never even heard of a Vanagon ;but, I've seen enough of jamnblues posts to realize HE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS. [and they all have too many sensors,toys,vacuum hoses] Something in spark and or fuel supply that is reacting/breaking down re:heat. and I'll add two cents for dandyoun -"get a free code read at Auto Zone" to at least see the system(s) that may be messing up. but don.t just let them sell you a sensor and pretend the problem is solved.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
50

I had a mechanic look at it and said theirs something wrong with compression could that be a reason it won't start the second time

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
3,255

Did the person do a compression test on motor Most of the time when a car breaks down because of heat Electric problems accrue but you schould take it to auto zone Because it's very hard to tell you without testing a. Z. And then you Have to duplicate problem to fix it cyclinder schould be all the same or real close

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
16,865

WARNING - WARNING - WARNING : DO NOT go back to the mechanic that told you ...."there is SOMETHING wrong with the compression"

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
16,865

He couldn't have possibly done a compression test and then given you that c__p answer.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
50

He said he didn't want to mess with it tho ? Is it not the compression

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
16,865

I can only say one thing for sure - he is not a mechanic that I'd let empty my ashtray. "He didn't want to mess with it" MESS is the key point. Compression wouldn't be the first place I'd look.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
50

Could it be the temp 2 sensor ?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
16,865

sensors are designed to sense what's going on. Please re-read jamnblues answer. But I do not think that the mechanic you went to is the expert jamnblues was referring to.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
16,865

jamnblues said he knows that car and it isn't a good place for a d.i.y. beginner to start learning on- believe him.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
22,905

It will be a rare, expert mechanic who knows the ins and outs of the dreaded VANAGON- he will be an older guy, who has worked on VWs since they were Beetles and learned about Vanagons by default- find this fabled man, and you will be cool and righteous with the gods of Valhalla- although you might still wind up spending tons of money- as to your problem- the Vanagon has no "computer diagnostics" it is too old- I hope that your problem can be solved with a tune up, a fuel pump, or somethin' easy- it sounds like it- but with a VW of that vintage, ya never know-

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
16,865

will have OBD 1 but you still need to listen to jamnblues.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
3,255

When the coil gets hot it's shutting down either the alt overcharging And get the coil hot or the back of the coil is hot and cracked is there A fluid around the coil cl charging system and replace coil after ck coil With ohm meter then check ohm on a good one at a store compare I think if it shows ok write down findings,then run till hot then ck

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
16,865

0 1bigjon- way to go! You didn't jump to scans and codes! Some youngsters wouldn't know an ohm meter or a multi meter if it bit them on the bum. obd1 requires a mere piece of short wire to get dash board blinks that direct you to a system that is failing. But trying to walk a d.i.y. youngster through obd1 and ohm meters is far to complicated for my typing .

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
195

Hi ,did you chk.you gas filter

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
195

Does it have a temp sensor ,fi so chk , it out

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
3,255

Did you fix the sparks next A leaky injector will cause this Can you smell gas when you comeback out to Start it Replace injectors and seals or try bg k44 injector clean great stuff Internet I hope this helps let me know Releasegas cap while going in store releas. Pressure. Temp fix just to start

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

I drove an 88 vanagon for 16 years. 2 years old it intermittently would not start. I discovered an intermittent contact on the "start" relay. It is located with a few other relays in a black plastic box in the engine compartment front left. If the engine suddenly will not fire up give the box a sharp whack and try again. Then replace the relay asap. Give the box a sharp whack then try starting. If that works local the relay and replace.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I owned a1984 and a 1991 vanagon ran them for years they have their good and bad point but I liked them did all my own work. I had a problem on one of these can't remember which one, but it turned out to be the distributor, it has a Hall effect sensors and it would intermitantly stop switching. I found this out when I tried to buy a new distributor and vw was offering an updated one the new one had a metal shield on the cap that offered better grounding of the cap area. I would check the grounds from the motor to the chassis. And check and see if you have the latest distributor. Once I did these two things I never had issue again.

First off NO Vanagon has OBD 1 or OBD2, so the ohm meter is your only solution along with a Robert Bentley Factory manual nd a lot of patience. I have one curently that's not starting and I just need to blokc out an aftenoon and test ALL the wiring, including the ignition switch. Doesn't seem to be much on youtube to solve the dreaded "Vanagon Syndrome", but folks at the samba.com forum might be of assistance.

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