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93 1.3 AAV Starting Issues

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Having some trouble starting my 1993 1.3 Spi AAV. Usually when it's cold it will turn over, fire and then cut out immediately. It usually does this a couple of times before starting up with a small splutter and then running absolutely fine. When the engine is warm it will fire up no problem, and general running is spot on. Now I first thought that the blue temp sensor was to blame, so changed this with a known good one, with no difference. I then bought a brand new sensor, with still no difference. I then had a 1.8 golf throttle body so decided to swap that with the 1.3 throttle body, keeping the 1.3 injector. No difference, in fact I would say it is worse starting with it on, but I think there is a slight air leak one one of the vacuum lines.

Heres a video of the problem: 


Other than the temp sensor and the throttle body I've also recently done the plugs, leads, distributor cap and rotor arm. The battery on it isn't great but always gets the car going so I don't think voltage drop is an issue.

Cheers in advance

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  • fossy97


  • vwfan3


  • mbusby993



On one cold morning start,

1. Turn the ignition ON only and wait 10 secs before turning it OFF. 

2. Repeat above process twice.

3. Now turn the ignition ON and turn the key to start the engine.


Let us know if the car starts better and engine runs better this way.

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Gave that a try this cold morning, about -1 out, and it fired straight up! Drove to work and left it all day for about 9 hours, came out and tried the same method and it took 6 attempts to get going, pretty much flattened the battery. Really annoying that as soon as it starts it runs great... the only other thing i've noticed is that when it is cold, it only idles at about 1k, never any higher. My old NZ Mpi used to do around 1100-1200 when cold, not sure if this is a sign of anything?

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I had a similar, although not identical, issue with my 1.3 AAV starting in the cold/damp. It would take a while to crank and fire and sometimes take several attempts to fire. When I took the dizzy cap off th contacts were corroded and there was moisture inside the cap. I replaced the cap and arm and removed and cleaned the inside of the distributor. Worth trying to simple things first. :smile:

Edited by mbusby993
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  • 5 weeks later...

Cheers Guys,

I haven't used the car much recently but I did change the fuel filter before the christmas break, with sadly no results. The distributor cap is fairly new and seemed nice and dry inside, i gave the contacts a quick clean up and I will order a new one along with another rotor arm for good measure. Its still doing it with no specific pattern, some days it goes, others it won't. Clutching at straws here but could it be the ecu playing up if a new cap doesn't solve things?


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Pretty rough tbh, I would say it's been on there forever, I think I've got another one in the shed though?

Edited by fossy97
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  • 4 weeks later...

Update on this - still no better

I've changed the fuel filter again, and replaced the cap and rotor arm. I've checked the throttle body for any air leaks and renewed a couple of rough looking vacuum lines. Found another blue temp sensor and fitted that. Still struggles to start. Decided to see if there were any codes stored in the ecu and got '00561 - Mixture adaption: Sporadic -Adaption Limit exceeded'. Done some searching and it seems as though it could be any of the fuel system components playing.  My gut feeling is the SPI injector, I can't see it being the pump as it runs great and pulls well even under load. Is there any way of checking an injector, I've got a spare off a 1.0AAU and one off a 1.8 but not one from a 1.3. Is it worth trying one of these?


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Thanks for the update. 

Do some searching on what is the reason for having a Fuel Accumulator on 1993 1.3 Spi AAV engine.


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