Cold Start Problems on 1995 VW Polo 1.6

Old 01-10-2006, 09:21 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1
Default Cold Start Problems on 1995 VW Polo 1.6

Hi Folks,

I'm new to this forum and am searching for a cheap solution to a problem which I have with my 1.6 Polo (Petrol).

It passed the mighty 200,000 miles at the weekend and since then has decided that it won't start unless towed. When it does eventually go the first 20 minutes of driving is difficult with the engine bogging down if pressed too hard and it loses it's idle limit so that if you floor the clutch the engine cuts out. Once the car is warmed up it is not a problem. I have had this problem before and it came down to one of the sensors.

When it first started misbehaving last week when I was in the Netherlands I took advantage of the cheaper prices over there and replaced the plugs, leads, distributor cap and rotor arm. That cured it until this weekend. The other thing is that there has been a heavy smell of petrol/exhaust fumes in the car when idling. Could the whole problem be due to a cracked exhaust or similar.

Why does the car start when towed but not from the ignition? There is plenty of power in the battery.

Any help greatfully received.


Tempsford, Bedfordshire.
Old 01-31-2007, 12:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
Default RE: Cold Start Problems on 1995 VW Polo 1.6

Hey I own a VW Polo but mine is only a 1.3cl 3 door.

1 If you are getting smell inside the cabin, try checking the pipe leading into the air filter from the engine, it might be blocked , i had the same problem a couple of years ago. The pipe passage was blocked with crap hence allowing fumes to enter the cabin. hope this helps.

2 yep it may be thatone of ur sensors have packed up. get em checked and changed accordingly if necessary.

il tell u one thing. vw vehicles are awesome. i got my 1995 polo for a bargain considering they are expensive to buy and hold their value, i paid £950 for my m reg. its been a great investment. yeh sure cars breakdown but vw are brilliant vehicles to have. we had an old camper van, t reg, 1978 model i think in our garage for 7 years, it just stood there for 7 years, then we decided to get rid of it cos we needed space and asit was of no use to us. we got a new battery, connected it and after turning the key, to my absolute amazement it started first time and without choke or acceleration on the pedal. that was my first experience of the greatness of VW especially older models, i thought to myself, ive just seen a miracle. so i decide never to buy a vehicle which was not a VW, and here i am.

Very happy.
Hope my ideas help u solve ur mini crisis. leme know how u get on mate.
take care
Jaz Birmingham
Old 01-31-2007, 03:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Default RE: Cold Start Problems on 1995 VW Polo 1.6

when you say it won't start, do you mean it wont crank (turn over)? if it doesn't turn over, does it click? if it jsut clicks, try tapping the starter with a hammer whileturning key(takes two people ) if now it cranks, you need a starter.
if no click, do you have 12volts on amall wire at starter while key is turned? if so, need starter.
if no, ignition switch.

drivealbility issue could be coolant sensor
Old 01-31-2007, 11:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 21
Default RE: Cold Start Problems on 1995 VW Polo 1.6

I've experienced same problem, smells like exhaust fumes in the car when idling. A mechanic friend had checked it, it turned out that volkswagen air filter was blocked. Had it replaced and problem was solved.
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